Episode 1 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 7 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 8 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 9 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 10 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 11 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 12 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 13 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 14 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 15 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 16 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. And when it comes to Ra-El, Eve’s protagonist, that much is especially true. Consumed by revenge and desperate for retribution against wrongs in the past, this 16 episode K-drama combines melodrama, vengeance and thrills into a show that begins piping hot before eventually ending with a lukewarm shrug of the shoulders.
On paper, Eve couldn’t really fail either. You have a strong female protagonist, a group of veteran actors and some very unlikable antagonists you want to see lose everything. A simple and very well written backstory for Ra-El, alongside clear motivations, helps too, setting up a cerebrally charged and deliciously twisted thriller to follow.
Sadly, Eve slips up on more than one occasion, with questionable story beats, poor chemistry between leads, a poor romance and a plot that takes its foot off the accelerator and eventually careers off a cliff.
The story centers on Lee Ra-El, a girl idolized by her loving parents. Unfortunately, she’s forced to witness her father being killed before her eyes by the evil LY Group, who force through a merger between the two companies. Left for dead, Ra-El vows revenge and remains determined to hit back against the LY Group, exposing all their wrongs and making everyone pay for what they’ve done. And who better to target than the CEO, Kang Yoon-Kyum. With him serving as one of the ringleaders in all this, Ra-El decides to use divorce as a weapon to turn him against the family.
Playing up the femme fatale, Ra-El sets to work spinning her web of deceit and making Yoon-Kyum divorce his wife, So-Ra. However, she also has to navigate her own family, including her husband and daughter, not to mention Yoon-Kyum’s daughter too. But Ra-El has had 13 years to prepare and surely there can’t be any mistakes…can there?
Well the answer is yes. As can be expected from this genre, Eve throws up numerous obstacles for our protagonist to handle and that eventually culminates in Ra-El falling for the chairman. It’s an interesting dilemma but the problem is, the pair have absolutely zero chemistry together. Remember the scenes in Pirates of the Caribbean with Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightley together? Remember how awkward those were? Well, Eve takes that same awkwardness and dials it up to 100.
There’s absolutely no chemistry between the two, and the scriptwriters seem to realize that toward the end of the story but follow through all the same. Adding some spice to the story is an extra confession of love that comes out of absolutely nowhere, while the fight against LY Group turns from sizzling hot and spicy to mild and indifferent. In fact, the middle portion of episodes drag out the plot for so long that you wonder when Ra-El is actually going to strike.
While there is a definitive conclusion to this one, and the characters get a decent enough ending, some of the players are severely under-utilized or wasted. I won’t reveal who but given what this show promised at the start, the end product is mired in mediocrity.
A lot of that can be attributed to the changed genres, which begins as a revenge thriller and then morphs into a melo-romantic drama – which doesn’t suit this one at all. In simple terms, this evolves from fighting against a company to fighting over a man. It feels patronising and ill-fitting for the story that was promised early on.
There’s also some pretty glaring plot holes and contrivances here too, mostly centering on the kids. When the plot calls for it, they’re in the way or push the narrative forward. Other times they’re just straight up removed from the story. In fact, we don’t even get an ending for these kids when the final credits roll!
It’s a shame too because Eve does have some stand out elements. The OST in particular is fantastic with the main theme of this show – Hold Me Tight by KimYeji – exemplifying the tone and mood of this so well. The visuals are pretty good too, while the set design and costuming on the whole is fantastic.
The acting is less impressive however, with Yoon-Kyum almost expressing boredom while on-screen. That may be the direction of his character though, so I won’t judge that too harshly, but aside from So-Ra – who manages to walk a fine tightrope between theatrical and overacting – everyone else is mediocre at best.
Ultimately, Eve is another K-drama that goes off with a bang and ends with a whimper. There’s definitely enjoyment to be had here but it’s mired in a sea of mediocrity that’s hard to swim against. Compared to other revenge thrillers, this is not one to write home about and ultimately struggles to stand out.
Verdict - 5.5/10