How can a mermaid from the Joseon era survive in modern society? Shim Chung is a mermaid who follows her one true love, a nobleman’s son named Kim Ryung from the Joseon Dynasty, to modern-day Seoul. Ryung’s modern doppelgänger is Heo Joon Jae, a highly skilled scam artist who first becomes interested in Shim Chung because of a jade bracelet worth $6 million that Shim Chung wears. With nowhere to go, Shim Chung is taken in by Joon Jae, who also finds his con partners, Jo Nam Doo and Tae Oh, hiding out in his home from a vengeful past victim of their scams. Shim Chung discovers a rival for Joon Jae’s heart in Cha Shi Ah, a researcher at KAIST who deals with ancient artifacts. When a dangerous killer named Ma Dae Yeong, sent by Joon Jae’s stepmother who wants to make her own son the heir to Joon Jae’s fortunes, can Shim Chung survive her strange new environment while also helping Joon Jae avoid the dangers that await him? (Source: Viki) ~~ Inspired by the Joseon legend from Korea's first collection of unofficial historical tales contained in a short story anthology "Eou Yadam" (어우야담) by Joseon-era scholar Yoo Mong In (유몽인). Edit Translation
Where to Watch The Legend of the Blue Sea
Cast & Credits
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.
Fun. Touching. Plus light-heartedly questioning the matter of course of human interaction"The Legend of the Blue Sea" refers to a very old Korean legend that originally tells the lovestory between a mermaid and a fisherman. However, the KDrama is just loosely based on this fairy tale.
In the rich Korean folklore of "Imuldam" (mostly oral shamanic songs, myths, fairy tales and folk tales) which is still very much alive today, there are frequently supernatural beings that move around in the earthly dimension - whether mermaids, a nine-tailed fox, a Goblin, or other spirits. These "Imuldam" are particularly inspired by shamanism and Buddhism. KDramas repeatedly pick up motifs from this tradition and find contemporary ways to keep them alive and reinterpret them. The special attraction arises from the fact that our human world receives a different value, appreciation and perspective through the eyes of those non-human creatures less influenced by time and space.
"The Legend of the Blue Sea" is based on a mermaid caught in a net by a fisherman in the early Joseon era. Then he fell in love with her. However, mermaids rarely feature in Korean folklore otherwise. The topic makes a nice link to western tradition and that's probably how it was intended. Also, parts of the KDrama play outside of South Korea - in Spain.
At the same time, the story takes up another, widespread and popular motif in KDrama orbit: reincarnation. Most of the time it is about souls that were not able to complete certain experiences in the past and are confronted with these or similar situations again in their present incarnation - in order to do things better or differently. In "The Legend of the Blue Sea", the historical fairy tale from back then and its version, transposed into the present day, are developed in parallel in two narrative threads. Just as the protagonist (and also another character) slowly (again) remember their past life, we, too, experience what really happened back then. Eventually the question arises whether life must necessarily repeat itself or else other decisions could be made.
Actress Jun Ji-hyun obviously enjoys her character as a humorous, mischievous mermaid, innocently and ignorantly experiencing the modern human world. With her performance she definitely jazzes the story up. Her sometimes almost naive trust, which is a bit reminiscent of a puppy in places, stands in warming contrast to the distanced, calculating coolness of her Jack of Hearts in 2017. The picture is completed by - here and there - being able to look back into their Joseon past, where he rather personifies an amorous, honorable nobleman.
Ultimately, this KDrama offers a well-designed dramaturgical variety of telling an enchanting love story in two different ways - and at the same time (with a twinkle of an eye) questioning the matter of course of human habits and interaction.
It´s fun and touching.