Nevertheless -- Episode 1: Charged Chemistry
I wasn't planning on watching this drama, but I read the reviews and thought that I must be missing out on a potentially good drama. The one consistent commentary was not "your typical k-drama." That caught my interest as these are far and few between. I am glad I decided to read the comments before watching -- a drama worthy of anyone's time for sure -- a drama overlayed with intense sensuous emotions is how I would describe Nevertheless.
More than anything, I was immediately taken by the fantastic directing -- the up-close lingering shots and angles combined with the slow, deliberate scenes are just remarkable. I can't believe I thought I wouldn't like a drama with Han So Hee based solely on my own bias from her role in the World of the Married Couple. I didn't think I could see past that until I watched this first episode, I am blown by her. Han So Hee is an outstanding actress.
Everything from the way she talks, her facial expressions, her voice, the sensuous yet subtle eye movements, and even her body is just brilliantly done in this role as Yoo Na Bi, a well-liked clay-sculpting art student who dreams of furthering her studies in Paris but doesn't have the grades to match it furthered by her most recent break-up with her not so nice boyfriend. There is a softness to how Han So Hee plays Na Bi that I really like. She embodies a woman who'd given up on love after her public humiliation with her last boyfriend only to find herself consumed by a new attraction in the form of Park Jae Eon (Song Kang) that almost feels like an out-of-body experience. I am more than impressed. I am captivated by her and the drama more than I am by Jae Eon, who is also splendid in his role.
What can I say about Na Bi's and Park Jae Eon's first encounter, that it was an immediate attraction on both sides is an understatement intensified by the camera work in its close-up shots and angle directing, all of which were amazingly done; I found myself consumed with how things were unfolding on my screen. The gentle way Jae Eon touched and looked at Na Bi and even the way he said her name -- all were overwhelmingly and brilliantly done. But despite the undeniable attraction, one could sense, as did Na Bi, that there was more to Park Jae Eon that met the eye, which leads Na Bi to decide to forget about him until she glimpses him on campus.
Things get even more interesting when she goes out for drinks with her friends and finds him at the same bar. It turns out not only is he a student at the same school, but he is the one that's been asking after her. Their second encounter is even more intimate and consuming despite them not being alone from the silent but palatable glances to the whispered conversations. And even as they part ways, it appears clear that Na Bi is beyond interested, but then so is Park Jae Eon. Like a butterfly hopelessly attracted to a flower, these two cannot seem to resist each other.
Aside from Na Bi and Park Jae Eon's encounters, I found myself drawn to the side characters as well, particularly Yoon Sol (Lee Ho Jung) and the mysterious way she carries herself, be it in her conversation with Na Bi regarding her interest in the student exchange program or her interaction with her close friend Seo Ji Wan (Yoon Seo Ah) but more so her reaction to Seo Ji Wan being on a blind date. Couple all that with the other characters and the edgy and fun seeming atmosphere and the artful camera work, the atypical storyline, and flaming hot chemistry between the leads, I find myself quickly invested in finding out more about the leads the side characters. Watch Episode 1 here.