WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING -- EPISODES 1 & 2
SBS has unveiled their new Wednesday-Thursday drama 'While You Were Sleeping.' And no, it's not a remake of the Sandra Bullock/Bill Pullman '90s film. This particular drama has a compelling plot and is off to an incredibly strong start. But first, the players:
Jung Jae Chan (Lee Jong Suk)
Derpy prosecutor. He got where he is by cheating on his grades, with his tutor, Lee Yoo Bum. He has the same ability as Hong Joo.
Nam Hong Joo (Suzy)
Unemployed reporter, girlfriend to Yoo Bum. Has the ability to dream future events, which always come true.
Lee Yoo Bum (Lee Sang Yeob)
A senior prosecutor, and all-around bad guy. His name always makes me snicker.
Jung Seung Won (Shin Jae Ha)
Jae Chan's younger brother. We see his subplot later on.
It takes the whole first episode to get to the actual plot. Everything else is foreshadowing for Hong Joo's prophetic dreams. It all comes to a head when she dreams that she will have an accident that will cause her mother's death. She even cuts her hair trying to prevent the incident, hoping that by changing something in the present she can change the future. But...no. A young man sees that Hong Joo's mother drops the cell phone and returns it to her. After a Valentine's Day date, Yoo Bum offers to drive Hong Joo home, because it's snowing. They hit the good Samaritan and crash the car into a utility pole.
10 months later, Hong Joo wakes up and finds that her accident has set off a chain of events that leads to tragedy. The nice young man dies, her mom has to pay the settlement money plus hospital bills and sells the restaurant. Then, Mom works herself nonstop, not even pausing to sleep, and collapses at work, falling to her death down a flight of stairs. What's worse: Hong Joo is being charged with a crime, as someone (probably Yoo Bum) has altered all the evidence making it look like she was the driver of the car.
She decides to kill herself and succeeds in throwing herself from the roof, but just then we find that some portion of this is all Jae Chan's dream. He figures out his dream is possibly prophetic and tries to stop Hong Joo from ruining her life. Failing to stop her from setting out, he crashes his car into theirs to change the future. The episode ends just as the first episode began, the two embracing in the snow, her believing his story that it was all to save lives.
She tried to warn him...
This drama is not the most original, but every good plot has some window dressing that hides the tropes well, which adds some much-needed awesomeness. This has the cliche of the auto accident placing our heroine in a coma, she's in dire straits when she wakes up, and she has some magical ability. The nice thing is, the hero has it too. And he's not sure he wants it.
These two episodes together are proof of Suzy's acting chops, who can go from heartbroken to funny to just plain goofy at the drop of a hat. Whoever says she can't act needs to watch 'While You Were Sleeping.'
Jae Chan knows what he must do.
This has got to be one of the best dramas of the year, if not the best. Solid acting, amusing banter, and enough twists and turns to keep me guessing. The special effects were absolutely sweet, and the cinematography really makes an emotional impact here. Each episode is only 30 minutes long, but that just ensures there's no wasted time for filler scenes. Yeah, this definitely tops my list, at least for right now...