The time transcending pure love of a mermaid to a conman

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A lot of expectations were already thrown at this drama even before it was airing due to A-list actors and top writer/director headlining the production.  I say it did exceptional in maintaining the fantasy, romance and comedy as it progressed along the story.  His hero projection to his lead girl in a refreshing and a quirky run I thought he won’t be able to pull off.  I was so fond of Jun Ji Hyun’s inventive approach to suit up her role in a fun, lingering kind of way.

True, that it can’t be helped for it to be compared with “You From Another Star”, having the same psycho villain and supernatural love defying theme, but the base fairytale approach that seems to be familiar to anyone is most likely the key ingredient to its delightful run. 

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Lee Min Ho overturned the table and took in the reign of carrying the story by leveling up to Jun Ji Hyun’s expected brilliant portrayal by polishing his comic timing halfway through the narrative.  His hero projection to his lead girl in a refreshing and a quirky run I thought he won’t be able to pull off.  He owned Heo Joon Jae’s character so well that I can finally say he’s grown from a pretty face to a now versatile bankable actor.  On the other side, Jun Ji Hyun’s inventive approach to suit up her role in a fun, lingering kind of way made me cracked up a lot of times because of her optimistic approach to her new-found world.  Her love ride with Heo Joon Jae was an amusing and love-affirming watch as they learned to understand each other’s flaw and adjust when necessary in appeasing their fears and celebrating what makes them happy.

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The fusion of reincarnation plot and the mermaid-human romance appeared trite on its onset, but as the plot thickened, it felt like the mythical element was stronger as the driving point than the real-life premise projected in the story.  Another thing that was nicely done by the writer was how the melancholia of the past timeline seemed to complement the quirky flow of the present timeline.  Legend of the Blue Sea made me smile a lot and warmed my heart as I cheered on the impossible fulfilment of Cheong and Joon Jae’s reincarnated romance.  It effortlessly kept me piqued on how the plot will unfold and did not give me a slight annoyance because it came well prepared on its weekly spectacle and knows when to trigger the adorable points and cast the entrancing spell for me to stay invested on its future. 

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I struggled giving the proper love “Legend of the Blue Sea” deserves because it is airing with equally amazing dramas on its run, but I remained steadfast and faithful even with the penultimate episode’s joke.  

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The consistency of the plot while using alternate timelines of the past and the present would have gone ambiguous.  But the writer strategically switched the focal character point from the heroine on its preliminary episodes, then maneuvered to the hero halfway through the story, and converged them in equilibrium as we hit the waning events and push through the conflict resolution.  “Legend of the Blue Sea” succeeds in a lively pace of intelligent storytelling with smart characters you will not hate as they don’t play dumb at hindrances thrown at them. 

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Having time-transcending and supernatural love defying themes appeared to be ambitious and risky due to its tendencies of not being able to expound on the development of the characters moving in the story.   But the base fairytale approach that seems to be familiar to anyone is most likely the key ingredient to its engaging ride. 

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I was impressed on how the story stayed focus while fusing the two timelines by not over-using the technicalities and details, but by enhancing the emotional connection of the main leads.  Instead of me having a kdramaaddict moment like “why is Cheong physically adept in the present but not in the past?”, I was more of “come on now, he took a harpoon from the past to save her and she took a bullet for him in the present, let’s give them the ever-after they deserve”.

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I chose to say the best things about this drama given that it was steadily amazing on its ride.  Each episode was a satisfying watch that propelled me to look forward on how the story will unfold.  My only issue was the safe landing or more of auto-pilot ending on the last episode.

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Legend of the Blue Sea was strong on the candied-heart-fluttering moments of Joon Jae and Cheong, but even stronger on relaying the couple’s sweet and yet agonizing journey to endure the love they have in the present in the pretext of a human-mermaid romance impossibility.  It neatly executed the narrative by using simple rules considering its metaphysical premise.  It modernized the reincarnation plot, by playing the resident drama fix of how love overcomes anything and beyond everything. 

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The love that happened when they least expected it

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Something About 1% is a surprise hit for me this year.  I was prepared to drop it after 4 episodes, but boy I fell in love with the kiss scenes, lol I mean the story.  *wink  As Lee Jae In sedated my grieving heart from Scarlet Heart Ryeo, it pushed me back to meaningful existence with his sweet smile and steamy gazes.  This amazingly done rom-com darted cheesy and predictable.  Even now I still wonder how I got so addicted with everything so unadorned about it. 

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With its swift format following how web dramas usually are, it managed to fully explore the story with each closing chapter, and that’s a feat hard to maintain given the limited minutes for online dramas.  The lead couple’s chemistry is spot on in delivering those knee-weakening scenarios courtesy of the dapper lead man and the sunny disposition of the heroine. It will make any girl squeal on her pillow as the drama generously displayed heart-fluttering scenes every chance they can get.  I swear you can feel how melting the kisses were by Jae In and it will literally emanate from the TV screen straight to your parted lips. *aigoo *giggles For those who religiously follow Korean dramas we all know how the trend is for the liplocks — fish-like and boring, so be prepared for strings of whoa! and kyaaa on those extended smooching frames because Ha Suk Jin oppa knows how to feast on the romantic ride and will put you on a lovestruck-fangirl-trance and turn your eyeballs to hearts.  *kkk

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The premise of contract relationship has tendencies to overkill rom-com tropes if not executed with the right amount of love chemistry progression.  What made me hook in the story of Da Hyun and Jae In was how their romance happened like how it should be… by sharing conversations, bickerings and meaningful events.  They were on a clear agreement that strings will not be attached only to succumb to the emotion that sprung because they willingly involved time to spend with one another.  They were intending not to cross the wall they set initially, only to be struck on the reality of how binding shared memories can be in a relationship.

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Something About One Percent was brilliant in creating simple situations for the main leads and turning it to cohering pieces that has fulfilled a stunning love narrative.  The vibrancy of the heroine’s character complements the temperament of the lead man leading to a charming yin-yang romance.   It was  refreshing to feel a romance drama that is not fortified with misplaced conflicts and negative vibes.  It may not be that polished or creatively conceived with twist and turns and top actors that can make such a romantic drama spree amazing.  But it is with its heartfelt and pure storytelling that made me pick it as my Best Rom-Com Drama for 2016.  There was no special frosting and extraordinary premise Jae In and Da Hyun went through to arrive in that moment when they realized they love each other.  They were just there letting love happen through their shared memories.  The simplicity of the romantic narrative won me over.  It made me reminisce those unadulterated girl crushes I had when I was younger.  “Something About One Percent” engrossed me because the love built up came in so natural and sweet.  Something that pierced those old love memories I had when they were not yet nightmares.  *chuckles

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Focusing on the sparks and connection was what was so efficient in this love chronicle.  The conflict thrived to whether the love couple will disregard their feelings toward each other after the relationship contract or surrender to each other, make the relationship real and face together the varying world they have armed with their steadfast love. 

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It could be because of the consistent candied tone, the sigh inducing kisses, the committed on-screen relationship of the actors and the nicely-paced, yet crisp storyline that made “Something About 1%” such a charming treat for kdrama fans this year.  I can’t count the ways how much I like it anymore.  But one thing is for sure, I will miss the earnest love couple who accidentally found romance in the most remote possibility ever.  A beautiful love story sometimes does not need to be elaborated.  It can be as simple as it can get if we can feel the heartfelt love flowing.  Love does not ever happen in an instant.  You’d be lucky if you recognize it happening at the moment.  It is when we are not beside the person that we realize we are in love, and holding them in our arms is when we want to love them even more. -abbyinhallyuland

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