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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  • Reply
    Lala_Chi Jan 30, 2017

    I wanted to see more of Tae Oh and Shi Ah :(

  • Reply
    soepspaansenler Jan 30, 2017 - edited

    so at the last episode when minho kissed her i def saw some tongue o_o

    • Reply
      Faa Jan 31, 2017

      because LMH is a good kisser bruh. x)

    • Reply
      soepspaansenler Jan 31, 2017

      yep It was so much better than all those frozen kisses haha but i was still shocked ;)

    • Reply
      RhopalocerA Feb 1, 2017

      I saw that too ..o.O and I'm shocked can't believe my eyes..

    • Reply
      soepspaansenler Feb 1, 2017

      haha online i saw many people being shocked we were not alone ;)

  • Reply
    rationalbeings Jan 30, 2017

    As other reviewers posted, the first half was better than the second. I'm not sure why they went down the makjang road. There were so many better routes this drama could have taken. I couldn't really feel the chemistry between the leads, their kiss scenes were a little bland. And even though Jeon Ji Hyeon did a good job, her character was better in Love from Another Star. Her character in this drama was a little too weak (despite the physical strength). Also I feel like they conman aspect of Min Ho's character was ignored and not explored enough. I wish they could have made it more interesting through that instead of forgetting about altogether.

    It's a fun watch but nothing remarkable, which is unfortunate because the cast was good and the story was really good in the beginning. I like the way everyone was connected to the past and their roles in the present.

    Unfortunately you can't help but compare this drama to Goblin as there are a lot of similarities but Goblin did everything better. From the friendships to the romance, to the plot line and the chemistry in Goblin is much stronger between the main leads. Because of that, at least for me, the Legend of Blue Sea couldn't compare and the makjang aspect made me lose interest.

  • Reply
    xcrystalstarx Jan 30, 2017

    are they done releasing all of the background OSTs now? I really liked the music playing at the end of ep 15 (where HJJ's crossing the street and the ending credits rolling), unfortunately couldn't find it on youtube... wish I could hear a longer version of it T_T

  • Reply
    Panda Jan 29, 2017

    I really enjoyed this. Fun and cute drama with a little mystery and supernatural genre it was really good for me

  • Reply
    Faa Jan 29, 2017 - edited

    I might gave this 8.5 and Goblin a 9 but i love LOTBS' ending more because the ending just perfectly fit my kind of a "warm happy ending" <3

  • Reply
    ringmybell Jan 29, 2017

    I loved it a lot. <3

  • Reply
    Weirdestone Jan 28, 2017 - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      kingsqueen Jan 28, 2017
      Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    0hellgirl0 Jan 28, 2017

    this was hard to finish <.<

  • Reply
    mokacheer Jan 28, 2017 - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      Rath Jan 28, 2017

      Definitely not :(

    • Reply
      rationalbeings Jan 30, 2017
      Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    Fortuna Jan 28, 2017

    I really enjoyed watching this drama. It's similar to MLFAS. Yes, it could've been shorter (16-18 episodes would've been enough) and I think it could've done without the unnecessary melodramatic event towards the end but overall, it was a satisfying light, good-feel drama. <3 Perfect after something like Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, lol. Shin Won Ho is adorable here! I've also become a Lee Min Ho and Jeon Ji Hyeon, whose character was just great!

  • Reply
    sarang Jan 28, 2017

    I don't think anyone on earth can look as graceful as JJH does in all of those underwater scenes. Overall this drama was fun and light and picked up some pace towards the end. It deserves a higher rating in my opinion.

  • Reply
    arbios Jan 28, 2017

    i like this drama but the first 10 episodes were way more fun
    still had fun waching it

  • Reply
    SaeedKhan Jan 28, 2017

    This was quite an interesting show

  • Reply
    Alexandrina Jan 27, 2017 - edited

    Started out strong, but it fell downhill for me after 10 episodes. The only reason I finished was because of Lee Minho and the fact that this is his last drama before enlisting in the military. :(

    • Reply
      rationalbeings Jan 30, 2017

      WHAT! I didn't know it was his last drama before military...I'm not a huge fan but I will miss him on screen. He's like staple actor every year you expect a new drama from him :(((


  • 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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