While You Were Sleeping

“I believe in you. Because it’s me, I can believe you.” –Nam Hong Joo (While You Were Sleeping, 2017)

“We trust evidence more than mere speculations. Unfortunately none of the evidence supports your claim.” –Jung Jae Chan (While You Were Sleeping, 2017)

“When you stop the running water, it will divert its course. You stop things from happening, just like stopping the running water. Time will flow differently.” –Nam Hong Joo (While You Were Sleeping, 2017)

“Do you know what’s more awful than not knowing anything? Thinking you know everything.” –Jung Jae Chan (While You Were Sleeping, 2017)

“I could not find anybody else. I don’t know why it had to be you.” –Nam Hong Joo (While You Were Sleeping, 2017)

What would you if you had the ability to see the future? What would you do if you had the ability to foresee other people’s misfortunes or death? Would you prevent it from happening? Or would you just do nothing about that? What if the people you saw in your vision are the ones you hold most dear, would you prevent it? Or would you just surrender to the fate? If you had the ability to foresee what might happen in the future, would you change the future? Or would you just give it all back to the universe? Would you take it as a curse? Or would you take it as a blessing? Would you take it as a chance to modify your fate in the course of time? Time is indeed a terrifying thing. We can never control it. We do not have any power upon it. We cannot make it go backward. We cannot make it fast forward either. But if you had the chance to see your future misfortunes, would you take that chance to change it? Would you be brave enough to do that? Or would you be stunned and terrified and do nothing? The Korean drama series titled “While You Were Sleeping” follow the story of three people who can see the future through their dreams, while they are sleeping.

Title : While You Were Sleeping
Genre : fantasy, romance, thriller, legal drama
Starring : Lee Jong Suk, Bae Suzy, Jung Hae In, Lee Sang Yeob, Go Sung Hee
Channel : SBS
No. of episodes : 32
Original broadcast : September – November 2017

“While You Were Sleeping” follows the story of three people who were entangled by fate and resulting in three of them have the ability to foresee the future through dreams, while they were sleeping. Nam Hong Joo (Bae Suzy) had the ability ever since she was a child. Though she learned that everything she saw in her dreams became real, she also found that she couldn’t change the future easily, as she was failed to prevent her father’s death that she had been foreseen before. In present days, she worked as field reporter in a television station. However, she took a leave from her office as one day she saw herself dying in her dream, lying on a grass under the rain wearing her uniform. Until one day, she met Jung Jae Chan (Lee Jong Suk), a rookie prosecutor who had just moved in as Hong Joo’s neighbor. Jae Chan had a dream about Hong Joo’s death, something that had never occurred before. Though he was trying to ignore it for the fact that he barely knew Hong Joo, he saved her anyway and revealed that he had foreseen her death in his dream. Hong Joo was surprised yet delighted to find someone else who had similar ability as her.
On that fateful night when Jae Chan saved Hong Joo, there was a man who was saved too from death. And apparently, that man was later revealed to gain similar ability as Hong Joo and Jae Chan. He was Han Woo Tak (Jung Hae In), a police officer. Some of those dreams show crimes that Jae Chan had to investigate and disastrous events that either the three of them had to suffer. Recognizing that the three of them shared similar abilities, as well as realizing that they could change the reality in according to their dreams (based on what Jae Chan did to save both Hong Joo and Woo Tak on that fateful night), together they tried to solve things that appeared in their dreams respectively, which were mostly related to cases handled by Jae Chan at the prosecutor office. However, it was not that easy to do that since Jae Chan had to face his archenemy, Lee Yoo Beom (Lee Sang Yeob), a corrupted former prosecutor turned lawyer. As they collaborate with each other to prevent those ominous dreams from turning into reality, the past began to reveal the connection between Hong Joo and Jae Chan, and why she appeared in his dream in the first place.
For me personally, “While You Were Sleeping” has inspired me in so many ways. It reminds me of some life values that I might have forgotten for a while before. It gives me new perspectives upon life, relationship, love, and pain. First of all, it tells us that trust is the foundation of human’s relationship with others. Without trust, there is no effective relationship between human beings. In human social relationship, indeed, all we need is to be trusted by people we hold most dear. It is precious to have someone who believes on us, even when we cannot even believe ourselves. It gives us strength to deal with our deepest fear and to face our greatest challenge. It is significant to have someone who trusts us, even in the time when we seem to not make sense at all. The relationship between Nam Hong Joo and Jung Jae Chan started with trust. And as the time passed by with all things that happened in their life, their trust towards each other was getting bigger and stronger. Hence, they could build a healthy and great relationship. This couple has shown us what it takes to make not only a heartwarming relationship but also a great partnership.
The second thing about “While You Were Sleeping” is that this drama series reminded of parents’ love towards their children. It reminds me of my own parents, particularly my Mom, that every parent is naturally hoping for their children to live better than their parents. However, all parents have their own way to do that. Good parents prepare everything in order to reach that goal, even if they had to force their children to follow the path they’ve given. Meanwhile, great parents are ones who do not force their children, but to pursue what they want as their own passion instead. Great parents are ones who listen to their children in efforts to understand what they really want to do in life. Great parents are ones trust their children and it means that they won’t get disappointed; when their children do well they’d be grateful, and when their children failed they’d be grateful that they tried and motivate them to try again. Great parents are ones who are not ashamed to acknowledge their mistake if they did, and to apologize to their children for that mistake. I was crying like a baby when I got to the scene where Jae Chan’s father talked to him at their house’s rooftop, as he apologized for having forced Jae Chan to do as he wished without considering Jae Chan’s feelings. It was just showing how great of a father he was. And it was heartfelt.
The next thing that was pointed out by “While You Were Sleeping” is that life is indeed full of choices. It depends on us; what kind of choice do we make? We can choose to let people die or we can choose to try anything to avoid it. We can choose to turn a blind eye of the upcoming misfortunes or we can choose to fight to prevent it. We can choose to stay silent or we can choose to speak up and give warnings. However, every choice has its consequence. It could be for better or worse, but we have to decide the choice eventually. And for every choice and its consequences, there are many perspectives upon it. A good choice for one is not always a good choice for others. A good choice for one can be a bad choice for others. It’s the matter of perspective. Here I quote from Jae Chan as the illustration: “That’s when I learned that my father made a choice. He sacrificed his life to save others and the world called him a hero. My mom lost her husband and Seung Won and I lost our father. I cannot say that his choice made me proud. Rather, I resented it. To others his choice meant justice, but to me it was nothing but foolish bravery.”
And as a human, we live our life corresponding to the consequences of those choices; not only ours but also the choices made by people around us. It’s not always good. It can be very bad at times, but “While You Were Sleeping” has sent us motivational messages within the drama series, as we’re dealing with all consequences of the choices made in our life. It hits me hard and home perfectly for I was watching this drama series at my lowest point in life back in the end of 2017. “Don’t cry too much. Don’t beat yourself up for too long, but never forget what happened.” This sentence got me so. It was like a reality slaps back then. Sometimes other people made choices that hurt us, whether they intended to hurt or not. There are choices that other people make that are hurting us. And we have no control or power over that. What we have is the control and power upon ourselves. We can choose to get hurt over and over again or we can choose to move on from the pain; forgiving but not forgetting. We can choose to always touch the scars or we can choose to let it heal. One thing for sure is that the time doesn’t go backward. Hence there is no point in crying over the spilled milk.
I’m not a big fan of Lee Jong Suk, but I don’t know why I always like watching him in drama series or movies. Perhaps it is his top-notch acting. Perhaps it is his wit in choosing the right character for him. I particularly love his performance as Jung Jae Chan. As for Suzy, it goes the same. Never a big fan of her, but I particularly love her performance as Nam Hong Joo in this drama series. Moreover, I have to note that Jung Hae In is really a scene-stealer in “While You Were Sleeping”; not only for his superb gorgeous face, but also for his charming performance. Besides, the cast and characters in this drama series are definitely falling right into place. I really love how the storyline is brilliantly written; how the trio is dealing with their current issues as their past unfolds in somewhat resonance way with the present. In a nutshell, “While You Were Sleeping” is highly recommended. It is very far away from boring. It is thrilling yet full of entertaining comedy. It is tense yet full of naturally blossoming romance. It also has some elements of surprise that will chill your bones. At any rate, “While You Were Sleeping” is a must-watched.

“I have the ability to understand even the most complicated things.” –Nam Hong Joo (While You Were Sleeping, 2017)

“Is it the women’s fault when perverts take their photos? Is it the victim’s fault if they get their money stolen by a thief?” –Jung Jae Chan (While You Were Sleeping, 2017)

“I won’t get disappointed. If you do well, I’d be grateful. If you fail, I’d be grateful that you tried.” –Nam Hong Joo (While You Were Sleeping, 2017)

“Regrets are pointless. There’s no use in crying over spilled milk. All you can do is slowly fill the glass up again. Time won’t flow backward for you.” –Jung Jae Chan (While You Were Sleeping, 2017)

“There is one thing I know for certain in life, the fact that nothing is set in stone in life.” –Nam Hong Joo (While You Were Sleeping, 2017)

“Don’t cry too much. Don’t beat yourself up for too long, but never forget what happened.” –Choi Dam Dong (While You Were Sleeping, 2017)


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