The Legend of the Blue Sea

The Legend of the Blue Sea (2016)

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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 8,749 users
Reviews: 28 users

How can a mermaid from the Joseon era survive in modern-day Seoul? Shim Chung is a mermaid who finds herself transplanted to modern times. She is caught by Heo Joon Jae, a charming but cold con artist who is the doppelgänger for Kim Moon, the son of a noble man from the Joseon Dynasty. But in the present time, Joon Jae works with Jo Nam Doo, a skilled conman who guides Joon read moreJae to become a genius scammer. But Joon Jae’s friend, Cha Shi Ah, who works as a researcher at KAIST, may be Chung’s only hope for surviving in her strange new world.
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27 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Mar 8, 2017
  • Overall 7.5
  • Story 7.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 5.0
  • Rewatch Value 6.0
Legend of the Blue Sea is one of those dramas that has all the elements that should make it great, but it ends up being just really ok. In the beginning I was really into the story, and thought it would be interesting, but eventually I only finished because I felt like I had to and wanted some kind of closure.

I will start with the leads, who are of course major, read more and a great match. Lee Min Ho and Jun Ji Hyun are awesome to watch together. They look great, they play off of each other well, their chemistry was great at first, then just ok, but they still did not disappoint me. The supporting cast was also great! Heo Joon Jae's partners in crime were a great non traditional bromance. I loved Shim Chung's random friends as well, especially cute but wise Seo Yoon Ah (played by the impressive young actress Shin Rin Ah from "Marriage Contract"). It even had some good villains (which I won't spoil), and an awesome cameo (that was a really nice surprise). So, why didn't i love this show as much as I should have? The plot is very VERY mediocre.

The concept is great, especially in the beginning. It's The Little Mermaid, mixed with Splash, with some thriller elements thrown in. Legend is mainly a romance, but there are some action thriller moments, and there is definitely comedy too. The story, I think, tried to do too much and became more convoluted, and less interesting. There are flashes into the past that are meant to make me care more about the plot, but I just became annoyed because to me it was all so predictable, and repetitive. I wasn't exactly bored by the plot however. I still enjoyed watching because the cast made it entertaining, but the story just felt like it was dragging along at times. Eventually the mystery thriller story resolved, and what aimed to be an emotional love story didn't make me tear up once. Suddenly all that great chemistry turned into two stars doing what's expected, and was more flirting than substance, and tears without emotion.It did have a decent final episode to tie up the loose ends, which i appreciated, but didn't love.

What about the soundtrack? It was too cheesy and literal for me. I'd rather have the music be good, or forgetful, but this OST was a little distracting.

Overall this is a decent romance, with a cool mermaid twist. It reminded me of "My Girlfriend is a Gumiho", and if really you like that drama you may see some parallels too, and at least be entertained. I did love the mermaid look, and its definitely worth mentioning that the mermaid scenes look really cool. So if you are in the mood for a fairytale style romance, I think this is worth watching, but it's probably not one you will stay up all night marathoning through. Honestly, I will probably forget this drama after a while (the only way I would rewatch this), and 20 episodes were too long, but I am still glad I watched.
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17 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Jan 25, 2017
  • Overall 8.5
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.5
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
I was super excited about Legend of The Blue Sea because I love mermaid folklore. So full disclaimer: I've always loved The Little Mermaid. Did LOTBS live up to its hype because of its double star power between Lee Min Ho and Jeon Ji Hyeon? Mmm...kind of?

LOTBS was a solid drama that I fully enjoyed watching week after week. Was it amazing though? Maybe not so much. I definitely enjoyed LOTBS read more far more than I would care to admit, as there was some lack in plot direction-sometimes the same problem would meander for a few episodes, or the villains had too much screen time not being threatening so it wasn't compelling. The villains were not that smart, plain out. They were stock and annoying to me. They didn't pose much threat and I was just not a fan, honestly. I couldn't relate to them whatsoever except for one. Lee Ji Hoon gave substance and sympathy to Chi Hyun as a character.

Now, the beginning in Spain was lovely visually and a good start to the drama. The plot of LOTBS is pretty simple: you get the mermaid on land antics, then the starting to care to actually caring relationship. It's nothing new, but I still loved watching it. It could be that Lee Min Ho is the best I've ever seen here. He's emoting well and I no longer think his acting has huge limitations because he's portraying so many different emotions here-romantic, familial, and family.
The OTP between Joon Jae and Shim Chung was cute and touching at times but I felt like it lacked a bit of something. I think there was some emotional disconnect in some scenes. As a whole, though, Lee Min Ho and Jeon Ji Hyeon had good chemistry and are visually stunning together.

The bromance was spot on! If you like bromance, then this is the drama for you. I love Joon Jae, Tae Oh, and Nam Do together. They are just too cute.

I was a little disappointed that the story became more about reincarnations, rather than mermaid folklore. The drama did drag in some spots here and there so it could've benefitted from a tighter episode count.

I liked the OST a lot! It had nice instrumentals and the theme songs were very fantastical and appropriate to the story.

LOTBS wasn't the next DOTS everything thought it was going to be. However, I did enjoy this drama a lot throughout its run. It has all the elements to be a great star-crossed lovers romance, but it just lacked the extra oomph. Despite that, I still recommend it for its light-hearted, romantic fare that veered melodramatic in the latter half, but pulled back to the fluffiness I love eventually.
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Make a Recommendation More recs (18)Recommendations

They have the same kind of fluffy feeling in the beginnings and the way Joon Jae has to teach nearly everything about the world to Sim Chim Chung is similar as Louis hardships to get know the world. So in SKL the girl teaches the boy about how to live a normal life and in LOTBS the boy teaches the girl.
One more thing: in Legend of The Blue Sea Joon Jae forgat Shim Chung because she erased his memories. On Shopping King Louis he also forgat everything because he had amnesia.
Recommended by Nagy Hanna
Even though both of these dramas are unique in its own respect..they do share some common plot points.
Both of them have the main characters as well as the villains being reincarnated from the past to the future..and are eventually able to remember their past
Recommended by Shriya Bijutkar

Comments (1354)

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    KingLouie 1 day ago

    Best drama so far in my Kdrama archive..Can't say there was a moment where i felt disappointed with it..loved its every scene and specially the main leads..more especially Shim Chung..

  • Reply
    RosieAllen 7 days ago

    Since master's sun i have never been this happy . this drama is good thumbs up

  • Reply
    Pinocchio 13 days ago

    This was just great gotta say it's like one of the best 2016-2017 kdrama the main couple friends were just hilarious mostly shim Chung's friend

  • Reply
    Franzi Jul 23, 2017

    I love the drama too. It's so magical and cute. Now after the complete watching it is a favorit drama for me.

  • Reply
    Irusu Jul 20, 2017

    I loved the drama, but some parts could be slow. Had a great start but I felt it went downhill from around episode 5/6 maybe a little before or after, since I watched it a while ago. Overall I give it an 8 for enjoyment and music.

  • Reply
    Lolopiko Jul 11, 2017

    Currently watching... I started it just because of Min Ho, obviously. The plot is kinda weird but sometimes it's really funny :D honestly, I don't know what to think about it so far O_o

  • Reply
    Neyjour Jul 7, 2017 - edited

    Currently on episode 13. I'm not loving it as much as I'd hoped I would (some parts are good, some are a bit boring/draggy), but overall I'm enjoying more than not. 8/10 from me, so far. :)

    However, I'm completely baffled by the majority of the wardrobe choices for Jun Ji Hyun. IMO, they're:

    A) Colour-clashing / pattern-clashing
    B) Ill-fitting / excessively baggy
    C) Frumpy
    D) Generally ugly / unflattering
    E) Some combination of the above

    Normally, wardrobe choices (be they attractive, edgy, ugly, strange, etc.) in dramas don't really matter to me. But in this drama I'm finding it very distracting, albeit also a bit amusing... wondering what kind of abomination she'll be wearing in the next scene. LOL! :P

    • Reply
      namopanik Jul 13, 2017 - edited

      But, you know, since she's picking most of them from a charity bin (and has not a clue about human ways of living/eating/dressing/...), she can be passed. It was still more tolerable than those scenes when LMH's character was sending her to her room to change because she was showing too much skin...
      LMH had some controversial choices here too (not a huge surprise).

  • Reply
    Brownie Jul 2, 2017

    Romance, fantasy and comedy - my favourite drama combo. Watched it after watching Heirs and wanted to see what other dramas LMH was in. I binged my way through this one because of my love for mermaids. Ended up really enjoying JJH's character as well as her acting. I watched this some months ago but since I joined this site I thought I should leave my comment and now I might have to re-watch it. I really enjoyed the mixture of historical and modern time, some really sweet and romantic moments.

  • Reply
    Mimi Jun 26, 2017

    Literally this n Doctors was the best drama of 2016

  • Reply
    MoonShine Jun 21, 2017

    My favorite

  • Reply
    Liz Jun 13, 2017 - edited

    I can see how many different opinions there are on this series. Frankly, i think the series was done pretty well. I do agree that it sometimes got really frustrating because of the lack of communication between the characters. Sometimes i was quite confused because of his work and how he doesn’t really work? I think there was a lot of things that they could’ve changed. Shim Chung erased his memories, which i understand that it was to move the story along but how can she expect to just suddenly go back and see him expecting him to not be confused. Even though he remembered her, I still think that was a fail in the plot. At some points, i did find the characters themselves to be a little irritating. The story was really nice, sometimes a little sugar coated. I don’t really have a lot of negatives for the series. I found it very engaging, I struggled to stop watching it because most of the episodes had something happen at the end. I do understand what some people are saying, the story does sometimes become annoying and very unrealistic but I also think there are a lot of positives about this show. i really liked how it links to a different era and how all the characters were somewhat related. I think overall i really enjoyed it and i found the story captivating.

  • Reply
    Sarang Jun 12, 2017

    Am I only one wondered why they didn't show yoona after 3yrs?

  • Reply
    Sarang Jun 12, 2017

    Alright drama.. two great actors but weirdly lacks a bit of chemistry. I wonder whether the synopsis is misleading..join jae being a doppelganger of Kim moon while its dam redoing... Ah bulla!!!

  • Reply
    jinnborn Jun 5, 2017 - edited

    Watched it just because of Jun Ji Hyun,and she was great as always. Totally loved her acting skill.

  • Reply
    soojungstrash May 23, 2017

    need more jun ji hyun in dramas but this was bad


  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    Nov 16, 2016 to Jan 25, 2017
  • Aired On:

    Wednesday, Thursday
  • Network:

  • Duration:

    60 min.


  • Score:

    8.3 (scored by 8,749 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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