The Legend of the Blue Sea

The Legend of the Blue Sea (2016)

8.3
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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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manicmuse
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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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 (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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    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.

  • Reply
    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
      Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    Rose_ Jan 25, 2017

    I have to say this drama is overrated!

  • Reply
    Asianstan Jan 25, 2017

    I'm not really want to finish this.

  • Reply
    Maria Jan 24, 2017 - edited

    I dropped it on ep8. Does it get better to watch?

    • Reply
      KmjSsk Jan 25, 2017

      honestly no... the drama is overrated

  • Reply
    BeKaiLLe Jan 24, 2017

    so, watching this. I like it but it came to a point where i wanted more of the ajhumma drama. It was so good and the woman who had hired Hoo Joon Jae's mom is bloody brilliant.

  • Reply
    HAVA-RAVA Jan 23, 2017 - edited

    Wow this is so great ;W; I didn't really have any expectations but I like this one a lot. So much feels ;W; I accidentally started this one week before it finishes and just watched 19th ep so now I have to wait in despair. (You need to know here I don't watch dramas when they air)

    • Reply
      TheraTD Jan 24, 2017

      Hahahahaha I'm exactly the same. I don't know why I started it before it finished airing, argh ><
      I loved it a lot, both leads are adorable

    • Reply
      HAVA-RAVA Jan 24, 2017

      I thought it finished last week so I started it. Then I confirmed if it really finishes that week and found out it finishes week later :'Ddd

  • Reply
    Gudevanya Jan 23, 2017 - edited

    Well it's not so bad but I'm on 17th episode and I'm already struggling to finish it. At first I only started watching it because of Jeon Ji Hyeon, which is fabilous and Lee Min Ho, I can't stand him. I didn't feel the emotion. Even the kisses were like he was kissing a wall or something. :D
    And the plot - it's really repeating. I liked the part where he find his mother though. But the main idea wasn't so good I think.

    • Reply
      Alessa Jan 24, 2017 - edited

      The idea of the "mermaid in the city" wasn't bad but... I think there's not enough chemistry between them and the writing is not fabulous.

    • Reply
      Jay Jan 24, 2017

      He must've caught the 'kissing a wall' germ from Park Shin Hye...

    • Reply
      perspective Jan 28, 2017

      Glad I'm not the only one that can't stand him. His kiss scenes lasted only 2 or 3 seconds and he couldn't even got it right. I feel Jun Ji Hyun's talent was wasted in this drama because of him. Had it been another actor, I think the drama would be more watchable.

  • Reply
    Gongyoooppa Jan 23, 2017

    Nearing the end im gonna miss it

  • Reply
    Panda Jan 23, 2017

    Cant wait for the last episode ♡♡

  • Reply
    chandni Jan 23, 2017

    Loved this drama....before finish it I already plan to watch it again....

  • Reply
    Hanah Jan 22, 2017
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    Herison Jan 22, 2017 - edited

    Cha Shi Ah and Tae Oh are a cute couple.

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 9,119 users)
  • Ranked:

    #313
  • Popularity:

    #17

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