The Legend of the Blue Sea

The Legend of the Blue Sea (2016)

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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 9,139 users
Reviews: 29 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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28 people found this review helpful
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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 (19)Recommendations

Both about past lives and how that affected the characters' current lives.

In both dramas, the leads remember their past.

Both have supernatural elements outside of the past life/future life trope.

Both have wonderful OSTs. CT is more artfully done while Legend is more quirky and fun.
Recommended by Irene
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

Comments (1359)

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    Elshan Feb 25, 2017

    This was LMH 's best drama after city hunter

  • Reply
    Sharn Feb 22, 2017 - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      neaa Feb 24, 2017
      Reveal Spoiler »
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    neaa Feb 21, 2017
    Reveal Spoiler »
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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'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.


  • 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 9,139 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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