The Legend of the Blue Sea

The Legend of the Blue Sea (2016)

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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 9,119 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
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 (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 (1358)

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  • Reply
    giocare Jan 27, 2017

    I went into this show not expecting much and I was so blown away by the cast. I for one have never been a fan of Lee Min Ho but he's redeemed himself in my book. This easily became the show I looked forward to watching during the week. Mostly light and fluffy. Great job!!

  • Reply
    Mary28 Jan 27, 2017 - edited

    It was so much fun in the beginning, not too heavy, a few eps in the second half were very dramatic, but still watchable since it is a drama. The ending was simple and cute. The cast was amazing, so much love for Jeon ji hyun, I kept calling her my mermaid, I loved her.

  • Reply
    law Jan 27, 2017

    This kind of ending is what I am looking for.. Very satisfying ending,. Not a heavy one drama, that's why I love it..

  • Reply
    niceegan Jan 27, 2017 - edited

    Such a beautiful drama =) and I was finally able to see a drama with Lee Min Ho that I actually loved.
    The cast was amazing and the script too. I wish the writers did another season, with different characters, for example a mermaid guy.
    Anyway, the ending was perfect!!

  • Reply
    K_Ke Jan 27, 2017

    First half of the show was great, but the second half of the show i started losing my interest. :/ Only thing keeping me in it was Jeon Ji Hyun's amazing acting and she is god dam beautiful.Kinda disappointing, could have been alot better

  • Reply
    sunflower63 Jan 27, 2017 - edited

    I enjoyed the first half of this drama much more than the second half. In any case on the whole it was pleasant and entertaining as I mostly considered it a beautiful and poetic fairy tale.
    The best assets here were the two leads and in particular Jeon Ji Hyeon who really nailed her character and was extremely charismatic and fun but also Lee Min Ho was up to his usual high standard although I prefer him in roles such as in City Hunter and Faith.
    It could have been much better if the writers had planned on a more intriguing and original second half of the story. It was a relaxing drama which I recommend all the same. :)

  • Reply
    bokami Jan 27, 2017 - edited

    i saw plot hole in the last episode
    related to cellphones

    or its just me

    • Reply
      Gongyoooppa Jan 27, 2017 - edited
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      Fortuna Jan 28, 2017

      ^This should be spoiler-tagged, just in case. :)

  • Reply
    TheraTD Jan 27, 2017

    The lead actress's character is amazing, she never failed to amuse me. I wish to see her in similar role soon.
    And Lee min ho, sigh, is such an eye candy as usual.

  • Reply
    iamsarah Jan 26, 2017

    A very lovely drama

  • Reply
    Panda Jan 26, 2017

    such a beautiful drama
    10/10 from me

  • Reply
    murnau Jan 26, 2017 - edited

    I can't believe someone who wrote something as sweeping, full of emotion and consistent as You Who Came from the Stars could put out vacant trash like this. A reminder that there's no sure things in dramaland.

    I liked Sim-chung's relationship with the little girl and classy homeless lady, and Si-ah and her family.

    • Reply
      Panda Jan 26, 2017

      dont call it trash some of us loved it
      some of your favorite dramas are trash to me but im not gonna say that ^^

  • Reply
    Dalia Jan 26, 2017

    Beautiful end!!

  • Reply
    Sara Jan 26, 2017

    I mean this reminded me once again why I first fall in love with Lee minho

    and he definitely improved a loooooot guys I was impressed !! if you're a long time fan you would notice right away

    sure he still needs more improvement but you gotta give it to him he did so good here his emotions came natural to me

  • Reply
    Zuzanna Jan 26, 2017 - edited

    is it only me who thinks lee min ho is the same in every drama?.....

    • Reply
      Panda Jan 26, 2017

      how is that ?
      city hunter he was some rogue assassin
      in faith he was a weird historical warrior
      in this he is a mermaid lover
      but yeah i guess youre right

    • Reply
      xcrystalstarx Jan 27, 2017

      lol I think LMH plays almost the same kind of personality in every role (like the stereotypical leading male character in other dramas) - is that what Zuzanna might be referring to? I would love for him to play as a villain someday, it would be refreshing to watch since he's always playing the good guy roles

    • Reply
      Hanah Jan 27, 2017

      Omg mind reader. It was during the first few episodes that I had the sudden urge for LMH to play a villan. I think it was the hypnosis stuff maybe

    • Reply
      perspective Jan 28, 2017

      I think so too. His acting is monotone and wooden. He is so overrated. I don't know why people are crazy over him.

  • Reply
    XingBack Jan 26, 2017 - edited

    I wish they'd do a spinoff with Kim Seul Gi as the main lead ;p
    Anyway, overall I'm glad I stayed till the end, it was worth it...

    • Reply
      Mary28 Jan 27, 2017

      remember the other mermaid drama she acted in Surplus Princess, she was friends with the mermaid:) I love her so much. She is also doing an awesome job in Second to Last Love.

    • Reply
      XingBack Jan 27, 2017

      I know, I started loving her in Splash Splash Love, so it took me a while to realize it was her in Surplus Princess, and that she was paired with Nam Joo Hyuk...
      she's really great in anything she does... and she's staring in a 3ep drama called Queen of Ring that's coming out soon!

    • Reply
      Mary28 Jan 27, 2017 - edited

      Lol honestly it also took me a while to realize Nam Joo Hyuk played Big in Surplus Princess. I only remembered him in Cheese in the Trap, while I was watching his recent drama Weightlifting Fairy. I am so happy for both of them getting new roles. But now i hope she also gets longer dramas while being the main lead.


  • 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 9,119 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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