JTBC’s Nevertheless: An aesthetically pleasing drama that defocuses on toxic relationships and its impact?

Published on Aug 23, 2021 08:58 PM IST  |  354K
Nevertheless Poster
Nevertheless Poster; Picture Courtesy: JTBC

On August 21, JTBC’s mini drama ‘Nevertheless’ released the 10th and final episode, bringing the popular series to an end. The drama is about Park Jae Eon (Song Kang) who finds dating a waste of time but likes to flirt. Even though he is friendly and cheerful towards all, he does not pursue others. Park Jae Eon is a master of “push-and-pull” who doesn’t get swept up in emotions. Jae Eon draws firm lines between himself and other people and doesn’t reveal how he feels. Yet when Park Jae Eon meets Yoo Na Bi (Han So Hee), he wants to cross those lines. Yoo Na Bi wants to date but doesn’t trust love. After a bitter experience with her first love, she doesn't believe in destiny anymore. But when she meets Park Jae Eon, he has a magical effect on her that challenges Na Bi’s decision to stay aloof. 

*The review ahead contains a ton of spoilers so proceed with caution*

The original webtoon of the same name is 40 chapters long and takes the longer route to show the different types of modern relationships shared by the youth of today. The goal was to give the readers a realistic look into the concept of love, sex, friendships through the eyes of a bunch of 23 and 24-year-olds. One thing the webtoon and the drama had in common was the outright representation of toxic relationships and the vague ‘friends-with-benefits’ liaison. While the webtoon did a great job of showing character development of Yoo Na Bi who ended up choosing her childhood friend Yang Do Hyeok over the vague and hurtful relationship she shared with Park Jae Eon, the drama did not explore the incredible chemistry shared between Yoo Na Bi and Yang Do Hyeok that was heartwarming in the webtoon.

The problem starts when the drama tries to condense a 40 chapter story to a 10 episode series. While Song Kang and Han So Hee did an exceptional job of bringing those characters to life and adding their own spin to it, the series was slow in the beginning and felt rushed towards the end. Park Jae Eon is clearly a player and does nothing to hide it and Yoo Na Bi is well aware of it. Throughout the series, she is seen talking herself out of the mess but her resolve breaks everytime she sees him and although the chemistry was understandable, the series made Na Bi out to not be as strong-minded as her webtoon character. The drama had no qualms of showing the true toxic traits of Park Jae Eon under the ruse of a ‘realistic youth’ drama and at the same time, gave him a blindingly fast character development through one or two episodes.

It does a great deal of showing the hookup culture not only through the main characters, but also the side characters. One of the saving graces of the drama is the correct LGBTQ+ representation through the sweet relationship that Yoon Sol and Seo Ji Wan shared. The conflict and resolution of Sol and Ji-wan are far better executed than the main plot, making Sol one of my favorite characters. Oh Bit-na and Nam Gyu-hyun’s relationship is equally tiring to watch. Their issue with expressing their feelings, arguing, and commitment is too similar to the main couple’s conflict. However, with underdeveloped side characters, it is even more difficult to be engaged in their story compared to Na bi and Jae Eon. 

The drama is aesthetically pleasing and has great OSTs but that is not enough to hide the fact that the slow paced drama makes the relationships of today hyper-realistic and dramatic for the sake of the series. The finale left most viewers less than happy as it gives off the impression that Yoo Na Bi has just surface level feelings and decides to pursue that despite the many red flags that Park Jae Eon illuminates. The drama was pretty enjoyable to watch but there were a lot of build ups throughout the series without any resolution, which left me less than satisfied. I would recommend the drama to anyone who is interested in slow burner plots with hyper-realistic storylines about love, sex and friendships. 

ALSO READ: Han So Hee and Song Kang starrer ‘Nevertheless’ releases a touching OST by Jukjae

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Anonymous : Why is everyone quoting Jaeon as toxic . Yes in the first few episodes he acted like a playboy bit eventually we have seen his character development. And the drama to portrays the side of Jaeon that is inexpressive , even when wrong or right. Yand Do hyeok ofcourse was a very good character in the drama but does this mean that Nabi should end up with Do hyeok. Nabi ended up with Jaeon for the best. They both had feelings for each other and they both yearn for each other , thers no point of being in a relationship when you can't replicate the same feeling for the other person . And people need to stop saying that because it was Song kang , we rooted for him and we are immature. The reason we rooted for him is as said earlier . Love can't be forced....
REPLY 2 2 months ago
Anonymous : Thanks for this.
REPLY 1 2 months ago
Anonymous : True That!
REPLY 0 2 months ago
Anonymous : I think the supporting actors roles were more interesting the main characters did the same thing almost every episode.
REPLY 1 2 months ago