SBS’ new drama The Legend of the Blue Sea plagiarism issues are stacking up one after another. Starring Lee Min Ho and Jun Ji Hyun, the fantasy drama went off to a strong start. But that didn’t prevent critics from pointing out the show’s similarities to British TV series Sherlock and 1984 romantic comedy film Splash.
Legend of the Blue Sea was accused of plagiarizing Sherlock because Lee’s character, Joon-jae, reads the person he’s with in a similar fashion as Sherlock Holmes. The scene used text overlays over different body parts to show that Joon-jae was analyzing his companion, which was the same scene Sherlock used long before the Korean drama aired.
Legend of the Blue Sea Plagiarism
On the other hand, netizens claimed that Legend of the Blue Sea also plagiarized the movie Splash. The latter was all about a man who fell in love with a mermaid after she saved him from drowning. Legend of the Blue Sea focuses on a conman who falls in love with the last mermaid in the planet.
The netizens also pointed out that the plot is not the only thing similar between the two shows, but Jun Ji Hyun’s character, the mermaid, acts the same way as the female lead in Splash. Both learned how to speak the human language by watching TV, ate with their hands because they don’t know how to eat using utensils, and misunderstood traffic signs. Netizens said the behavior was too similar, as if Ji Hyun’s character was simply recreating what the mermaid in Splash did.
Will this affect actor Lee Min Ho’s career?
Despite the controversies, the show still got plenty of viewers. Garnering more than two million views on its pilot episode, it surpassed primetime hit shows “My Love from the Stars” and “Descendants of the Sun”. Legend of the Blue Sea also gained 16.4 percent viewership rating on its premier, which was higher than Descendants of the Sun, which only got 14.4 percent.
What Do The Fans Think?
Fans have expressed their disappointment over the Legend of the Blue Sea plagiarism controversy. However, the production team have not released their side regarding the issue. Instead, they have released a behind-the-scenes video where Jun Ji Hyun films her underwater scenes.
Catch Legend of the Blue Sea every Wednesdays and Thursdays in SBS at 10 PM, KST.