Nabi Project Team is a small-scale secret group secretly operated by the National Police Agency. The group is named after the Hebrew/Arabic word ‘Nabi,’ meaning ‘Prophet,’ because they attempt to solve cases by utilizing the skills of Yoo Shi Hyun, who has the ability to sketch drawings of future crime scenes. During a criminal take-down, enthusiastic detective Kang Dong Soo comes across Shi Hyun’s sketchbook, which includes a prediction of his fiancée Min Ji Soo’s imminent death. His resulting choices indirectly causes multiple disasters, and in the process, an unusually motivated killer is born. As Nabi Project Team pursues him, they encounter an even larger presence behind him pulling the strings.
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Cast & Credits
All of the actors are good. Of course, Rain as Kang Dong Soo, Lee Sun Bin as Yoo Shi Hyun and Lee Dong Gun as Kim Do Jin were daebak. But Lee Seung Joo stole the show as Yoo Si Joon. I was so into his character and what drove him. It is hard to write a lot with out giving a way spoilers.
The music is good. Especially what they used for suspense.
I will probably rewatch this at some point.
If you like gritty, suspense with a little supernatural thrown in, then you will like this. I recommend it highly.
Sketch exhibits some typically superficial Korean character writing ("Here is a character. Bad things happen to character. Audience is then expected to care about character.") Particularly with regard to the good guys, actually, but I don't think the likes of genuinely fascinating characters like X were milked to their full potential. Kim Do Jin is possibly the cheesiest at the beginning, but little by little he gained dimension and grew on me. His final developments, however, were far too abrupt and should have been set in motion several episodes beforehand.
But Lee Dong Gun was good. His portrayal of Kim Do Jin is something like a tank; fearless and expressionless, ploughing through everything in its path, but a tank with a human soldier inside. And sometimes the human comes up for air.
The "good guy" side of the drama was boring. Part of the problem with the slowness is the fact that we have to experience half the plot through the eyes of the most boring characters. I hated Kang Dong Soo. He has some ugly personality traits (even considering his situation) that were completely ignored in-world. He's a domineering pig. I wasn't interested in his story and I wasn't interested in his feelings. He certainly wasn't the character to lead this story. The more screentime he had the less I felt like watching.
Yoo Shi Hyun, the premonition character, is somewhat inconsistent. At some points she stands on her own feet but at others she is completely dominated by Dong Soo's personality. I watched the drama for Lee Sun Bin so I'm a little disappointed by that.
As for X, they're a bit like Death Note's Light but with a conscience. I don't like revenge stories but "means and end" stories are a different breed altogether. I'm staunchly the "do not justify" type, so I like it when I come across a drama that manages to make me question my belief system. Just a little. On a personal level. So for me that is where the value of this drama lies. The writers make X and the ending take (what I see as) the easy route, but overall I liked the effort they put into creating the moral route of Sketch. So I'll let them off with that. It's due to the final two episodes that it got a 5 instead of a 4.
Also, the scale and ambition of the "behind-the-scenes" powers were much grander and awe-inspiring than those in most dramas of this kind. I did like that aspect of the plot when it came around. It's just a shame it took until the penultimate episode for us to get there.
I don't think I'd recommend Sketch to anyone. As a suspense it's pretty mediocre and the twists are mostly predictable. The pacing is prone to loss of momentum and focus, there's nothing special in the writing or acting and the ~morals of the story~ have all been seen before. But it does have its moments of clarity and conviction, so it wouldn't be a complete waste of time if you wanted to give it a go.