Good Ol’ Review: Engaging Slice of Life in The Reason We Can’t Sleep

Very minor spoilers.

Slice of life stories can be as engaging and exciting as high concept adventures. And The Reason We Can’t Sleep (우리가 못자는 이유) is definitely one of those.

This episode of the KBS Drama Special stars Im Ji Kyu and Im Se Mi as Youngjae and Yoojung. They are approaching 30, yet neither seems to have found their place in life. They both have what they love to do, but both are far from being stable in their careers and their future. This is highlighted by the fact that neither can get any sleep.

Their similar hardship is what first connects them and that same hardship threatens to drive them apart.

What is so engaging about this hour is that it is a romantic comedy that is very grounded. It doesn’t present a stylized, idealistic view of a couple meeting cute for the first. But it is also a dramatic and realistic portrayal of just how hard it is to make it in the real world today. Neither are new concepts of course. But together here, it is a story that truly engages throughout the hour until its satisfying conclusion.

There is a simple, yet profound message in this episode: Things might not work out… but they might. Basically, give it a shot until you succeed. Never give up. Don’t be discouraged. And that is true in one’s career or lovelife or just life in general. And The Reason We Can’t Sleep depicts that excellently.

Veteran actor Lee Dae Yeon is wonderful as Yoojung’s father and he and Im Se Mi share a wonderfully poignant scene in the middle of the hour. But Im Se Mi and Im Ji Kyu really deliver in their realistic and grounded performances that make you feel like Yoojung and Youngjare are real people you can meet in your own neighborhood.

Mixing in a little bit of magic, The Reason We Can’t Sleep is a wonderful and engaging slice of life story about life and love and shows us that you just have to keep going. It might just work out.

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