Nevertheless review: Happy endings for everyone

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Han So-hee (left) and Song Kang in Nevertheless.
Han So-hee (left) and Song Kang in Nevertheless.

Director: Kim Ga Ram
Writer: Jung Won
Cast: Han So-hee, Song Kang and Chae Jong-hyeop
Language: Korean with various subtitles

Streaming on Netflix

2 out of 5 stars

Nevertheless has ended on a resoundingly happy note in its finale. There were happy couplings with all the supporting cast pairings, especially with the lesbian couple that I was rooting for. It seems for director Kim Ga Ram, youthful love to her is perhaps a little unrealistically Disney-like. (If you haven't finished watching the whole drama series, read our review of the first three episodes here.)

The many branching love stories were hesitant and meandering but ultimately had happy endings. Yet, there were some bits that were tough to swallow, like the portrayal of the sulky and brooding Nam Gyu Hyun (Kim Min Gwi), which was honestly grating on the nerves.

Han So-hee (left) and Chae Jong-hyeop in Nevertheless.
Chae Jong-hyeop (right) is a more expressive actor than Song Kang in Nevertheless.

It was also hard to identify with the prodigal 'Son of Netflix' Song Kang's lead protagonist Park Jae Eon, because so little of his background was revealed throughout the series. We only know that there's a random girl called Yoon Sol Ah (Lee Seol Eum) who he supposedly dated previously and that his mother is wealthy and raised him with wealth instead of love.

It also didn't help that he had all of four expressions, which grew boring and overused compared to the bright and expressive Yang Do Hyeok (Chae Jong Hyeop), Jae Eon's rival for Yu Na Bi's heart. (Na Bi, played by Han So Hee, coincidentally looks like a much younger Song Hye Gyo).

Do Hyeok is an absolute breath of fresh air compared to Jae Eon. Actor Jong Heop has a much more varied and pleasant acting repertoire compared to Song Kang's limited variations of half-smiles. As Na Bi's closest friend since childhood, Do Hyeok has rekindled his relationship with her throughout the series, started his own noodle business and has actively promoted it through social media. More importantly, he's also been forthright about his feelings towards Na Bi, and tries his best to protect her and make her feel comfortable, checking in on her from time to time.

According to a friend who's read the webtoon from which Nevertheless is adapted, quite a bit was changed from the story. Spoiler alert: Park Jae Eon was more of an asshole to Na Bi in the webtoon, and they were in a much more toxic relationship where both parties were equally hurtful, compared to the drama series where Na Bi is more of the victim. Also, the relevance behind the butterflies was also explained in the webtoon. If you really enjoyed Nevertheless the K-drama series, the webtoon can be found here if you're looking to delve deeper into the inspiration behind it.

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