The Legend of the Blue Sea (2016) poster

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Completed
manicmuse
59 people found this review helpful
Mar 9, 2017
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 3
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, 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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Completed
Jasmine
23 people found this review helpful
Jan 26, 2017
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
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 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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Completed
MariKim
9 people found this review helpful
Jan 30, 2017
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 3.0
Summary: There was nothing exceptional about the drama or the storyline, but if you like fairytales and the fantasy realm of KDramaWorld give it try.

+/- Plot:
Is anyone feeling the trend of reincarnation this season? I mean the two most competing shows (in my opinion) of Winter '16-'17 both had this weaved throughout their storylines. I love the idea of reincarnation and how our fates are continually interwoven, especially how romanticized it is in the KDramaWorld. I also liked the fantasy aspect of the drama with Jeon Ji Hyeon as a mermaid, I could see there was a lot of mermaid theorizing that went on behind the scenes and I appreciated that as I felt that it was a nice touch. As for the actual storyline, it's main focus was the romance of course, but they also tried to add an element of suspense/thriller at some points and I felt that was the additional route they wanted to take they should have had a bit more background on Ma Dae Young's character and why he had such grievances against the world. Although they slightly touched on this in one of the last few episodes I wasn't completely satisfied.
As for the romance and the light-hearted areas of the plot I thought they were well planned out and came full circle at the end. I will say that there were some pretty funny/cute moments that make the drama memorable.

+/- Acting/Cast:
Jeon Ji Hyeon is the reason I actually started watching this show. I think she is amazingly beautiful and innocently comedic, a rare combination to come across. I love how she's not afraid of putting her beautiful image on the line to pull out some comedy. She's slightly reminiscent of Mary Tyler Moore, which I greatly admire. Not only does she have beauty, she's also very talented as an actress in my opinion. Although her character wasn't too complex, I think she played it very well and it was fitting.
I'm sorry to say it but I'm not a fan of Lee Min Ho, there's just some aspects of his acting which I find subpar. It felt like he was crying every other episode, and not that I object to a man crying (he had just reason to), it's just that I didn't feel the conviction or the heart throughout the scenes. I probably would've been more moved if they didn't have so many scenes of him bawling his eyes out making his make-up splotchy. And when he performs his 'cutesy' romantic scenes he just doesn't make me swoon like other actors, it just doesn't feel genuine.
Unfortunately, I wasn't a huge fan of the romance between Lee Min Ho and Jeon Ji Yeon. I felt that there was just something missing between the two, they didn't quite have the spark as some other small screen actors. I had much more favor for Ji Yeon and Soo Hyun in Love from Another Star.
As for the other characters, they did pretty well as a whole. I throughly enjoyed Lee Hee Joon and thought he played his part extremely well; he really kept me questioning him through the end. And Shin Won Ho was especially adorable throughout the show, although he didn't have many lines he still made me giddy with his smirks. (I admit, I was initially opposed to his ending, but I'll accept it since I wanted a happy ending for Cha Shi Ah too).
As for the bad guys, I will say that I was put off by Kang Seo Hee and Ma Dae Young, but I've had more burning hatred for other characters in different dramas before. They were fitting for the roles, however, I felt they could have taken it up a notch. And ultimately, I just felt sorry for Lee Ji Hoon's character. I wasn't in love with him, I just slightly felt for him and his circumstances. Sad to say on Lee Min Ho's part, but Ji Hoon's final moments in the show might have been one of the only times when I was even slightly close to tearing up.

+/- Music:
The music was decent, I mean there was nothing that stood out about it. I would say the only song that really stood out to me was Lee Sun Hee's track, which is because I'm a big fan of her. Other than that, there was nothing outstanding, but the OST did it's part in the drama.

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Completed
kingsqueen
18 people found this review helpful
Jan 26, 2017
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 3
Overall 7.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 6.0
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 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. Overall, I gave this an 7.5. It was a fairly 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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Completed
YamaneAlMohammad
10 people found this review helpful
Feb 25, 2017
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.5
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
Still watchable but nothing wow, overall story was good but too predictable. It took me weeks to finish the last few episodes of this drama tbh, I think 16 episodes would've been enough and I would've probabaly given it a higher rating then. Best parts of the drama are the funny scenes with Jun Ji Hyun, escpecially Jo Jung Suk appearance in ep7-8 (that was really funny xD). The 2 lead actors had no chemistry at all, a bit disappointing.
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Completed
voodoomoocow
7 people found this review helpful
Mar 2, 2017
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.5
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 3.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
Initially it was pretty enjoyable, however it could have told the story with 16 episodes. The main arch completed around then so as a result the remaining episodes meandered slowly through predictable one dimensional plot devices of "Will They? Won't They?" even though we all already know the answer so you gotta eyeroll your way through repetitive and cringey affirmations of love and loss to the end. Plus the director just rehashed everything that we already saw in You Who Came From the Stars so it didn't feel as fresh.

Great acting by all the main and supporting actors, though, and I do love the juxtaposition with the Joseon period to now. The cinematography during the old scenes were visually stunning and added an extra layer of interest. I think the director learned a lot from YWCFtS and you can tell he stepped up his game for these scenes. The first half is worth a watch just for these scenes.

It drags on way way way too long though.

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Completed
Yeonjun
4 people found this review helpful
Jul 2, 2017
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
I was so busy that's why I just finished the Korean drama just now. But here we go!

"STORYLINE OF ME BEFORE WATCHING IT"
At first, I was not going to watch this because Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo has the same airing week as LOTBS and I feel like the viewers liked WFKBJ more than this and some say that it's boring and cliche, so I don't want to watch it. Then after months, a friend recommend me to watch it but I doubt that I will like this drama. But after finishing this, I think that LOTBS is GREAT! WFKBJ is better but LOTBS is great too! Here are the reasons why:

PLOT/STORY - I really like the story. I don't know why you think that it's boring. Yes, I have to agree that it's a bit convoluted or complex because of things going on, but that's what it is all about to be honest, to have it's thrill and having questions in our mind about what will happen next. Yes, I also have to agree that it is predictable, maybe it is just me that likes the drama being predictable on some scenes. But some scenes are not predictable for me, I was always questioning myself about what will happen next (maybe I am a clueless person that's why I can't think outside the box LOL). I love the reincarnation idea too! Well to be honest, I'm almost going to drop the drama because of the start of episode 1, but because of the funny moments of the mermaid, it made me want to watch more.

This drama made me laugh because of the mermaid & the cast, clenched my teeth and curse words because of the villain, & tense because of all the thriller. And it really ended out well. I gave it 9 and not 10 because even though it's a great drama, there are still questions that are unanswered and I wish that you made the ending very detailed. I'm not a harsh & strict critic so yeah. :D I cried but just a few seconds for the main couple but it didn't emotionally hit me COMPLETELY, but it made me emotional though.. Like 75%. So in short, the story was great and even though it's complex, it still works for me and gave me mixed emotions.

ACTING/CAST - Okay, I got to agree with you that the main characters which are the couples (Cheong and Joon Jae) missed something. I don't know if it is that chemistry or closure. There are times that I smile because of their sweet scenes but the couples didn't made me jump with joy and scream (because that's how I will react when they have great chemistry), but I didn't. I just smiled and cry a bit. I kinda giggled though with Cha Shi Ah and Tae Oh's development because they are so cute. I think the cast did well. The villain character (the woman) really made me clenched my teeth and scream with anger, because she is that good. Other casts did so well too so I don't have problems with the others. I think Lee Min Ho's acting is great, what the eff are y'all saying?! He doesn't have emotion sometimes because that's the personality of the character. Good job!

MUSIC - The songs are not memorable though but it really fits to the drama. I don't get why you find the theme song cheesy, it sounds perfectly fine for me (or maybe because I can't understand the lyrics because I am not Korean)

REWATCH VALUE - I am not that kind of person to rewatch some korean dramas but I would watch this again but for a very long time.

I'm going to miss this drama though because it is really good. I would recommend you guys to watch it. :) (for those who are way more outdated than me that didn't watch this yet LOL)

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Completed
AlphaGirlReviews
4 people found this review helpful
Sep 28, 2017
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 5.0
Story 5.5
Acting/Cast 5.5
Music 4.0
Rewatch Value 3.5
This review may contain spoilers
Legend of the Blue Sea was the much-awaited show of 2016 as it marked the return of Korean heartthrob, Lee Min Ho to television dramas after almost three years. Moreover, the show had Min Ho paired with Jun Ji Hyun who is one of the most popular and highest paid Korean actresses which meant a big deal. The hype around the show led to high expectations, which the show couldn’t live up to. Legend of the Blue Sea had a lot of things that worked against it including a dull storyline. Its paper-thin plot made the drama suffer and despite Min Ho and Ji Hyun doing their best nothing could help lift the drama beyond a point of stagnancy.

Let’s weigh Legend of the Blue Sea on our show beam balance and see what was good about it and what wasn’t.

Good Weights
Funny Moments: With actors like Lee Min Ho and Jun Ji Hyun the one department you can’t go wrong with is, comedy. The two actors have good comic timing, which is evident in the drama. Scenes where Joon Jae is jealous or where he tries to act smart in front of Cheong are too funny. Similarly, when Shim Cheong is new to the city and innocently believes whatever people tell her or when she over thinks about Joon Jae’s actions are too adorable.



Bad Weights
Chemistry: Lee Min Ho and Jun Ji Hyun were good individually but as a couple, they just didn’t click for me. They did not look convincingly in love let alone be soul mates for past several births. It was only towards the end that I got to see some chemistry between them but by then I had lost interest in the show. Lead pair chemistry is pivotal for a romantic drama and when the main ingredient is missing the dish becomes too bland to taste.  
Predictable: I wasn’t sold to the whole reincarnation scenario or even the history repeating itself angle. I felt the writers desperately tried to make the story interesting by constantly shifting the role of an antagonist from one person to another. I found the story twists too feeble to feel surprised by it. I could even see through some of the supposed twists that were there only to divert the viewer’s attention when in reality it had no greater purpose in the story. [[Spoiler]] For instance, Nam Doo suddenly seemed to turn evil be siding with the step-brother, Chi Hyun. It was so evident that the angle was added only to take the viewers by surprise. Nam Doo was a positive character all through the show, making him negative in the last few episodes for the sake of a twist would have been too lame.[[Spoiler]]


This drama has a lot of funny moments but sadly it doesn’t touch the highest point of entertainment. Even when it has a lot of things working for it, it still seems like there is nothing alluring about it. The drama wasn’t boring by any means. It just wasn’t enticing or engaging enough for me to want to catch up with every episode. Legend Of The Blue Sea could have reached greater heights with the kind of cast and budget it had. Sadly, the story failed the two actors who did everything they could to save the drama.

Legend Of The Blue Sea is a decent drama with several enjoyable moments. Watch this show only if you are a Lee Min Ho or a Jun Ji Hyun fan because these two are the only reasons to watch the drama.

Originally posted on www.alphagirl.in

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Completed
Linky
7 people found this review helpful
Jan 26, 2017
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.0
So lovely! Legend of the Blue Sea is delightful to watch. It's a fun mix of romance, comedy, action and fantasy. The story follows reincarnated star crossed lovers across to 2 timelines - with the Joseon timeline as a dramatic backdrop and the modern day story played out with more comedy and romance. I was surprised at how cute and funny most of the drama is. Even my kids laughed at all the "mermaid out of water" antics. Fans of both the stars will not be disappointed and fans of "My Love from Another Star" will most likely really enjoy it too. Though the plot and characters are totally different, they have a similar feel (but I would say this drama is a few notches lighter in tone and doesn't really try to be as emotionally heart wrenching).

Jeon Ji Hyeon is my favorite thing about this drama. Cheong, the mermaid character is strong, endearing and so funny. Lee Min Ho's con artist character is likable as well. Joon Jae seems similar to characters he's played in other dramas - kind of arrogant, charismatic and, underneath it all, a good guy. But I like him best when he is acting cute and happy. They are both so good. There is a reason they are so popular. Though this is mostly lighthearted, the sad emotional moments are stirring as well. I found myself laughing out loud (especially in the first half of the drama), crying, and swooning over the beauty and adorableness of the stars. Each episode is a visual treat.

The supporting characters are fun to watch too. The relationship between Joon Jae's roommates and the mermaid's friendships with the eclectic characters she befriends are sweet and satisfying. I enjoyed the little bit of Ocean's 11 feel with a couple of plot points that took me completely by surprise. The pacing is good with each episode revealing something new. The storylines don't get overly dragged out or complicated as they often do in dramas. The flashback scenes are a little too frequent and there may be things you can nitpick about some story details. But it is such a pretty and fun ride I can easily overlook it. This drama does what romance should do - leave your heart feeling warm and melty.

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Completed
ManaSura
3 people found this review helpful
Jun 12, 2017
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 9.0
So, Legend of the blue sea.
At first I wasn't warmed up to the idea that is this drama, for mostly the exact same reasons why everybody was looking forward to it and dying to watch it.
To rely on a popular drama and sell another one that's neither a sequel/prequel, remake or either a spin-off, by advertising it has a similar feel and story to it + share the same director and main female lead, hmmm to me that doesn't make any sense.
But I put all that aside and gave the first episode a try. Good thing I only did that after the drama had finished airing completely, for boy! was I hooked.
I loved the bad boy lead! loved the quirky comedy, the past & present story lines intermingling, but above all simply enjoyed watching the characters interactions to pieces. I found Lee MIn Ho (strangely) delivering a very strong performance, and (as expected) Jun Ji-Hyun who was just perfect as a cute, curious & lovable mermaid. I liked the story too and how it unfolded, especially appreciated that the method used to build and maintain a connection between the two leads was believable and not so reeking of drama-script-made-up encounters and unbelievable coincidences like many Kdramas fall prey of.
I also loved the overall pace of the drama, and rarely felt bored with the story (though sometimes I was bored with some characters portrayal or interactions esp. the villains). Also appreciated that the Joseon story unfolded early on, leaving well-deserved space to focus on the present seoul story.
I have to admit that certain characters' past actions portrayal felt a bit rushed and insufficiently accounted for, in a way that really didn't help flesh them out and invest me in their drama (the father). Some other characters' actions were a bit ill-written, and seemed a bit contradicting with the eventual portrayal of their strong and independent personality that it was difficult to relate to them let alone sympathize with (the mother). But still, the drama somehow succeeded in getting me invested in not only the fantasy and romance which are the main two lines of the drama, but also the family drama and friendship, I was crying in scenes involving both the two above mentioned characters so I can't say that my deeper considerations of their not-free-of-flaws script, or the gripes I have against how they were written, prevented me from enjoying the angst and drama intended overall.

Liked the music, the camerawork and direction. And LOVED the scenario.
Just admitting that after I had completed the drama that I was compelled to rewatch the thing over again (though of course with a lot of fast-forwarding and skipping all the scenes that don't involve the leads) is enough proof how I enjoyed it.

I totally recommend this drama to anyone who enjoys a bit of fantasy mixed up with comedy, and a little spice of drama and thriller.

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Completed
QRose
4 people found this review helpful
Jan 27, 2017
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 6.5
I liked this drama for the creativity and the fantasy and the romance and comedy and a bit of mystery
--- I also enjoyed the acting I felt as if they are all good firends I loved it

The only thing I did not like is really the ending a bit felt a bit rushed and not fully resolved
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Completed
Chloe
27 people found this review helpful
Dec 10, 2016
20 of 20 episodes seen
Completed 7
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
I don't usually write reviews but I felt the urge to do so in this case.
This drama is something you don't see everyday. It is just so well done in my oppinion. Already rewatched all the available episodes thirce!
The actors, the music, the atmosphere, everything is perfect.
It also has so many life lessons, and really makes you think about life itself. I recommend to anyone to watch this, you will not regret it. The comedy in this drama is something I rarely met. I actually laughed till I cried.

10/10 this is a must watch!

Also if you enjoy fantasy/mystery/sci fi and comedy this is just for you. It resembles somehow my love from another star, given the fact that we have the same actress in both and the story has the same feeling to it.

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