Legend of the Blue Sea

Legend of the Blue Sea (2016)

Your Rating:
Ratings: 8.3/10 from 7,413 users
Reviews: 23 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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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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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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Make a Recommendation More recs (17)Recommendations

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
Its also a mermaid story. Bt much bettr than " the mermaid". The only thing is its a Korean drama
Recommended by Anjaly

Comments (1333)

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    DoYouLikeMessi Feb 20, 2017

    Before even finishing the first episode, I was already thinking of dropping this drama because it felt like I'd be wasting my time watching it. It just felt so plain, flat, and the romance felt forced. I finished the first episode feeling nothing. But I still continued watching and am now on episode 2. I want to finish this drama but it's too hard to watch. It's too "empty" in my opinion.

    If not for the A-list casts, I don't think this drama would even get an 8.4 rating here and win over Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo in Korea. Seriously. SMH

  • Reply
    MrBanana Feb 20, 2017

    Its a disappointment.

  • Reply
    Andro Feb 20, 2017

    Generally I didn't like the romantic parts

  • Reply
    Shina Feb 18, 2017

    The plot is so 'déjà vu', 'Splash' remake.... But the drama remain acceptable nothing wow: 20 Eps is too long.

  • Reply
    usagi Feb 18, 2017 - edited

    Ppl seemed a lot more down on this drama than I'd expected, and I guess that made me put it off. But I was pleasantly surprised...up till about ep.13, I thought the writing was smart, characters fun, and dialog hilarious. Sure, it might have been something awesome had SBS kept it as a 16 ep drama instead (it moves into something more generic from 14-on), but even then it was a really entertaining, feel-good watch. And if there was any connection with the writing style of My Love from the Star, I thought it was a positive thing (unless you hated that drama).

    The pace, the humor, the intrigue all felt fresh and excellently directed for that first half. Loved the tongue-in-cheek fun poked at its own genre (which is standard these days but so often fails ironically) and the twist on stock characters that made them more entertaining (the mom and her employers especially). Plus, the script made good use of JJH's character having to learn the meanings of human words/ways and that kind of thing--there was some depth/feels to that. She was also so funny/charming in this role, and I thought her chemistry w/ LMH was pretty great.

    • Reply
      hollywillow Mar 1, 2017

      My thought is Gianna Jun is perfect for this role, and LMH is very charming too, but I don't feel any chemistry. The romantic scene didn't make me any excited. I completely watching it for the sake of my curiosity of the ending, but still fun and enjoyable drama I think. I even cannot think of another actress playing the role of shim chung besides Gianna Jun.

  • Reply
    dearD4NI Feb 18, 2017

    i'm just now noticing this, but the synopsis is sooo wrong...

  • Reply
    Mia_Chan Feb 16, 2017

    ugh, I can't... From the beginning, this was only an "ok" for me... I kept watching little by little. I thought I had only more 3 eps to watch, so I was going to finish this. But this has 22 eps? Not 16?
    I can't spend more 8 hours on this drama. I'll drop this xD what a shame, I love fantasy, but this mermaid story is quite... not as entertaining as I'd wish...

  • Reply
    green_tokki Feb 15, 2017

    I lost interest as the story progressed but still this is watchable... 7/10

  • Reply
    silvermcv Feb 13, 2017

    Sweet, funny drama. I enjoyed it. I give it a 8/10, just because I didn't feel that connected to the main couple. However, it was sweet and characters were lovable. It was hilarious at times.

  • Reply
    JohnGilbert Feb 13, 2017 - edited

    I love this drama. It helps that Jun Ji Hyun is one of the most beautiful women alive, but she is so charming and adireable here...oh my. Be still my beating heart. Lee Min Ho is quite enjoyable too. Certainly more daper and dashing, than macho and tough. This is a wonderfully sweet drama. You have to put it into perspective. It you want a light, breezy, funny romance...here's your drama.

  • Reply
    Parknara Feb 12, 2017

    Finally finished it!\^,^/

  • Reply
    2013started Feb 11, 2017 - edited

    I avoided this drama because of Lee Min Ho's drama "The Heirs" which was completely dumb, it left a bad taste in my mouth. But I was wrong, this drama had more depth in the plot. So yes, I am recommending the this drama. The supporting characters added flavor to the drama and made this very entertaining. On the side note, it was a tad long... I agree with the others that 16 episodes would have sufficed.

  • Reply
    Marie Feb 11, 2017

    It's OK but way too long..they should have kept 16 episodes, not 20...
    I admit, the lead couple has good chemistry, especially in today's era... actually this is the only reason why I 'm still trying to watch the drama till the end... once I watch their scenes together, I'm quite interested in them until the end of the episode ...but that's not enough to keep me hooked. What I mean is that I'm not really in a hurry to finish it...^^

  • Reply
    JHope Feb 10, 2017 - edited

    watched the Trailer and it was already enough...it seemed like a hard to watch Drama and i am not really a fan of lee min ho..and Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo had to compete against it and lost? seriously? WFKBJ is one of the most beautiful dramas out there! it really deserved more love.. but oh well this is just my not so objective opinion about it, i don't want to hurt fans of this drama with that

    • Reply
      Panda Feb 11, 2017 - edited

      So you judged the whole drama over a trailer? Okay

  • Reply
    Almonda Feb 9, 2017 - edited

    I admit to having high expectations because of the actors and maybe I shouldn´t have had those. This is a nice drama. That´s it. A nice drama. The story somehow feels flat. I really liked the characters, but no matter how much I tried, I couldn´t connect with them. There was not one moment where my heart hurt for the characters or where I wanted to cry for and with them. I wasn´t excited at all and often had the urge to skip ahead.
    The historic part is definitely the best part of the drama. This is a one-time-watch for me.


  • 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 7,413 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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