Tuesday, March 21, 2017

[K-Drama Review] Cheese in the Trap (2016)


I’m undeniably fall into Cheese in the Trap’s trap. As a food, Cheese in the Trap is like a perfect, catchy, beautiful and delicious cheese cake you ate in a novel café. But as you eat it over and over again, rather than tasted a sweet and creamy flavor, you instead feel the bitterness of the cake that make you want to drink a glass of mineral water to rinse the bad aftertaste away.

I feel really sad for this drama. I pity it, actually. It is just sad to see something as beautiful and good as Cheese in the Trap turn into something people mock over and disappointed with. And it all thanks to the crazy and selfish director. I mean, is she new in drama department? No, she’s not. She has given birth to a number of well-made dramas, including Heart to Heart and Coffee Prince. So she knows how to act like a professional, right? Sooo why did she chose to do that? Only God knows.

Anyway, I can’t say that I don’t want to recommend this drama because it really is a good drama up to episode 12. I also don’t want to say that the rest of the drama is bad because some of it is good. Not putting high expectation for the drama is probably the right choice to make before watching it.

Cheese in the Trap tells a story of a bright and smart college student Hong Seol (Kim Go Eun) who unexpectedly involves in a romantic relationship with his senior Yoo Jung (Park Hae Jin). Before dating Yoo Jung, Hong Seol always thinks of something odd going on with him. Hong Seol thinks that Yoo Jung has dual personality and not as good as people around him talk about. To make her relationship with her new boyfriend getting more complex, Baek In Ho (Seo Kang Jun), comes into Hong Seol’s life. Apparently, Baek In Ho is Yoo Jung’s childhood friend who now has turned into his enemy.

I love Cheese in the Trap! There, my first impression of the show. I really had it from hello. It looks perfect and interesting to me. Since I read the webtoon, I find watching the drama really exciting because the casting was spot-on – except for Baek In Ha which I will discuss it later – the soundtrack is great, the tone is appealing, and the portrayal is real and just like the webtoon. So, there’s no reason to be upset with this drama early episodes.

What attracted me the most in the beginning of Cheese in the Trap is the cast. Now for this, I can put my two thumbs up for the director and the casting team. They really found the right people to play the right characters in this show. The main couple is my favorite. Kim Go Eun and Park Hae Jin nailed their characters. They really turned into Hong Seol and Yoo Jung. And because I never watched any of Kim Go Eun’s movies or dramas before, I have grown quite fond of her. She is definitely my favorite cast and character of the show. Kim Go Eun manages to portray the confuse-smart-suspicious-friendly Hong Seol perfectly. And I love her style!

The reason why I got hooked by this drama immediately is also because of how it presented. I love that each episode has a title and the opening of one episode which somehow looks like a comic book. And maybe due to the fact that each episode always ended on a cliffhanger that makes me want to see more of it.

I also love the fact that Cheese in the Trap is not only focusing on the romance story between the main couple, but also the college life, which I find really interesting. The drama is giving its viewers an opportunity to see a glimpse of how college life in Korea. How the college students in Korea took care of their life, their study, and their relationship.

Personally, aside from having a high curiosity on how is it like to be working in Korean TV stations, I also have wondered what it is like to study in Korean university. My friend, whose friend study in one of Korean prestigious universities, once said that college life in Korea is really tough and made her friend lose lots of weight due to how stressful her life is as a college student in Korea.

Therefore, when I find it delightful to watch Cheese in the Trap because I can finally have a quick look of how college life in South Korea is, which is definitely tough and intimidating.

Anywayy, to sum up this section, my first impression of Cheese in the Trap was, wow, it’s great, it’s everything I’ve imagined before, it looked super interesting, can’t wait to watch the remaining episodes of this show.

Story-wise, CITT offers something different and interesting compared to its peers, which is something CITT can be proud of. Sure, the story of a hardworking/ordinary girl who suddenly trapped in a confusing/romantic relationship with her senior in college is not brand new. As a drama viewer myself, I have seen a similar story to the aforementioned plot, but with different touches and tropes. What makes CITT different from others is that it is not only focusing on the romance-side, it also focused on other college students’ life which interestingly related with the main couple’s relationship. That, among other reasons, has made the story of CITT appealing and not boring at all.

The pace is also another pros of CITT’s story. I like how fast-paced this drama is and how it refused to drag something out. Like the relationship between our main couple for example. Most of the rom-com dramas love to drag this and make their viewers eventually left them due to the annoyance. But CITT decided to take another route when the main couple finally locks their romantic relationship in episode 4. That’s fast.

The characterization is also another interesting element of CITT. I love each characters served by the drama. Each character has something unique, cute, mysterious, and attractive side that makes the drama more colorful and lively.

Ho-we-ver my excitement for CITT has decreased significantly from episode 13 onward. I still have no idea what is going on with the scriptwriter’s head to mess the story up.

I knew that Baek In Ho will have a vital role in the drama, but isn’t he a second lead? I don’t know what happen between the director and Park Hae Jin that resulted in the drama failure but deleting his screen-time when he is the main lead and when the viewers love him and curious about his real personality is really unprofessional.

The plot has shifted so much in Episode 13 to a point that when Yoo Jung finally showed I feel weird and far. And the ending is just making this drama even more horrible.


To sum it up, if you looking for something catchy, cute, and vibrant, then CITT is the answer.

First of all I would like to say that the casting team did a brilliant job in singling out every actors and actresses to play characters within this drama. It is as if they were coming out of the webtoon itself. Both the looks and the acting are incredible!

 Kim Go Eun as Hong Seol

Never knew who Kim Go Eun is until I watch her performance in CITT and I immediately fall for her acting. Kim Go Eun is Hong Seol and no actress can play Hong Seol as good as she did. I read the webtoon and Kim Go Eun is definitely not disappointing as Hong Seol. She really immersed in her character as the awkward/fragile/and smart Hong Seol. The awkwardness is my favorite quality of Hong Seol and she performed it radiantly. Thanks to Kim Go Eun’s brilliant performance, I feel like I can engage with Hong Seol’s character. She really nailed the character. She is one of the many excellent features offered by CITT.

Park Hae Jin as Yoo Jung

Oh, Park Hae Jin-shi, where have you been? How could I just realize how talented and charming Park Hae Jin is now? Seriously, Park Hae Jin is really charming and different as Yoo Jung. I don’t know if it because of this character or because he has improved. Just like Kim Go Eun, I also can’t portray any actor who will play Yoo Jung as dreamy and good as Park Hae Jin did. He nailed that mysterious-sweet traits Yoo Jung have. It’s a shame that he has to involve in a behind-the-scenes-drama that resulted in a reduction of his screen-time, because I don’t know about many things but what I do know and I’m sure about is that one of the reasons of CITT’s popularity if the brilliant performance of Park Hae Jin as Yoo Jung.

 Seo Kang Joon as Baek In Ho

Many actors are putting me in awe by their performances in this show, including Seo Kang Joon. Never really watched Seo Kang Joon’s dramas before, but I have watched him in Roommate, though he is nothing but a pretty face in that show. In CITT, I can really see his talent as an actor. He really performed well as Baek In Ho, though on some points I still think that he’s too sweet and not really resembling the “bad” In Ho. This is because I read the webtoon and in the webtoon, In Ho is really hot-tempered. Nevertheless, he still amazes me and I really look forward to see him in Entourage.

 Lee Sung Kyung as Baek In Ha

I’m one of those people who think that Lee Sung Kyung was overdoing Baek In Ha. She really should tone it down and stick to the real character of Baek In Ha. I know that Baek In Ha is not having a sweet and calm personality but what Lee Sung Kyung did was just too much. In the early episodes, I often find her out of control. But…moving on, I kinda like it. It is funny and gives a special color to the show. Oh, and I love her style – already talked about it in this post.

Honorable Mention

 Ji Yoon Ho as Oh Young Gon

Oh well, how did they find the perfect Young Gon to play Young Gon? Ji Yoon Ho is definitely Young Gon and no one can portray that annoying character as well as Ji Yoon Ho did. Oh Young Gon is one of the many characters in CITT that attracted me the most when I read the webtoon and I can’t be happier when I see Ji Yoon Ho. “He is Oh Young Gon!” I said. And it is not only his face that resembles Oh Young Gon, his acting also remind me of the irritating Oh Young Gon. I really hope to see him in more productions.

I LOVE the OSTs! I love the production team’s decision to fill the drama with Indie music as its OSTs because it really suits the youth-and-contemporary atmosphere of the drama. I love all OSTs, but my favorite is Tearliner’s I’m Love.

9 out of 10.

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