Jun Ji Hyun and Lee Min Ho are making a splash as their latest drama 'The Legend of The Blue Sea' is winning people over with its quirky romance. As two people meet from completely different worlds (literally!), episode 1 paves the way for romance but starts off a bit weaker than I had hoped for.
Dabbling with the 'star-crossed lovers' concept, Kim Dam Lim (Lee Min Ho) meets with the unnamed mermaid from his past life when he was a nobleman in the Joseon era. Now, in current day Seoul, they reunite on his trip to the island of Coruna near the Atlantic Ocean.
As shown in the few first scenes, Lee Min Ho's characters both share greedy tendencies. His Joseon Era character seemed to have a bit more heart as he freed the mermaid from captivity but his present character is manipulative in his attempt at stealing her 100% Jadeite bracelet after she was caught breaking into his hotel room.
When you get caught trying to steal clothes from the fitting room!
The concept seems to be an interesting mix of 'The Little Mermaid' meets 'Chobits' as Jun Ji Hyun appears to be mute and adapting to this whole new world like Ariel but serves up some quirky behaviors with bits of romance like Chi does.
Jun Ji Hyun is quite beautiful and really does suit the mermaid style well. Her features are fitting and the CGI effects for her underwater scenes are captivating. However, Jun Ji Hyun's swimming is beautiful one moment and then not-so-elegant the next. Half the time she makes that expression when you come up from the water after someone unexpectedly pushed you in at a pool party. You are a mermaid girl, why you gasping for air?
I eat like this on dates with guys I have no interest in. No, seriously.
Speaking of odd behaviors, I know Jun Ji Hyun is a mermaid, but since when did they have supernatural strength? Although a bit different, I do enjoy this aspect because it comes in handy in various situations and I can expect some humor to come out of her using her abilities.
Altogether the characters are well developed and I like that they both have sassy attitudes which will lead to some hilarious clashes and bickering, I'm sure. But I must address the elephant in the room - why is Lee Min Ho's character a revamped Koo Jun Pyo who is a magic-casting lawyer? I can't help but laugh at how ridiculous yet original the plot is at the same time. I won't say that the 'Legend of The Blue Sea' is a hot mess, but episode one seems to really lack direction and I am still unsure what the plot is necessarily leading to.
He eventually hypnotizes Jun Ji Hyun (I mentioned he was a magic-using lawyer, right?), which I was waiting for him to do the whole time, but for some reason, he can't seem to shake her off. This is when the 'star-crossed lovers' concept kicks into the max as they end the drama with them reenacting their bonding moment from their past as Jun Ji Hyun stretches her hand out towards Lee Min Ho and he gently holds it.
Tel me Jun Ji Hyun, is this drama going to flop? Get it, get it?
Plot-wise, I was not impressed. For a romantic comedy, it seems to lack any LOL moments. I chuckled here and there but mostly due to the smug expressions of Jun Ji Hyun. Collectively, the drama falls short with a lot of predictable cliches so far.
Can we also take a moment to count the places Lee Min Ho walked out on without paying? The restaurants, the clothing stores, etc. I'm surprised people aren't hunting them down for having Jun Ji Hyun just put on clothes and frolic away.
I do appreciate the fact that they try to emulate she is still a mermaid by dressing her up in sequins and other shimmery fashion pieces. I just still can't believe they added in another typical shopping spree moment and had him go for the 'Cinderella effect' as he slipped flats on her - which was ultimately the best choice because there was no way she was getting around in heels.
The face you make when he buys you the ugly dress.
Yet again, I also get the sense that drama directors are trying to outdo one another with who can film the best visually pleasing settings in Spanish countries. There is also more English being used here and there, and it is impressive to see Lee Min Ho put the effort into studying his lines because his English was flawless. A bit stiff, but flawless.
Overall, the 'Legend of The Blue Sea' has an interesting idea but it doesn't seem well executed. After episode one, I felt there was no initial hook to keep me interested in seeing episode two. Maybe it is because we all just finished the epic story that is 'The K2,' but I need the 'Legend of The Blue Sea' to develop a really good plot - and fast.
The characters are very intriguing but the only thing that is unclear is the story and purpose of their meeting. As the show goes on, I feel their pasts will be revealed which will craft a more detailed storyline. Until then, we must sit with little to no anticipation for episode two.