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Legend of the Blue Sea: Episode 1

Today saw the premieres of three dramas, all direct timeslot competitors on the Big Three broadcasters, but it was this show, Legend of the Blue Sea, that had the highest hype and the highest expectations. I’m always nervous when a show I’m looking forward to, which has writers and directors and actors I like very much, is beset by a lot of early buzz; it almost sets us up for disappointment, because it’s rare that a show can live up to all that anticipation.

Well, for now Legend of the Blue Sea is safe, because it premiered to generally favorable response and impressive ratings: 16.4%, a rarity in today’s landscape, against Oh My Geum-bi’s 5.9% on KBS and Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju’s 3.3% on MBC. Is that number justified? Despite my wariness to decide anything based on a first episode, I do think it delivered, and while I’m still waiting for some elements to gel and the story to truly get going, the first episode hit all the main points for me: intriguing characters, a wonderful performance in a sure-to-be-classic role for Jeon Ji-hyun, a hint of whimsy, and a dash of poignancy. It’s not quite soup yet, but the ingredients are there and I’ll harbor hopes that it’ll continue to develop into a heartfelt and hilarious romance.

 
EPISODE 1 RECAP

August 1598, in the northeastern province of Gangwon-do.

A massive storm pummels a seaside village, uprooting trees and battering huts. Villagers secure their goods and huddle for cover, while fishermen struggle to secure their boats and the pier, only to have a massive tidal wave sending them into the churning waters.

By morning, the sea is calm, and the residents set about cleaning up the wreckage left behind by the storm. One happy result is that fish have been beached by the storm, and the people gather them up by the handful on the shore.

In a nearby cave, a young woman struggles to move, weary and sand-swept. The fish-gatherers make their way over to the cave curiously, and gape when they see the woman inside (Jeon Ji-hyun). “It’s a person!” they exclaim.

A short while later, a nobleman, LORD YANG (Sung Dong-il) hurries home excitedly, asking the fishermen who await him, “Where is the mermaid?” He is shown to his pond, eyes widening to make out the woman sitting there—a little battered, wrists tied with rope, her long glittering tail stretched out in front of her. “It’s a real mermaid,” he breathes excitedly.

He reaches out toward her, but a fisherman warns him to be careful: It’s said that if someone mistreats (“raises a hand to”) a mermaid, she can suck out his soul and erase his memory. That’s the mermaid’s self-protective measure against humans. Lord Yang shrugs, saying he won’t raise a hand to her, but a knife.

The mermaid shoots him a sidelong glare. The nobleman uneasily wonders if she can understand him, but brushes it aside. He promises the fishermen a reward before turning to his plans for tonight’s banquet. He wonders when the newly appointed mayor will arrive.

Probably soon, from the looks of the large traveling party on the road. The new mayor, DAM-RYUNG (Lee Min-ho), rides among them, and the camera lingers on a jade bracelet on his wrist.

At the banquet that night, Lord Yang plies Dam-ryung with flattery, then asks if he’s heard of mermaids. A nobleman dismisses the stories as fiction, but Lord Yang announces that he’s got a fascinating sight to show them. Turning their attention toward his pond, he proudly reveals his catch.

The mermaid looks up at them, looking lost and forlorn, sitting in a net as fishermen prod her with sticks. Intrigued, Dam-ryung walks down for a closer look.

He asks what Lord Yang means to do with her, and gets the explanation that mermaid oil is incredibly valuable, burning for an incredibly long time and never going bad. Lord Yang boasts that he’s landed this fortune for being faithful to his country and living a good life.

Dam-ryung has been holding back his distaste for Lord Yang so far, but now he lets some of it show, explaining that he had Lord Yang looked into, and found that he’d bought his way into a government position and then tripled the fishing tax. He says that the king levies severe punishments against officials who burden the people, hinting that Lord Yang could lose his neck over this. Scared, Lord Yang asks what to do, asking if there’s anything Dam-ryung would like.

“Anything?” Dam-ryung asks. Lord Yang affirms it, sending a sidelong glance at the mermaid. She and Dam-ryung lock eyes for a long moment.

The next thing we know, the mermaid splashes into the sea, swimming off to freedom.

Dam-ryung watches from the boat above, while from the shore, Lord Yang grumbles over the mayor’s high-handedness. He vows to recapture the mermaid and get rid of the mayor.

Dam-ryung watches the mermaid swim away, but she pauses to look back at him, then turns back to swim up to his boat. She reaches up with an outstretched hand.

Lord Yang wonders if, according to the myths, she means to drag him underwater, steal his soul, and erase his memory. The fisherman replies that mermaids only erase memories that one wants erased, but figures it’s best to avoid taking the hand in any case: “Humans and mermaids live in such different worlds—whether the fate is good or bad, what can come of it?”

In his boat, Dam-ryung kneels down, reaching down to take the mermaid’s hand. The stay like that for long moments, holding hands, eyes locked.

And then, we zip ahead to the future. Er, present. Seoul, 2016.

We meet our hero (Lee Min-ho again) in multiple guises in quick succession: He snatches away the joy of pushing a bus stop button from a little girl, metaphorically stealing candy from a baby; chats up a woman at a fancy bar, calling himself a lawyer; and asks about buying merchandise from a shady dealer, looking like a nervous dork.

The smooth-talking lawyer charms the woman with a magic trick, lighting a tissue rose and turning it into a real one. Then the dork buys a valuable vase with a briefcase full of cash… which then lights on fire, revealing only a red rose inside. So Mr. Smooth-talking Con Man likes playing with magic, and also fire.

He’s HEO JOON-JAE, and he’s congratulated by his partner in crime, JO NAM-DOO (Lee Hee-joon), who calls him the Harry Potter of con artistry, only better looking. Ha. Trailing behind is their silent hacker maknae, TAE-OH (Shin Won-ho, aka Shin).

On to a new con: From their hacker van, partner Nam-doo intercepts a call from the prosecutor’s office requesting an elevator repair. The trio grabs their tool boxes and enters the office building, keeping a close eye on one prosecutor in particular, who’s on his way out.

As they pass security, one guard calls out to the group, asking why the regular elevator technician isn’t here. In a flash, our leader Joon-jae sizes him up, reading him almost like a computer, noting details of his dress and demeanor. Within a span of seconds, Joon-jae concludes that the best method of dealing with this guard is hypnosis.

So he pulls out a lighter as he addresses the guard, twirling it impressively between his fingertips, and the man’s eyes are naturally drawn to the flashing silver. Joon-jae ignites the flame and tells the man that his regular elevator guy is right over here. In a daze, the guard agrees and lets them continue without further incident.

The scammers head to an empty office, pulling off the outerwear to reveal suits underneath. A few prop adjustments later, and it looks like Joon-jae’s own office. Hacker Tae-oh sets up his equipment on the rooftop and gains them access to the prosecutor’s files, just in time for the arrival of clients.

Nam-doo takes the lead on this con, having previously made contact with the male mark, a company president. He and his wife (Kim Sung-ryung cameo) are here because a high school student committed suicide at school and named the couple’s son in his suicide note.

From his rooftop perch, Tae-oh sees that the real prosecutor is on his way back to the building, and buys a little extra time by turning the traffic signal red. They’ve only got about a minute before the prosecutor returns, so Nam-doo suggests they break for lunch and ushers the couple out.

As they walk out, the wife asks Joon-jae to ensure that their son is found innocent, offering to pay handsomely out of their slush fund in the Virgin Islands. Joon-jae scoffs, worrying them when he says that it’s too risky to use such a famous tax haven.

On their way out, a man is brought in in handcuffs (Sung Dong-il, again), and he seems to recognize Joon-jae’s group.

Joon-jae advises the wife to move their slush fund and says he knows a good place, on an island with beautiful scenery.

They wrap up the job, and some time later the con artist trio makes their way through an airport. Nam-doo assures the wife over the phone that they received the funds and are now all in the same boat, figuratively.

With the job done, it’s time for them to go their separate ways, and Joon-jae complains when silent Tae-oh heads off without a word: “I hate leaving without saying goodbye most of all.” (Then he heads off without saying goodbye, and it’s Nam-doo’s turn to grumble.)

Joon-jae has a solo vacation lined up (in Spain, it seems), and chats up the flight attendant (Krystal cameo) on his flight there, passing himself off as a doctor. The flight attendant shows him the view out the window and tells him that she heard from old grandpas who live on the island that a mermaid still lives in the water here. Joon-jae laughs.

The camera swoops down over the island and into the water as she explains that the mermaids have been disappearing, and that the last remaining ones live in this sea.

We follow one—the same one from 400 years ago—as she swims down into a cavern, and retrieves a jade bracelet. Aha, Dam-ryung’s? She carries it back up with her to the surface, then slips it on her wrist.

A little boy spots her from a passing boat and exclaims to his parents that he’s seen a mermaid, which of course gets laughed off as his imagination.

The mermaid returns underwater, and notices signs of disturbance. A storm is brewing above, and the waters turn choppy.

At a seaside hotel resort, Joon-jae sits outside, looking out at the agitated sea as the storm approaches.

The mermaid dives underwater, struggling to outswim the turmoil, which overtakes her in a dark cloud of churning water.

In the morning, the storm has passed and the mermaid finds herself washed up on rocky terrain. She peers up over a ledge at a man-made pool built into the cliff, looking around curiously.

Belatedly, she registers something strange—and looks down to see she has legs. She gasps in surprise, then examines her legs a bit before diving into the pool, at which point the legs transform back into a mermaid tail.

Joon-jae steps out sleepily, looking out at the sea. The mermaid watches warily and dives under when he turns in her direction, and he misses seeing her. Off in the distant waters, several mermaids swim up to the surface, their heads dotting the horizon.

Joon-jae returns to bed, and is awakened a bit later by a loud clang. He bolts awake and warily looks around, taking in the mess in the living room: food strewn everywhere, literal crumbs marking a trail on the floor, which he follows to the walk-in closet.

Joon-jae rears back when he sees a pair of legs in his closet, and slowly reaches out toward the rack. He jerks clothing aside to reveal the mermaid (well, a person now), mouth smeared with food, wrapped in a sweater (that’s still on its hanger, haha).

He demands to know who she is (and when he uses that exclamation of disbelief, “Hul,” the mermaid mouths it out, copying him). But she rears back defensively when he yells about the sorry state of hotel security. He sees that she’s wearing his favorite sweater, and when he makes a move, she throws out a leg and kicks him way, way back, shooting through the air.

Joon-jae notices she’s got something in her fist and demands to see it, thinking she’s stolen something from him. He tries to force her to show it, and she kicks him again, sending him flying into the next room this time. He starts to bluster indignantly, but when he sees the mermaid approach with her dukes up, he wimps out and retreats.

Joon-jae offers to drop the whole thing if she’ll hand over what she’s holding, asking what it is. The mermaid looks at the blue sea out the window, assesses the situation… and bolts for freedom.

Thump! Apparently she didn’t count on there being glass in that window, and she knocks herself out cold. Joon-jae ties her wrists together with a necktie, then calls for police to deal with the intruder.

He assumes a scolding tone, telling the mermaid that she’s embarrassing her countrymen with this behavior, and takes pictures of her as evidence. All the while, she just looks around bemusedly.

Joon-jae’s determined to find out what she’s holding, and pries open her fingers… to find one maraschino cherry. Hee! He tosses it aside, and she gobbles it up.

The local police arrive to cart the mermaid away, and while Joon-jae is mostly still annoyed, he doesn’t like seeing her handcuffed and asks if it’s necessary. The officer says that she’s a flight risk and says she’s now their prime suspect in a rash of recent thefts.

Joon-jae doesn’t believe that, thinking it’s likelier that the girl is dimwitted. She casts a last look back at him, and he feels a twinge when he sees her scraped-up feet. But he shakes it aside and heads back in, where he looks over the photos he took of her—and this time, he notices the jade bracelet she’s wearing.

Riding in the back of the police car, the mermaid is awed at everything around her: all the people, the noises, the city sights. She makes little honking noises to mimic a car horn, then copies the screeching of tires. Everything amazes her, from the sliding doors she can’t quite figure out to the fish tank in the station.

Back at the hotel, Joon-jae talks to his partner, Nam-doo, about a potential new con, calling the item’s owner “not normal.” He must mean the mermaid and her bracelet, both of which are currently at the police station. The mermaid is so distracted by the sights and sounds she barely registers the frustrated policeman trying to question her, and when one officer reaches for a tissue, she delights in pulling them out of the box, over and over.

The officer gets so upset with her inattention that he looms angrily, and then the mermaid reacts by shoving her handcuffed fists at his face, sending him flying against a closed door.

She then finds a gun dropped on the floor and picks it up curiously, making everyone rear back in alarm. They hit the floor, and she tosses the gun aside to return to her tissue-pulling.

Joon-jae meets the flight attendant for a fancy lunch, who admits that she’s breaking her rule not to see plane passengers outside of the flight. He pours on the charm, surprising her with a magic trick that produces a necklace. He’s interrupted, though, by a text message from Nam-doo confirming that the bracelet is a real find: at least 400 years old, worth over 6 billion won if genuine.

Suddenly his attention shifts entirely, and when the flight attendant asks about the necklace, Joon-jae backpedals and says it’s not for her. Saying it’s for his mother, he excuses himself immediately, leaving her confused and offended.

Joon-jae calls Nam-doo, who continues his explanation: There’s an engraving on the bracelet, which reads “Dam-ryung,” likely a name. Joon-jae stops in his tracks to hear the name, then heads to the police station, where he finds the mermaid in one of the jail cells, sleeping on a bed of tissues. Again, he’s bothered at the sight of her scratched-up feet.

The officer, now belligerent, refuses to let the mermaid go, and Joon-jae’s computer-like brain scans the man for information: He’s sensitive, hot-tempered, a newlywed, and susceptible to hypnosis. Joon-jae pulls out his lighter and distracts him with it, saying that the mermaid is his wife.

He convinces the officer that she’s dressed as a bride and says they have to leave for their honeymoon. Entranced, the officer apologizes and unlocks the cell, wishing them well.

Once outside, Joon-jae extends a hand in apology, although he takes her lack of response as a rejection. He asks about the bracelet, but that sends her fists up in defense mode, and he backs off, saying merely that it’s pretty.

I’m still not sure how much language the mermaid understands, but she is definitely soaking it in; she relaxes her guard, and mouths that word to herself: “pretty.”

He offers to buy her a gift and urges her to come along, but stops short of touching her wrist and instead pinches her sweater. At a crosswalk, he has to yank her back from walking into traffic, pointing out that the light is red. The mermaid looks up at the lit-up red man with its arms outstretched, then throws out her arms to copy its pose.

Joon-jae takes the mermaid to a mall, where she’s spooked by the scary moving steps of an escalator. Exasperated, Joon-jae just picks her up (which passers-by take for romantic) and carries her along, all the way to the shoe section of a department store.

He picks out several pairs and tells her to try them. Of course, the mermaid just puts her hands in two flats and holds them to her chest, at which point he takes over to slide them on her feet. Satisfied now, he tells her to stop walking around barefoot, then takes her to try on dresses.

By now I’d be surprised if she did anything properly, and sure enough, she comes out of the dressing room with a sequined dress hanging on her head. Joon-jae shoves her into the dressing room, and somehow she manages properly this time.

She can’t find Joon-jae when she comes out, though, because he’s stepped aside for a phone call. The mermaid wanders out into the shopping mall, following a juggler and the group of kids around him.

On his return, Joon-jae is alarmed to find the fitting room empty, and runs around the mall looking for “Six Billion.” Seeing a sign for missing children and a lost and found, he follows it and finally relaxes when he sees the mermaid sitting in a kiddie chair, licking a giant lollipop.

He chides her for wandering off without warning, and checks that she’s okay and unharmed. He’s mostly concerned about the bracelet, and when he sees it, he smiles in relief, which prompts the mermaid to smile too.

He takes her to eat next, and she shovels noodles in her mouth so ferociously that it makes Joon-jae cringe in embarrassment. He asks if she came from the jungle, wondering why she’s so entirely instinct-driven.

He shows her how to eat with a fork, and she looks quite pleased with herself when he praises her for it. It’s adorable how she keeps looking to him for approval as she eats with the fork.

Over the dessert course, which basically means the mermaid shoving two handfuls of cake into her mouth, Joon-jae starts in on his standard smooth-talking lines, saying that they’ve become friendly now. In magician mode, he brings out his lighter and burns a piece of string, which turns into a necklace.

He fastens the necklace around her neck, and the mermaid looks at him quizzically, then smiles shyly to herself.

Joon-jae, meanwhile, clutches the bracelet in his hand, having stolen it away without her noticing.

After eating, he leads her back inside the mall, where he seats her on a bench and tells her to wait for him until he returns. He admittedly looks a little conflicted as he leaves, taking the elevator down, and after he’s gone, the mermaid looks up expectantly every time the elevator dings.

Joon-jae returns to his hotel and gets packing, and tells partner Nam-doo over the phone that the bracelet appears to be authentic. Nam-doo is impatient to meet up now that he has the item, but Joon-jae puts him off—he still has somewhere to go. He calls it merely “the end of the world,” though we can see in a map that he means to go to the Tower of Hercules, off the northwestern coast of Spain.

He tells his friend to wait a week, then grabs his bags to head out. He pauses for a moment at the sight of a maraschino cherry on the ground, then exits.

Meanwhile, the mermaid continues to wait by the elevator, looking up at every ding, until it’s finally closing time and an employee tries to get her to leave. She seems to register that she has to go, and starts to walk away.

As Joon-jae drives, the sight of a red stop light makes him think back to the mermaid mimicking the stop light.

She makes her way back to the children’s playroom at the mall, sitting there in the dark until an employee finds her there. She’s escorted to the door, and all she can do is stare uncomprehendingly at the annoyed employees.

It’s raining out, but with nowhere to go, all she can do is huddle there by the door, waiting for somebody or nobody.

But around the corner is Joon-jae, who approaches with an umbrella, extending it over her head. She smiles to see his face and extends an arm upward—reminiscent of her and Dam-ryung all those years ago—and Joon-jae reaches down to take her hand.

Flashing back to earlier in the day, the mermaid is back in the children’s playroom, staring at a giant lollipop being eaten by a little girl. She utters her first word—”Pretty”—and snatches the candy away. The girl protests, so the mermaid replies with another word she’s heard a lot: “Wait.”

Her voice narrates, “The word wait means something good is going to happen soon. That even if I am briefly far away like a wave, my friend will come to find me. That I don’t need to be afraid that nearby may be a shark or a scary person.”

That’s how Joon-jae finds her, sucking on the giant lollipop, sitting in a kiddie chair. Exasperated, he says, “I told you to wait. Don’t you know the word wait?” He checks that she’s okay and unhurt, and the mermaid thinks, “It means that my friend hopes I am not hurt, and makes my heart warm. It means that something good will happen soon.”

COMMENTS

People all wondered whether Park Ji-eun could write a follow-up hit to measure up to the ginormous success of You From Another Star, and when Jeon Ji-hyun signed on, the secondary question on my mind was whether she would be as good—and if so, in a way that wasn’t just repeating the same formula.

I think both actor and writer delivered successfully on those concerns, because while you may naturally spot similarities from that project to this one, I think the producers have managed to make Blue Sea feel like its own entity. (It probably helps that we have a different PD onboard, with a strong directorial style of his own.) On paper, there are a number of similarities between the two dramas, but I actually think those are more evident on paper than in the experience of watching the show. For instance, both star a mythical being who’s lived for over 400 years, both have an origin story in the Joseon era with a bittersweet feel, both have Jeon Ji-hyun carrying the show. But I think of it as the similarity between Queen In-hyun’s Man and W or Nine—distinct characteristics come through in all projects, but you’d never confuse one for the other.

As with You From Another Star, I loved the sageuk opening, and almost didn’t want it to end because it felt so understated and sadly beautiful. It was a lovely way to adapt the classic folktale on which the drama is based, about a mermaid caught by a fisherman and returned to the sea by the town mayor. I appreciated that there were few words exchanged, and none at all between the mermaid and Dam-ryung, which seems fitting (and in contrast to the barrage of conversation—albeit one-sided—that characterizes the present-day timeline) for their star-crossed circumstances, making that one handhold all the more resonant.

Of course, then we leapt into the modern day and dropped us into a rollicking caper, so I let go of the disappointment of leaving Joseon rather quickly. But it means I’ll be looking forward to more glimpses of that storyline in upcoming episodes, and the melancholy tone that it brings.

Speaking of tone, I love this kind of mixing of comedy and sad wistfulness, which I prefer to the more common occurrence of getting comedy first, then sadness. I’d really love if it could keep this balance throughout, so that they feel intertwined and natural, rather than shooting us from one extreme to another. And I do think these actors are up for this style—and by that, maybe I mean more Lee Min-ho, since I think Jeon Ji-hyun could do anything you threw at her. I was concerned about Lee Min-ho tackling a romantic comedy, because he’s always been better being serious or funny in a dry, incidental way.

The Joon-jae character suits him, and I’m intrigued by the dichotomy we see in his nature: He can turn on the charm in a blink and he’s always out to find another score, but he doesn’t exactly seem like a happy con man. Not in the way that his partner Nam-doo seems. Joon-jae often seems like he’s ignoring the voice inside urging him to be a better man, like not leaving the mermaid behind with the cops and then at the mall. Both times he wasn’t above shoving that aside to do it anyway, but there’s a darkness and conflicted nature about him that I find interesting, and I want to see how that develops the more he gets intertwined with the mermaid.

As for the mermaid, it hardly needs to be said, but Jeon Ji-hyun is brilliant once again. This role is completely unlike Chun Song-yi in You From Another Star, but equally as one-of-a-kind, and dependent on her playing it. I’m a little amazed that she could find a character-of-a-lifetime twice in three years, and make both so distinct and vivid. I spent a large part of this episode unpacking what she brought to the role, wondering what the character would reveal, and it felt like she’d thought about everything so thoroughly that she’d considered things that we might not even have thought about until we saw her doing them. I sort of feel like she’s creating a mythology all on her own, and not through writing but through performance.

There’s a baseline expectation for the fish-out-of-water (hur) setup, with a mermaid trying to figure out the way the human world works. I think most people probably had a few ideas of how she’d struggle, like figuring out how to eat or walk, but it feels like Jeon dove deep (hur again) and worked out an entire psychology and history for the character. Her mermaid is more like a feral animal, and I find it fascinating to try to figure out just where she falls on the spectrum of awareness and cognizance. She seems to understand language, and she definitely feels emotions, but it’s all in primal soup mode at the moment, and I think it’ll be a lot of fun watching those evolve and develop into distinctly human traits.

Who knows, maybe things will all fall apart later on, or maybe the drama won’t be delving into any of the areas I find most interesting, but for now I’m holding on to hopes that the show lives up to its promise, because I think it could turn out to be something special. *don’t jinx it!*

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Does anyone else suspect that the mermaid might know about the swiping? Her expression changed....Also how does one NOT know that one's bracelet is being swiped...

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idk . . . I hope she realised, though you can't overlook that big of bracelet or she just too happy,

I also want to know about the memory things, apparently she has a normal memory, 400 hundreds years is too long to remember someone face

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Apparently, she's a mermaid and they hv good memories, nothing to do under the sea unless she's been meeting up with different people but I don't think so. The first few scenes with LMH were good, as that guy from history to a present day conman. Am not really a fan of LMH but he's ok. Somehow I don't find the antics of the now mermaid with legs as funny. Maybe I've just seen too many of these. Truly, Cheon Song Yi is a wall she needs to overcome, or not, coz Cheon Song Yi is something else. I hope it'll get better in ep 2. Bht what's with LMH and his favorite sandals, why does he like wearing that? I hope his toenails are trimmed coz they don't look it from that camera angle.

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I expect we will have a lot of jumps back and forth showing us the same scene from different perspectives, much like it was in My Love from the Stars. I like how it worked in that drama and hopes it works as well here.

So yes, it is entirely possible. I wondered how she could not know as well and I don't believe she is a victim of the hypnosis at all.

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JEON JI-HYUN IS A S T A R

A LEGEND

AN ICON

That’s all I have to say.

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Real talk though:

I have questions. Many questions. This is good: it proves that I was engaged with the story. Questions are usual for a drama's first episode.

Now, a drama that has me asking lots of questions in the first episode usually goes one of two ways... and I can usually tell which way it is headed after a few episodes.

The drama either:

1. Totally fails to answer any of the questions that intrigued me most (COUGH MOON LOVERS COUGH)

OR

2. It totally delivers and we get a drama with a lot of depth

I'm rooting for you, LOTBS. Please be #2! I know you can do it! I have faith in this team!

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and pray tell, what is an example of #2? I'm curious now haha

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A few i thought was good...

My Love from another star.

Descendants of the Sun...

Sungkyunkwan Scandal... (well most of it)

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SIX FLYING DRAGON... best example... Politics was amazing in that one...

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For me, a good example is Gaksital. I had a lot of questions concerning that story and where it would go and it really delivered for me.

Same goes with White Christmas.

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Yes! White Christmas didn't leave a string untied.

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It is the first time I see the acronym for this drama, LOTBS. I was reading fast and saw LOBST. Maybe because I'm hungry, I filled it up and it became LOBSTER. Wouldn't that be a good one for this drama!

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Wow, I can see below that I was not the only hungry one...

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I was speed reading too, and I read "LOSTS"

In all honesty, both the mermaid and the con man are quite lost. A con man who seem to wish doing sth else, and a mermaid on land.

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I'm seeing LOTBS as 'lot bs" as in a lot of bs. Hopefully, this drama isn't a lot of bs. I can see this drama being potentially really good.

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The writer is known to be good with stories... Plus they didnt have extra extra extra time like some series (u know which series i m talking about) so make it extra and nice and logic less...

I really really hope its #2 too :D

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I haven't finished but I had to know if Java was recapping.

Let's do this thing!

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Lobster is my new crack. I haven't felt like this since W2W.

Ji Hyun stealing candy from a 8 year old was hilarious. And the talent to act without words for thousands of years. Yassss, queen!

I'll read the recap soon. Glad to have jb! I hope she can recap Lobster for the entire run. Hwaiting!

P.S. Question how many of us Lobs are watching one of the other Wed-Thurs?
I started Fairy while waiting for full subs. Idk if I'll tune into the cute yet sad story.

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I am watching Oh My Geumbi too . . . just
OMG Lobster!!

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Lobster is now the Official Drama title, and us fans, we are lobsters... unless you want to be a crayfish, that is also fine.

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What is all this talk about lobsters? I watched part of fairy and all I say was chicken :S

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*saw

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I am watching all 3 (plus 1%!) so 4 Wed/Thursday shows. Because I don't have a life...

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Lucky! Until school is out I'll probably only be on time for Lobster. Fairy, if I get to watch will probably be a weekend catch up. I might have to marathon OMB-I. I'm still getting over Drinking Solo so I'm waiting on 1%. And I haven't seen the original.

I'll be binging during my 7 weeks off.

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I should really get to sleep so I'm only going to comment on jb's comments. *2:30 isn't a proper bedtime. what?*

I kinda see what the similarities are between YFAS and Lobster. But it's so different. I don't recall YFAS being funny at first. If anything it was heavy on the melo, sigh. But of course, the comparisons make sense mythical, same writer, same actress. I knew it would be it's own thing though. Like jb said, it has distinct characteristics.

The saguek opening was beautiful. I'm not a fan of her mermaid look though. I mean, Ji Hyun looks ethereal and enchanting but her suit? No thank you. It wasn't shown much in the live or death scene but when she was freed I was so excited to see a one piece mermaid but the gold and glitter and form just fell flat for me. Probably because my fav mermaid series ended and I'm still bitter.

I loved that it was silent between them. And it doesn't seem like she is chasing his reincarnation as we were previously led to believe. If anything she accidentally bumped into him. What happened during the first hand touch? Did anything come back with the second hand touch? Why can't it be Thursday evening?!?!

The con-manning is epic. I'm glad it's to hehe year of the cons. Lee Minho in an array of outfits was comical and gorgeous. Though like is he part magician too? Was his past self as well? Is that why the bracelet steal didn't work? *I'm grasping at straws here*

I appreciate the even balance of sad and funny because that is what real life is. I've always found Lee Min Ho rather funny. Intentional or not, maybe I was laughing for the wrong reasons. But some of his one-liners in City Hunter were well delivered. *CH was the header today kekeke* And Personal Taste still tops my Lee Min Ho list. But the physicality of his comic acting is at a new high here.

I have no idea about his con man character. Promo said he only steals from those who deserve it or can spare it, in a Robin Hood meets Dexter kind of way. But the drama hasn't confirmed that yet, at least for me.

My favorite part of Ji Hyun eonnie's acting was her ability to draw us in without words. But I was a little disappointed by the fact that she didn't struggle that learn to walk. That's like my favorite mermaid gag joke. Maybe we'll get a flashback to her night from the pool into the house and through the fridge. Seriously! That girl ate everything she could find.

The ridee to the station, automatic doors, tissue, pistol, and shopping spree was great. And of course, her double fisted chocolate cake eating!

All I know is we have several episodes for her to make a lot more mistakes. Even if she does pick up language and basic etiquette quickly, it seems these mermaids are scarce and not a very social group.

Could personal space please come up? Please?

Yay, Krystal!

And can mermaids get some kind of animal pre danger, spidey-sense? That sea turmoil scene was anxiety inducing.

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1st of all ; IT's FUNNY!! even the magic in executed funny directional wise. Even it doesn't make sense, you can't deny that the way they show it is entertaining

throughout the drama, I think of all the side name other than
The Legend of Blue Sea cause we never really have the legend beside " A mermaid with amnesia power lived in the Sea"
which is a common legend in many islands..

so here's my take
- You Who Came From the SEA
- Now You SEA Me
- The Heirs : MAGIC EDITION
- My Sassy Girl : No Voice Edition

with the cameo of sea creature, 400 years old green jade,
Jun Ji Hyun, Magic Tricks, Big Wave and better English of Lee Min Ho

ps : you can't camouflage as wardrobe
and jun ji hyun seriously killing it, that traffic light scene with her expression just feels good
I heard the rating is 16,4% waaaw

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wait, how did she obtain the legs?
it just so convenient, I hope they explained it,
if this is her power then we have no trouble if they are living together

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I was waiting during the rain scene if they were going to do the "tail when wet, legs when dry" variant I've seen in other mermaid adaptations.

Technically, she was still in the water after the modern day storm, but possibly not enough.

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she gains the leg after got out of the pond/pool but it doesn't work like that in the past,

I am eager to see what the rain do to her

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I think it has something to do with the jade bracelet more than the water.

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i think.. at this point, she's also not too sure yet, since we see her being confused at her legs too. i guess, we'll be following her pov then:)

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Is it the bracelet. Lee Min Ho's character was wearing it in Joseon, and it looks like she picked it up out of his shipwreck?

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The pacing was uneven, and the historical part felt a bit rushed, but I guess they felt that had to get that far for the first episode. I'm wondering how often we'll see the past, given how he reacted to the name.

Her comic moments are pretty darn close to pure gold, though. The tissues were my favorite.

I am interested to see how many actor crossovers there will be from past to present. (The nod when they walked out of the prosecutor's office, and the handcuffed criminal is the same actor as for the bribery official.)

My biggest headache is if she is that old, even if she moved to Spanish waters later, wouldn't she know at least bits of a lot of languages from all the boats over the years? Sure, languages change. She might be rusty in Korean overall, but to not know any? She doesn't seem a stranger to being on the surface of the ocean, so I'd suspect she knows something (and not just due to the end voice over in Korean).

I'm still hopeful for this show, but not sold yet.

Time will tell.

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Ack! This was supposed to be a new comment, not a response. Sorry.

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Regarding the languages, I think she probably avoided humans/land for all that time, so would not have had much exposure to human languages. I also imagine she kept her distance from boats, so she wouldn't be overhearing languages and somehow learning them easily (e.g., she kept her distance from that boat with the tourists). Although perhaps she does know some words.

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Well, in her defence, if she doesn't belong to a society of some sort and is not involved in any interactions it is almost impossible to acquire a language, and the human sound would just be some buzzing noises to her ears.

I'm pretty sure she can understand fish language, though.

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yah...
I also need this explained because I didn't see why this was not the case when they moved her from the ocean to the pond in the very beginning...

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Maybe it's because they kept her wet?

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During the Joseon dinner, one of the guests says that seaman say that when mermaids come to land they gain humans legs and that there was a case where one married a human.

I imagine that in the past, because she was kept in the pond (and maybe the cave was wet), she was not on land long enough to gain legs. And that perhaps, in the time since then, she hasn't been on land (maybe avoiding humans).

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Lobster magic... I mean, mermaid magic, obviously ;)

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I think it's the bracelet.

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I second that. I too think it is the bracelet that has some magical power and maybe LMH has some magical background and hence his reaction to the ancestors name and a his hypnotic powers would make sense too. Also didn't he not tell his con-artist friend that he did not steal the bracelet even-though he did and also the talk of going to the end of the world was intriguing.

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I don't think the bracelet is a factor, that is a recent acquisition and the legend of getting legs existed 400 years ago.

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Good question about the legs. I assume it is water - whether it is being immersed (is a frantic bathtub scene with Lee Min Ho knocking on the door threatening to enter in our future?) or just wet, I can't say. I did notice at the end that she kept her feet only on dry pavement, which I again assumed was related to legs vs. fins.

Although I wouldn't be surprised if the bracelet had something to do with it. I thought that storm was a little weird and wondered if her putting on the bracelet somehow brought about the storm in a mystical, magical way.

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I was dying when she was mimicking the traffic light. That honestly was my favorite part of the episode, just her yoga stance and her expression. Jun Ji Hyun can do no wrong!

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That was so hilarious I wonder how she managed to keep that serious expression instead of cracking up.

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I did not know what to expect, and I didn't even realize that she would literally be a fish out of water. However, it was perfect and more than I could ever ask for.

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I..... (and my mom at one part) was half expecting her to pick up the fork and start combing her hair with it. *cue Under the Sea*

Or is that just blatant plagiarism? LOL either way, it was quite enjoyable to watch. (Doesn't hurt that they're both so... pretty... *__*)

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I really enjoyed this episode, but I got a little distracted by the debate going on in the background of my mind about who's the prettier of the two. And I kept wondering how a mermaid got lipstick...

Cant wait for more!

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fish lips!

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I've heard theories that mermaids can make their own makeup. All that ocean beauty has to do something lol

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I wanted to write a comment about that!! I was actually disappointed LMH taught her how to use a fork before she picked it up to twirl it in her hair LOL. The show doesn't need more accusations of plagiarism!

I am really enjoying the show actually. The story and portrayals have drawn me in already. Sure there's lots of the back story to tell, but I'm ready for the ride. The pretty doesn't hurt and what JJH can do with no dialogue is so amazing, I have missed her on my screen!

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Lol - my kids grew up in the Disney's version of "The Little Mermaid" era. We had the hilarious experience of watching them unexpectedly combing their hair at the table with their forks (ie "dinglehoppers"). Too funny!

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Jen Ji-hyun is EVERYTHING! Everything I say!!! How can she barely say a word and I am in love with her character already. I'm trying to tamper down my excitement but the first episode didn't disappoint. I am very excited to see what's in store for our Mermaid and Con-man!

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JessA, I'm totally with you here. She is so awesome and I was laughing so hard at her antics. She is cast perfectly here. I too am looking forward to seeing these two pretty and talented actors bring their characters to life and work out their onscreen relationship.

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I enjoyed the show. I was worried, but I think this is really a good show
Jun Ji-hyun plays the character perfectly.
JavaBeans thanks for the recaps :)

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Just because watching Legend of the Blue Sea is not complete without a recap from JB... Thank you Dramabeans. The last time i commented on a drama here was My Love From the Stars.... i have been a lurker for a mighty long time.

JJH cant go wrong! I love her..

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I'm I love with all of it. I need more.

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I was half expecting her to use the dinglehopper on her hair.

When he used the lighter, I was like... "what is a fire, and why does it... what's the word? Buuuuuurrrrnnnn??"

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"Wouldn't I love... love to explore that world up ABOOOOOOOOOVE!" Jun Ji Hyun learning how to be a human is everything right now.

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LOL... and what about when she found that bracelet and held it and swam up towards the surface, the scene looked similar to "wouldn't I looove! love to explore that shore abooove" :D

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Reminds me of Ariel singing "Part of your world"...what do you call 'em? Oh - feet!

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omG I've been waiting for a LmH drama for a long time. I hope the hype doesn't swañloq up and spit out this drama. I didn't read the recap cuz I'm waiting it's available in eng subs.

I recently watched my love frim the stars and she's good but tends to overact in MY opinion.

let's hope it turns out at least as city hunter. or not as bad as heirs (I think is bad, is my own personal opinión)²

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Ouch...The Heirs was bad, almost like Moon Lovers (though Moon Lovers at least has a story while Heirs totally no substance) minus the crazy editing and drama pacing. I wonder how it managed to rake up to 25% rating.

I love the Joseon backstory but not so much the modern set up. Everyone been raving over JJH but I find her having the tendency to be OTT. In fact, I am more drawn to Lee Min Ho. He used to be pretty stiff in rom-com but he did well so far.

I am not so crazy about it yet but very much attracted to what actually took place 400 years ago. That's the element that keeps me for now.

At least I can say this is way so much better than DOTS.

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I have gotten pretty skeptical of highly hyped shows after the total disasters of Heirs and DOTS. But so far this at least is pretty funny. And at least she did not come fresh out of the water able to speak perfect Korean.

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all the mermaid/swimming/ocean stuff was BEAUTIFUL, not at all corny or cheesy as i had feared. jeon ji-hyun looked like a real mermaid swimming around in the sea, she looked so graceful and natural. i wonder how much/long she had to practice to look that good in motion with a fishtail. and did she film those underwater scenes directly or were there some special stuff involved?

i feel like there wasn't a lot of story in this episode, just a lot of setup, and i can't say i'm completely sold... simply cause i still don't know what the story/conflict will be. a bit different from you from another star in that i was roped in right from the get-go. but it was all certainly gorgeous to look at, and i'm still reserving full judgment till tomorrow or next week.

jeon ji-hyun is stunning, but i never realized krystal was so pretty!

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im in the same boat as you but totally agree everything was really pretty

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The scenery was gorgeous and I really enjoyed the first episode. But I felt the editing was a bit weird - the way the sped up some of the water/fish footage and all. It pulled me out of the story just a little bit. (But I always got right back in so it wasn't AWFUL, just a little distracting to me.)

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I feel like many life action mermaid stories speed up the ocean footage. I'm a little rusty on my mermaid watching so I'll have to review during this drama.

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I saw on an article from the press conference that JJH said she would never want to be a Mermaid again lol Apparently she thought it'd be fun but she had to stay in the water for at least 4-5 hours and that was really painful. Especially since she recently gave birth.

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I started a terrible mermaid story Tuesday. The filmography for ocean life and scenes are horrible. I'll finish eventually.

But I'm really glad we got amazing mermaid scenes. Especially that shot when she was holding LMH's hand 400 years ago. That was gorgeous!

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I was just thinking that it must've been hard filming all the swimming sequences. I posted a unfavorable comment about her earlier on, it was based on badly taken photos, not that it matters, but I take that back. She's super cute and youthful in this, and I think she's building the character well, one that's different that the other roles she's acted in before. I hope there's a twist to this whole mermaid thing because it's just been explored by so many other stories and medium. I hope they play up on the horror aspect of her being able take people's memory and drag them down into the sea. I know it's a rom-com, but there's gotta be more than meets the eyes about the legend.

A great mermaid story I read is Fisher Queen by Alyssa Wong, and it was completely unexpected and really haunted me long after I read it.

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Oh My Goodness, Jeon Ji Hyun is DAEBAK! Didn't realize I missed her this much.

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Good to see Lee Bo-Na again (first ever drama crush, she's soo cute!!!), and Lee Min Ho looks completely in his element. I'm curious how the three con artists met and how close they are in personal terms, especially with the 'walking off without goodbye' part.

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Lee Min Ho has improved alot in his english. Congrats on that big fella

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Indeed! It seems he worked hard for it!. Well done!

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I remember in Heirs where he struggled and you couldn't understand what he was saying. Now he's English is clearer, so good job Lee Min-ho!

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Subs are coming out late.. thats my only complaint

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I swear, Moon Lovers (albeit preproduced) had two or three versions all fully subbed faster. The wait is excruciating.

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This drama is so good. So funny in the beginning. Theyre both crazy. Idk how to describe this. Hilarious LOL. The last scene though. Im not expecting an explosion chemistry this fast before but they nailed it!! in that last scene my heart flutters when Junjae comeback for her and seeing her face when he comes. God my heart T.T

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Was it me or did the mermaid seem surprised to see her legs? I hope it's explained later on how she goes back and forth between her human and mermaid form or it will drive me nuts

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I replied to this elsewhere, but at the Joseon dinner a guest comments that mermaids gain legs on land. I'm guessing she didn't get them in the past because they kept her wet / she wasn't on land long enough, and was probably surprised because she avoided land since then.

(The other thought I had was that maybe it's a power that comes with age, given that her tail color changed from gold to white).

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JJH really is an A grade actress, and one of my favorite actresses. I did feel some similarities between this character and SY in the sense that both are clueless (though to varying degrees, since the mermaid is way more clueless and for good reason), but each character has her distinct aura and feel. I find the mermaid intriguing so far, and I wonder if every episode will end with a poignant observation from the mermaid, like this episode's "waiting".

LMH is doing a good job with his character, although I still haven't really gotten a feel for his character, or a handle on what type of character he's going for, but I am looking forward for more to be uncovered.

Overall I still don't have a clear view of the story or characters and what type of chemistry they will bring, but I am hoping for the best. This was a good light first episode (though it didn't blow me away like the first episode of "W"). Hopefully though this drama will be cohesive until the end. The cinematography is really beautiful. I also like the instrumental OST that plays, especially in those underwater scenes.

The two things I didn't like are the mind-control/hypnosis that LMH's character utilizes with that lighter, it seems like a cartoonish super-power, I wished they would've done without that. The other thing in JJH's mermaid characters super-kicks, lol, those too came off as cartoonish. I know that this drama is fantasy, but I like it when the fantasy aspect feels believable and organic to the story, but here it just feels like hi-jinks.

Overall I look forward to watching more, and to seeing where this story will go.

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Yes, the hypnosis was cartoonish, and I don't think hypnosis even works like that. And it could be a show-killing crutch if they keep coming back to it. Frankly, I'd rather see alien superpowers again. Anyway, add male-lead superpowers to the list of similarities between this show and YFAS.

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I'm hoping that they are setting it up so that when he does run into someone who isn't as susceptible as he thinks, it will be a decent gag.

There are very few people who can be that hypnotized by that little interaction, especially when they are already in a heightened sense of possible danger/problem that both men were. But it wouldn't work for the show if it took a more realistic amount of time to work in such a situation.

There are some aspects of the show where they are really pushing the limits of suspension of disbelief, so if they do continue with that sequence and fire wide eyed stare, I'll just roll with it as part of the story vibe.

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I think we're going to find out that SHE isn't susceptible to it. He just thinks she is right now because she let him get the bracelet.

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As long as they stay away from epic poison gas fight scenes, without gas masks a la K2, I'll take all the magic tricks LOBS can throw at us.

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the hypnosis is magic,
in the world when the legend comes true,
a magic trick will also be possible

tbvh I have no idea and don't believe the hypnosis he did,

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you have the best comment ever...the intention might not have been there, but it was hilarious to me.

you're right. in a world where mermaids exist, we are complaining about the hypnosis with his lighter!!! hahahahaha...I say we because I was also annoyed by the whole lighter hypnosis thinking that was so unlikely... Apparently so are mermaids but I will believe in existence of the mermaid before I believe in the crappy hypnosis. hehehehe

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I can forgive the cheesy lighter thing because this is a story about a mermaid.

I think fire will be LMH's motif throughout the entire show since JJH is obviously water. The main conflict will revolve around the fisherman's observation: “Humans and mermaids live in such different worlds—whether the fate is good or bad, what can come of it?”

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Man, I have been waiting for this drama for such a long time! I have not been disappointed by Jun Ji Hyun, ever, and hope to never! Everything was just going for me, felt like everyone a part of this project, was like one of the best one could ask for! And for me, the first episode definitely didn't disappoint!! I loved it, and can't wait till tomorrow!
But, then I start to read other people's comments, and can't help the wariness pass on to me.. Like if this drama decides to do something crazy, I'm afraid, I will have to kill something. Or someone. I have had enough disappointments, and I really do not want to end up angry!! Better not fail us show! U build up the hype way to high, to fail!!
U even got Javabeans to recap! And I have been waiting for her recap all day!!
~fingers, toes, arms, and legs definitely crossed
~prays and offers sacrifices to drama gods
~promises to be good

Paranoidness aside, I loved the part when he came back! It totally reminded me of that part in ratatouille, when Remy comes back, after having been freed. So sweet.. Loved Lee Min Ho! Neither disappointed me so far!

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Also, is it just me, but I found it hilarious, that both were mean to a kid. :D
He didn't let the kid push the button, and she literally stole candy from a kid!

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Easy as stealing ratings from Geum-bi and Weightlifting Fairy.

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Lol - I know, right? What is so funny about adults acting so childish?

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I didn't expect this to be so adorable. Heist is my favorite genre, and Joon Jae's hypnosis was impressive. I hope we get more cons with the mermaid unintentionally blowing their cover. It was good to see Shin awake, although Tae Oh spoke just as less as his other drama. Bring on The Heirs cameos. I'm most looking forward to Kim Woo Bin and Kang Min Hyuk.

She is such a puppy always seeking his validation, so it was painful when he abandoned her. Will the rain make her tail come back out? Her literal fish-out-of-water shenanigans made for a fun first episode. I laughed at how everyone on Viki kept singing, "Look at this stuff, Isn't it neat? Wouldn't you think my collection's complete?"

A big thanks for the recap, javabeans!

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Love Jun Jae already! ??? he brought out sweetness out of himself when it came 2 Shim Chung. The scene in which He hugs Chung on the escalator is very cute. ??? I also love how Jun Jae gives a worried and sad expression about Chung's wounded legs. ??? Lee Min Ho is getting Morrrre and morrrrre handsome!! ?????❤?????

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I felt bad for Weightlifting fairy because I really got interested in that drama but I love JJH so even for that, I'm also happy for her. I haven't read the recaps, just checking if javabeans (or anyone) will recap this drama just in case I got tired in the middle of this series, at least I know that there will be recaps.

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I feel bad for weightlifting fairy too. I checked out the first episode and I liked it, it was fun, bright and cheery. Too bad all the three dramas premiered on the same day. If the other two dramas had started a few weeks before, they might have established themselves already and would have had some viewers who were interested in the storyline tuning in.

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Same. Both dramas have potential to be very successful. Pity that they air on the same day. I will watch both but I still hope both will do good with the ratings war.

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Not gonna lie. I am in love with this drama. Thanks for the recap!

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Fun so far! Am wondering if she really did get herself hypnotised. I know this is really not unimportant, but you don't offer to buy heels for a girl with chaffed bloody feet. Appreciate the choice though. Onward!

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*important

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The con side of that character also uses some typical magic techniques that certain types of cons and thieves do use.

The classic bump theft is a variation of distraction away from what's really going on so the resulting "trick" seems like it's magic.

When you go to the shows where folks have their watches taken off, if you watch the body interaction between participant and taker, the taker will touch the person (usually higher on the same arm, like a comforting shoulder squeeze) so that person doesn't jolt at any touch.

I'm wondering if her bracelet is hinged. When watches get grabbed, the taker often looks for the kind that have the clasp, not a buckle. Buckles are a lot harder to get.

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The heels thing kind of irked me, too. Glad he decided to go with the other shoes. I thought it would have been nice if he had cleaned her cuts and bandaged it or something. But, I guess that's asking for too much especially since he was initially being nice to her only to steal her bracelet. I blame watching too many kdramas for making me expect that, lol.

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Yep, and I thought he would at least help her clean/apply antiseptic on her cuts first at least. Oh well, at least he chose the flattish ones.

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Seriously, you don't put any of those shoe choices on feet as cut up as hers were. Not to mention, gross. Glad he was able to pick out the perfect size first because if they hadn't fit, the next woman to try them on, just ew.

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I was itching for some all time wear, classy black sneakers from the moment he focused on her feet. Those feet need socks, particularly no show, and comfort sole support. It could have been a subliminal or outright message to k-fashion.

Alas, he bought her the flats that caught my eye. And kinda match her bracelet. Especially with the jewels for her mermaid self.

Side note, are her feet cut up from the first night as a human? Or is her tail cut up too?

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I winced when she tried the shoes. With those cuts she should have something soft or open like sandals maybe. I don't like the pink dress as well, looked itchy to wear. I was thinking why he didn't pick something comfortable. Not a deal breaker though. And while I'm at it let me just say the mermaid suit looked like a bridal gown, tube mermaid cut.

But what I like is the heart warming concern he seems to have for her and how she is touched by it. I was weepy when he went back to her outside the mall. I'll be here for the fun and the warm fuzzies :-)

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Yay! I like it! I'm so happy I can say that. Jeon Ji Hyun is just a riot in this role. I am little confused about some things though. For instance: LMH's character is clearly a reincarnation of his past self, but is JJH's as well? I thought she was supposed to be the same version of herself in both the past and present, but she doesn't seem to remember LMH at all. Are mermaids able to erase their own memories perhaps? Or does she just need more interaction with him to realize it's him.

I was surprised by how enchanted I was with the joseon opening. I want more! I hope the show doesn't just cast it aside for the time being and only bring it up for plot convenience later on. They could make things really interesting if they decided to play around with it some more.

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She might be the daughter of the earlier one, and the bracelet was passed down.

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Or mermaids might have a different concept of time and she didn't realize that the guy who helped her 400 years ago is not the guy helping her now.

OR Dam-ryun is dead and she's used to seeing "similar-looking" humans/reincarnations over the years that a Dam-ryun 2.0 doesn't surprise her anymore.

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I guess after 400 years it could take her a while to remember him? Maybe her memory did not click yet. About the legend of getting the memory erased. Maybe it was described like that but in reality it is something else? Men maybe fall in love with mermaids and get crazy because they cannot be together (as in tragic love story) and not because the mermaid made them crazy. I also think she did not just find the bracelet but went looking for it. I also agree that she probably saw other reincarnations before and that is not surprising her.

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Maybe she has amnesia? From all the thunks on the head when storms wash her ashore, which seems to happen pretty often.

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Are we sure she doesn't remember him? I thought maybe she did (at least a bit because 400 years IS a long time) when she saw him at the pool and that is why she ended up going to his hotel room and not some random other person's.

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I loved it! Seems like all we're seeing and know now are what they released in the trailers and stills and I don't mind because it means there's a lot to expect from it. Hoping for an epic storyline for this one! ???

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JJH is Love..... She can acts without uttering a word... Ohhh how I love seeing the fish out of water hijinks (literally)
very excited abt this drama

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Kyahahahaha..
I LOLed at the 'She is my wife' scene and then JJH shows up wearing a bridal gown and poses.

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love the wedding attendance, they also want to leave the gate....

the plot on that is ridiculous but the editing is awesome, still fun

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So far enjoying the ride..Plus, it's one of my favorite directors so I'm sure I'm gonna stick for some time to find out more.

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Time to brag!

I was so right about blockbuster ratings for premier episode..and I will say this again, even if story were to go downhill.. this drama will cross 30% and who knows may match DOTS.. unless that baby girl drama turns into one awesome tear jerker and split ratings down the line (even then i doubt)

AND
LMH??? Who??..lol.. what i mean is that.. JJ is awesome!!
she is sooo cute.. i thought no one could beat shin minha's cuteness in gumiho..and definitely not JJ..but blown away..

Bottomline.. she was so awesome that i didn't have time to appreciate other good things abt the drama..

********
Anyone still up for bets on the rating :P

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I don't know if it'll cross 30%. Man from the Stars didn't despite debuting with 15.6%. The fantasy aspect of it appeals more to young viewers. DotS was more of a rom.com/melo and it appeals to both young and old.
It's too early to tell, I'd give it a few more episodes.

Park Ji-eun is no stranger to high rating dramas. In fact she has a national drama under her belt.

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Pretty actress , beautiful naturally , hard to find t
They're both good looking and excellent acting
Love this drama

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Ut has been the longest day ever!

So happy this drama finally premiered!

Thank you Javabeans for the speedy recap?

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I was surprisingly mesmerized by the first episode - the eerie sadness of a captured mermaid in the olden days and her fortunate release by someone with the power to do so - and then the time travel to the present where they meet again. I think. LMH always makes me giddy - I mean his visuals and the way he walks and I've have to say JJH is girlcrush - yes, this could be good.

I loved how he swooped her up on the escalator and the applause ~

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I am so ready for this drama to be awesome. I love JJH and I seem to have gotten over my aversion of LMH(heirs-_-)

I hope the next ep explains some things and can't wait to see what happened in the past and if the mermaid remembers or is aware that this is a doppelganger from the past.. :)

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I hope we'll have an explanation on how she got her legs after that big wave.
I also don't know and it might be just me but during the start, JJH's mermaid tail was kinda golden in color but during the present times, it was like silverish. I don't know if it's age indicator or what..

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Yes! I was waiting for another person to mention the change in her color (going from gold to silver/white). I took it as an age thing.

And during the Joseon dinner, one of the guests says that seaman say that when mermaids come to land they gain humans legs and that there was a case where one married a human. My guess is, that because they kept her in a pond, she was not out of water long enough to get legs (and that maybe she was still somewhat wet in that cave they found her in). And that for 400 years, she stayed in the ocean, which would explain (a) why she was surprised when she had legs (looks like she was on land overnight after that storm in the present day) and (b) why she isn't more familiar with human languages despite how old she is.

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Agree. Did they not mention that the town head was a widower? What if he married the mermaid and then she had to go back to the ocean? He did not seem surprised in seeing a mermaid and she as well looked quite calm. What if they already knew each other?
About the different tail colour... I was wondering if that is age related as well. Or if she herself is a reincarnation

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Ohhhh...wow, that's a thought! And it would be a nice twist.

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There was definitely water in the cave. I didn't actually see the tail in the water, but I'm gonna go with that as the official reason she didn't have legs.

Of course the real reason she didn't have legs was that then the fishermen would have just found a pretty naked lady in the cave and then the story would have gone off in a whole different direction.

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Lol - look at you being all logical... :)

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I LOVED IT. LEE MIN HO IS JUST SO GORGEOUS. ?????

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DAEBAK! THIS IS EFFIN' HILARIOUS!! THE ACTORS ARE SUPERB AND OH MY GOD, LEE MINHO *coughs, my boyfie* is so handsome that you cant even resist to smile through out the whole episode ㅋㅋㅋ Jeon Ji Hyun? Wow! She nailed it!!

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She's so prettyyyyy

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Okay. I changed my mind. This may just be the best drama this year instead of Jealousy Incarnate although both has its own chatm.

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It's been a long long time since I last write in the comment section of this blog. I was waiting for Goblin (because I love Gong Yoo), but this first episode won me over, i loved it. But above all I loved Jeon Ji-hyun. Wow, that woman its amazing.

Its also been a long time since i watched a drama (and a "live" one for that matter). I really missed to watch one and come here to interact. Im putting my faith in this drama (and of course, Goblin), lets hope for the best. Great episode.

Thank you for the recap!

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Thanks for recapping so quickly, JB!

The filmography is really beautiful so I'm quite happy on that front. There's so much hype about it and a star-studded cast, so I was pretty worried it might not deliver. Luckily, so far so good!

JJH seemed such a goddess that I wasn't sure if she can still pull off that doe-eyed fish-out-of-water character, but I'm quite surprised that she did, and even found interesting new ways of portraying her awkwardness in the human world. I can't believe she was so game about shoving noodles into her mouth so "barbarically" on an open street!

But I was really rooting for her to be immune to hypnosis and sleight-of-hand tricks. I thought her mermaid physiology would have protected her from it, and it would have been great to see Joon Jae surprised that his usual tricks didn't work.

And this minor thing has been gnawing at me. I'm not surprised she slipped herself into his sweatshirt "dress", but how did she even know to put on pants? While the traffic light scene was funny, I think it wasn't all that crucial so I'd rather not have had to think about that continuity issue. >_<

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I think she didn't wear pants and not supposed to wear one/know how to wear a pant but ofc the show can't show that to viewer... so they make her wear those big clothes/dress

just like the con trick, the trick is ruin when you know the truth,
so I took it as she doesn't know how to wear pants and always uses baggy clothes, don't remember those black shade earlier

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"I think she didn’t wear pants and not supposed to wear one/know how to wear a pant but ofc the show can’t show that to viewer… so they make her wear those big clothes/dress" Yep that's why!

But if you watch the part where she poses like the traffic light sign, you can see that she's got undershorts... which didn't seem to fit well with her fish-out-of-water story.

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that's the part of "they can't show it to viewer" imo,
she always wear one, I saw it since she in the wardrobe but I think the story want us to "believe she doesn't know how to wear one" so she didn't wear one storywise but she wore one for safety exposure, therefore we can see the glimpse of it.

it's all my speculation though

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You are right, Sancheezy. According to the story, we need to believe that she does not know how to wear pants, but she obviously cannot shoot like that. Maybe they should have made her wear a bigger sweater.

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I noticed too that she definitely had cycling shorts in the traffic lights scene. Maybe someone from the police station gave her some undies? XD

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I rewatched again with subs and noticed that she had them on since the epic window-slamming incident at the hotel. Like what Imbuk said, I wished they'd picked out a different/longer outfit/sweater for her to wear instead. I don't know why but it bugs me so much.

Rewatching also made me a bit more aware of the flaws in the show. I don't mind her wide eyed wonder or innocence, but certain scenes seemed really hammed up. Like when she went a bit loony playing with tissue paper at the police station. Her initial mesmerised expression was fine, but it got a bit childish kinda crazy after. I mean, even for someone not of this "world" that seemed a bit of a stretch. And quite at odds with the elegant mermaid she was in the water... )=

I really wanna love this show so I hope things even out soon!

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There isn't (and doesn't need to be) a valid in-story reason for her to wear pants when she obviously doesn't even know how to put on other clothes.

They had to do it like that anyway because (1) it isn't a cable show, and (2) the fish-graphics they used in Surplus Princess wouldn't really fit the mood here.

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About the pants - of course it was a modesty thing and I saw them when she was in the hotel room. However, whether she put them on herself or not, surely HE would not have let her go out in public with only that hoodie on and no undergarments. So I just chose to believe he happened to have a pair of bike shorts in his luggage. ;)

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i thought the first ep was visually beautiful, im gonna give it another 3 eps, since im not captured by it yet. although im not attached to either actors i thought they looked really good and did match each other. usually im not into this specific type of romance, where one is really innocent or sorts and is kinda like a little puppy but i'll give it a chance and see how it develops

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This episode is proof that Jeon Ji-hyun can wear ANYTHING and look good. Even with food all over her face.

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I am just in it to watch Jeon Ji Hyun in all her glory. Maybe after 3-4 episodes I am going to analyse it and see if I actually like it. I am not expecting to be blown away with the story in any case, so would just enjoy JJH unless it becomes completely intolerable.

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the first episode was pretty. I did enjoy the sageuk beginning. she was so expressive despite not speaking at all. then there was a lot of her swimming in the pretty ocean with her pretty tail. I think my favorite part of this episode was when she scared the fishes in the tank. that was funny...definitely unexpected. heh

however, I didn't find myself awed by the drama. this might be that it's the premiere episode or because of my own expectations for the drama. i'm willing to stick it out though unless it goes downhill.

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Loved the show, love JJH. Just wondering what her child will think watching this. I still can't fathom how one can look so fine after giving birth to a baby. Slay JJH, slay!

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Do I sense another Daesang for JJH? *prays he show doesn't get jinxed*

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Jeon Ji Hyun is just the best at romcoms! She can get people to watch a drama with her hilarious, all-out facial expressions alone. Personally I didn't find YFTS's storyline to be all that excellent but I loved it purely because of JJH and the character Cheon Song Yi. I'm not saying that it was bad because it was definitely a fun and interesting drama but without JJH it wouldn't have been as great as it was.

It's too early to tell regarding how this drama will play out but it seems to be headed in the right direction. I'm not a big fan of Lee Minho but I liked him in City Hunter and he seems to be in good shape again now, much like how he looked during City Hunter-Personal Taste. Judging from the first episode alone it seems like I'll like him and his character here just fine. I'm all in for a new hook drama. Hoping this won't disappoint in the long run!

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the good: Jeon Ji Hyun is hilarious, I havent laughed so hard since ep 2 of Louis. she is truly carrying all the comedic weight here.
the iffy: pretty much everything else. Lee Min Ho is delivering but only in patches, he really isnt cut out for comedy. his conman act is too... over-gadgeted? It is like he is relying on technical tricks and not his brain. I am not convinced at all that he is a good conman.
the start was really slow and the visual symbols used kind of static. it is like you would expect a manga to start about a mermaid. all too unsurprising.

I hope it gets better though, and that they lose the english...

one thing I wonder is if Lee Min Ho has a really bad luck with theme songs or what. that grammar was painful. I am not willing to just endure this song for all of the episodes.

cmon, show, for the sake of your brilliant actress, do a little better.

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This is ? love story.......

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Ahahahhaha. I cringed so much when I saw that. Ahahahah

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Sooo painful when that line came up...

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That line ruined the scene for me. I hate it when they use songs with very obvious grammatical errors like this one.

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I couldn't help but read that subtitle line in my head with a Russian or Polish or Romanian accent. "Theese eese luff story."

Why doesn't anyone check with the English speakers when writing English lyrics? It seems so painless - one email, or text would solve it, but no. Alas. This is Korglish.

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But some would say one needs the brain in order to perform the technical aspects, wouldn't one??

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it is true, but relying on gadgets is not as impressive as relying on your own skills of persuasion. That hypnosis is a little unconvincing too, and unrealistic. real conmen just make you buy into a story with their effortless, plausible lies, they dont need a light to hypnotize you. it should be a seamless act that needs no physical assistance.

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Something smooth like Catch Me If You Can

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Yes, his cons relied too much on magic hypnosis and magic traffic-light hacking, not on real ways to fool the people.
It might not bother me so much if I hadn't seen Squad 38.

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The Joseon scenes were truly gorgeous. I was sad to see it leave. The rest of the episode panned out the way I'm sure we all expected it to, but it was pretty cute. I was getting Master's Sun flashbacks at the end (I remember javabeans? saying when he goes to save her the first time it didn't have the impact it should have, namely because we all expected it. I felt the same thing here, but it doesn't stop it from being narratively powerful.)

I'm interested.

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okay so jun jihyun is just amazing! i may not be following this drama, but i think i'll stay to search for her clips on sns.. maybe it's bcs my expectation was pretty low (i mean i kept on thinking just how tacky this mermaid setup would end up), but it's being done beautifully. idk if its props to the team, or jun jihyun's ability to be graceful in pretty much every. thing.

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I loved it! I have not watched you from another star, so I am happy I don't have anything to compare it with or find resemblances. This is my first time seeing jeon ji hyun in anything as well and she is absolutely brilliant. She made me root for her character in a single episode. Loved the visuals, they were gorgeous. Only drawback was the hypnotize thing, felt kind of unbelievable, but this is a fantasy drama, so I don't mind it much.

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