Legend of the Blue Sea

Legend of the Blue Sea (2016)

8.3
Your Rating:
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 5,463 users
Reviews: 19 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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Jasmine
14 people found this review helpful
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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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kingsqueen
13 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Jan 25, 2017
  • Overall 8.5
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.5
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
I really enjoyed Legend of the Blue Sea very much. I was prepared to give this a higher rating than I did, but there were a few things that kept this from being perfect. The story was very good, I enjoyed the reincarnation/past lives aspect and the flashback scenes to the Joseon counterparts. I wish those parts had been able to continue further into the story. The writer really set up her read more myth very well. I've heard some say that it was too reminiscent of My Love From Another Star, and I can see where the set up was very similar in style. I enjoyed all the characters, though, and the writer did put in some good twists to the story. There were a few inconsistencies, but nothing that distracted too much from my enjoyment. And although the ending was good, I felt like it still could have been better. They did a good job at wrapping up, but I didn't feel like they spent enough time with our main couple for the last episode.

This drama was actually my first experience watching Lee Min Ho. I thought I finally got why he was such a "big deal" a few years back. (No, I have never watched BOF and probably won't!) I liked him enough to find another drama of his to watch while waiting for new episodes. While he impressed me fairly well in the first part, I found that he lacked emotional punch in some scenes toward the end which lowered my acting score a bit. Jun Ji Hyun, though, has become one of the actresses that I enjoy very much. She has a great comedic sense and stands out from a lot of the Korean actresses I see. She did an excellent job in this show as well. I thought all the side characters were interesting and well-acted for their roles. Especially all the actors doing double duty as past and present characters.

The music was pretty good, but nothing that was extraordinary. The theme song was cheesy but still somewhat catchy. It's not something I would like or enjoy listening to outside of being the theme song for this show, though. So, it was good for its purpose.

I think this has good rewatch value, even if I myself may not rewatch it. (Unless I can convince my husband to give it a try!)

Overall, I gave this an 8.5. It was a very solid drama and I would recommend it to anyone that likes romance and fantasy elements. I think this show airing during the same time frame as Goblin may hurt its ratings a bit, but it was still a great show and I don't have any major criticisms for it.
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Make a Recommendation More recs (14)Recommendations

Both dramas are about a mermaid/merman and human falling in love.
Recommended by foreverwitchy
Same person wrote both dramas. Both have fantasy characters present in them. In Legend of the Blue Sea the main female lead is a mermaid and in You Who Came from the Stars the main male lead is an alien. Both drama's have the same female actress playing the parts of the female lead. There are a few other actors/actresses that make appearances in both dramas.
Recommended by EricaBratton

Comments (1294)

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  • Reply
    Jhao 4 hours ago

    i'm in episode 9 already and I stopped. I got bored. sorry. :(

  • Reply
    Lavendova 1 day ago - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
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    Elshan 2 days ago

    This was LMH 's best drama after city hunter

  • Reply
    Sharn 5 days ago - edited
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      neaa 3 days ago
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    neaa 5 days ago
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    Michelle Jane 7 days ago

    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 7 days ago

    Its a disappointment.

  • Reply
    Andro 7 days ago

    Generally I didn't like the romantic parts

  • Reply
    Shina 8 days ago

    The plot is so 'déjà vu', 'Splash' remake.... But the drama remain acceptable nothing wow: 20 Eps is too long.

  • Reply
    usagi 8 days ago - 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
    dearD4NI 8 days ago

    i'm just now noticing this, but the synopsis is sooo wrong...

  • Reply
    Mia_Chan 10 days ago

    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 12 days ago

    I lost interest as the story progressed but still this is watchable... 7/10

  • Reply
    silvermcv 13 days ago

    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 14 days ago - 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 romance...here's your drama.

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 5,463 users)
  • Ranked:

    #336
  • Popularity:

    #14

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