I have been meaning to catch up on this series when I started watching Legend of the Blue Sea, as I had heard a lot about it. Finally squeezed in some time to do a marathon and finished half of the series and I have to say I’m very impressed by it.
I’ve watched up till episode 10 now and every episode has been such a great mix of humour, romance, suspense and fascination. There’s never been a boring moment and the plot just keeps moving and moving, with new surprises and turns in each episode. While everyone’s tuned in for the romance, there are bigger events driving the narrative forward in engaging ways.
Lee Jae-kyung may not be the most convincing villain as there are certain scenes where his evil gestures come off as so extreme that it’s almost comical, like what’s up with him continually turning his ring? Nonetheless, he definitely has a strong, sinister presence and there’s a sense of dread and fear whenever he appears on screen. What’s most important is that he keeps taking actions to protect himself which also ultimately means harming others and the twists and turns of his machinations and schemes are exciting to watch. He’s a villain who thinks and makes smart, threatening moves that place our protagonists in danger time and time again. A good villain always helps to make the romance more engaging and our heroes more admirable.
Jun Ji-hyun and Kim Soo-hyun have such fantastic chemistry together, but beyond that, it’s really how their characters have been written with such deep, engaging back stories and fascinating trajectories. Both Cheon Song Yi and Do Min Joo are so different, yet they shine and are enigmatic in their own ways. Cheon Song Yi with her brash, overbearing ego remains charming and endearing because of her honesty and no-nonsense attitude, as well as what we learn of her backstory and how she’s ultimately become trapped by the cruelty of the media industry. Do Min Joo is a recluse who’s gradually learning what it means to live a normal life after Song Yi brashly enters his life and refuses to step out. He’s so distant and detached, that it really takes someone like Song Yi to pull him out of his shell and realise that living a normal human life may not be so bad after all. I’m really loving the little quirky epilogues as well, where he talks about his past or provides us with different insights on certain scenes.
What’s most important in a quality show is the supporting cast, and this show certainly has put together a great ensemble of fascinating characters who also have their own stories. From Se Mi’s rise to fame to Jae-hyun’s persistent pursuit of Song Yi, every character has adequate amount of time to be developed and they are not just plot devices to provide humour or to convey exposition when required.
It’s an all round fantastic show and I’m looking forward to the next half of the show, especially now that Jae-kyung realises something’s amiss with Min Joo and he’s exposed his identity to him. Song Yi has also confessed her feelings for Min Joo and Min Joo is coming closer and closer to also realising and confessing his feelings for her. Can’t wait to see how everything unfolds!