Bride of the Water God is about a Water God (Nam Joo Hyuk) who has to go to the human world to recover magical stones so that he can become king. He locates his servant (Shin Se Kyung) whose family is cursed to serve him for eternity. The two encounter many challenges on the hunt for the stones including interference from several other gods as well as dealing with their growing feelings for each other.

Nam Joo Hyuk plays our Water God Habaek who is spoiled and entitled. He dislikes having to go the human world and simply wants to claim his throne by finding the stones and get out of there as soon as possible.

His character is also kind of like a robot being pretty emotionless unless he gets angry. This works well for deadpan style humor with his reactions to the human world. But sadly, he pretty much stays this way for the entire of the drama. I was really hoping to see him develop more emotionally, and we just don’t get that. There’s a little bit toward the very end, but it was never anything particularly dramatic. I still enjoyed Nam Joo Hyuk though!

Shin Se Kyung is Yoon So Ah. She’s a psychiatrist whose family has had to serve the Water God for generations. She’s a kind person, but she tries to hide it. She’s also not very happy with her life. And when she first meets Habaek she thinks he is delusional. It made the relationship entertaining for sure.

I love Shin Se Kyung so much! While this isn’t one of the best written characters, she brought her usual charm that made So Ah very likable. Her comedic timing is great, and she really delivers the needed emotion at the right times. Another great performance by Shin Se Kyung!

Im Joo Hwan plays CEO Shin. He’s the CEO of a resort and takes an interest in So Ah. He’s by far the most intriguing and well developed character in the drama. He’s layered and his character is presented well.

Im Joo Hwan is also a phenomenal actor who can really bring through important subtleties in a character such as this. I was really moved by his performance and the intensity he was able to deliver.


We then have our other gods who live in the human world. Bi Ryum (Gong Myung) is a Sky God who doesn’t really get along with Habaek. Moo Ra (Krystal) is another Water God who is an actress that has long time feelings for Habaek. This duo definitely create some problems for both Habaek and So Ah. I thought Gong Myung and Krystal did well with their roles, but their characters were pretty unlikable throughout the drama.

Bride of the Water God is definitely a bit of mess, and it certainly has a lot of issues. First, the drama was pretty slow to get going with the story. We meet our characters and then the narrative sort of wanders around for the first quarter of the drama without much plot advancement. The story developments then barely start to trickle in, but they are few and far between.

The drama doesn’t really gain a strong direction as to where it wants to go until over halfway through. It withholds much of the backstory from the audience for far too long. Keeping some mystery is good, but you need to give your audience something. I felt like there was this great story dying to be told, but it just couldn’t quite get it out there. Then we get more of an info dump in the last few episodes. It’s a long road to get there, but things do come together quite nicely in the end.

But on the plus side, I eventually seemed to just get comfortable with the drama despite its shortcomings. I liked the characters and the world that it had created. Mind you the world development is actually not that great either, lol. But I enjoyed what it gave me.

I really liked Nam Joo Hyuk and Shin Se Kyung both as individual characters so getting to know them was fun. I also really enjoyed them together. I thought they had a fun bickering chemistry. If I didn’t like them so much I probably would have dropped it after a few episodes since the story just wasn’t doing much at that point.

But as a whole, their relationship was all over the place, and they took way too long to get together. While I liked that they spend a lot of time together, the romantic developments were lacking. I did enjoy the different stages of the relationship we went through, they were just slow going. But I tended to like it more as the drama progressed, and there are quite a few nice couple moments throughout.


The drama includes plenty of humor mostly stemming from Habaek’s reactions and his narcissistic attitude. The beginning has some very entertaining moments as he tries to adjust. I really got a kick out of the inflatable castle he called home when he first arrives in the human world.

I should also reiterate how amazing Im Joo Hwan was! I loved everything about his character, and he goes on quite a difficult journey. I sympathized with him so much and just longed for him to find peace and happiness. Im Joo Hwan was perfect for this role, and it just continues to re-enforce that he really should be getting more lead roles!

I liked the fantasy element to the story with the gods having a long history with each other and having magical powers. I also really like the special effects, especially the depiction of Habaek’s manipulation of water. Habaek gets to rescue So Ah several times so there were quite a few scenes that utilized this effect, and I thought they were done really well. I also liked these scenes because they were dramatic and typically included a bit of action as well as giving Habaek a chance to slowly realize his feelings for So Ah.

The drama as a whole is also very gorgeous to look at. There are so many beautiful scenes including lush green scenery and rolling hills. But the imagery I loved most was from the small amount of time we get to spend in the realm of the gods.

The Water World was very lovely to look at, and I absolutely loved the costumes and makeup on all of the characters. I found it sort of torturous though because it reminded me that had the drama stuck to the original webtoon, the whole thing would have been in this gorgeous setting. It was seriously impressive to look at.

So Bride of the Water God is a bit all over the place in terms of things it does right and things it does wrong. It has many glaring issues, but it also has things that are very enjoyable. Your enjoyment of this drama will heavily depend on if you feel the good outweighs the bad. I personally found it a decent watch, but it could have been so much more.

My Rating: 6.5/10

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38 responses to “Bride of the Water God Korean Drama Review”

  1. snow Avatar

    I planned on watching it but interest dipped with time and not hearing particularly great things about it. And since there is so little time and so many dramas, it’s better to avoid it for now.

    1. Kay Avatar

      Yeah, it’s a mess and I think you would really have to like the actors or the fantasy element in general to like this one. Probably best spend time on dramas you’ll know you will enjoy.

  2. okiewinegirl2015 Avatar

    Im Joo Hwan is why I hung in there for 9 episodes. I thought he did a phemon job in Oh My Ghostess. Viewing is sketchy in my area, so I youtubed bits and pieces to see what happened and realized I didn’t miss much. Very slow to develop and Shin Se Kyung basically carried the emotion for both leads. Nam Joo Hyuk’s character seems to move from self centered robot to dumbfounded robot as he realizes his own cluelessness of reality. However, kudos to the writers for the ending. That ten minutes of explanation of So Ah’s dad was precious, BUT, you have to watch the show to understand why. I say skip it and watch StongWoman Do Bong Soon instead.

    1. Kay Avatar

      Im Joo Hwan is an amazing actor, and he was by far the best thing about the drama. I wish he could get some proper lead roles. But I do always enjoy him in other main roles. But yes, there were so many issues with the drama. That secne with So Ah and her dad was truly moving, but like you said, you have to watch the whole thing for it to have an impact. The last episode was really good and it just made me wonder why they couldn’t have done that throughout the series. Ah, well…

      1. Cheryl Avatar

        Although I definitely appreciated Im Joo Hwan’s acting ability in the drama and I believe your review of the series here is the best I have read, I still felt that the story of Im Joo Hwan’s character and that of the main characters were two different stories and didn’t belong together. To me, it seemed like the development of Im Joo Hwan’s character and story drastically reduced the time taken from the development of the main characters and their story(ies). There really was no need for all that or to even know Im Joo Hwan’s character. Viewers became far more invested in Im Joo Hwan and lost interest in Habaek and So Ah. Maybe if more time had been spent getting to know Habaek and So Ah– who the drama is named for—- and developing their characters, the viewers wouldn’t have lost interest in the show. The writers additionally did an injustice to the drama by withholding the back stories for so long. By the time they did tell us, we had lost interest and the stories were almost anticlimactic. How disappointing! And it was so sad that Habaek was given the personality characteristics of a royal and dignified king, but was given no power or “powers”. All we got was his uptight and entitled personality thrown around, but no reason to believe he was anything but an unlikable person… well, as unlikable as anyone so attractive can be at first glance. Still, loved your review of the drama, felt it was really well done. 🙂

        1. Kay Avatar

          Thank you 🙂 I can definitely see what you are saying. I think they could have done both though. Of course, Im Joo Hwan’s character was by far the most developed and was meant to play as a sort of antagonistic role for Habaek. But that was another part of the story I don’t think they handled that well. But I think there was plenty of time they could have spent on developing Habaek and So Ah at the time as CEO Shin. The writer just spent too much time on mundane things rather than character or story development.

          And yes, I agree! They withheld the back story far too long and only gave us breadcrumbs and then an info dump. That’s just not the right way to handle a story. A good story usually gives questions, gives some answers which leads to more questions, repeat, and then pull it all together. It’s a fine line of giving the right amount of information to keep your audience curious but satisfied. Same with not showing much emotional growth with Habaek and mostly leaving him as robot. There was certainly a lot they could have improved, lol 🙂

  3. raistlin0903 Avatar

    I really have to laugh. Pretty much every time a series gets a bit of mediocre score I check if this is available here. And every time it is lol. It’s almost as if we are getting all the leftovers lol 😂😂 Seriously though, sad to see that this did not quite live up to your expectations. It expected more of this honestly, so I’m going to skip it, at least fir the moment. Another great review though 😊

    1. Kay Avatar

      Of course that’s how it is, lol. Although you did say you have Queen for Seven Days, and that one is a good one 🙂 But for Bride of the Water God, more so even then being disappointed myself, I hate to see a drama that had so much potential and so many good elements, but it just couldn’t execute it. It was a decent watch, but it could have so much better.

      1. raistlin0903 Avatar

        Yep, I haven’t forgotten about Queen for Seven Days, really glad that I’m able to watch that one. You are so right though, I have had that happen to me with plenty of series and movies that had incredible potential, but ultimately were Major disappointments. I really hate it when that happens 😔

        1. Kay Avatar

          I’m hoping that one works for you so you can finally get a historical drama on your completed list, hehe 🙂

  4. Kate Avatar

    Agree with the review 100%! I watched for Nam Joo Hyuk and impressed by cast and visuals but underwhelmed by the end product. So much potential wasted. So much shoved into the final few episodes that should have been explored earlier. Still glad I watched but disappointed.

    1. Kay Avatar

      Yep, your comment pretty much sums of how I felt about the drama. It had some good stuff, but it had a whole lot of problems, and it was so disappointing that it didn’t do more with what it had. It had so much to work with and just couldn’t pull it out.

  5. Stephanie Avatar

    I was going to watch this drama until I read the first few episodes weren’t living up to the hype. After your take on this, I’m kinda glad I didn’t use my time on this drama. I loved the actors that are in it, but I just can’t get excited about the story anymore.

    1. Kay Avatar

      I think my love of the actors definitely helped my enjoyment, but it was definitely disappointing seeing what it could have been. It’s one of those that if you watch the first few eps and aren’t really feeling it, you most likely won’t. It doesn’t really get significantly better until the last few eps, and by that point, you do kind of feel like it was way too late and just wish they had done this sooner.

  6. D Avatar

    Thanks for the review Kay. Won’t be wasting my time with this one then. 😊

    1. Kay Avatar

      You’re welcome 🙂 Yes, there are probably better dramas to spend your time on, hehe

  7. […] Bride of the Water God is a bit all over the place in terms of things it does right and things it does wrong. It has many glaring issues, but it also has things that are very enjoyable. Your enjoyment of this drama will heavily depend on if you feel the good outweighs the bad. It could have been so much more, but it had enough good parts to make it worthwhile for me. (Bride of the Water God Review) […]

  8. Fred Avatar

    Oh well. I was hoping that you would give it a good score so I’ll have a reason to watch. But I guess it really did not live up to the hype. 🙁

    1. Kay Avatar

      Sadly, it didn’t. While it was decent enough for me, it was a mess and full of issues. I highly doubt you would feel any of that special kdrama magic with it 🙁

      1. Fred Avatar

        Oh well. Finally finished watching this. At least it ended well. I can move on happily. The last paragraph in your review was my source of “strength” in finishing this drama. I just followed your advice and focused on the positives even though I had a lot of ‘meh’ moments.

        My goal right now is to train myself to enjoy the average/above average (6-8 score) dramas. I am running out of options so this is the only way forward. HAHAHA.

        I have A LOT of comments that I would have wanted to say but I’ll just let it go. Had I commented a few months ago, I would have added around 5 paragraphs more. Like you said, it really was a mess. HAHAHA.

        1. Kay Avatar

          Haha, I love your comment. Yep, this drama has lots of meh surrounded by some good and not so good. It really is a drama you have to view with a certain lens and try to enjoy the good. And believe me, I could have wrote a whole lot more about it myself, lol.

          Yes, working on enjoying those just “good” dramas is a must. Most dramas fall in that range for me with my most common rating being a 7. Meaning it was a good solid drama and I would recommend it, but it’s not something that really stood out or shined above the rest. But that’s not necessarily bad. There will always only be a small amount that truly shine. But I definitely savor those and try to enjoy the dramas along the way 🙂

  9. Shahzaibsardar Avatar

    I was going to watch this drama until I read the first few episodes weren’t living up to the hype. pinoytambayantv.phAfter your take on this, I’m kinda glad I didn’t use my time on this drama. I loved the actors that are in it, but I just can’t get excited about the story anymore.

    1. Kay Avatar

      Yeah, it seems a lot of people were very disappointed by the drama. It definitely didn’t live up to the hype. Luckily, I thought it was a decent watch and I also loved the actors. But it has so many issues that I probably wouldn’t recommend it without a lot of warnings, lol.

  10. natscape Avatar

    i just finished watching this series, honestly i felt it staggering especially towards the ending. All of a sudden we see ha baek having emotions like wanting to cry, and joo dong connecting all the lose ends – i wanted to feel for the characters but I couldn’t get my tears to fall. On the plus side, it gave the audience the happy endings, it wasn’;t that bad nor was it good. It was okay. I love the costume and cinematography shots. very nicely done.

    1. Kay Avatar

      Yeah, that pretty much sums it up: it wasn’t bad or good…it was okay. It definitely had some nice things that I enjoyed, but it had lots of weaknesses. I really enjoyed the last episode and I did actually cry with everything was revealed about So Ah’s dad. But it just left me wishing the whole series could have been executed as well as the last episode.

  11. almiaramos Avatar

    I heard about the production of this drama for a year ago and I waited for the broadcast with great expectation. It really did not satisfy me. I believe that both the writer and the director did not work to a satisfactory story and mise-in-scene. I consider that all the characters had deficiencies but Im Joo Hwan do a really good work. The pace of the drama was very slow and the last two episodes be precipitated. What a pity.

    1. Kay Avatar

      I was really looking forward to it too. Lack of story development, characters with little development, and slow plotting were big issues. Luckily, there were enough things I liked to make it an okay watch, but it definitely was disappointing seeing what could have been.

  12. hoiyinli Avatar

    The title didn’t really attract me that much so I just glanced over it. But I guess since it’s derived from a manga, it would attract a lot of fans. I haven’t watched the series, but I did watch a 5 minute trailer on YouTube and the first 10 minutes of episode 1 to see if it would be of interest to me. (I rarely do such tests but I had to for this one.) From the lacklustre reviews that I’ve been hearing for months on end, I decided it really wasn’t worth my time. And that Im Joo Hwan wasn’t enough to save a drama that’s quite badly written.

    1. Kay Avatar

      It definitely attracted a lot of fans, but yes, many were very disappointed with it. I found it enjoyable enough, but it was full of problems and could have been so much more. It’s one of those I probably wouldn’t recommend unless you’re a huge fan of any of the main cast. Im Joo Hwan’s performance was a definitely a good reason to tune in, but probably not reason enough to spend 16 hours watching it for most people, lol

  13. Karma Avatar

    The actor and actress looks amazingly beautiful and handsome.
    But the story is too plain. He is water god, but he never used his power on earth which makes story just ordinary. If its used, there shall be comedy and interest of public. I just regret wasting my time on this drama.

    1. Kay Avatar

      It definitely ended up lacking in quite a few areas. I wish he could have used his powers more too. Luckily, there was enough I liked about it that I don’t regret watching it. Hopefully, you have better luck on your next drama 🙂

  14. […] Bride of the Water God is a bit all over the place in terms of things it does right and things it does wrong. It has many glaring issues, but it also has things that are very enjoyable. Your enjoyment of this drama will heavily depend on if you feel the good outweighs the bad. It could have been so much more, but it had enough good parts to make it worthwhile for me. My Rating: 6.5/10 (Bride of the Water God Review) […]

  15. Sandi Avatar

    Honestly, I almost gave up on this show! My interest was piqued when I saw a small portion of it where Haeback dives out the window to save So Ah! That’s what made me look for it to watch it. It was frustrating to me though that the other God’s had full use of their powers & Haeback, who was destined to be King, had to suffer so much and neither of the other God’s had any respect or were willing to help him knowing he’d one day be their king. That part of the show kind of really turned me off and the Moora character was thoroughly irritating. Every time it came to the scenes with those other 2 Gods, I actually sped through it because I just didn’t want to see it! When he returned the 2nd time, I thought he’d at least have some powers but no, they sent him back with…a driver’s license…seriously? I know it was supposed to be comedic, but it started the frustration with the show all over again. I realized at the end, why the high priest sent Haeback to the Human World without full use of his powers…to teach him lessons as evidenced when the high priest appeared to him in different forms, but I just felt that the struggling factor was overkill & I don’t know how I hung in watching it to the end. I was hoping to see more special effects from Haeback which is what drew me to watch it to begin with which was what disappointed me the most when it didn’t happen! But I did really like the main actors though! There are a lot of K-dramas that I will go back & watch just because I really felt the story while watching it & loved it…this won’t be one of them! Your review I think was spot on!

    1. Kay Avatar

      I can definitely understand your frustration with this drama. It had a whole lot of issues! I was mainly able to stick it out because I enjoyed Nam Joo Hyuk, Shin Se Kyung, and Im Joo Hwan. It had the bones of a great story, but the execution was terrible.

      The scene of Habaek diving out the window that drew you in was one of my favorite scenes of the entire drama. It really grabs your attention and is so well done! The rest of the drama, not so much, lol. But like you, this is not a drama that I will ever be revisiting 😂

  16. sovietredstar Avatar

    As I went thru the first few episodes I expected this to be a light comedy just a girl meets a god story but half way thru it shifts gears and it becomes more complex while dropping some of the humor. I found myself really getting into it. I think it helped that I didn’t see webtoon this is based on so I didn’t have a reference to compare to.
    I’m not a fan of Nam Joo Hyuk (water god) as his performances are cold and uninspiring. For example, his recent leading role in Twenty One Twenty Five.
    Shin Se Kyung plays psychiatrist Yoon So Ah. She is the water god’s love interest. Very good performance by her.
    Excellent performance by Joo Hwan who plays CEO Shin, the love competition for Yoon So Ah.
    My rating is 8/10. Even though the script had holes and a sub par performance by the leading man the show gets this rating from me because at first it was entertaining and then was able to get me to buy into the romance and the charters.

    1. Kay Avatar

      Oooh, it’s great that you enjoyed this one! 🙂 It had great bones and quite a few things I liked, it mostly just lacked execution for me. I enjoyed the cast. I’m a fan of Shin Se Kyung, and Im Joo Hwan always puts in a top notch performance.

      This is not one of Nam Joo Hyuk’s best for sure. I prefer him playing more lighthearted and playful characters. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo would be one of my favorites from him. There’s enough I liked in the drama that I’m glad I checked it out, just probably won’t ever be revisiting it. I’m glad you had such a good experience with it 🙂

  17. Diana Gula Avatar
    Diana Gula

    Watching it a second time now because I’m so in love with Habaek! 🤍🤍🤍 and I rarely watch anything twice. He’s adorable, hilarious and sexy! Some of the characters aren’t great, but many are excellent and it’s definitely worth watching! I can’t imagine a better man than Nam Joo Hyuk. Sigh..

    1. Kay Avatar

      Nam Joo Hyuk was definitely wonderful here 🙂 The character was a bit lackluster, but Nam Joo Hyuk always makes the characters interesting. I can understand you’re love for him ❤

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