For many students, the romances of K-dramas can sometimes feel like unattainable fantasies. “Nevertheless” flips this script, offering a refreshing take on modern romance. With its compelling storyline, relatable characters and raw portrayal of contemporary relationships, it is a must-watch for K-drama enthusiasts and first-timers alike.
A live adaptation of the webtoon “I Know But” by Jung Seo, “Nevertheless” follows the lives of two art university students as they navigate modern dating. At the heart of the drama is Yoo Na-bi, played by Han So-hee, a young woman who has sworn off love following a painful breakup. Firmly independent and unafraid to express her opinions, Na-bi’s complexity and inner turmoil make her a character viewers can empathize with as she grapples with her attraction to the enigmatic Park Jae-eon. Portrayed by Song Kang, Jae-eon is the quintessential “bad boy,” with a reputation as a heartbreaker. His character adds depth to the narrative by creating a contrast between his confident public persona and his private vulnerability.
One of the strengths of “Nevertheless” is its willingness to explore the less glamorous aspects of dating, like situationships, commitment-phobia and the blurred lines between love and lust. “Nevertheless” doesn’t shy away from addressing the ambiguity that often accompanies romance in the digital age, where swiping right or left on dating apps has become a norm.
The push-and-pull relationship between Na-bi and Jae-eon in “Nevertheless” is the magnetic force that keeps viewers hooked. Their chemistry is charged with unpredictability, as their dynamic goes one step forward, two steps back. Na-bi’s guarded heart and Jae-eon’s enigmatic persona create captivating tension that mirrors the complexities of modern love. One moment they are drawn together by an irresistible attraction, and the next, they are distancing themselves to protect their hearts. This dynamic is a relatable reflection of the uncertainties and hesitations of the dreaded talking stage.
The academic subplot and supporting cast in “Nevertheless” add intriguing layers to the story. From Na-bi’s close-knit group of friends to Jae-eon’s confidantes, each character brings their unique personality and even some swoon-worthy romantic subplots to the storyline. As other characters pursue master’s programs and study abroad opportunities, they must balance academic ambitions with their love lives. This balance is a real-life struggle for many studious UTD students, offering viewers a comforting perspective on the ups and downs of life and love.
Cinematically, “Nevertheless” is a treat for the senses. The drama makes excellent visual use of its art university setting, incorporating beautiful paintings and sculptures as metaphors for the characters’ emotional journeys. The soft, pastel color palette adds to the dreamlike quality of the show. The soundtrack also deserves special recognition for its ability to enhance the emotional depth of the series through steady melodies and poignant lyrics.
“Nevertheless” refuses to adhere to the traditional romantic drama formula. It doesn’t offer easy answers or resolutions to the characters’ dilemmas. Instead, it leaves viewers and characters pondering the complexities of dating, showing that love is far from straightforward. The show’s realism comforts viewers, reminding them that it is okay to have doubts and uncertainties. This willingness to embrace ambiguity and open-ended storytelling sets “Nevertheless” apart from many other K-dramas.
In the midst of a busy student life, “Nevertheless” is the ideal de-stress show. Inviting viewers to immerse themselves in the lives and loves of its characters, its intricacies can be therapeutic by reminding us to take a step back and reflect on our own experiences. Whether you’re a seasoned K-drama fan or new to the genre, “Nevertheless” is sure to become a new favorite.
“Nevertheless” is now streaming on Netflix.