Egregious English Alert!: The Legend of The Blue Sea [Episode 1]

Did you really think we wouldn’t notice, Show?

Ah, the English dialog in The Legend of The Blue Sea. The kdrama starring Lee Min Ho and Gianna Jun premiered last week.

The non-Korean characters (and sometimes Lee Min Ho’s character) have lines in English. But the setting is in Spain (and from the pointed backdrop of the Palau de La Musica Catalana, Barcelona). If anything, Lee Min Ho’s character, Heo Joon Jae, should’ve been speaking in Spanish.

Dialog: The following was overacted, in English, without a hint of a Spanish accent.screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-11-03-44-pm

Spanish Police Officer: Look at me! Look at my hand! Focus. I’m talking to you. Why did you break into that hotel? What were you trying to get? You’ve been to other hotels too, right?

The Spanish police and shopping mall personnel eke out their regrettable English dialog (and acting). Yes, that’s right – Spanish characters and English dialog. Doesn’t make any sense, does it? If at all, it should’ve been mostly in Spanish, with limited English. (Or, even more legit, in Catalan.)


Spanish Police Officer: What are you smiling at? You won’t even answer my questions but got the nerve to smile? You think this is some kind of joke?

At least the mall employees used some Spanish, with somewhat more authentic English (as it would sound with a Spanish accent).


Mall Employee #1: Would you please leave? Business hours are over.

Mall Employee #2: Está cerrado. Cerrado. You don’t speak English?

Mall Employee #1: Hello. Do you understand that? She’s crazy [to Employee #2]. (The “She’s crazy” should’ve been in Spanish, or Catalan.)

Mall Employee #2 (to Employee #1): Because of her, we are getting off work this late. [This line should have also been in Spanish.]

In this brand new edition of Egregious English Alert! (EEA), I highlight the offenders: the kdramas with absolutely heinous English dialog. Always contrived and usually forcibly delivered, and mostly a painful train wreck-and-a-half to behold.

Please. Stop throwing English in there. Just don’t. Por favor.

If the setting is in Spain, then throw a más o menos in there.
And If you’re in Barcelona, can I get a molt bé ?


It’s not helping gain more fans or an international, English-speaking audience. Instead, it takes away credibility and undermines the quality of the drama.  English dialog is often thickly accented, always poorly written, and distracts from the content because of its unnatural juxtaposition. You think we can’t spot that shit a mile away, Show?


And I’m an American. God only knows how the Spaniards are reacting to this episode. I mean, there wasn’t even a single Zara in the background. And this was supposed to be at a mall. In Spain.screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-11-55-47-pm

What adds insult to injury is that the English dialog by non-Korean actors is coupled with bad acting. I mean bad. Like being thrown-under-a-bus bad. Or being-stabbed-in-the-shoulder-with-your-own-knife bad (Lee Jae Won shout out).

You’re shooting in Barcelona. I get that maybe your budget couldn’t afford Javier Bardem or Paz Vega or Belen Rueda or Penelope Cruz or Antonio Banderas. But venga, hombre; en serio, es horrible. Even Canary Island native Esteban Ahn has more acting experience (and a Seoul Searching connection to boot). Joder. You brought this upon yo’self.

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-12-06-30-am screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-12-06-28-am

You’d get better acting from first year theater majors. At least get some script consultants with a native English background. And, in this case, Spanish and Catalan, too.


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