Review: Legend of the Blue Sea

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Comedy
Written by: Park Ji-eun
Directed by: Jin Hyuk, Park Seon-ho
Starring: Lee Min-ho, Jun Ji-hyun
Number of episodes: 20 + 1 Special
Average rating: 16.7% (TNmS)
Original network: SBS

Hi guys! Today I’ll be reviewing this drama that everyone is excited about. I’ll make this opening short, but I kind of hesitated to start this drama because many people compare this drama to My Love from Another Star which is written by the same author. And because My Love from Another Star is like the best drama I have ever watched in my entire life, I’m afraid to be disappointed. I’ll get into this part later on in my review. Oh and I probably will start watching Goblin tomorrow and make a review this week if it intrigues me enough. So shall we get started?

What’s it about?

The story is based on the Joseon historical tale about a love story between a man and a mermaid. Failed to fulfil their love at that time resulting in a fate that being replayed in the present day. The challenge is whether or not can they have the happily ever after that being delayed for hundred years and prevent the same tragedy from happening.

What to expect?

  • Great combination of comedy and melodrama
  • Lee Min-ho nailed his role once again
  • Super cute sidekick
  • Family drama and murder
  • Marvellous soundtrack (Lyn did it again!)
  • The best kind of happily ever after
  • Epilogues oh yes!

What not to expect?

  • Reincarnation of My Love from Another Star
  • Fast-moving plot
  • Crying your eyes out
  • Special episode that is actually special
  • Scary villains

My long review starts here.

Spoiler alert.

Okay, so I’ll start by comparing this drama with My Love from Another Star (to make it short, from now on I will refer it as Star). Not actually a comparison, but just some things that I found really similar between them both.

  • Both have epilogue at the end of some episodes where we can actually get extra information about the drama
  • Both have a scene at Namsan Tower
  • Both of our main characters went to a ski resort although the story is completely different
  • Both have male lead that can read his girl’s mind
  • Both have the 3 months time period for the alien and mermaid

After finishing Blue Sea, I must say that they should not be compared too heavily as they both stood out in their own way. But I really couldn’t help not to compare some things.

Now I will start the actual review of Blue Sea with things I like from the drama. I personally love the bittersweet tale in the Joseon era better than the present one. I’m not a fan of the tragic ending of course, but I love how the story is actually more “dangerous” and thrilling happened in the past rather than the present. I’m sorry but Star has the perfect combination of melodrama and thriller which is my favorite genre of K-drama. The present day Blue Sea story just lacked of that thrilling feels that made the whole story moving rather slowly.

I don’t think our villains: Ma Dae-young, Stepmom, and Heo Chi-hyun are scary enough to be villains. They didn’t scare me enough to kept me at the edge. In fact, 99% of the scene were predictable to the level that kind of disappointing. If you can’t scare me, at least entertain me like Lee Jae-kyung from Star did.

I actually find the mermaid tale really romantic and beautiful. Joon-jae found himself gravitating toward Chung without realizing the same as how Dam-ryung found his way back to Se-hwa when he had no memory of her at all. A well-served fantasy for me in drama/movie is when the “rules” are not too complicated. It’s fine if the writer could actually be very consistent throughout the show. But in most cases, I find myself developing so many questions regarding the fantasy part like how they could alter the principle they told us in the beginning so easily. In book/written form, one could spend hundred words explaining how a creature function in their unique way. Blue Sea actually kind of failed me in the fantasy part. Often we saw how Chung is afraid of water because she could turn into a mermaid. The problem is they never really showed us how it works. We could only imagine the visual in our head. Another thing that didn’t work for me is the reason Chung returned to the sea. A mermaid’s heart could beat on land as long as that one guy she fell in love with keeps on loving her. Joon-jae never stops loving her, but why on earth she has to return to the sea? In the last episode, we actually got the answer that Chung has became weak after being shot by gun so she needed to “heal” herself underwater. If that’s the case, did she need to actually erase her existence from everyone’s memory and be gone for good 3 years? It doesn’t really make no sense, but I wish the writer could make her departure more creative.

Aside from that, I think the romance itself is enjoyable. I don’t think I have ever loved Lee Min-ho this much. I watched most of his dramas from Boys Over Flowers, City Hunter, Faith, and Heirs but I never found myself falling for him. I mean, he got the look and never disappoint but I just never loved his previous dramas as much as this one. I literally found myself fangirling over Heo Joon-jae and Chung’ love story.

The comedy part? Didn’t really work but some parts are hilarious! I couldn’t stop laughing watching Chung and the merman’ scene when they sat side by side watching drama with plastic bags hooked on their ears to collect pearls from their tears. Oh Lord… But I love Jun Ji-hyun’s character way more in Star than this one.

Before you think that I complain way too much about the negative, I’m going to add some great things in this review. I love how straightforward Joon-jae’s reunion with his mom was. I saw how this drama had the ability to drag a story way too long and I’m relieved that at least they didn’t do the same with this one. Another great thing in this drama is how clever they intertwined the past and the present even to the smallest detail. I love watching Chung growing in both her character and personality by learning from her surrounding. And did I mention how adorable Tae-oh was? Omo.

So my final verdict is I enjoyed this drama so much despite its flaws but it’s not an amazing drama.


Objective: 9/10
Subjective: 8/10

Last but not least

If you’re a fan of Lee Min-ho, this is a must watch drama for you! His performance is beyond words here. This drama isn’t very light but I think many people will enjoy it because the story is just beautiful.


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