The Legend of the Blue Sea

The Legend of the Blue Sea (2016)

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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 8,725 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 (1353)

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    Soju May 21, 2017 - edited

    This drama was alright. Just that ~ alright. The plot was alright. The music wasn't anything extraordinary, I didn't find myself stopping and just feeling the whole scenario because of the songs. I wish the leads would have been different though~ the chemistry between Lee Min Ho and Jun Ji Hyun was barely even there tbh. I could not relate. Even when they were kissing~ I just felt... nothing. Jin Ji Hyun does look older than Lee Amin Ho, if shows~ she is beautiful~ but it definitely shows... sometimes I even felt like they were just two great actors doing their job and not the characters that I was meant to relate with or care for. I also thought it would have done well with just 16-18 episodes. 20 seemed a bit too much for me pesonally. Ah well~ it's alright for a random watch~ and Jin Ji Hyun & Lee Min ago do have very good comic timing! ~ maybe I'll give it another shot after a few years. Best of luck to everyone who's giving it a go by the way! I hope you like it better than I did. 7.5/10

  • Reply
    kranju May 19, 2017

    Watched it purely for lee min ho! As handsome as always!
    Drama is not up to the mark. Locations are great (especially first few episodes)
    Costumes are great (especially lee min ho's)
    Cinematography is great
    Actors are great
    Only thing..... the Story is very weak!

    If you are a LMH or JJH fan then you can watch this drama... or if you are really bored and want to kill time then you can watch this drama.

  • Reply
    Whiskas8 May 14, 2017

    I DROPPED IT AT EPISODE 2. I only watched the first few eps for the comedy, but eventually didn't sustain my interest. Jun Ji Hyun and Lee Min Ho just didn't work out. For me, I think that their chemistry is meh. I like them both, but together, nah. I love Jun Ji Hyun my goddess but sorry, can't and won't continue watching.

  • Reply
    Senpai May 11, 2017 - edited

    In the first few minutes I have already enjoyed CGI special effects computerized, this is an indicator of budget quality, having convincing effects can be said that production has not cut costs and wants something realistic.
    In that issue, The Legend of the Blue Sea won in its 20 episodes everything I saw was good. Positive point!
    Quesito errors and sequence of scenes can be said that there are some, already in the first episode, (what ugly thing) has a soon after the devastating storm, in the later scene shows the result of strong winds, ay wonder, the wind ripped roofs then As in the next scene all roofs are intact and not even there are wrecks on top.
    Mermaids live in the sea, so could anyone answer how she (mermaid) knows bananas and fruits? How do you know it's edible? OK! Breathe, let's discount, let's say it's instinct, then it's plausible.
    Now I do not swallow the stop of the girl (siren) walking out normal, much less know how to kick, for someone who has lived for hundreds of years using a fin, no, people.
    Have another, how do you know clothes? How did you get dressed? All right, you've been seeing tourists on the high seas.
    "Okay," but there's the scene of the mall, that of the dressing room, like, you know how to wear a sweater, but you can not wear a dress? Puts, who hesitated of production!
    Being a fantasy genre, you can not be picky or complain about the artifices, unless of course they extrapolate, so the Heo Joon-Jae / Dam Ryung (Lee Min-Ho) magic artifact is worth it.
    The retro flashbacks of classics, of the fight scene I found unnecessary, already the "miracle of the voice" in the scene of the church as well as the scene of the water bottle were hilarious ...
    Now here with me, let's understand the Sirens, In Greek Mythology, they are half-woman and half-fish (or bird, according to some ancient writers) capable of attracting and enchanting anyone who heard their song. They lived on a Mediterranean island, somewhere in the Tyrrhenian Sea, surrounded by rocks and reefs or on the cliffs between the island of Capri and the coast of Italy.
    The seduction of mermaids was through the singing. The sailors who were attracted by his song and were close enough to hear its beautiful sound, were neglected and shipwrecked.
    In general they are considered daughters of the river god Aqueloo and of the muse Melpômene or of Terpsícore.
    Mermaids represent in contemporary culture sex and sensuality.
    Nowadays, the expression "mermaid song" is used that designates something that has great power of attraction in which people fall without resistance.
    What can be said of concrete, is that it will be a fun, romantic and beautiful drama. Its soundtrack is pleasant and graceful cast, a harmonious drama.
    Of initial highlight, beautiful landscapes, could opt for internal recordings using chroma key, but no, this gives credibility to the drama.
    The fact that mermaids know how to speak is true, mermaids are extremely intelligent beings capable of memorizing dialects and behaviors just by seeing them once. Remember Sim Chung (Gianna Jun) woke up watching dramas and TV on Heo Joon-Jae / Dam Ryung's notebook, so it's no wonder if his behavior changed from one moment to another.
    From the comic part of the drama I highlight her, Sim Chung, even more with the appearance of Cha Si-A (Shin Hye-Sun) this gave rise to good fights!
    In acting and beauty, without comment, every episode Gianna Jun gets more beautiful and funny too, thanks to her character in the drama. Perfect actress for the role.
    From the middle of the drama, begins the moment of the explanations of the whys. I particularly liked it, the story was being very well drafted, they knew very well how to measure the plausible, and, merge between fantasy and reality. Perhaps this is one of the most positive aspects of the drama as a whole.
    From the curious facts, "The Legend of the Blue Sea" is a story is inspired by a tale that is part of a small anthology known as "Eou Yadam" written by Yu Mong In, a scholar of the Joseon era. The series marks the last role of the star Lee Min Ho before giving the two mandatory years of military service, and the first role of Jun Ji Hyun after giving birth to his first child. Parts of the series were filmed in Palau, an island in the Pacific Ocean, and in Spain.
    One curious fact, perhaps bizarre, is that about 90% of Korean dramas have as a backdrop big TV's and Home Theaters's ever-brand LGs, now notice that virtually every cell phone seen in the dramas of the country are from Samsung, hardly see LG Or another brand that is not Korean, the same for TV and Homes. It does not cease to be a remarkable fact, after all no matter the income, almost every home has Home Theater and TV's. Was it publicity? I believe so.
    They have noticed that almost every scene that Tae-O (Shin Won-Ho) appears, he is playing, or in the mobile, video game or computer.
    And to finish, it was what he predicted, The Legend of the Blue Sea started well in the audience but took the foot in the ear To lose to Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim, wise from the beginning. KKKKKKKKKK

  • Reply
    Miss-Addicted May 2, 2017

    I was worried about watching this drama because of how everyone was saying it's amazing and all that, usually when people hype up dramas i have high expectations and feel disappointed after watching them aka DOTS but this one was good again not amazing but a light romantic drama. like every drama it had those moment where you go "this is unnecessary" but overall it's a fun watch and the actors did a great job.

  • Reply
    joannesmith May 1, 2017 - edited

    Am rewatching. Only now did i just realize I never entered it in MDL after I watched the first time. Am loving it the 2nd time as well. I am a LMH fan so of course I am biased. I really think the scene stealer in this show is Jun Ji Hyun. Her down to earth acting really made this even more fun to watch. I am on ep 4 and am happy not to have to wait a week for 2 more episodes. Happily binging.

  • Reply
    kebo Apr 30, 2017 - edited

    the main guy cant act for shit

    • Reply
      Maham Tanveer Jul 5, 2017

      thats Lee Min Ho for you. Pretty face, but nil acting skills

  • Reply
    Frederica Apr 30, 2017 - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
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      MarjieJoseJavier Jun 9, 2017
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      Maham Tanveer Jul 5, 2017
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    Ca222 Apr 29, 2017

    this is perfect.

  • Reply
    Jacelyn Apr 28, 2017 - edited

    I loved this drama!
    It was such a light-hearted, funny, and sweet story (even though there was some drama in it). I enjoyed every minute of it.
    All of the actors were great and the chemistry between the two mains was so good :)
    And the ending was perfect and what the drama desrved. One of the best happy endings I've seen ♥

  • Reply
    Tszzzz Apr 25, 2017 - edited

    It took me about 2 breaks to finish this drama, but I'm glad I eventually didn't drop it. :)

  • Reply
    Mighty_Brosia Apr 18, 2017 - edited

    Dropped it... sorry.. :(

  • Reply
    FranF Apr 1, 2017 - edited

    Good thing that I didn't come here to see if people liked this drama, I enjoyed my 20 hours while watching this, it made me even like Lee Min Ho, it's reaĺly lovelly drama, the chemistry between the leads was perfect. Became one of my favorite dramas, better than DOTS, at least had a plot.

  • Reply
    mutslsb Mar 30, 2017

    unfortunately my love for LMH wasnt enough for me to finish this's just boring and nothing special, i'm so done :/

  • Reply
    SomyBee Mar 28, 2017 - edited

    i stopped watching it after episode 6 .. does it worth it?

    • Reply
      joannesmith May 1, 2017
      Reveal Spoiler »
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      SomyBee May 16, 2017


    • Reply
      joannesmith May 17, 2017

      No problem!


  • 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 8,725 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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