I’m totally regretting that I volunteered to review this series.
The Rude Neighbor or The Foreseer?
I could easily brush off the first encounter of Nam Hong-joo (Bae Suzy) and Jung Jae-chan (Lee Jong-suk) as the typical meet-cute for a hate-that-I-like-you rom-com; the rude girl meets the affable guy. But both of them are not your ordinary hero and heroine in a series.
Hong-joo randomly dreams a scenario that will happen in the future. It seems like it happened so many times before she already surrendered trying to change the future. No one believed her. Not even his father. The details were vague but that might have scarred her since she worried a lot after seeing something related to her mother’s death in her dreams. She again tried to avoid it but fate got its way again.
I like how they introduce Hong-joo’s character. They let the audience pick up bits and pieces of who she is and create their own assumptions. I sometimes prefer that kind of storytelling; not laying every detail in a silver platter and trusting the audience to have their own interpretation. I also have to point out that everything in episode 1 was in Hong-joo’s point of view. I didn’t actually realize that fact until the second part came in.
The Selca Master or The Just Prosecutor?
I can’t decide whether Jae-chan had a premonition-like-dream before just like Hong-joo or it was his first time. He seemed to be bewildered after dreaming something so detailed, unlike Hong-joo. I’m sticking on my interpretation that it is the first time he experienced such thing because he still has the drive to change the future. He saved the lives of Hong-joo, her mother, and an innocent pedestrian from the manipulation of the jerk and coward lawyer, Lee Yoo-bum (This is the only time I’ll mention him because my blood boils whenever I think about this character).
There is no surprise Lee Jong-suk won me over in the first two episodes. I love that scene after he crashed his own car to stop Hong-joo’s tragic fate from happening. It showed how Jong-suk has this power to enthrall his audience in any character he portrays.
A gift or a curse?
There were dreams Hong-joo really hated. Because she knew it always happen. There was no escaping. She had learned to cope with it. But when she dreamed of the death of the only person she cared in the world, she tried her best to fight it. Her dreams might be a curse for her but it could be a gift to someone like Jae-chan.
Now that the main premise was explained, I wonder how these two equally flawed characters will help each other accept their imperfections?
Maknae’s Episode Verdict
I’m regretting I volunteered to review this series as I’m afraid I won’t be able to give justice to how good the story is. This is the only series where the two-part episodes work so well. Getting the point of views of both characters was really entertaining to watch. It made me think as an audience. I can’t help but compared the feeling these episodes left me to that I felt after watching Christopher Nolan’s Inception. Forgive me for the randomness of this comparison but While You Were Sleeping made me question the reality the characters are in. It kept me on the edge of my seat every time Hong-joo wakes up. It made me jittery to find out whether it was just another dream or it was the reality.
I have a very high expectations coming into this series and While You Were Sleeping surpassed that. Now, let’s all pray to dramagenies the good start won’t be for nought in the end.
p.s. Lee Jong-suk should have maintained the blonde hairdo. I’m kidding. This young actor (Nam Da-reum) did a great job portraying the role of young Jae-chan. I’m looking forward to your future dramas!