Legend of the Blue Sea (2016)

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manicmuse
16 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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kingsqueen
17 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Jan 25, 2017
  • Overall 8.5
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.5
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
I really enjoyed Legend of the Blue Sea very much. I was prepared to give this a higher rating than I did, but there were a few things that kept this from being perfect. The story was very good, I enjoyed the reincarnation/past lives aspect and the flashback scenes to the Joseon counterparts. I wish those parts had been able to continue further into the story. The writer really set up her read more myth very well. I've heard some say that it was too reminiscent of My Love From Another Star, and I can see where the set up was very similar in style. I enjoyed all the characters, though, and the writer did put in some good twists to the story. There were a few inconsistencies, but nothing that distracted too much from my enjoyment. And although the ending was good, I felt like it still could have been better. They did a good job at wrapping up, but I didn't feel like they spent enough time with our main couple for the last episode.

This drama was actually my first experience watching Lee Min Ho. I thought I finally got why he was such a "big deal" a few years back. (No, I have never watched BOF and probably won't!) I liked him enough to find another drama of his to watch while waiting for new episodes. While he impressed me fairly well in the first part, I found that he lacked emotional punch in some scenes toward the end which lowered my acting score a bit. Jun Ji Hyun, though, has become one of the actresses that I enjoy very much. She has a great comedic sense and stands out from a lot of the Korean actresses I see. She did an excellent job in this show as well. I thought all the side characters were interesting and well-acted for their roles. Especially all the actors doing double duty as past and present characters.

The music was pretty good, but nothing that was extraordinary. The theme song was cheesy but still somewhat catchy. It's not something I would like or enjoy listening to outside of being the theme song for this show, though. So, it was good for its purpose.

I think this has good rewatch value, even if I myself may not rewatch it. (Unless I can convince my husband to give it a try!)

Overall, I gave this an 8.5. It was a very solid drama and I would recommend it to anyone that likes romance and fantasy elements. I think this show airing during the same time frame as Goblin may hurt its ratings a bit, but it was still a great show and I don't have any major criticisms for it.
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Jasmine
15 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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YamaneAlMohammad
6 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Feb 25, 2017
  • Overall 7.5
  • Story 7.5
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 5.0
Still watchable but nothing wow, overall story was good but too predictable. It took me weeks to finish the last few episodes of this drama tbh, I think 16 episodes would've been enough and I would've probabaly given it a higher rating then. Best parts of the drama are the funny scenes with Jun Ji Hyun, escpecially Jo Jung Suk appearance in ep7-8 (that was really funny xD). The 2 lead actors read more had no chemistry at all, a bit disappointing.
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voodoomoocow
5 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Mar 2, 2017
  • Overall 6.5
  • Story 6.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 3.0
  • Rewatch Value 5.0
Initially it was pretty enjoyable, however it could have told the story with 16 episodes. The main arch completed around then so as a result the remaining episodes meandered slowly through predictable one dimensional plot devices of "Will They? Won't They?" even though we all already know the answer so you gotta eyeroll your way through repetitive and cringey affirmations of love and loss to the end. Plus the director just rehashed read more everything that we already saw in You Who Came From the Stars so it didn't feel as fresh.

Great acting by all the main and supporting actors, though, and I do love the juxtaposition with the Joseon period to now. The cinematography during the old scenes were visually stunning and added an extra layer of interest. I think the director learned a lot from YWCFtS and you can tell he stepped up his game for these scenes. The first half is worth a watch just for these scenes.

It drags on way way way too long though.
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MariKim
5 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Jan 29, 2017
  • Overall 7.0
  • Story 7.0
  • Acting/Cast 7.5
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 3.0
Summary: There was nothing exceptional about the drama or the storyline, but if you like fairytales and the fantasy realm of KDramaWorld give it try.

+/- Plot:
Is anyone feeling the trend of reincarnation this season? I mean the two most competing shows (in my opinion) of Winter '16-'17 both had this weaved throughout their storylines. I love the idea of reincarnation and how our fates are continually interwoven, especially how romanticized read more it is in the KDramaWorld. I also liked the fantasy aspect of the drama with Jeon Ji Hyeon as a mermaid, I could see there was a lot of mermaid theorizing that went on behind the scenes and I appreciated that as I felt that it was a nice touch. As for the actual storyline, it's main focus was the romance of course, but they also tried to add an element of suspense/thriller at some points and I felt that was the additional route they wanted to take they should have had a bit more background on Ma Dae Young's character and why he had such grievances against the world. Although they slightly touched on this in one of the last few episodes I wasn't completely satisfied.
As for the romance and the light-hearted areas of the plot I thought they were well planned out and came full circle at the end. I will say that there were some pretty funny/cute moments that make the drama memorable.

+/- Acting/Cast:
Jeon Ji Hyeon is the reason I actually started watching this show. I think she is amazingly beautiful and innocently comedic, a rare combination to come across. I love how she's not afraid of putting her beautiful image on the line to pull out some comedy. She's slightly reminiscent of Mary Tyler Moore, which I greatly admire. Not only does she have beauty, she's also very talented as an actress in my opinion. Although her character wasn't too complex, I think she played it very well and it was fitting.
I'm sorry to say it but I'm not a fan of Lee Min Ho, there's just some aspects of his acting which I find subpar. It felt like he was crying every other episode, and not that I object to a man crying (he had just reason to), it's just that I didn't feel the conviction or the heart throughout the scenes. I probably would've been more moved if they didn't have so many scenes of him bawling his eyes out making his make-up splotchy. And when he performs his 'cutesy' romantic scenes he just doesn't make me swoon like other actors, it just doesn't feel genuine.
Unfortunately, I wasn't a huge fan of the romance between Lee Min Ho and Jeon Ji Yeon. I felt that there was just something missing between the two, they didn't quite have the spark as some other small screen actors. I had much more favor for Ji Yeon and Soo Hyun in Love from Another Star.
As for the other characters, they did pretty well as a whole. I throughly enjoyed Lee Hee Joon and thought he played his part extremely well; he really kept me questioning him through the end. And Shin Won Ho was especially adorable throughout the show, although he didn't have many lines he still made me giddy with his smirks. (I admit, I was initially opposed to his ending, but I'll accept it since I wanted a happy ending for Cha Shi Ah too).
As for the bad guys, I will say that I was put off by Kang Seo Hee and Ma Dae Young, but I've had more burning hatred for other characters in different dramas before. They were fitting for the roles, however, I felt they could have taken it up a notch. And ultimately, I just felt sorry for Lee Ji Hoon's character. I wasn't in love with him, I just slightly felt for him and his circumstances. Sad to say on Lee Min Ho's part, but Ji Hoon's final moments in the show might have been one of the only times when I was even slightly close to tearing up.

+/- Music:
The music was decent, I mean there was nothing that stood out about it. I would say the only song that really stood out to me was Lee Sun Hee's track, which is because I'm a big fan of her. Other than that, there was nothing outstanding, but the OST did it's part in the drama.
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Linky
4 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Jan 26, 2017
  • Overall 10
  • Story 9.5
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
So lovely! Legend of the Blue Sea is delightful to watch. It's a fun mix of romance, comedy, action and fantasy. The story follows reincarnated star crossed lovers across to 2 timelines - with the Joseon timeline as a dramatic backdrop and the modern day story played out with more comedy and romance. I was surprised at how cute and funny most of the drama is. Even my kids laughed at all read more the "mermaid out of water" antics. Fans of both the stars will not be disappointed and fans of "My Love from Another Star" will most likely really enjoy it too. Though the plot and characters are totally different, they have a similar feel (but I would say this drama is a few notches lighter in tone and doesn't really try to be as emotionally heart wrenching).

Jeon Ji Hyeon is my favorite thing about this drama. Cheong, the mermaid character is strong, endearing and so funny. Lee Min Ho's con artist character is likable as well. Joon Jae seems similar to characters he's played in other dramas - kind of arrogant, charismatic and, underneath it all, a good guy. But I like him best when he is acting cute and happy. They are both so good. There is a reason they are so popular. Though this is mostly lighthearted, the sad emotional moments are stirring as well. I found myself laughing out loud (especially in the first half of the drama), crying, and swooning over the beauty and adorableness of the stars. Each episode is a visual treat.

The supporting characters are fun to watch too. The relationship between Joon Jae's roommates and the mermaid's friendships with the eclectic characters she befriends are sweet and satisfying. I enjoyed the little bit of Ocean's 11 feel with a couple of plot points that took me completely by surprise. The pacing is good with each episode revealing something new. The storylines don't get overly dragged out or complicated as they often do in dramas. The flashback scenes are a little too frequent and there may be things you can nitpick about some story details. But it is such a pretty and fun ride I can easily overlook it. This drama does what romance should do - leave your heart feeling warm and melty.
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Chloe
25 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Dec 10, 2016
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
I don't usually write reviews but I felt the urge to do so in this case.
This drama is something you don't see everyday. It is just so well done in my oppinion. Already rewatched all the available episodes thirce!
The actors, the music, the atmosphere, everything is perfect.
It also has so many life lessons, and really makes you think about life itself. I recommend to anyone to watch this, you read more will not regret it. The comedy in this drama is something I rarely met. I actually laughed till I cried.

10/10 this is a must watch!

Also if you enjoy fantasy/mystery/sci fi and comedy this is just for you. It resembles somehow my love from another star, given the fact that we have the same actress in both and the story has the same feeling to it.
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MiloNovelo
1 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Apr 14, 2017
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.5
  • Acting/Cast 9.5
  • Music 8.5
  • Rewatch Value 6.5
Korea (ROK) is slam-dunking television for 2015, 2016 & 2017, Following their successful 2015 "Healer" and 2016 "Descendants of the Sun is “The Legend of the Blue Sea”. How can a show about a mermaid and con artist attract huge television watchers? Invest the time to watch a terrific love story.
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QRoseberry
3 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Jan 26, 2017
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 7.5
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 6.5
I liked this drama for the creativity and the fantasy and the romance and comedy and a bit of mystery
--- I also enjoyed the acting I felt as if they are all good firends I loved it

The only thing I did not like is really the ending a bit felt a bit rushed and not fully resolved
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TaraLynch
2 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Feb 14, 2017
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 8.5
I finished watching Legend of the Blue Sea last night. This was a solid little drama, really. It stars Lee Min Ho (from Boys Over Flowers and Heirs, among many other shows) as Heo Joon Jae, a modern day conman with a troubled family past, and the amazingly lovely Jun Ji Hyun (best known for My Love From Another Star - which was very good, you should check it out) as Shim read more Chung, a mermaid who has come to dry land to find her love and live her life as a human. It comes complete with evil stepmothers and weird serial killers and quirky friendships. The supporting cast is just as amazing as the lead couple. I could listen to Lee Min Ho read the phone book, really. Jun Ji Hyun is not afraid of physical comedy and it was a delight to watch her as Shim Chung. The drama moves back and forth between modern day and historical with some reincarnation storylines. Got7's Park Jinyoung does a lovely job as the soulful young Kim Dam Ryung in the Joseon era bits. There were things about the plot that kept me guessing until the end, which was nice, and it kept up pretty well with the pacing. It's a lovely story.
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Valerie
1 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Feb 12, 2017
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
I really enjoyed watching LOTBS alot. In fact, it has become one of my favourite k drama. I know that the show is not without its flaws, but flaws and all, I'm completely in love with the show.

Even though the show may be predictable, but what lies in its beauty is its predictability. I enjoy watching a drama with substance, and even though it's predictable, it's still a joy to watch. read more It might not have the in the moments kind of plot where the drama puts you on the edge every episode, making you wonder whats going to happen next and etc, but it has the everyday ordinariness to it, and that's what makes me love the show so much. I'm aware that there are other drama who are also ordinary, but somehow, i loved that for a fantasy drama, one that plays with the age old legend of the mermaid, all they crave for is the simplicity and ordinariness of everyday life.

Jeon Ji Hyun and Lee Min Ho played their roles very well. And well, their chemistry to me, is amazing. It's not the out of this world chemistry where people will go omg, their chemistry is the bomb kind of thing, it's more towards of them being together, and being just like any other ordinary couple and their longing for something so simple that makes it special to me. I attribute their chemistry to the directors and producers of the drama too. Chemistry between leads is a subjective thing. It also depends on the direction and nature of the drama. If a drama is meant to be warm and fuzzy, and not hot and sizzling, then the way the main leads interact and act will also change accordingly to the direction of the drama too..

I would say give this show a try. You may or may not like it initially, but there's something special about wanting to be ordinary that makes it special to me. In addition, this show also showed me another side of Lee Min Ho. If i have to choose, this would be my favourite drama of his since his BOF days till now. And as usual, Jeon Ji Hyun, is amazing. She pulls off being a mermaid effortlessly when we know it's otherwise for her while filming!
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Legend of the Blue Sea
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Alternative Titles

  • Native title:

    푸른 바다의 전설
  • Also Known as:

    Pureun Badaeui Jeonseol; Remember the Blue Sea;

Details

  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

    Drama
  • Episodes:

    20
  • Aired:

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

    Wednesday, Thursday
  • Network:

    SBS
  • Duration:

    60 min.

Statistics

  • Score:

    8.3 (scored by 7,319 users)
  • Ranked:

    #278
  • Popularity:

    #14