The Idle Mermaid (Korean: 잉여공주; RR: Ing-yeo gongju; literally Surplus Princess) is a 2014 South Korean romantic comedy television series starring Jo Bo-ah, On Joo-wan, Song Jae-rim, and Park Ji-soo.
A modern retelling of the 1837 fairy tale “The Little Mermaid” by Hans Christian Andersen, it aired on tvN from August 7 to October 9, 2014 on Thursdays at 23:00.
Originally slated to run for 14 episodes, the total number of episodes was reduced to 10.
The series inspired an unofficial Indonesian adaptation called Mermaid in Love.
Aileen is a mermaid princess who is in love with Kwon Shi-kyung, a human celebrity chef.
While recording a TV show next to the Han River,
Shi-kyung hits his head and falls into the river, and
Aileen stops him from drowning by kissing him underwater.
Shi-kyung is pulled out from the water by Yoon Jin-ah,
an intern who works for and is also in love with Shi-kyung.
In order to meet Shi-kyung again, Aileen steals a magic potion from the male witch Ahn Ma-nyeo, and is transformed into a human girl.
It’s only after her transformation that Aileen learns that she has 100 days to find true love, or else she will die and turn into bubbles.
Ahn Ma-nyeo helps Aileen by setting her up with the fake
identity of “Kim Ha-ni,” and sends her to live in a house
in Seoul with other young people, most of whom are
unemployed and searching for jobs.
Among Aileen’s new housemates is Lee Hyun-myung, Yoon Jin-ah’s ex-boyfriend who is trying to win her back.
With her new friends to help her, Aileen vows to find a way to win Shi-kyung’s love, but in the end she falls in love with Hyun-myung.
Although she initially disappears once her 100 days are up, she returns a year later to see her friends again.