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While You Were Sleeping, Episodes 27 & 28

TL;DR: Well, that’s a great cliffhanger for finale week. Thank goodness I don’t have to wait.

So one of the things I’ve noticed about Yoo-beom is that he is very confident in his own intelligence and abilities—but he’s also easily shaken. If you set out to flatter his ego at all, you can completely distract him from your purpose. He truly thinks himself as better than pretty much everyone else (see: all the times he has called his clients some form of trash), but he has committed serious crimes of his own. A truly clever man—and not one convinced of his own cleverness—would not be at all at ease after receiving those creeper texts. And yet Hong-joo was able to manipulate him easily because he is entirely ready and willing to believe that someone who doesn’t even like him would come to him for his opinion. Continue reading “While You Were Sleeping, Episodes 27 & 28”

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Just Between Lovers, Episode 4

TL;DR: Savor this cute stage while you can. This is a melo, after all.

Right now our leads are in the getting-to-know-you phase, and it’s adorable. Moon-soo is delightfully curious about Kang-doo and who he is, while he is piecing together the clues that say she is the girl who was trapped with him in the collapse. But most importantly, when Kang-doo pointed out that Moon-soo’s determination to satisfy her curiosity in spite of his own feelings was a form of violence, she apologized. Now the two of them are falling into a pattern where they’ll ask questions—and then let it go if the other doesn’t want to answer. That will make their eventual opening up to each other all the sweeter, because that will be an unequivocal demonstration of trust. Continue reading “Just Between Lovers, Episode 4”

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Just Between Lovers, Episode 3

TL;DR: Our leads are getting so close to figuring out their shared trauma and yet they are so far away.

I don’t know about you, but I’m very excited that our leads are inching closer to the truth about their shared trauma. It feels like each time we have a flashback about the building collapse, we learn more about what happened to Moon-soo and Kang-doo. This time we find out they actually came face-to-face underground. The question now becomes, just how much of that does Moon-soo remember? Continue reading “Just Between Lovers, Episode 3”

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While You Were Sleeping, Episodes 25 & 26

TL;DR: I ask about eighty billion questions, and I’m hoping they’re all answered soon.

I feel like it has been a long time since I’ve seen a male lead so uncertain about his work. Dramaland is no stranger to a plethora of male geniuses who get by on the-end-justifies-the-means results and assholery, but Jae-chan is keenly aware of the many ways in which he lacks. From embarrassing moments to social blunders to just being terribly slow with paperwork, he leaves so much to be desired that everyone agreed it would be way better for Hong-joo to shadow anyone but him on a day at the job. Meanwhile, Hong-joo is respected at work, and her colleagues generally think she has good ideas and a keen sense of finding and pitching stories. So it was nice that this episode took a moment to delve into Jae-chan’s insecurities and how, sometimes, the things that make him awful at his job are also an asset.

(Except for the typos.) Continue reading “While You Were Sleeping, Episodes 25 & 26”

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While You Were Sleeping, Episodes 23 & 24

TL;DR: Park Hye-ryun’s weakness with legal issues strikes again.

Writer Park is many things, but a great dramatist when it comes to the law, she is not. I probably wouldn’t have commented on it, except I’ve already seen her attempts at lawyer-y things in I Hear Your Voice, so it’s slightly disappointing that she’s still sticking to these kinds of obvious cases. (Then again, she’s really good at making the cases matter to her main characters’ emotional arcs, so I’m going to let some of it slide.) Continue reading “While You Were Sleeping, Episodes 23 & 24”

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While You Were Sleeping, Episodes 21 & 22

TL;DR: Does South Korea have a HIPPA equivalent? Cuz if they do, there’s about eighty billion people I need to file a complaint against.

Okay, as much as I like this show, it isn’t always subtle, and the use of two paths as a visual representation of Jae-chan’s impossible choice was as obvious as the fact that he would end up taking a third option. Nonetheless, the in-universe stakes (momentarily) felt high, and I am content with what has been presented so far. Mostly. Continue reading “While You Were Sleeping, Episodes 21 & 22”

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Just Between Lovers, Episode 2

TL;DR: I was not expecting them to all be in such close proximity so quickly.

Oh, Moon-soo. With every episode, she breaks my heart more. She has a tighter leash on her trauma than Kang-doo, but we got to see more of her breaking points this episode, from flashbacks at the construction site to her literally screaming in fear over her mother. Continue reading “Just Between Lovers, Episode 2”

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Just Between Lovers, Episode 1

TL;DR: It is quiet and sad and a little desperate, and I love it.

This was a great debut episode that expertly set up my expectations for the show. There will be melodrama, yes, but it will be the muted sort, told in silences and self-destructive choices, not in overdramatic flailing or with a frenetic pace. The show isn’t afraid to let a scene breathe or to focus on small gestures to tell the story, and it peels back its characters’ layers to show just how one great tragedy has rippled through their lives. Continue reading “Just Between Lovers, Episode 1”

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While You Were Sleeping, Episodes 19 & 20

TL;DR: You know what? I actually liked that attempt at lying.

Well, mostly for the fact that it didn’t last an entire hour. Dramaland is no stranger to couples keeping secrets from each other for ridiculous reasons, but this was one of the few instances that actually made sense. Sure, Jae-chan might be happy to meet Chestnut again, but for Hong-joo, that day carries an immense amount of shame. The last thing she wanted was for the guy she is in love with to connect that to her. That day changed her perception of herself—what if it gave him a negative opinion of her, too? Continue reading “While You Were Sleeping, Episodes 19 & 20”

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While You Were Sleeping, Episodes 17 & 18

TL;DR: Oh, hey, the show remembered all that ominous foreshadowing it did way at the beginning.

These episodes took a long, hard look at the stories we feed others and just how far our responsibility extends to them. Even though Hong-joo rightfully refused to report on Hak-yeong’s criminal record, other stations and society at large dove straight in, dragging an innocent man and Jae-chan through the mud for things they didn’t do (murder and a careless investigation). Public sentiment, as they say, has inertia, and the people already had a narrative they liked. Continue reading “While You Were Sleeping, Episodes 17 & 18”