Legend of the Blue Sea

Legend of the Blue Sea (2016)

8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 8,350 users
Reviews: 27 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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manicmuse
26 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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Jasmine
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 (1351)

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    Kimtan1999 Jan 26, 2017

    I will miss this drama ♡ it was amazing ☆ and really funny

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    MrBanana Jan 26, 2017

    Wish lee min ho can get a 9.0+ drama next...

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    Kdramerzzz Jan 26, 2017
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    Cakeu Jan 26, 2017
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    mahgikkow23 Jan 25, 2017
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    BAEBunnij Jan 25, 2017 - edited
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      kingsqueen Jan 26, 2017
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      AnanyaS Jan 26, 2017
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      BAEBunnij Jan 27, 2017 - edited
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    foreverwitchy Jan 25, 2017 - edited
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    LPA Jan 25, 2017 - edited

    I have always loved the majority of Lee Min Ho's dramas, and the leading actress Jeon Ji Hyeon, was perfect for this role--her performance was outstanding! I liked watching all the episodes but felt that there was something a little lacking. At times Lee Min Ho was a bit boring (sorry), especially the scenes where he narrates. I've decided that, for me, it was because the music was really distracting! Pieces of the music were okay here and there, but I feel there was just too much music that was loud, annoying, and that it would have been so much better even without any music--it might have seemed more realistic. I never say that, because what would any drama be without it's music?! Background music that is...music that is interjected into just the right scene enhancing the feeling, but not overpowering. Sometimes it just felt even "cheesy"--it just didn't convey the right feeling or add anything to the substance of the drama. I even thought of watching this with the sound turned off and just having the subtitles showing, but I really didn't want to miss the actors' voices and other sound effects. Anyway, it was a pretty good drama and got even better as the episodes progressed. It was a good ending, but nothing amazing. I rated it between 8.0 and 8.5 out of 10. Take care.

    • Reply
      perspective Jan 28, 2017 - edited

      It's not really the music that made him seems boring even though the music in this drama wasn't memorable or great. LMH is just boring period. I couldn't finish all his dramas. All monotone and no emotions in his acting on all his dramas. I couldn't finish City Hunter and the Heirs. I came back many times to finish them but I couldn't. Faith the drama I had to make myself to finish it. I watched this drama for Jun Ji Hyun or else I would have drop it too. One very overrated actor.

  • Reply
    Ruyi Jan 25, 2017 - edited

    After completing this, I'm going to start Surplus Princess :)

    • Reply
      Ruyi Jan 26, 2017

      Really? I just watched episode 2 and it wasn't bad. (The princess is such a party girl XD) The story is a bit childish but also not xD...

    • Reply
      TeleriFerchNyfain Jan 26, 2017

      I thoroughly enjoyed it but unfortunately it had episodes cut so the ending was rushed & incomplete :(

    • Reply
      Ruyi Jan 26, 2017

      And it only has 10 episodes! Wish there was more... I hope there's a season 2!! (but I'm only on ep 3 and I'm wishing for a season 2 XD)

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      TeleriFerchNyfain Jan 26, 2017

      It was supposed to have 12 I believe

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      inactive Jan 26, 2017

      the first nine episodes were very enjoyable, but the finale was kinda disappointing (which is understandable).
      and same, i desperately wanted a second season after i finished it.

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    CorinneKeo Jan 25, 2017

    this was waay too corny even for me..

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    Ruyi Jan 25, 2017 - edited

    Many people are saying it is overrated and I agree. I just completed the drama and I was going to rate it 7.5 but I rated 8.0 because of the comedy, cast and I loved Cha Si Ah X Tae Oh and Heo JoonJae and Shim Cheong together <3 Those are probably the only things I liked about the drama... I thought it would be a daebak drama because of LMH and JJH but it was actually pretty boring...

    • Reply
      MareSoares Jan 25, 2017

      I have not seem the las one yet. But I think that the beginning was more interesting then now :| I also think that the last episode seems useless. :/

    • Reply
      Ruyi Jan 25, 2017

      yeah,i agree the beginning was interesting but something happened and it became boring... But it was a okay drama, not THAT bad. Shim Cheong saved the drama with her humour and perfection XD

    • Reply
      MareSoares Jan 25, 2017

      I think that was the number of ep xD they did 20, but actually 16 could be enough.

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    monqiue Jan 25, 2017 - edited

    how i watch this?

  • Reply
    OppaHasLongLegs Jan 25, 2017

    the last ep was so so for me, it could have included more details.

  • Reply
    Janey Jan 25, 2017 - edited

    When this show first came out, I fell in love, hard and fast. It was innovative, modern and almost felt like an adult Disney story. I loved how unique it was. I would keep replaying the scene when Chung tries to mug the girl. However, somewhere towards episode 8, I felt myself slipping away. I don't know if it's because that's around when Goblin first started and held my attention but this show started to feel a little duller and I ended up losing my attention and skipping some scenes. While it's a REALLY good show, I think that they lost that magic that was there in the beginning and ended up being more of a kdrama. Goblin offered cinematic experiences and well thought out plot lines while this show was funny but became overly melo towards the end.

    I would still recommend this to everyone, its a great show and definitely on my top 10 list but in the end, it's unfortunate that Goblin came along and set a standard that no one (in my opinion) can beat.

    • Reply
      Kuro Jan 25, 2017 - edited
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    Rose_ Jan 25, 2017

    I have to say this drama is overrated!

Details

  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

    Drama
  • Episodes:

    20
  • Aired:

    Nov 16, 2016 to Jan 25, 2017
  • Aired On:

    Wednesday, Thursday
  • Network:

    SBS
  • Duration:

    60 min.

Statistics

  • Score:

    8.3 (scored by 8,350 users)
  • Ranked:

    #301
  • Popularity:

    #15

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