Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Legend of the Blue Sea: Episode 1

푸른 바다의 전설: 제1회
1586. A fierce typhoon ravages a village in Gangwon, and the townsfolk enjoy a windfall of fresh fish, including a mermaid who gets stuck in a cave. The young new town head frees her from captivity. As he rows his boat and she swims beside it, she reaches out her hand for him to hold, which according to superstition could very well be as lucky as it is bad fortune. Flash forward to modern day Seoul, Heo Joon-jae (이민호) is the "Harry Potter of Con Artists,” achieving his material needs through scams. His latest venture brings him to an exclusive resort on the shores of the Mediterranean. A trail of food items leads him to his closet where Shim Cheong (전지현), a modern age mermaid, has sneaked in after a storm maroons her inland. When he realizes that she’s wearing a 400-year old jadeite bracelet worth $6 million, he does his best to get his hands on her jewelry, taking advantage of her cluelessness. When his conscience kicks in, he comes back for her. As their hands touch under the pouring rain, a new story begins.

The pilot episode is a literal fish out of the water story. The common pitfall of mermaid narratives on TV is the bad CGI and the stubborn insistence on depicting their life underwater, when the trick is actually quite simple. In order to come up with a good half human half fish story, you have to take her out of the sea. The shots of 전지현 swimming underwater are impressive, although they could have chosen a more colorful reef to match the vivid overhead and drone shots that they have filmed. The costume looks like an underwater serpentina gown extending all the way to the tail. It should be awkward, but it works. It still exudes a certain amount of sensuality despite the abundance of skin cover. The mermaid here seems to have no problem growing legs. In fact, the transformation seems automatic depending on the setting she is in. This is crucial because it dismisses the common dilemma mermaids usually face when they cross over to terra firma, which makes you question what the main issue would actually be. Any clues, writers?

Words of the day
사과할게 I apologize
인어 Mermaid

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