Where to watch: Netflix India
Looking for a show with the very popular Lee Min-ho? Well, here you have it in the 2016 TV series Legend of the Blue Sea!
Starring: Gianna Jun, Lee Min-ho, Lee Hee-jun
Created by: Jin Hyuk, Park Ji-eun
This 2016 K-Drama is based on a short story from a collection of historical Joseon Legend tales from Korea’s past. It is compiled by a Joseon-era expert Yoo Mong-in. I am reviewing older shows as well as the newer ones for those of us who want to play catch-up with the craze for K-Dramas.
The story is about a mermaid from the 16th Century who fell in love with a nobleman Kim Ryung of the Joseon dynasty. The star-crossed lovers do not have a happy ending. They promise each other that they will be together one day.
Mermaid Se Hwa or Sim Cheong as she is called in the modern-day finds Kim Ryung in Heo Joon-Jae. He is attracted to her for her priceless jade bracelet thinking she is an ordinary human. He is a scam artist. After a series of adventures and a growing attraction between the two, he returns to Seoul. But he has no memories of Sim Cheong. She follows him to Seoul by swimming across the oceans.
Since the mermaid comes to land, she can survive for a short time only. Her one true love must fall in love with her. How Heo Joon-jae realizes who she is and does he falls for her again? This is a major part of the plot. In between all this, Heo Joon-jae has recurring dreams of another life. In this past life, he is with Sim Cheong and their love fails. The same villains from the past have the same enmity in modern times with the young couple. Due to circumstances, Hae Joon-Jae and his parents are all separated and each is living their own life. Will, they be reunited or whether the enemies succeed in their nefarious plot forms the rest of the plot.
My Take on the Show Legend of the Blue Sea:
The story starts off well with a handsome Lee Min-ho as Hae Joon-Jae in the past. He is in a beautiful costume that suits him very well. Jun Ji-hyun is beautiful as the mermaid both in the past and in modern costumes. The supporting cast of Lee Hoo-jun and Jinyoung are entertaining. Initially Spain is the backdrop to the adventures of Shim Cheong and Hae Joon-Jae. The stories from the past are tightly interwoven with flashbacks by Joon-Jae to the 16th century.
Somehow the story slows down as it moves from Spain to Seoul. Shim Cheong and Joon-Jae’s romance should have been great but is slow in execution. The villains plot and plot but things move slowly in that part of the story. We wait tensely to see if the broken family of Joon-Jae reunites. The villainy from Shin Hae Sun and her partner in crime are simplistic.
Despite the flaws in the pace and storyline, the love story between Shim Cheong and Hae Joon-Jae draws you. They are a beautiful couple on screen. The Little Mermaid story is woven into the plot for the heart-wrenching moments. The incidents where Cheong makes friends with people on the street are worth watching. When she has an accident you’re with her every step of the way – will she make it? The way Joon-Hae reads her mind is delightful. It’s the subplots that could have been better.
On the whole, you can add this to your Korean Drama watchlist. Mainly, because of the good-looking Lee Min-ho and the beautiful Jun Ji-Hyun.