Lee Min Ho's The Legend of the Blue Sea is pretty much a certified blockbuster. After only premiering a couple of weeks ago, the new Korean drama is on course to outshine extremely popular titles like Park Bo Gum's Moonlight Drawn By Clouds and Song Joong Ki's Descendants Of The Sun.
"The Legend of the Blue Sea" Hits 25.23% Viewer Ratings with #LeeMinHo's Confession https://t.co/0NaRgR91uH pic.twitter.com/eEm6FD9BtPAs Soompi reports, Nielsen Korea's viewership stats show that the new Lee Min Ho drama claimed close to 19 percent of the audience in its time slot during its most recent episode which aired on December 1. According to Soompi, this means that Legend has received its highest ratings yet and this percentage is about 2 percent higher than the numbers the drama received for its fifth episode
— HanCinema (@hancinema) December 3, 2016
"The Legend of the Blue Sea" sets record, about to pass 20% https://t.co/qYBl4gsUPT pic.twitter.com/PTFRtHlTXZThe Legend of the Blue Sea is broadcast by Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) and has completely dominated its competitors on the other channels.
— HanCinema (@hancinema) December 2, 2016
Nielsen Korea stats indicate that Oh My Geum Bi on KBS attracted 5.5 percent of the audience and Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo got 4.6 percent.
Lee Min Ho And Jun Ji Hyun Face Sudden Danger In Latest Stills For "The Legend Of The Blue Sea"https://t.co/7ZXC8sv1Qk pic.twitter.com/wwMmpn32GEAs Han Cinema reports, the reason for the success of the sixth episode of The Legend of the Blue Sea could be Lee Min Ho's romantic confession scene.
— Soompi (@soompi) November 30, 2016
During the scene, Min Ho's character takes Jun Ji Hyun's character to a ski resort. After a touching moment where he helps her with her shoes, he hugs her and says "I love you." Cue the swooning of millions of Lee Min Ho fangirls around the world. According to Han Cinema, that scene alone garnered about 25 percent of the audience viewership for the time slot.
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Why is Legend of the Blue Sea so popular?
One of the main factors that could account for the popularity of the new Korean drama could be summed up in three words: Lee Min Ho.
Legend is Min Ho's first Korean drama in many years. As the Inquisitr previously reported, before the K-drama aired, Lee expressed some anxiety about whether the role would be well received.
"I'm nervous and excited to see how everyone will respond to it," he said at the press conference before the series premiere. "I get to act out two roles on The Legend of the Blue Sea, including one as a conman and so I'll be able to show many diverse sides to me. Please look forward to seeing them."
[Drama Review] 'The Legend of The Blue Sea' - Episode 6 https://t.co/qgzvVUNqfZ pic.twitter.com/2l31L5lHMb
— allkpop (@allkpop) December 3, 2016
The Legend of the Blue Sea new still cuts. Happy face.???? Happy Monday everyone! Don't forget to keep smile on your face! #JunJiHyun #LeeMinHo pic.twitter.com/WhN38SRVXOBut perhaps Lee Min Ho can't really take all the credit. As Inquisitr's Jan Omega wrote last month, his co-star Jun Ji Hyun may be the reason Korean drama fans can't get enough of The Legend of the Blue Sea.
— Gianna Jun전지현 (@junjihyun81) November 28, 2016
While a version of Lee Min Ho's conman character can be seen in other K-dramas, Ji Hyun's mermaid character is unique.
"Just the fact she plays a mermaid learning the ways of humanity makes her role far more unique than Min Ho's," Omega writes. "The only role close to what Ji Hyun is playing was back in the 2014 K-drama, The Idle Mermaid a modern-day Korean retelling of Han Christian Anderson's The Little Mermaid starring Jo Bo Ah."
The Legend of the Blue Sea airs on SBS on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10 p.m KST, but you can also watch the Korean drama online on Viki.
[Featured Image by Ashley Pon/Getty Images]