While You Were Sleeping Starts Off with Fantastic Storyline and Acting From Leads Lee Jong Seok and Suzy

Sorry for the late post on newly arrived SBS Wed-Thurs drama While You Were Sleeping but in between watching the first episode and then having tickets to Hamilton last night, it was a sensory and entertainment awesomeness overload. I love While You Were Sleeping, love love love it! This is the first drama since Goblin that has roped my excitement and dug its claws into me to want more. The first two episodes that aired on Wednesday was almost a self-contained story on its own, with the beginning and final moments of the episode bookending an emotional and cathartic payoff already.

I ship the OTP so badly, with both Lee Jong Seok and Suzy delivering in spades in terms of acting and chemistry. This is what I wanted Uncontrollably Fond to deliver and it couldn’t until the last two episodes, and here it’s happening right off the bat with even more excitement than Park Hye Ryun‘s last drama Pinocchio. The ratings for the night came in with MBC‘s Hospital Ship still in the lead midway through airing at 9.8% and 10.6%, Sleeping second with 7.2% and 9.2%, and poor Manhole with 1.9% heading into the final episode.

“I believe you. Because I am me, so I believe you.”

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While You Were Sleeping Starts Off with Fantastic Storyline and Acting From Leads Lee Jong Seok and Suzy — 66 Comments

  1. The first episode had me thinking about the drama the whooooole day. It’s been awhile since I’ve been this excited to watch a drama.

    Suzy’acting has improved and thank Goodness bc I don’t think my girl could continue riding on the architecture movie’s success.

    Her chemistry with her mom is very fun and she sold it well. In fact it was because of her scenes with mom that she sold me as her character. I am very proud of her.

    She definitely still has room for improvement but let’s celebrate the improvement that she has made this far.

    Suzy and LJS are so cute, I love their chemistry in the second episode which imo was less exciting, I’m hoping they bring the exciting fast paced plot from the first episode back in episode 3.

  2. Kudos to the writer, the story is very captivating. Hope it won’t turn out like W which confused me heck at the end. Since this drama is pre-produced, I hope the flow of story will be smooth. I also like the episode ends with completeness 👍🏻

  3. I just finished 3&4 and it’s so good!!!

    Suzy is awesome in this she really fits the character…..and LJS is not playing a genius but a kind slow guy lol.

    Lee Sang Yeob is killing it his character is total trash.

    I’m so happy it didn’t let me down!

  4. Yay I’m glad it’s good! I’m not a huge fan of either lead in general but im desperate for a truly captivating drama. Can’t wait to watch and THANK GOD it’s not a Kocawa exclusive ugh…

  5. I guess the director did a good job in guiding Suzy in this drama….they were skeptical of him when he was on the helm of Doctor Crush, being it was his first major production. Happy for fans of Suzy, loved her in Dream High! One drama I enjoy watching over again and again…..show I discovered how good a singer KSH besides being an excellent actor!

  6. I plan on giving this a go and am glad for the positive response. I’m the rare person who has never seen Suzy in a drama so she has a clean slate as far as I’m concerned. I will say that I also loved the first episode of Goblin….and dropped it at episode 9. I so want a drama to have staying power through its run, and I know it is hard with the demands of the live shoot etc.

  7. It seems I’m the only on who didn’t love it. For me the story was very confused, the character of LSY was disapointing and it’s too soon to judge the characters of Suzy and LJS but I didn’t see any chemistry for now but as actors they weren’t bad. I love the cinematography but it always was the case for preproduced dramas.

  8. Suzy’s actually the best actor in this entire drama and the whole timeslot actually. Never thought I’d ever say that in my entire life, LOL.

    • Exactly, Lee Sang Yeob too. Guess this is Park Hye Ryun’s effect. All of her female characters have been awesome. Last time Suzy was okay to look at was Dream High, which was quite incidentally also PHR’s work.

    • For those who didn’t know, this drama was written especially for Suzy from the very beginning.And the same with Dream High. So as many loved her character in DH, many will love her here.

  9. i am surprise about the rating of the 1st episode. with the star power of the cast and the star writer and also heavily promoted i was expecting more atleast 10% which could have affirmed the top star status of the cast to me since first episode ratings is really about the star power of the cast but alas it was not to be but since they are koala favs she has not hinted on the underwhelming 1st episode rating so far but kept hating on hospital ship and temperature of love ratings.

    what is good for the goose is good for the gander.it is inevitable that ratings increase from 2nd episode going because of positive feedback.

    i really like the series so far and suzy surprisingly kills it, hoping it continues as i didnt really like the writers last drama pinocchio.

    • Very few dramas have huge premiere numbers though. Even the popular Moonlight last year only had 8%, and it had arguably bigger stars. I can only think of LOBTS, Doctors, Saimdang and Descendants which had over 15%, and these are headlined by huge stars which are beloved in Korea.

      I can see While You Were Sleeping surpassing Hospital Ship, but HS is still going to hold its own. It’s going to be a challenge for WYWS to surpass the 20% mark because of HS.

      • @Danik But Park Bo Gum and Kim Yoo Jung from Moonlight Drawn By Clouds aren’t as big stars as Lee Jong Suk and Suzy, in fact these two are bigger. PBG is a new comer who got into spotlight because of Reply 88 and while KYj is beloved child actress, MDBC is her first ’adult’ role. Also, DOTS and Doctors started with 12 % ratings, while Saimdang and LOTBS started both with over 16%.

        @alexghana really? Was it that low? I thought with LJS and Suzy and the writer and that pre-production and all those teasers and promotion and of course that hype, they were at least going to get 11-12% rating. Also, all the hyping by i-fans, I thought they were going to knock Hospital Ship off. Ha Ji Won is doing great work in HS and hard carrying that drama though.

      • I was confused between Nationwide and Seoul ratings lol. True, I keep forgetting that Moonlight was what brought PBG and KYJ to top star status. I am surprised DOTs’ premiere number wasn’t higher, but this must mean that high premiere numbers are more of a rarity.

        But Lee Jongsuk does not have a record of high ratings though? Pinocchio and W, despite being coined as hits, had average ratings of less than 15%.
        Whereas for Suzy, it’s hard to say because in the recent years she only did Uncontrollably Fond.

      • If that is true then Kim So Hyun and Yoo Seung Ho must be bigger stars than both LJS & Suzy. Ruler started at first place and with double digits and stayed the most watched Wed-Thurs drama during its entire run. I’m not sure it works that way. WYWS will eventually break 20% I feel and the low ratings might be because the current audience is basically teenagers and they don’t watch TV but instead stream online.

      • Moonlight had 16-17% ratings by its second week though, people were shocked because it literally doubled its first-week ratings. Doctors started at 12.9 percent but by week 2 had 15 percent and week 3 had 18 percent Nielsen ratings.

        The challenge is for WYWS to build up its numbers, because no one thought Hospital Ship would get first place in ratings at all, forget getting it when there’s a huge competitor like WYWS on air even if it’s only for one week.

      • Yoo Seungho and Kim Sohyun are indeed bigger stars in dramaland though? If I recall, their drama was one of the most anticipated ones because people were expecting it to be the 2nd Moonlight. Lee Jongsuk and Suzy are probably more popular among international fans but in Korea, YSH and KSH are slightly more respected for their acting skills.

        I think people are underestimating Hospital Ship because the reviews didn’t seem good, but looking at its ratings, it is emerging as the underdog of the time slot. I don’t think WYWS will reach 20%, unless HS’ ratings drop. This reminds me of Moon Lovers vs Love in the Moonlight last year, where people expected ML to win by a large margin.

        I also think timing plays an important part. Moonlight premiered just as Doctors was ending, which was why it was able to double its ratings. If not, I think both will end up being neck-to-neck like UF and W last year.

      • @Joan – not really re: YSH and KSH, Ruler was only YSH’s second drama as leading man while it was KSH’s first adult leading role that didn’t involve her playing a high school kid.

        Ruler did get hype but Unfortunately Fond and this drama have had equal hype too. And YSH/KSH are much loved in Korea but LJS and Suzy are considered slightly more established stars/bigger in the advertisement scene, which indicates domestic popularity (I know, it’s an awful system and leads to far too many people who can’t act getting roles for no other reason than because they book ads)

      • KSH & YSH are extremely well loved in SoKo and their popularity is big but LJS & Suzy are more well known than either. In fact going to a grocery store in Korea is known as a Suzy Tour because of the huge number of products she endorses. In addition, Saeguks generally fair better than modern dramas because more old people watch it, the important 40+ crowd that doesn’t use internet but uses television unlike the younger crowd that records shows and watches it the next day or streams it online. That’s the general problem with the figures. Unless its a drama that becomes a family event like DOTS or Goblin generally different age groups watch dramas on different platforms.

    • Ratings get Lowe and lower each year, people barely watch primetime tv anyomore. So with the current trend i would say this is doing pretty good

      • it’s not that people aren’t watching primetime tv. it’s that they’re not going home to watch the series when it’s airing. it’s readily available to be re-watched.

      • I don’t know, in the last year alone SBS had Doctors, Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim, Defendant and Falsify all cracking 20 percent. Not to mention Moonlight and Chief Kim on KBS. It’s not that people don’t watch, it’s just that it takes the right kind of drama to cross 14-15 percent.

  10. Finally saw the first episode. I can see why everybody is speaking about suzy acting. I haven’t seen any of her previous drama so won’t judge her skill based on her earlier work. But she managed to shined in this episode. Cinematography was beautiful to look at. Ljs was good but suzy outshines him. I like the first episode hope the show won’t disappoint.

  11. I like the writer of this drama and at least Suzy improving. Lee Jong Suk can make even the bad drama a watchable one so I have faith in him since then 😀
    Will be waiting for the next episode and hope it won’t disappoint

  12. Right from the moment she stares at him all dreamy-eyed as she realizes what he has done for her and runs to him, she had me, really, that scene was lovely. I’m glad Suzy was able to capture the emotions her character was going through, you can almost tell the exact moment she falls head over hills with him. The second episode cemented my love for her with all baggage and weirdness,but it was LJS’s character who threw me off guard, I kind of knew I’d like her (if Suzy did a somewhat decent job) and it’s not like I doubt his skill, it’s just that I was ready for another genius, or secret genius, or stand-offish character but….. he just seems so normal, really the “good guy” label he was given, and sort of awkward but not overly so and just so damn nice, it’s hatd not to feel for him but at the same time not chuckle at his haplessness. I’m a fan.

    • One thing I really love about this writer is not only her characters but that she doesn’t drag the whole “do I love this person, do I not?” very long. Couples may get together even before the last episode. Also, I haven’t watched the show yet but LJS sounds just like the lawyer guy second lead from IHYV. Cool cool.

      • LJS even has one of those finger cap thingies that Lawyer Cha in IHYV had…I had to laugh. I guess he passed it on to JS?

      • LJS even has one of those finger cap thingies for turning pages easily that Lawyer Cha in IHYV had…I had to laugh. I guess he passed it on to JS?

  13. Meh, it wasn’t terrible but it still wasn’t enough to keep me from falling asleep. Acting and chemistry was subpar for both main leads. Might just read the recaps from now on rather than ending up fast forwarding through most of the scenes.

    • LOL. I happened to check it out since nothing interesting to watch that night and WYWS is being simultaneously broadcast with Korea in my country. I fell asleep halfway, though. Not captivating. Suzy showed not much improvement with her acting while LJS still bringing the same game, kinda stale tbh. So nahhh….I don’t feel the urge to follow up.

      • Ayere I guess y’all tastes happen to be superior than most. While it’s too bad that you dislike the drama, you should stop torturing yourselves of the acting of trying to stay awake and just move on to a different drama.
        Some of us are truly enjoying.

  14. @prettyautumn.dots debuted with over 14%.

    ha ji won star power alone helps hospital ship to attain 10% just last month for first episode yet lee jong suk and suzy couldnt why?.

    koala keeps insisting that koreans dont like the noona romance in hospital ship and TOL when clearly it is nothing but her bias talking.their ratings keeps increasing and hospital ship was even able to withstood whiles you are sleeping in first place when there is soo much more star power and hype going for WYAS and HS being the underdog.

    • well that also happened in pinocchio for the first 7 episodes they got the 2nd on the timeslot after that they won the mass. wyws episode 2 is confusing maybe they will establish relationship next week.

    • I don’t why ur putting words into her mouth when all koala said was she enjoyed the drama and then gave the tv ratings for them, she didn’t even say that Sleeping was going to pass or anything like that. She didn’t even say anything about general public or star power. What is with your rant?!

      I am a massive Ha Ji Won fan and have watched all her work, even that extremely difficult one to find from her early career where she was the main villian (not Secret). But I don’t like noona romance and don’t like her partner in Hospital Ship and find HS boring, if it wasn’t for HJW I would have dropped it. People have preferences and unfortunately some will not be of taste to you or her. Her calling out the noona romance not reeling in the crowd waa due to the stagnant ratings of both shows, I thought that was a fair call, same as any other drama that has its based viwers but doesn’t increase.

      • I agree. Its her blog she should be able to state if she likes or dislikes a drama. In this case she didnt even trash Hospital ship. I dont thk we should expect supreme fairness in evy article, there will always be some biasness and diff ppl feel differeñtly about a drama or an actor.
        For me as long as koala doesnt misreport. Because sometimes there were some errors in the facts or errors in ratings.

  15. I love it too! So relieved that Suzy is actually pretty good in the drama, the director sure did a good job directing her 🙂 Lee Jong Seok is great as always and the writer is totally delivering! Everything works for me, from the storyline and characters to the acting and chemistry between the leads. Finally a new kdrama crack has surfaced ❤️❤️❤️

  16. the acting fr Suzy has improved since UF… But still the acting fr both leads are lacking, lack sincerity. Melo need good acting to make it engaging for me because melo is rely on sincerity. the pilot episode is abit too fast, like want to tell all good stuff in one episode.

  17. I think Park Hye Ryun is really good at creating a character that is within Suzy’s range. Seeing as how the only role I liked of hers was during Dream High. Suzy is doing quite well here. There is a bit of awkwardness here and there but its barely noticeable. I believe she has improved quite a bit. & I’m loving the chemistry so far.

  18. Last night’s episode was a bit disorientating. Too many time lines and characters all switching back and forth between what was and what could have been leaves little time for the audience to emotionally immerse and feel for the characters. The light-hearted interaction between the two leads was more interesting. The director/writer aims high, what with the postmodern timescales and multiple story-lines and divided screens, and I hope that all this attempts at auteurism will not prevent from the telling of a really touching story, which should be all that a drama is about.

    • I have a feeling this drama may haunt me like W again… it’s hard to keep up unless I pay much attention which I don’t intend to because I like to be entertained… It is funny how some praises Suzy for her good acting. I find her ok, she pass as an actress which should be expected. She is still a long way from being labeled “good” 😏

      • People are just saying she improved no one is really calling her a master actress or anything like that. Sometimes the kind thing to do is give credit when it’s due

      • hmmm… I did not quote people using the term “master actress”. I read some comments describing her as “awesome” “outshines” “pretty good”. I can read English you know, I do not like you twisting my words. And I certainly do not need your explanation!!

      • Ummm if It’s called a hyperbole, I wasn’t quoting you. Clearly the comment rubbed you off the wrong way, my bad.

      • She is bad in a fluffy scene. Doing aegyo too much. But when the character have something to work with, she start to give an effort. But still she is confuse carrying her character here since the psychology of her character is confusing and at times she doesn’t know what to do

      • She’s still awkward but you can really tell the writer+PD made an almost superhuman effort to cover up her awkwardness and they almost pull it off. UF made the mistake of expecting her to play a character with complex emotions, while also trying to write the role down to her level of ability. Here it’s quite straightforward, present her as weird and quirky/likable, she doesn’t have as much to do.

        It’s just that when it comes to Suzy, expectations are so low that the kind of performance that would get any other young actress dragged, is proclaimed to be ‘good’.

      • It’s probably worthwhile to remember that Suzy is expected to meet much lower standards than those applying to other actresses, so by that standard, yeah, she’s ‘good’.

      • As i’am a stupid woman, i still don’t understand W’s story. I like what i saw from the first épisodes of WYWS, and it’s not complicated at all not when you are a viewer of dramas like “How to get away with a murder”, as you said @Candycane Suzy is finally acting Like it’s expected from an actress who has a few lead roles Under her belt. And Lee Jong Suk ‘s acting is similar of his previous roles.

      • I think the issue with Suzy is you often hear the words improved. But when you are cast in a lead role in a major drama such as this one, it shouldn’t be improved because excellence should already be expected. Suzy should already be excellent as other actresses in her generation already are. As for this drama, I hope the writer can maintain the pacing. W had a great start but it seems like all the most interesting parts that hooked viewers came at the beginning half. The 2nd part started fizzling out – especially toward the last episodes.

  19. I loved it. I was going to watch anyway for LJS, but it turned out that the story is really good and Suzy is also quite decent to watch. I’m already hooked, and fingers crossed it will stay this good.

  20. I can only compare Suzy’s acting with her own past projects since I don’t think she has reached the level of brilliant actresses around in k-industry. But I would say I like her more in this drama than in UF. The PD really knows how to control her, even though in some scenes she doesn’t convince me and comes across as awkward. But I liked the scene in which she cut her hair… I felt for her.

    So yes, compared to her past projects she is better but a lot of work needs to be done on her part to become as good as other actors and actresses.

    • Even the slightest improvement for Suzy can make her look like she became a good actress. The standards are just that low for her lol

    • Suzy is more tone down her acting alot in this drama, and her aegyo is not as extragerated as in UF. so might be that’s why her acting look better. But At times her character is confusing me here. What she is trying to potray anyway. One think is for sure she act better than lee Jong suk who is awkward in alot of scene.

    • I agree with this, she is still a long way from good but thank god not as blank as in UF. Like someone said above, this drama doesn’t make the mistake of giving her a complex character, they wrote the role down to the level of what she can manage.

      I do still see that slightly blank wall-eyed look she has even in WYWS, but overall she’s better than in past dramas even if she’s still only getting roles because she has CF contracts.

  21. Yay..enjoy the drama ~ it’s interesting, fun, exciting, beautiful ~ all actors n actresses acted well ~ believe it will get more fun n interesting as the story develop so would the characters ~ happy

  22. I love the refreshing premise of this drama and the casting did not disappoint! I was hesitant on Suzy’s acting but this drama changed my opinion! Great start! Hope it stays on the same trajectory!

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