The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Cheese in the Trap


Cheese in the Trap


Hangul: 치즈 인 더 트랩
Writer: Kim Nam hee, Soon Ggi (original comic)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: Jan - Mar, 2016




Cast



Plot


Drama depicts the delicate relationship between female university student Hong Seol (Kim Go eun) and her senior, Yoo Jung (Park Hae jin). Hong seol works part-time due to her family's poor background. Yoo Jung is good looking, gets good grades, is athletic and has a kind personality, but he also has a dark side. ~AsianWiki (w/edits)

Review


When I first began watching this one, I was prepared to give it a 5-star rating without hesitation, and as I waited for subsequent episodes to upload, my curiosity got the best of me so I browsed parts of the manhwa this live drama is based on.

Now that it is over, I hesitated to rate this one a 4 or a 5 so settled on 4.5 stars.

I still wonder if I'm being too generous, but I'll stick with my gut reaction, which should never be ignored. Right?

The best part about this drama turned out to be the Score (OST), one with it's nod to The Cure, and a few Korean ballads I'm not familiar with but didn't mind hearing intermittently during these 16 lengthy episodes.

The manhwa was far more explicit than even I cared for so didn't really get into it but am still glad to know and partially understand the huge differences and slight similarities between the two.

Don't think they know what down low actually means!


As always, it's great to see and be able to appreciate something new and refreshingly DIFFERENT in a Korean drama, and Cheese definitely fulfilled that need.

Yet it also remained true to the formulaic Cinderella theme of two hot guys (only one wealthy, though) going after the mousy poor chick.

I think a majority of the actors did a good job, and the aside characters didn't overpower or overshadow the real plot in any way.


Second Lead Syndrome


My personal favorite was Seo Kang joon as Baek In ho -- the guy I wanted to see end up with Kim Go eun's Hong Seol (the Cheese).


Seo Kang joon as Baek In ho

What I Didn't Like


She chose the wrong dude (big surprise) and went for the wealthy Ken doll instead of the hot, more appealing, and better personality dude.

She also kept unabashedly apologizing to us for it throughout the show, which became annoying around episode six and unforgivable thereafter.




At the start, I liked Lee Sung kyung's Baek In ha character, but after about five episodes, it wasn't funny anymore and her contorted facial expressions, over-the-top maneuvers, AND voice tone/inflection became irritating.





And, on the opposite end of the spectrum, Kim Go eun is an okay actress and I like her hair, but not her style or her flat-line approach to people, things, and life in general. Very boring.




Why this one didn't receive a 5-star review from me had everything to do with the message being conveyed.

Manipulation is the element, and in Korea, being rich or poor has everything to do with whether one can get away with it.




Sure, the script writer did attempt to clear it all up in the 11th hour final scenes, but by then it was far too late for me to accept.

By the time we are privy to their story, the stage has long ago been set and the personality quirks are fully embedded, so our reactions to these people are unfair because we're being manipulated as well.

Park Hae jin's Yoo jung being manipulated by his powerful father, who mistakenly attempts to help his son by manipulating his son's best friend and that guy's older sister, narcissistic In ha. They manipulate one another and later anyone they encounter.




The college students manipulated their way through two semesters. Which didn't coincide with Hong Seol's attitude towards them compared with, say, her attitude toward her rich boyfriend whenever he pulled off the same or similar stunts.

While Yoo jung continued to manipulate and destroy throughout the show, Hong seol witnessed, second-guessed, doubted, denied, accepted, and apologized for it again and again and again.

She still liked him and made lame excuses for him and her reasons for sticking with him, but that same reasoning wasn't there for anyone else including the stalker dude (who, by the way, nearly stole the show).

I never saw a single reason for In ho's blame or need to suffer as much as he did, and at the end of the day, he'd never done anything to warrant Yoo jung's manipulative vengeance.




There were numerous instances when Yoo jung reminded him (and us) about a mistaken notion incident from their past, which both boys misconstrued, though I doubt In ho was wrong and Yoo jung was right.




But! Because Yoo jung is rich and In ho is poor, we must accept In ho's plight and Yoo jung's indiscretion.

Right?

The subs were pretty decent, but there were a few times near the beginning of this show where I had to stop and capture them for your reading pleasure.



exactly



on the right side of my FB wall


One conundrum that occurred about halfway through the sixteen episodes was when In ho sees his old piano teacher being interviewed on television.

Nothing wrong with that except that In ho is standing outside of a convenience store staring at the television screen through the plate glass window, and he is able to hear everything being broadcast.

Outside the store.

In the rain.

sorry, screwed this one up

The climax was somewhat riveting even if it was just a grander scale of manipulation than anything we'd seen previously.

Still, I enjoyed this one a great deal more than it might sound based on this review.

The refreshing change and off-beat writing style appealed to me and kept me hooked for the duration, which is always a delight to encounter.

If this had gone on for more than the sixteen episodes, though, I might have had to deduct that half star.

The Yeppeun































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