While You Were Sleeping Ratings Rise Slightly in Penultimate Week as MBC Strike Leads to No New Wed-Thurs Drama

I’m still watching SBS Wed-Thurs drama While You Were Sleeping but with a judicious use of the FF-button and a bit of surprise that this was the penultimate week of airing. The drama ends next week and I didn’t feel any emotion probably because the leads have been in life threatening danger so many times it’s starting to be comical. I think the drama is well-written in a cohesive way but the central conceit of dreams seeing the future has become it’s biggest weakness, creating the same problem in episode after episode that gets resolved the same way with last minute rescues.

I’m also not emotionally connected with any of the leads, not sure if it’s acting or characterization or a bit of both. So in the end I’ll finish it up next week to be a completest but I’m ready for screenwriter Park Hye Ryun to do something totally different in style next time to shake things up, this drama’s tone feels like a redux of Pinocchio and I Hear Your Voice, but with each take it’s like making a copy of a copy and things are much weaker in this iteration. On the ratings note, this week’s episodes rose a few points to getting close to 10% again, with Hospital Ship docked and MBC not airing a new drama I am Not a Robot due to the strike.


While You Were Sleeping Ratings Rise Slightly in Penultimate Week as MBC Strike Leads to No New Wed-Thurs Drama — 45 Comments

    • It’s because he isn’t a chameleon. His acting is the same in all his dramas. His voice tone and his expressions, nothing has changed since his previous dramas. Even though he tried to deviate from his ’genius’ roles, it’s still the same. He is basically a one trick pony.

      • Exactly. It’s not only his characters pretty much the same, he plays all of them exactly same way. Even his “villains” feels like extension of his “male lead in bad mood or confronting bad guys”. I dropped this drama at episode 6. PHR should stop writing dramas about procurators, reporters and supernatural abilities with LJS. First time it was good, second okay, thirds just boring.

  1. This is the weakest script from PHR to date. Her best drama is IHYV. This drama lacks a central conflict that needs to be solved. All the leads have been in the threat of death but it’s kind of predictable now that they’re able to save each other on time. There is no ’real’ bad guy here, except for the lawyer but he is more on the pathetic side. There was no conflict in the main couple’s romance. They just realised they had feelings for each other and they then simply got together. This made me feel strongly for the couple, root for them or be excited about seeing them together.
    Suzy, although improved, is weak in the acting department and it’s very apparent to the viewers. Her romance scenes are devoid chemistry and the scenes, where she needs to portray different emotions, are very underwhelming. She still can’t emote to save her life. Awkward to watch and her visuals aren’t all that either. I can see what it’s all about when people talk about actress visuals and idol visuals. Actors has this natural look and they still manage to look attractive. Suzy on the other hand, although pretty, doesn’t look like a believable career woman in her thirties. Basically, only her fans think that she is an award worthy actress.
    I have said enough of LJS’s mediocre acting, but I have to say it again how subpar his performance was in this drama. And no, I don’t care for Grimae award. Even UEE got that award and she is such an underwhelming actress, although I have to applaud for her brave and unconventional role choices. Ko Sung Hee is underutilized, Lee Sang Yeob is doing an okay job although sometimes he gives over the top reactions. I guess the true star of WYWS is Jung Hae In. He overshadowed both main leads.
    Also, I completely agree that I had hard time in emotionally connecting with any of the leads. Only Hong Joo’s mom and the scenes where she is in gave me some relief. That’s pretty much how I’d sum up this drama.

    • I can definitely see that actress Idol visual thing that knetz always go on about I mean Suzy is pretty but her visual as actress does not do it for me just my opinion

      • Its not just this actor v idol visual.Its the image as well.Suzy, Sulli, IU and Yoona have another thing in common.Or to make it even, il list male idols as well such as Baekhyun,YongHwa,Yunho.Their image/aura or whatever you can name it, as idols is very strong.So much that it affects the way they perceive them when they are acting.Its hard to forget their real-life persona when they are acting.You still see Yoona acting as character…B.Yonghwa acring as Y.Thats a very limiting quality to have as an actor in my opinion.

        Its not only idols.Some variety stars like Kwang Soo(who I know can act) and Lee Seung Gi(although I was able to believe and immerse myself into his acting in King2Hearts).Their real-life personas or dominance in other fields are just too strong.Or models like Lee Sung Kyung, So much that even after the drama is done.Im still thinking about them as actor A or B instead of the character they played.

        Or to put in reverse, its like So Ji Sub trying to rap, I would cringe if he were to take it seriously as a career.Or Ha Ji Won trying to have a serious career in singing.Or the many actors who have been discouraged from being permanent casts of variety shows.Their auras as actors is too strong so it feels out of place.

    • I so agree with you about Suzy. Heck, the child actor/actress playing the young LJS and Suzy were far better than their grown up counterparts. LJS, while not good actor is serviceable enough-but Suzy…..That girl needs to learn how to move her facial muscles. Seriously!!I think she is so used to posing and therefore is afraid of letting go of her pretty, but frozen face. Kudos to the PDs and the camera team getting the best out of such a bland face.

      As for Jung Hae In…he is just pure love <3

      • i have to agree. The child actors were so good and in many ways they drew you in and had great chemistry too. so much i googled them and found them to be same age and cant wait to see their future works. 4 to 5 years from now, they would be on the list if child actors who transition well to adult roles.

    • I enjoy Jung hae in the most. LJS is alright but not great. Suzy is still a bad actress. I like lee sang yeob but here he exaggerated several times. Go sung hee is mediocre. she is not a good actress.

    • * So many typos lol. So: This didn’t make me feel strongly for the couple and didn’t make me root for the couple and I’m not excited about seeing them together.
      And: Her romance scenes are devoid OF chemistry

  2. True, Park Hye Ryun needs to amp her creative juices and give us something fresh and interesting.No more rehashing her previous dramas. She also needs to get out of her comfort zone.Three dramas with one actor is more than enough.I bet you, the outcome of this drama would have been a little different if it were played by a different actor and actress, because they would have had a different interpretation of the script and make it fresh.She wrote the script with Lee Jong Suk in mind.Thats why I think their product this time feels samey.

    LJS could do with a genre change.I read a recent interview of his, I think it was for his movie.He daid he is staying away from saeguk/historical dramas because he feels he wouldnt do well in them.The last saeguk movie he did, he said..he felt like he was a burden to his co-stars and killed the flow when it was his turn tobsay the lines.I mean good for him for acknowledgig his weakness.

    But this is what he needs, a complete image overhaul and saeguk would be the perfect genre for that.A different style of acting is required so that would change the way, the drama audience is perceiving him now.Just try and error.If it works, fine and good.If it doesnt, at least he stretched his limits.

    • yeah, I Hear Your Voice was a great drama and Pinocchio was a good one, but even though people liked him in those, the fact that the female leads were good actresses+had good chemistry with him had a lot to do with it.

      Now this is his third time with PHR but with a much weaker costar and a rehashed role/plot, no surprise the ratings can’t reach double digits even when its biggest competitor is gone and there’s no drama except Mad Dog airing at the same time. You know this was expected to be one of the big hits of the year but even a random drama like Witch’s Court is getting more ratings for a full hour than this can get for half hour episode with less competition.

      • agree, besides the good story of IHYV, the female lead is excellent! This shows how important acting chops are. Suzy is not even pretty in this snooze fest, that’s why she needs her long hair extension to throw the ball & got everyone going goo-goo-ga-ga over her visuals. Her visual needs enhancement from makeup & hair and definitely with her mouth closed. But seriously, in this drama, I don’t see any good visuals except in JHI, he is a cutie pie 🙂 and he can act

  3. I’m not sure this writer can write something totally new. She seems to always have a little fantasy element in her stories. Maybe, different actors would have done more justice to her characters.

    On another note, I really think Kdrama writers are running out of ideas. Just look at the line-up for next year – Voice 2, Secret Forest 2, Signal 2. Despair.

    • Add Queen of Mystery 2 to that.Heaven help us, if they end up doing DOTS 2, Goblin 2,You who came from the stars 2,Strong Woman Dong Boo Sun 2..you get my drift.Reminds me of the African movie industry(or Nigerian to be specific) where their movies go up to part 3 or 4????.Come on Writer-nims!!!

      • Neighborhood Lawyer 2. Don’t forget that! They’ve been dragging that one for over a year.

        2018 will be the year of sequels!

        Drama land ran out of ideas a while back. Don’t even get me started on all the legal dramas we had this year and some still haven’t aired plus 2018 already has 2 legal dramas for the first half that we know of. Sheesh!

        2016 had too many medical dramas and 2017 was all about the legal dramas and 2018 is sequels.

    • Those dramas deserve a 2 though
      High quality dramas with great acting and scripts.
      Now all i need is a confirmation for Age of Youth 3.
      and another deserving drama currently is Avengers Social Club.

      The one thing in common for these dramas are that they have great acting and no cheesy love story

      • It’s turning out like many American series such as Orange is the new Black 7. I’m not sure the Kdrama audience are as loyal as the Western audience though. There is something as too much of a good thing will make people bored of it.

  4. Suzy is one celerity born with career luck. Pretty (in a pleasing and bright visuals)), great timing with projects (Intro to Architecture came at a time when Korea was in search of the next young star with that pure image) and backed by a smart agency (JYP did good in marketing her-1st time to come across media-play practice in the current generation). With all the opportunities and chances given to her, I just hope she shows a certain genuineness in her acting. I won’t write her off, as even SHK, KHS, and JJH were known are CF actresses early on.

    • I don’t think there’s much hope for Suzy’s acting, to be honest. Even if Song Hye Kyo and Jun Ji Hyun were known as CF actresses, before they were 20 years old they had already done Autumn in my Heart and My Sassy Girl which actually depended on decent performances and not just being pretty.

      Capable actresses who are generally dismissed as CF models, are not the same as a CF model who can’t deliver an actually good performance even with the industry’s A list writers trying to write roles to suit her.

  5. The only reason I even bother watching this snoozefest is Jung Hae In. He’s very good looking and has the acting chops to back him up. I used to think Park Hye Ryun wrote some of the best dramas since DH, ICHYV and Page Turner are some of my favorite dramas but this dramas made me lose faith in her. She needs to stop casting LJS as a starter. Other than Suzy being a robot void of chemistry and emotion (which was expected no matter how much her fans hype her up) there’s Lee Jong Suk who is a Go Nam Soon 5.0 here

    • Park Ji Eun also played safe and missed twice.She is the one who wrote “You who came from the stars”, “Producers” and “legends of the blue sea”.She worked with Kim Soo Hyun in YWCFTS and tried to work with him again in “producers” while slacking on her writing..Result=bleh.That was one the most mediocre role that KSH has ever played and he even got a lot of backlash when he won the daesang for it.Then she tried to use the same formula with Jun Ji Hyun.Result=A fail.Jun Ji Hyun’s performance was an underwhelming Cheon So Yi 2.0, all she got out of all this was an “eating award” from SBS. The project was meant to be on the success level of DOTS with shattering ratings but what happen?lackcuster ratings in proportion to the star power, was not exactly a commercial success, and not much international buzz as expected.

      This elitism and greed for ratings at the expense of quality writing is not helping them in the long term.No Hee Kyung, writer of “That Winter that blows”, and “its ok thats love”, is the only one left who has worked with Jo In Sung three times and manage to bring out two very different performances out of him and produce two very different scripts.That didnt feel like they are just aiming for high ratings and selling the drama abroad, but quality story telling.

      • Noh Hee Kyung also doesn’t compromise on the quality of her cast or hire people who can’t act. That makes a difference to the overall quality of the drama. I still remember the story of Kim Min Hee begging her to let her do a third lead role in Goodbye Solo, and NHK being reluctant at first but only giving in after she saw how sincere KMH was. I don’t think any of these Hallyu stars or idols have the same humility or sincerity towards acting.

      • @teacakes, Noh Hee Kyung gets huge respect from me for that reason. And Kim Min Hee struggled with her acting earlier in her career but she is a fine example of how hard work and humility paid her off. Tbh I don’t see many current hallyu stars doing third lead roles let alone second lead roles to try out different characters and widen their acting range. For example Lee Min Ho and the likes would never do that

      • @teacake now that you mention Kim Min Hee and we are talking about Noh Hee Kyung.Iam reminded of movie director Lee Joon Ik.The one who directed King and the Clown, The Throne,Dong Ju, the poet, Anarchist from Colony etc.The Throne and Dong Ju, The poet were movies that were filmed one after the other.After the throne finished, Yoo Ah In why he wasnt cast for Dong Ju too.He wanted to work in the project.The director refused him.When the director was asked why, he said because of Yoo Ah In’s popularity, the Dong Ju character would be overshadowed..so although YAI is a good actor, the director would end up feeling sorry for the Dong Ju character and it would forever be Yoo Ah In’s name being praised and the legacy of the poet would be undermined.So the role ended up going to Kang Ha Neul.If you check this director’s casting process..he almost never cast hallyu stars but always low-profile mega-talents and make them shine.Almost all his movies are box office hits and win awards.Not too much media-play or working with writers who just write flimsy scripts to gain box office hits.He just focus on good story telling and pure entertainment and the results speak for themselves.

    • of the lot, i actually thought Page Turner was her best work. I think her plot and content isnt meaty enough for a 16 epsiode drama. WYWS was actually great in the first 2 epsiode where the dreams packed a punch and blurred the line of which is a dream and which isnt. then it lost steam and felt redundant. perhaps shes better in writing shorter dramas, like 4 episode drama special. Even WYWS might have benefitted if it was 12 episode instead- then we wouldnt have felt it tiresome. Im like @ockoala trying to finish the drama, but it has become more of a chore and only cause thankfully other characters who i like.

  6. But is anyone watching because this is my first life? Sorry to change the subject but discussing this drama is redundant and almost predictable.
    Because This is my first life is such a cute drama I can’t even deal.

    • I’m watching! I really like it, it’s really fresh and low-key but the problem with it is that it makes every other currently airing drama look meh and cliche when you compare them to this.

      • Yes, that’s a great discription of it. It’s such a refreshing drama and so simple.
        Simply the writing and acting alone make the drama. The awkward interactions between the characters is effortlessly funny

    • Me too…the story is fun and refreshing and lee minki is hot and his acting skill is superb. Chemistry between him and jung somin is amazing.
      I’m glad that the rating is good as a tvn mon-tue drama. International fans also love it.

  7. As much as I love my babe jongsuk, I admit that wyws is boring. I can’t feel the same ‘magic’ that IHYV and pinocchio gave to me.
    I just hope he will pick up a pure romcom for his next project.

  8. I couldnt bring myself to watch this anymore after episode 8. Its boring and suzy acting is meh. In fact, the supporting and cameo actors and actress shine more and did better than the main leads. The storyline isnt that interesting after the first few episodes and i agreed that this is the weakest work from PHR to date. Right Now black is the one yhat caught my attention along with jtbc the package. LYH isn’t a good actress herself but imo she did pretty decent in the package and the storyline is much better.

  9. I admit I don’t exactly love all PHR dramas. My favorite of hers will always be Dream High because that’s the drama that really got me caring to the core about every single character and their journey.

    Honestly though, more than her writing, it’s her constant partnership with LJS that’s the biggest problem. Does she really not want to work with someone else? Does he really not get tired of working with her? Pinocchio was already blegh to me but this drama is plain bad now. Jung Hae In is the only reason I’m sticking around. I just want to know what his character’s deal is and I reaaaly like him as an actor. But everything else is seriously underwhelming. It started off with a bang but now it’s literally crawling to the finish line. So disappointing.

    • Also, LJS should enlist already and get rid of whatever current image he has. He plays literally the same character with a different name and career in almost every drama ever. If someone argues that’s not the case, then I’m really sorry but he gives off that vibe. He’s honestly not a great actor by any stretch of imagination but by playing the same roles, he’s making that very obvious.

      Someone brought up Producers in one of the comments and just as an example, KSH plays all sorts of different roles. He’s never played the same person twice and his versatility is very obvious. I hope LJS can try that to prove himself too.

    • Talking about actors that need a break..SHIN SE KYUNG!!!I cant with her?.I dont mind versatile actors like Yeo Jin Goo or Yoo Seung Ho on my screen.They can do 5 dramas a year and il still watch without complaint, when they get an actress/co-stars of their calibre and good script.But this girl will be in two productions in this year alone, with the exact same story line.Maybe even the same hair colour and style and definitely same expressions.arrgh.I know after the one with Kim Rae Won is done.She will hope into another production like Jin Se Yeon.

  10. Unlike everyone here i am still enjoying this drama it does get a bit slow sometimes but personally i found all of PHR’s dramas to be a bit slow but i still loved them and this one is no exception. I like the cases and how they always leave some lesson for the leads. This isnt her best work but despite all the issues, the comedy, mysteries and twists make it a great watch for me and now everything is coming together nicely for the ending.

  11. I am enjoying the drama very much ~ great acting by everyone casts n chemistry. This drama shows the reality of people ~ the many sides ~ it’s about making decisions n gratitude

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