There’s something wonderful about the South Korean series The Legend of the Blue Sea. Produced by SBS (Seoul Broadcasting System), This fantasy / Romance series is based on a classic Joseon legend about a fisherman who captures and releases a mermaid. Superstar Jun Ji-hyun (My Love from Another Star) stars as Shim Cheong, a mermaid who falls for con-man Heo Joon-jae, portrayed by the incredibly handsome Lee Min-ho (The King: Eternal Monarch). Set in the modern day, the unlikely duo are the reincarnations of a couple who lost everything – including their lives, protecting one another. 

It’s such a sweet and engaging story. When we first meet Heo Joon-jae, he is a very gifted punk, but a punk nonetheless. Obsessed with money and status, he doesn’t care about anything else – especially romance. But, while traveling, a storm washes a mermaid up on his doorstep.

When she first arrives in the human world, Shim Cheong can’t speak. She’s also excited by everything, as she’s experiencing a whole new world for the very first time. At first, Heo Joon-jae has no feelings for her, but he immediately falls in love with a jade bracelet she has around her wrist. Hundreds of years old, the bracelet was a gift from Dam-ryeong, a nobleman (and Heo Joon-jae’s past life) to his mermaid lover (and Shim Cheong’s past life), Se-hwa. After countless trials and tribulations, the Joseon-era couple does not get their happy ending.

But in the present day, Heo Joon-jae is the child of divorced parents. He hasn’t spoken to his father, real-estate mogul, Heo Il-joong (Choi Jung-woo), in years, nor has he seen his mother, Mo Yoo-ran (Na Young-hee), since she abandoned him. Unbeknownst to him, she didn’t have a choice and is now working as a housekeeper in the home of Cha Shi-ah (Shin Hye-sun) – who has a crush on Heo Joon-jae.

Everyone is connected, not just in the present day but in the past as well. It’s a very interesting story that gets more and more intricate with every episode. I love the idea of reincarnation and how your actions in one life affect the circumstances of your next.
In the Joseon era, Yang Seung-gi (Sung Dong-il) is a corrupt nobleman who wants to use the mermaid and her powers for personal gain. In the modern day, Ma Dae-young is a murderous psychopath who is dispatched by the series’ true villain Ji-hyun (Hwang Shin-hye) to kill Joon-jae. Though delicious in the role, Ji-hyun gives new meaning to the wicket stepmother. This devil woman carefully orchestrated every sorrow in a master plan to strengthen her own status. She’s pure unadulterated evil.

But it’s not all drama and darkness. One of the things this series does really well is injecting comedy at just the right moments. In addition to being undeniably beautiful, Jun Ji-hyun has perfect comedic timing, and she’s not afraid to make a fool out of herself – something she has in common with Hong Jin-kyung who stars as a homeless woman who becomes Shim Cheong’s confident and land-living life coach. She’s hysterical.

All 20 episodes of the series are available on Viki along with the director’s cut of the first episode. 10/10.

More K-dramas soon so…

Stay Tuned!