2016/11/17 | 14176 views | | Permalink
"The Legend of the Blue Sea" is starting out strong, beating its pre-produced predecessor "Descendants of the Sun" in ratings. Although the story still hasn't proceeded very far, the dialogue is charming, wittily delivered, and the ten minute long chase scenes are overflowing with Jun Ji-hyun's irresistible energy.
Romance blooms quickly in this drama, growing during fights with thugs, interspecies culture clashes, and all sorts of mermaid badassery. While Lee Min-ho is strong in his comedy and in his chemistry with his co-star, it is the lovely Jun Ji-hyun's mermaid and her complete lack of inhibition that charms the pants off this episode. Contrary to social practice, she is frank with her emotions, does not self depricate, and goes after what she wants. As Joon-jae shares his past, the pain of losing his mother, and his skewed sense of love, the mermaid takes all of it to heart and tries to apply it to her own feelings and situation. She is like a child in her ignorance, but very much a mature, loveable adult in her problem-solving.
This episode still only gave us a taste of their paralleled past incarnations. The mermaid's golden-tailed predecessor definitely dabbled in romance with Joon-jae's town mayer, but we don't know much more than that. Sung Dong-il plays a nasty piece of work in Joseon times and he was seen sauntering around in cuffs in present day Seoul so I expect him to make a splash in Joon-jae's and his mermaid's lives soon. For now the intrigue remains rather perfunctory and utilitarian - Joon-jae is running from the retaliation set on him by a victim of a heist.
Romance in "The Legend of the Blue Sea" is charming and refreshingly unaffected and unpretentious. Emotions are in the open almost immeidately. It will no doubt be Joon-jae's criminal activities and the fact that the two lovers come from different words that will challenge them and spur this drama forward.
Characterizations are fun as well. Joon-jae is obnoxiously confident, but also keenly aware of loneliness and being left behind. The mermaid quietly protects what is hers. Both characters have a fierceness about them that makes them winning individually and together.
While I hope that the fish-out-of-water antics continue, I would like to meet the rest of the main cast and get the plot really rolling forward next week.
Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
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"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Legend of the Blue Sea" Episode 2"
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