sab: We have come a full circle where History repeats itself, with the exception of the ending. Instead of Dam-ryung (Joon-jae) sacrificing himself for Se-hwa (Sim-chung), it’s the latter who ends up protecting her beau. Plus, our OTP get their mundane, ordinary ending together, which is fitting, given that their past lives have been so tumultuous.
While I do not dislike Blue, if I were to compare Blue with You Who Come from the Stars, I feel the latter excites me more. Maybe cos the conflict in Stars feel more pressing and real, right up to the final few minutes. Not only is there a psychopath running around to finish off Gianna Jun, the angst of an alien lover having to return to his homeland to prevent himself from dying in our world spells a much lower chance of him ever returning in this lifetime. On the flipside, using a wormhole as a resolution gave Star a pretty forced happy ending. In contrast, Blue sets the narrative up for a logical happy-ever-after quite early in the show.
We are reminded constantly that the mermaid’s heart can only survive if her other half returns her love. Checked. Joon-jae has no problem loving Sim-chung whether she is a normal human female or a non-human female, previous or current life notwithstanding. Also, Sim-chung is not an immortalized Se-hwa. In other words, mermaids probably would have the same lifespan on land as a normal human. We are also given examples of other mermaid-human pairings, successful or not. There are Hans Anderson’s version of Little Mermaid, Joon-jae’s preferred Disney version and also Mdm Mo’s (Joon-jae’s mum) folklore version. So, mermaids are not aliens and they are possible candidates for an inter-species marriage.
With all these information slipped into Blue’s background, the possibility that Sim-chung will not return from sea to land is zilch. The possible clouds in the horizon are A) she dies prematurely (the gunshot wound did worry me a little there), or B), Joon-jae et al forget her permanently after her memory wipes. Since the former happened in the penultimate episode and Sim-chung recovers miraculously from her near-death experience early on in ep16, it only leaves us with Option B. Which isn’t much of a dark cloud given that Joon-jae had restored an earlier (Spain) memory wipe.
While I find Blue’s ending fairly predictable, I did find myself enjoying the finale’s plot twists. Especially Nam-doo. He was set up to be money minded, and fairly unscrupulous, even trying to con money out of a high schooler Joon-jae. And he appeared to be seriously considering selling Sim-chung as an aquatic freak show to generate income. Given that he is cunning enough to accomplish that (and possibly without Joon-jae’s knowledge), he did pose as a huge threat. More so when Blue sneaks in snippets of his past life as Park-moo — Chi-hyun’s bodyguard/ servant.
Thankfully though, in both his past and present lives, Nam-doo is the wild card that flips The Evil Tripartite’s (Dae-young, Mdm Kang and Chi-hyun) plans on its head. In his past life, he helped Manager Nam escape with incriminating evidence on Lord Yang’s (Dae-young) wrongdoings, and in the present, he conned Chi-hyun and Mdm Kang into exposing their own crimes.
kooriyuki: I wouldn’t compare this with Stars since I didn’t complete the latter. I honestly enjoyed Show and looked forward to it weekly, because I thought it was generally well written and I really liked the whole reincarnation-but-not-really setup. I thought the quiet ending was befitting to the dramatic romance between a human and a mermaid because that’s what their Joseon counterparts were looking for. Sometimes the best kind of love isn’t one that has alot of passion but one that is built on small daily life happenings.
I do admit that Show would probably appeal more to those who believe in past lives, especially when the issue of unresolved past grievances being acted upon in a new life, as was the central conflict here. It relied alot on coincidences and fate, which probably also made it seem less realistic. I don’t have much of an issue with this however, as long as it propels the story forward and appropriate twists are added. Taking the example of Jin-joo and Mom, I think the point driven across was that previous lives’ grudges may be resolved because even if the person is reincarnated, their life experiences in the two different lives led them to be two different people and thus grudges in the past remain in the past.
On the other side of the coin, some core personalities do not change, such as greed and fear, which are what our villains symbolize. They continue to do bad, while being able to love and having courage to do what’s right and good, are what our protagonists stand for. Like sab and many others, I also find Nam-doo the most interesting character and enjoyed the late game-changes that he brought. This is definitely one of the 2016 dramas that I’ll remember fondly.