The Cheese in the Trap Drama is finally finished. Due to the way things ended, I’ve had to do some major revisions to my drama review because as expected of the Dramaverse, things never go the way you expect them to.
For readers who want to see my Rating of Show, you’ll have to scroll down to the very bottom or else, click HERE to make the jump.
For first-timers who haven’t watched the Show yet, here’s everything about the Cheese in the Trap drama.
The cast. I’m going to miss my weekly dose of CITT.
Cheese in the Trap Drama Summary
Yoo Jung (Park Hae-Jin) seems to have it all. He’s at the top of the class, he’s very good-looking, and he comes from a rich family. Being kind and gracious, everybody tries to get close to Jung.
Hong Seol (Kim Go-Eun) is your typical girl-next-door student who works part-time jobs for her school tuition. Seol, in one unexpected moment, appears to see Jung’s real self revealed. Jung proceeds to ignore her (and give her a hard time) but suddenly does a 180 and starts popping up everywhere.
Did he fall for her? Or is he springing a trap? Told from Seol’s POV, Cheese in the Trap will have you guessing at every turn.
Cheese in the Trap Drama Review and Final Verdict
This is a bit painful to write so I’ll keep it short. Cheese in the Trap drama was absolute perfection from Episodes 1 to 12. I thought, what a wonderful thing that a well-loved manga can make a successful transition to live action. I’ve been a victim of so many delightful dramas getting a mangling that I often approach live action dramas with much fear and trepidation. *cough* Black Butler *cough*
When drama netizens started fighting about who should be cast as the beloved main characters and dictated celebrities based on looks, I stopped paying attention. I just crossed my fingers and waited for the first episode. And what a beginning it had!
The first episode of Cheese in the Trap was SO addicting. I was thrilled. I was frustrated, appalled, delighted, and most of all, extremely intrigued.
Cheese in the Trap became my drama crack from the very moment that Seol’s head hit the floor. And it sealed my doom when I saw how that moment of awareness lancing through both Seol and Jung at the drinking party was played out so excellently. It was a perfect meld of excellent acting, atmosphere, and music.
So what happened? Somewhere along the way, Perfection checked out and left us with Confusion. I believe there came a point in the drama wherein the road divided into a fork. One led to the perfect ending it was leading us to all along. And then there is this other path that while acceptable, makes us feel a measure of loss.
And while the ending was not as bad as I thought it was going to be, I mourn the loss of my Perfect kdrama.
Cheese in the Trap Drama Running Commentaries
My running commentaries seem a bit funny now on hindsight. I’ve been writing down my favorite scenes and comments for each episode. Now that the drama is finished, I’ll keep my raves and rants in so you can see the state of my mind during that period of time. Feel free to laugh at me!
Note: Keep away if you don’t want spoilers! If you want recaps, my fave blog Dramabeans has them.
(Guys, if you see any typo, my advanced apologies! I’m typing these out really fast with no time to edit due to my day job. If you want me to change anything, just message me via my FB page. Thank you!!)
Oh. My. Gosh.
The acting and directing are perfect. Some dramas start out on shaky legs but not Cheese in the Trap. What a solid beginning. I was actually hitting the replay button even before I hit the 5 minute mark.
WHO is this actress? Kim Go-Eun? I’d heard she was a really good actress in forums. Wow. I’m watching and I’m seeing no actress. I’m seeing a Seol who’s reached her absolute limit and is now lolling on the floor while cursing her unlucky fate. (Being picked on by Jung for a year is no freaking joke.)
When Seol falls to the floor, we hear a commentary of the things she says aloud and the thoughts that are running in her head. We are privy to her thoughts and they are more revealing than what she’s voicing out.
Cheerful background music plays while friends and classmates drink and play billiards. It seems like your typical gimmick night out. When Seol stands up, pushes her well-meaning friends away, and starts looking for that “bastard”, the music stops. It’s Seol getting serious and we start to get a feel of how real Seol’s emotions are. And then SHOW’s heart-tugging OST starts up and Seol falls doing a head smack to the floor. The scene plays out and segues to the haunting opening credits.
Yeah, that was just the first two minutes of Show.
I’ve already talked about that moment between Jung and Seol during their beginning-of-term school department party. I’ll just say it had me thinking, wait, am I watching a romcom or a mystery? Oh right, we’re inside Seol’s head and we get both.
The pricklings of underlying danger and mystery that I got in this Cheese in the Trap drama reminded me somewhat of a Hitchcock movie.
And what was up with that cliffhanger? Did Jung really transfer into Seol’s class? Oh my head is whirling!
Show is definitely fast-paced. It covered a lot of manga material whilst keeping a good sense of balance.
I cheered in this episode because I thought, for once, I was DEFINITELY not going to get 2nd lead syndrome. Right, Baek In Ho? Right?
So…. Am I the only one who cheered when Jung belatedly realized that Seol was all dolled up for a date with ANOTHER guy? I just hate it when guys assume and take it for granted that a girl’s coming around. I was like, yeah! In your face, Jung! Just because you’re so, uh… tall.. and dreamy… and good-looking. (Snaps out of it!) And strange!
I hadn’t read this far along in the manga so my jaw was scraping the floor when Jung located Seol’s house (hello, stalker), waited for her outside, and proceeded to utter lines that will forever be burned in the minds of Cheese in the Trap drama fans.
He says, “Lately… I thought we had gotten pretty close. But you had your own reasons for approaching me.” And then I swear to God, his eyes shutter into cold dead lizard eyes. “You’re just like everyone else. It’s so hard to just eat a meal with you.”
He walks away looking very hurt and I’m a mess. Show, why you do this??!
I was pretty pissed when Episode 2 ended on a cliffhanger with Jung walking away from Seol like that. And my pissiness pretty much went up by a few more levels when he proceeded to ignore her in front of everybody. Oh, so we’re going back to how it was before, eh?
Episode 3 is pretty much where In Ho and Seol’s friendship starts. Do you have a close friend you annoy, bicker with, and just be yourself with? That pretty much spells Seol and In Ho.
Ah, my ship is sailing. My heart’s going to break, I just know it.
It was satisfying seeing Jung save Seol from their lecherous classmate. However, it warmed my heart when Seol was in a funk walking home with In Ho and In Ho slaps a cold drink on her forehead complete with sound advice. Man, that was just gold.
Never mind that Jung was trailing after Seol all the way from school. (Another perfect scene, thank you, indie OST.)
I’m sure I’ll love you, Jung, but for now, here’s a big fat “In your face!”
We’re at Episode 4 and our main leads have decided to date. It was a squee-worthy moment for sure and if you haven’t read the manga, you might be thinking, er, what happens next? They already have their happy ever after.
Eh. We’re talking about Jung after all.
I’m really having trouble writing commentaries for Show because it feels like every minute is special and I want to talk about each one but this would turn into a recap and I can’t do that. Dramabeans already does it so perfectly so why reinvent the wheel, huh. So let me just revel in my most favorite moment in this episode.
While we sat through a pretty awkward first date, I was pretty much exhausted after it as much as Seol was so the late-night run for ramen in the convenience store felt great. Seol fighting with In Ho for her portion of the kimchi was super fun too!
And that scene in the rain. With the heart-tugging OST in the background. Kyaaaa! Be still my squeeing heart.
We get to see a lot of Seol backbone in this episode. I’m so glad home girl doesn’t just let Jung get his own way. It’s an episode of some difficult discoveries for Seol but they’re necessary in order for Seol to understand Jung better and get closer to the mystery that is Jung.
I also totally enjoyed Baek In Ha in this episode. Seol and In Ha’s worlds collide here and In Ho is understandably panicked. Who wouldn’t be? Baek In Ha is officially cray cray.
She might come off as amusing as she talks to Seol (and makes her pay at the cashier) but that look and vibe she gives off toward her (guilty?) brother was just.. just… *gives up trying to think of a word*
Jung and Seol’s relationship is progressing and we make more discoveries along the way. So that’s when Jung started falling for Seol. The flashbacks are pure gold in this Show. Come on, Show. Keep surprising me with these dizzying reveals.
And speaking of flashbacks, we finally see In Ho and his prodigy-level piano skills. It doesn’t help our poor heart when Seol sees him in this moment of vulnerability. Of course, Show decides to twist the knife even further with In Ho deciding to leave Seol’s side as a cliffhanger.
I am definitely sinking with this ship.
I’m scratching my head deciding which one favorite moment to talk about but that’ll just drive me crazy so forgive me as I list them down.
What a freaking creepy stalkeroo! Girls, I HOPE we (and our daughters and their daughters’ daughters) don’t ever come in contact with a creep like Yeung-Gon. I was shouting silently when Seol extended her hand in sympathy to the guy, gave him a drink and tried to console him.
No no no no! Danger danger! Klaxon bells are blaring, Seol!
Still, I have to hand it to our gal. Seol doesn’t see it as black and white and being ALL Yeung-Gon’s fault. I suppose you can call her over-analytical but I’m with Seol on this one that the creep, I mean, the guy wasn’t 100% to blame.
And then there was that moment that Jung bluntly told the class they were dating. How amazing was that??? The classmates were just idly fooling around, Bora and Taek were smirking I’m sure, and Seol was making pithy excuses. And then Jung just baldly comes out and says, “We’re dating.” You get plus points, Jung! Great job. (See, this is me trying to be fair to Jung he he.)
Did I mention that I loved Seol’s silent freakout (as girlfriday called it). HA. HA. HA.
This was a great episode for In Ho too. I was pretty excited that there is some development in his arc. Is he going to go back to playing the piano professionally? I can’t wait!!
What a hot kiss! Despite all the suspicion and awkwardness between our OTP, it can’t be denied that they sizzle for each other.
Still, I’m not abandoning my ship. I love the dynamic between In Ho and Seol. When together, they fight like a pair of kids, yet they manage to teach each other while doing their cute walking-bickering. If Seol is able to address her weaknesses, I think they’re in large part to In Ho’s advices and influences. And vice versa.
Baek In Ha is very polarizing. Cheese in the Trap drama fans either hate her or love her. I for one abhor what her character does but I do think the actress is playing crazy In Ha very well.
I particulary enjoyed In Ha roughing up Fake Seol. Was it mean of me to be laughing the whole time? And all the times I replayed it? Muahahahaha. Serves you right, Fake Seol!
It was a rough and ugly episode for Seol. Still, I was happy that she decided to finally speak her mind and face issues straight on rather than keeping everything inside and trying to get along.
Even if small things come rushing at you in ripples, they’re only ripples. Like everyone does, you can endure them. But if ripples keep hitting a person, you can’t just keep enduring. – Seol
I wonder… Is this what Jung means when he says they were the same in the past but no more? I was writing Jung off but omo omo omo! That back hug! That neck nuzzle!
As usual, a gazillion things happen in this episode. All exciting stuff!
If I get to talk about one thing, it would be the difference in Jung and In Ho’s approaches to helping Seol. I read this off the Dramabeans forums and it really struck a chord. In Ho does everything straight on – whether it’s advice or roughing up the crazy stalker, while Jung stealth-fixes stuff. One half of the show is understanding Jung and maybe even his character progression so I’m really looking forward to what’s in store for Jung.
In Ha was a lot of fun in this episode. Ha! She defended her little Peanut. That was so sweet! I’m totally shipping this new ship haha! And awww. I felt for In Ha gushing over the art book. It just felt sad, ya know.
And finally, of course, how cute is In Ho suddenly getting the flutters over some Seol Skinship? Harharharhar. He actually thought he was palpitating that first time because of his cold. I know it’s not end game but still so freakin’ adorable cute!
(It was 1am and I didn’t know I was cackling like a mad witch while I was watching Show.) Eeep! Sorry, neighbors!
I hear we’ll be two weeks without Show? OMG…. now I’m freaking like In Ha! (gets a paper bag)
To tide us over until the next episode, here is one of my favorite MV’s on YouTube.
And finally, the long wait is over. What a long two weeks that was, kdrama friends. Everybody was just itching for their CITT fix!
Show definitely doesn’t disappoint. If anything, it gets better and better. Maybe because I hadn’t seen Jung for 2 weeks but Boy is so handsome and magnetic isn’t he? Haha.
So, the couple of things I’ll talk about include Seol’s family. I am so happy for everybody especially Seol. She really IS trying to open up to people how she actually feels. Her family needed to hear those words from her and even if it was difficult, it eventually brought everybody much much closer together.
The family dinner they all ended going up to was so sweet.
And how cute was In Ho in that poster. Haha! It’s quite funny how he always ends up the poster boy of wherever he works at.
Seol starting to call In Ho “oppa” was also so adorable! For an In Ho shipper like me, it gives me hope that while In Ho and Seol are not end game, it is bringing them to a place where they can still be special to each other – maybe like adopted siblings. Because clearly during that meal, what In Ho needs is family.
Finally, we get to understand a bit more of Jung as a flashback shows the Baek siblings happily nattering away to Dad while Jung just walks past the happy trio stone-faced.
Knowing what we know of Jung, we know just exactly how he’s feeling at the moment. Like, how can these two strangers feel more like family to my own father than myself?
Episode 12 is my absolute favorite. Finally, we find out what happened in the past. We’ve always wondered why In Ho holds Jung responsible for his hand. We don’t quite get the whole picture but it’s enough to whet our appetites and send us off theorizing.
First off, Seol once again shows tremendous growth as she encourages Jung to open up to her too. Her method was to open up first so I deflated with Seol when Jung brushed her off.
Later that night though, In Ho challenges Jung to a pretty even fist fight. More than the heavy blows, I think what woke Jung up to opening to Seol was In Ho telling Jung that he was falling for Seol, and also, questioning Jung if he was sure that he was NEVER ever going to hurt Seol like he has hurt so many of the people in his life.
Whatever Jung’s catalyst, everybody just heaved a sigh of relief when he finally opened up to Seol. And how sweet was Seol saying that she loves him even more after? I think it was exactly what Jung needed to hear. That he can show his true self to another person and that person won’t reject him.
Still, the mystery remains as to who tattled on the boys at the Remember bar? And did In Ho really betray Jung with those cruel words to New Boy?
Here’s my theory so far based off my own biases and some Dramabeans comments:
We assumed that it was Jung who called the cops on the gang boys. This is mostly because he was the only one apart from In Ho who wasn’t there. But but but… what if it were In Ha? What if In Ha was lurking somewhere around and decided to get In Ho in trouble? After all, we know how In Ha has a deep grudge against In Ho.
If this theory is true, it makes sense why Jung wouldn’t help In Ho. He wouldn’t feel accountable for it. It would also give meaning to his cryptic remark about In Ho bringing it upon himself and to think about his actions.
Next, did In Ho really badmouth Jung? Ah… this is simpler to me. We’ve seen how In Ho is very straightforward and blunt. He’s not the type to go behind somebody’s back.
I think it was either In Ho simply being jealous of New Boy and putting him off Jung so he can have buddy Jung to himself, or he thought New Boy was going to use Jung too like everybody else. Whatever the case, the words didn’t mean what they actually meant and were for Jung’s benefit.
I wonder if I’m prophetic? Only one way to find out and that’s with next week’s episodes. Can’t wait!
Episode 13 and Episode 14:
I’m going to start putting episode commentaries together mostly because these 2 particular episodes flow into each other. I’m so sad reading forum comments about CITT now because Show and In Ho are getting a lot of hate for getting a lot of In Ho time. Jung shippers want more Jung time. After all, they say, isn’t CITT about Seol and Jung?
Show is not live shooting. It’s already wrapped up even as it airs. I’m glad of this because it can progress without being adversely affected by viewer feedback.
This is just my opinion but I think the lack of Jung onscreen is merely because at this particular point in time, Show is dwelling on In Ho’s story arc. (2/27/2016 Update: I thought we were just taking an In Ho detour and will be back with Jung programming but apparently, the CITT world is exploding. Updates below!)
And I just want to point out some facts. I’m an In-Ho shipper but you will find that In Ho shippers do not expect In Ho to end up with Seol. Show has already established our OTP. In fact, you will see In Ho retreating from Seol and giving her space. Every time, he always falls back when necessary. (He is actually the opposite in every way of his stalkerish second lead character in Sly and Single Again.) I read somewhere that In Ho is probably the biggest Seol-Jung shipper and I quite believe that.
Okay, just had to get that off my chest. Because you know, I really felt for In Ho this week. What do you do when you want to start your life afresh but circumstance is just keep you from doing so? It reminds me of people who find themselves trapped in a corner and end up doing sad, desperate things. I’ve been in that desperate place. It is very very scary. I am scared for In Ho. I can’t wait to see who or how In Ho will get the help he needs.
My most favorite scenes this week are when Seul tells a down In Ho, “I don’t know how other people see you, but to me, you’re a good person. If something troubling happens to you, I and my family will all help you. So tell me.”
Other highs for me are Eun Taek and Bora. I am so happy that Bora had the guts to express her number 1 fear – of losing Eun Tak to a break up. And wasn’t Eun Tak phenomenal in reassuring her? In an interview, Kim Go-Eun (actress playing Seol) was asked which male character in CITT she’s go for. She chose Eun Taek. I highly agree! In Ho and Jung have lots of complexes but Eun Taek is rock solid. Perfect husband material. You can grow old and happy with a Eun Tak!
Lastly, Jung and Seol are now communicating much better. Their dates are so cute! So, it was a surprise to see that Jung is still up to his old tricks in using manipulative schemes to get back at people (Sang Chul in this case). Seol shows him that she won’t run away but will Jung ever change?
Writer-nim apparently said that Cheese in the Trap drama will have a different ending from the webtoon. I wonder how the live show will end??
And OMG, my BIGGEST question right now after watching the preview is WHO GOT HIT BY THAT CAR???
2/27/2016 Update: OMG. The rumors are true. PHJ’s scenes have been cut. What is happening??!! The CITT world is in chaos. I’ll refrain from speculating. I hope we get answers soon, folks!
Episode 15 and Episode 16 (Final):
Where to begin?
So, with the way things have been going, I’ve been very very afraid to watch the last episodes of CITT. In fact, some fans have already stopped at Episode 12 or have refused to watch these last 2 episodes. There were so many conspiracy theories and rantings that my head was literally spinning from reading the comments on forums. Needing a break, I just tried to forget all of that and approach the last two episodes with a clear mind.
Having said that, I’d have to say that I LIKED the ending and I DON’T like the ending.
When I say I like the ending, I mean that it wasn’t as bad as I feared. I’d seen some worse fuck-ups like that kdrama K-Pop the Ultimate Audition. I was enjoying that drama till their budgeting got cut before it was finished and the editors had to piece any available footage and solder an ending out of scraps. Now that was BAD.
Another kdrama that imploded was The Prime Minister and I. Again, I was thoroughly enjoying that drama till in the last 4 episodes, the writer decided to have a lobotomy (is what I guessed happened).
For Cheese in the Trap, everybody got their endings tied up more or less neatly in a bow and we are left with the knowledge that Jung and Seul are going to end up together happy.
Now, when I say I DON’T like it, I mean that Show didn’t continue to be the perfect drama that it was. It was Perfection personified. And then it was not. Suddenly, we had gangsters on In Ho, Seul getting run over by a car, and Jung going off screen for his most crucial moments. (I may be an In Ho shipper but I was waiting for Jung’s development and more.)
I’m also sad that I didn’t find out who ratted on the boys at the bar, and why In Ho said what he said to New Boy. There are also things that we did not see like the childhood scenes of Jung and the Baeks. And isn’t it sad that Seul’s adult present was just the same cray cray madness except that she’s lost the passion to care.
Lastly, as a Baek In Ho fan, I’m surprisingly sad that he got so much airtime. I think it did his character a disservice. We’re supposed to get our hearts twisted in the agony of Second Lead Syndrome and treasure little bits of time spent with our gal. Instead, we lost Jung time and got some less-than-critical time with In Ho’s arc (which felt quite contrived, in hindsight.)
A dozen more things come to mind but I’m not one to wallow. Of all the conspiracy theories, one Truth stands out for me. That the behind-the-scenes drama overtook the actual drama.
I wish I knew why Jung was not at the cast and crew vacation, why Jung’s scenes were cut, what was on the PD’s mind, and what exactly transpired with the webtoon writer. (I know she made them change the ending as it was too close to her webtoon ending that has not yet been released.)
I JUST wish I knew the answers why I did not get my Perfect Show.
Ironically, the winners in this Show aren’t the three main leads. (Yeah, I’m calling In Ho a lead because of all that screen time haha.) It’s the dark horses in this Show.
There was Peanut who was such a lovable regular guy althroughout the Show. We find out he’s rich but he’s not messed up like Jung. He remains loyal to In Ha (even though he knew she was in the mental hospital!) but never deviates from his character. Their last exchange was so cute. Peanut reprimanded In Ha for her behavior but she says, “I missed you.” I’m happy that In Ha has found her Rock.
Then there’s Sang Chul. He told Jung that some people who approach him might genuinely want to be friends. It’s a bit weird coming from Sang Chul but at least he behaved in the same way to everybody – mooching off of friends and all. LOL
And finally, we have the cute couple Eun-Tak and Bora. Happily, their story remained whole and unsullied. Thank goodness for all the small mercies.
Well as a true kdrama fan, I can only hope and wait for the next (and elusive) perfect kdrama. Thank God for Signal! (Oh my gosh, I hope I didn’t jinx it!!!!)
Cheese in the Trap Drama Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Let’s console each other,