First Impressions: While You Were Sleeping, Episodes 1-2

First Impressions: While You Were Sleeping [Photo credit: SBS and Kisssian]

I love the opening scene–the leads met after some accident, in the middle of a snow-filled road, and while it’s dark, there were also rays of light from the snowflakes, the lamp post. I bet it’s a foreshadowing of things to come–this story is not just a love story. At times, it would be cold and sad, at times, it would be sweet, and sure there will be moments of darkness but the characters are surely given enough light for those.

If you are yet to start watching While You Were Sleeping, make sure you fasten some seatbelt before starting episodes 1 and 2. It’s going to take you to the edge, and make you fall for its story.

Maybe I’m just a huge fan of stories that play with time and space elements (see Chicago Typewriter), or maybe such technique, when executed well, can truly pull the viewer’s mind from this world to the world inside our mini screens.

WYWS episodes 1 and 2 last about an hour in total. I promise no major spoiler here. First, it takes us to present and future events in the perspective of Hong Joo (played by Suzy). Her dreams, without fail, become reality for family and strangers alike.

First Impressions: While You Were Sleeping [Photo credit: SBS and Kisssian]

A portion of her room is filled with sticky notes containing key points from her dreams. She has developed the habit of immediately writing down what she dreamt  of upon waking up.

First Impressions: While You Were Sleeping [Photo credit: SBS and Kisssian]

First Impressions: While You Were Sleeping [Photo credit: SBS and Kisssian]

We would think that seeing the future is power, but Hong Joo seems all the more helpless. Her mom would encourage her to do more about it, and help change the bad fate of those she has dreamt of. But she goes around dismissed that there is no power that lies in her “gift”. Instead, she accepts that what is bound to happen, will happen. After all, who in their right and normal mind would believe a girl dreamed of their future encounter, or worse, death, right?

First Impressions: While You Were Sleeping [Photo credit: SBS and Kisssian]


First Impressions: While You Were Sleeping [Photo credit: SBS and Kisssian]

For the most part, I knew of Hong Joo’s gift, but was surprised that Jae Chan (played by Lee Jong Suk) also dreams of what will happen in the future. I am not sure how often it happens to him, only that a particular dream bothered him so much that he tried his best to prevent it from happening.

Episode 2 sort of takes us back to the same events that happened in its prelude. This time, it’s from Jae Chan’s perspective. We see how his premonition could alter the outcome of Hong Joo’s dreams. I was already too set up by Hong Joo’s inability to change the future that I virtually bit my nails watching Jae Chan try his might to change what happens, what happened, what will happen.

I liked most how Hong Joo and Jae Chan, amid the vehicular accident they got into, found relief that at last, in a world where no one would believe much less understand their ability, they found someone who does.

In some kdrama magical twist, Jae Chan saved the day, thus saving my heart from a very early heartbreak. It was as if the writer (the amazing Park Hye Run) showed us a draft of the tragedy she thought of, and then took it back by showing us her other idea which, thankfully, is not as tragic. But this is Park Hye Run… and we’re only just beginning so I am not unfastening my seatbelt.

As the first two episodes veered away from the usual detailed introduction of each and every character’s past, quirks, I have yet to decide how much lovable our main leads can get, or how much of a jerk Hong Joo’s lawyer boyfriend could be. But already, I know that I love Hong Joo’s mom, Jae Chan’s brother, and his co-worker/assistant at the prosecutor’s office.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that no harm befalls them just to add more drama to the leads’ characters. Some Twitter spoilers imply a huge role for the other man that was saved by Jae Chan’s bold attempt to alter his dream. I am looking forward to him awakening my second lead syndrome.

Overall, I am glad I trusted my instinct not to watch WYWS while it airs week by week. I just don’t have the heart for cliffhangers. That said, I still chide myself for starting this show in the middle of the week… because now, I might be losing sleep binge-watching the next episodes just so I’d fully know that Jae Chan and Hong Joo and the rest of the people in their world end up good and well.

Watch While You Were Sleeping for free via KissAsian or Viu.