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.
Legend Of The Blue Sea (2016-17)
Kim Dam Ryeong (Lee Min Ho) was a nobleman of the Joseon era who fell in love with a mermaid named Se Hwa (Jun Ji Hyun). Sadly, their love couldn’t last long as they died an unfortunate death. Several years later, Kim Dam Ryeong is reborn as Hae Joon Jae (Lee Min Ho) who is a con artist duping people of their money. On a vacation, he happens to meet a strange woman (Jun Ji Hyun) for is wearing a priceless bracelet. In order to attain the bracelet, he befriends her and they travel around tackling gangsters in Spain till the strange woman decides to leave Joon Jae and return to the place from where she came from i.e. the ocean. Before leaving, she erases Joon Jae’s memories of their time together in Spain. A few months later, she visits Seoul in the hope of seeing Joon Jae once again. This time they meet to never separate again.
Let’s weigh Legend of the Blue Sea on our show beam balance and see what was good about it and what wasn’t.
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.
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]]
Aww and Wow moments
Episode 2: The fight sequence in Spain is hilarious. Joon Jae feeling proud of himself for fighting three men unaware of the fact that Cheong has single-handedly tackled more than 15 men behind him. Lee Min Ho is simply adorable in this scene.
Episode 4: Cheong has just arrived in Seoul and she sees fireworks for the first time. Mistaking it for a gun and she jumps on Joon Jae to protect him from it. Aww….sho shweeeeet of her to protect her love first.
Episode 5: Cheong is doing a part-time job to earn some money for Joon Jae. Joon Jae secretly follows her and pays people to take the pamphlets she is distributing and is later spotted by Cheong for being in the same vicinity. The whole scene is one of the best scenes in the show.
Episode 7: Jo Jung Suk’s cameo was highly entertaining. This man nailed it as Hwa Shin in his hilarious drama Jealousy Incarnate and was quite funny in this show too. Do watch out for his two-episode cameo.
Episode 9: Cheong wears something new and she looks pretty. Tae Ho takes a picture of hers and Joon Jae instantly grabs his phone to delete her picture before sending himself a copy. He tells Tae Ho that is isn’t right to click someone’s picture without their permission. Liar! He is just possessive of her.
Episode 10: In the drama, if there was a couple I enjoyed watching the most then it was Tae Oh and Shi Ah. I loved their little story where she thinks that Tae Ho likes her and she tries to discourage him from liking her. It’s so funny when you know who Tae Ho actually likes. I loved these two together.
Episode 20: Though I love Lee Min Ho, I have never liked his kissing scenes as I feel he opens his mouth a little too awkwardly. But the kiss in this episode was something I have never seen him pull off before. I will give the credit to the director for the good camera angles as one can see his dimple and also the jaw line that was last seen in Boys Before Flowers.
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.
I give this drama 3 out of 5 ratings. 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.