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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You Who Came From Another Star, can you come back and stay right where you are?

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Rarely did a Korean romcom drama approach me and sweep me off of my feet every episode up to the finale, and to say that I was happy throughout my drama-stalking was an understatement, I was so elated with it.  You see, love stories need not to be so big romantic kind of way, not that I didn’t like the “alien-who-loved-me” twist but “You From Another Star” drew a great following because of the vibrant characters who has really brought to life their fictional images to an unforgettable and you-can’t-help-but-relate-to kind of way. I think the lightness of the conflicts and not involving much negative emotion, but focusing on making the lead couple work their way to defy the cosmic problem inhibiting them from being together gave a gratifying closure for the story.  You see once in a while jealousy, greed, family intervention, amnesia and annoying 3rd parties are not required to create a heartfelt love tale, you only need two hearts that love bravely and love back deeply.

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Feisty and fun, it has surely and splendidly built up the conflict, the romance, and the conflicting romance, binding me in perplexing contemplation on how a drama with typical romcom premise surged a romantic bliss, never looking back and coming strongly and  surely each chronicle episode and seemingly faultless in executing the how-to-make-a-perfect-romcom guidelines.

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Do Min Joon, an alien from another star came to earth during the Joseon era and has delayed his return to where he came from because he was waiting for a chance to meet a young woman who has made a connection with him in his early days of staying in a new world he’s trying to be acquainted with.  He has managed to mingle with human life for the next 400 years, and in the last 3 months of his eventual departure to return to his world, he met Cheon Song Yi, a famous vivacious actress who resembled  the young woman he has yearning to meet again before his presumed alien stay wanes. What used to be a mundane living for him changed 360 degrees as his connection with the pretty and feisty actress grew within him, and before he knew it, they have fallen in love with each other.  The road to finding love to the person you least expect it to happen and the pain of being hindered of the love they both deserve made Do Min Joon and Cheon Song Yi’s love story remarkable and deeply affecting.  There you have a girl who is not so perfect and at times have her own way of perceiving things but her ability to express what she feels and her sensitivity to know when to stop made her such an endearing and memorable heroine.   Do Min Joon, on the other hand slowly progressed to a hero worthy of shooting-star-give-me-my-prince-wish as he went from the stoic alien to a loving man all willing to give everything in his power to protect his woman.

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Cheon Song Yi, a Korean top actress who has been a usual target of social media frenzy due to her dumb remarks was forced to enter school again to appease negative rumors that has been chasing her alongside the popularity status she has gained.  She attended the class of Do Min Joon, an alien incognito living on earth, waiting for the dying days of his earth visit who also happened to be her neighbor and was clueless about her immense infamous status.

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Their love thread eventually started as Min-joon’s hearing ability learned of Song-yi’s fears and loneliness which sparked up his protective instinct that eventually solidified when he realized that she looked like the young woman who was his very first friend in the planet and whom he has been yearning to try and meet again through his years of living on earth.

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When Song Yi hit the rock bottom of her career after being involved as a contributor of a fellow actress’ alleged suicide, Min-joon found himself standing up as her hero.  Little by little love blossomed in Song Yi’s heart, and soon enough Min-joon realized the same.

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Fate, chance encounters and brave “i-love-you-right-now claims have never been so perfectly achieved until this love story graced kdrama screen and though there were minimal things that I wished was explained fully, I didn’t care less because the love progress moved to a pace where the character’s connection is sensitive to the story they are into, while the story glued out perfect pieces of events that maybe kdrama cliche, but were effectively used and concluded just the same.

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I love the execution of the characters in this tv delight because the main leads will be able to stand alone even if an eventual story slip might happen, which was never triggered anyway necause of the brilliant writing that calculated the story flow without looking so dragging and predictable as well as staying realistic and amusing. It’s like a mixture of amazing awkwardness, cuteness and honesty… the conservative, recluse, pretending to be nonchalant but truly caring alien professor and the clueless vivacious cute in her self-centered way top actress, have been nourishing their romance in a traditional negotiating way where the girl always wins and the boy ends up giving in. Thus feeding on this premise, I fell in love with how they came to terms that they love one another.

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Less the tears, sob stories and dramatic dialogues, “You Who Came From The Stars” is as crisp, engaging and gripping even without using the heavy and dark emotion inducing drama scenarios. Thriving on the character ups and downs, it etched facets of realities that teaches how people struggled to concede with their insecurities and are always won over by finding faults at something or someone they won’t even have to bother. Cheon Song Yi has had me girl crushing on her proud vulnerable self whose pain all women can relate to – that is pretending something doesn’t hurt when in reality it’s making you sob when you are alone. Her trying to rescue her self regardless of the crazy fix she succumbs to has earned her a charming heroine who would stay strong in the face of her adversities but would not hesitate to ask for help when she can no longer take it.

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Most of the kdrama characters I grew fond of were of the eyecandy-princey-darcy-ish-jackdawson-ish kind of guys, and this will be the first time I am going to place a girl character on my favorite list. Not that Min-joon is overshadowed by his lead girl. Their chemistry is surprisingly impeccable with or without love furtive insinuations meaning to have the other party take notice. Theirs was a tv screen relationship definitely worth watching and undoubtedly addictive because of their extreme personalities and willingness to compromise knowingly and unknowingly to their differences.

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I can say a lot of beautiful things about this drama but to make it simpler, I will just say that it is currently my all time favorite.  I was happy to witness the closure which gave me a happy ending and yet not leaving entirely its supernatural premise.  You Who Came From Another Star’s finale didn’t force the issue and gave a satisfying ending for hopeless romantics and threw a lightsaber party to scifi geeks.    It yielded a make sense ever after dream for the lead girl who has been patient to his eventual wormhole traveling man to fulfill his promise to his woman.  A classic love-you-when-you’re-here-with-me and love-you-even-more-even-if-you-leave irony and yet so indulging of wistful memories.  It was a heartfelt love affirming ending befitting of the bravery, honesty, unrequited love and a surreal romance wrapped in a pink bow.

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