Episode 1 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 7 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 8 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 9 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 10 -| Review Score – 1.5/5
Nevertheless could have been great. With an excellent soundtrack, some nice ideas and a couple of progressive relationship beats, JTBC’s latest weekend arrival looked to be a sure-fire smash hit. And for the first few episodes it was certainly on course to be just that. Then the rest of the series aired.
Now, say what you will about Nevertheless and its ideas about young love but the ending to this show is up there with one of the worst this year. No spoilers of course but its predictable, tired and sends all sorts of conflicting messages to its audience about what the message of this show really is.
The story itself takes place in an art university. Na-Bi is a fresh faced sculptor and looking to make a name for herself. At school she quickly makes friends, including quirky Bit-Na, spritely Ji-Wan and intelligent Sol. The friendship circle also extends out to a few males as well, including Kyu-Hyun and Jae-Eon.
Now, Na-Bi is quickly introduced to Jae-Eon; the mysterious bad boy with a butterfly tattoo and well-known to be a bit of a player around campus. Still, Na-Bi can’t help but be drawn toward him.
As red flag after red flag pop up, Na-Bi helplessly falls headfirst into a lustful relationship with this guy. Most of the series follows their ups and downs, introducing chef and good-guy Do-Hyeok late on to spice things up.
As far as love triangles go, this one is pretty poor and compared to some of the best k-dramas out there, fails to really give a good reason for either of these men to be best suited to Na-Bi.
Despite each episode clocking in at a little over an hour, Nevertheless has a serious pacing issue. After the first few chapters, the show slams on the brakes and the longer this series wears on, the more noticeable and damning it becomes.
That’s only reflected in the ratings too, which has slowly been slipping down over the weeks. In many ways the trajectory here mirrors that of Start Up. Unlike the latter though, Nevertheless doesn’t have the star power or the subplots to keep things ticking over and – more importantly – a reason for audiences to tune in every week.
Nevertheless does get some brownie points for its supporting characters. There’s a really sweet same sex pairing of Sol and Ji-Wan, who both dance around their true feelings for much of the run-time.
Likewise, Bit-Na and Kyu-Hyun have a pretty good arc but both of these are wrapped up by episode 9, leaving the finale to focus on Na-Bi’s woes.
Visuals can only get you so far and despite a very good soundtrack and some gorgeous camera work, Nevertheless slips up with its main plot. The story is forgettable, fails to stand out and ultimately goes down as one of the more disappointing entries on the k-drama calendar this year.
Verdict - 4.5/10