Korean Drama

Cheese in the Trap: Why, oh why! (Series Review)

Due to drama fizzle and debacle behind the scene and within the drama, this post will contradict my mid-series review, but I urge you to still read the mid-review, just because. Trust me, this post is only half of the five pages of thoughts which I considered to break into two parts, but, I pitied myself and decided to let it go. Why? Because, I have a life! 

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Personally, I don’t think that this drama intended for it go end the way it did, with an ambiguous ending that didn’t leave enough closure for the audience and the drama characters. However, the way the drama carried its story within the last two episodes made the situation go sour. What do I mean? First, if you are reading this post as a the series watcher, then you are familiar with the behind the scenes debacle. If you are looking to try this drama and reading reviews on it before starting the drama then, here is a short description of the fiasco.

The male lead of the drama, Park Hae Jin drew the short stick out of the can when production decided to limit his time on scene and elaborate the drama story on second male lead (Seo Kang Joon) and his art. Please read an elaborate and detailed description of the drama on Dramabeans

This is definitely not the first time drama series has focused more scene time on the second lead. This happens because it shows that he would end up with the female male lead.  However, if the story is more about the main actor, then the story should focus more on him and give audience reasons about why he deserves the girl. Regardless, Park Hae Jin decided to speak out his disappointment on the turn of event when he saw that he was getting limited scenes. Keep in mind that production of this drama ended before episode 7/8 aired, hence, most of the drama was pre-made before mid-series (16 episodes). When episodes 13 and 14 aired, that was when drama fans and commenters began to strongly voice their opinion on how the drama producer really screwed up with Hae Jin. And Hae Jin voiced his disappointment; he first turned down the drama due to his age (32), but he was begged to star. Use your judgement on that.

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I actually did not notice this mess on time because I began to lose interest in the drama around episode 10 when Baek In Ho (Kang Joon’s character) was getting more storyline than intended. So, it began to make sense when everything began to spiral. It also made me feel bad for Seo Kang Joon because he got get backlash and negative press for this unintentional mess as well.

I love In Ho’s character as he was much of an interest as Jung (Park Hae Jin) was, but when In Ho’s character was getting more clarifications about his life, it made me question Jung’s especially when he was barely in scenes. It felt like anytime he present on scene, he is either doing some damage control or just being unnecessary mysterious. We were not getting any answers about this guy and his bad behaviors.  More scene were given to  Min soo, the scary imitator, crazy stalker Yoon gun, and Pathetic Sunbae Sang Chul and their story wrapped up nicely, though, 2 episodes should have sufficed for them.

When episode 12 rolled around, I thought, In Ho’s story will wrap up nicely and now we can focus on Jung and his past maybe, throw in In ha’s back story as well. However, that was not the case when epiosde 13/14 aired with Jung and In Ho hashing out the past and In Ho voicing his attraction towards Seol to Jung. Okay, so the drama is giving us a different feel, I thought. I went along with it, but episode 14  drew out situations that were not really necessary and gave us a lack of explanation to a character. Episode 14-16 was to focus Jung and his “dark secrets” because homeboy was deeply messed up and it needed more than 3 years to rectify his mental state by going away. That was so not the case though.

In this drama, a time jump was NOT needed. In fact, Seol’s accident was NOT needed. In ha’s psychosis was NOT needed. The time jump didn’t solve the screaming situation at hand, it just forced the idea into our head: “this is all we got, deal with it.” It doesn’t give closure, but just makes us more irritated. I didn’t waste 16 hours of my life to watch a conclusion that sucks.

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Okay, back to the real life drama: Not only did Park Hae Jin voice his opinion, even the webcomic artist herself felt wronged. She wasn’t consulted after episode 8, I believe, and the drama veered off the web toon. This is  not a bad thing since drama adaptation of web toons can have their own interpretations (also, the webtoon is ongoing), but it is wrongdoing if the drama misses the message of the original story. It feels like plagiarism, but you just bought the rights to plagiarise and change the point of what you are plagiarizing. First, that’s a waste of money and second it is an insult to the person. I know, my analogy sucks, but I cannot think deeper than this. Hehe!

Anyways, after the press issue and Hae Jin bravely speaking out his disappointment (it could ruin his career, luckily the fans were on his side. Read the story of Han Ye Seul), I guess made production decide to review their approach on how to end the drama with two episodes left. So, to give Jung more scenes, they opened up more can of worms and not rectifying the situation:

Jung became more scary with his manipulations, though Sunbae Sang Chul kind of deserved it, but Jung did NOT see that his manipulations are more dangerous than before, like he still DID NOT GET IT after 14 episodes. In ha went from an annoying pest to a possible murderous crazy. And the fact that she DID NOT GO TO JAIL made her random “repentance” just icky to watch. Jung’s father becoming the all time bad felt out of the blue. I had an inkling that the dad was the cause of his dark side, but since we barely got scene time with papa Park, there was no point going in depth with a character we first saw as nice and sweet and totally berserk and wicked as the drama ended. Just like Jung, it was like he had split personalities. 

Seol not dating after her break from Jung made it feel awkward when in the end scene, Jung whispered her name from behind and she thinks to the happy times when a similar occurrence happened when they were dating. End drama.

Why was this problematic because in a twisted way, what I understood from that scene was that Seol was fixated in an unhealthy relationship that was a potential danger to her, but for three years she was hung up on her past and in her present she reverts  to her old ways before meeting Jung; PUSHOVER. Only this time, in the workforce, it was worse. Hence, it was like she needed Jung in her life in order to be able to speak up because Jung would be able to use his manipulations to fight her battles. Hey this is how I am able to conclude on this drama when they gave us rubbish to end with.

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Yea, so this was how the series ended. Badly written and I felt cheap because I felt like I was robbed off my good review earlier. I guess what I am trying to say is that if the drama wanted In Ho to be the possible twist to this story, (see all the Replies drama), then it wouldn’t have been so bad. That is, if Jung’s mystery was cleared up earlier and we are shown that he cannot change that easily. All I am saying is that episode 15 and 16 was useless and I actually wished the production was brave enough to continue the story without listening to the backlash, that way, we can have a complete story that MAKES FREAKING SENSE. I actually hoped the story continued from episode 14 rather than giving us TWO NEW EPISODES THAT SPELLS OUT “NEW DRAMA” or “Cheese in the Trap 2.” At the end of the drama series, Hae Jin still lost regardless of the scenes he had and Kang Joon looked like the bad guy to the media/netizens.

Without the drama chaos in reel life, I would still have written this post because the drama took a turn and headed towards the cliff after episode 10 which is sad because IT HAD AWESOME POTENTIAL TO BE GOOD. Jung and In Ha missed out of good character development. Side characters, Eun Taek and Bo ra had better development, even Seol’s brother, Joon, had more clarifications on their characters. This drama committed drama death and even though CiiT had a good run, it will be my top 5 WTF happened to you.

RIP (Return if Possible) my 10 hours back.

Drama Recommendation 3/5 (Overall drama)

Photo credit: Pictures were taken from google images. If yours happen to be the one used, feel free to claim. Thank you for letting me use them for this post. 


5 thoughts on “Cheese in the Trap: Why, oh why! (Series Review)”

  1. What a waste!

    I don’t know what kind of impact this could have on PHJ’s career, but unlike Han Ye-Seul he didn’t leave the cast, and did the entire job properly. So I don’t think we need to worry too much, since, as you stated, the fans are on his side, and also his reputation remains clean, he is said to be professional, nothing has changed. He is not famous for exposing on-set conflicts, this was an exception – maybe its the fact that he was begged for the role then backstabbed that enraged him. If anything the writer and PD could have more to worry about than him career wise. I just hope people won’t be too harsh on Seo Kang-Joon because that’s clearly not his fault. But I think the webtoon fans will get this (well I hope).


    1. Oh yea def the PD is one to look out for when actors are choosing their next project or are being choosen. Usually, i try not to share an opinion in a real life drama because life is just like that to all regardless of profession( sometimes screw us over), but this drama was a good possibilty of just real life slice and it was relatable in many ways. Though, i did not experience crazy Young gun stalker, but i have experience some form of stalking, bad seniors and random copycats…so seeing how this drama dealt with it with Jung was in a way like me watching myself when i had to deal with those people. Though, i am not a manic manipulator, i do see the consequences of my actions, but i can manipulate a situation when i dont like it. Hence my midseries review, i was able to understand Jung. However, when the drama sent sideways, it became too cliche and unnecessary. Heheh i just realized i spilled the beans on my random life story, but nowadays, i am too preoccupied to be think deeper and just let things go. Okay…this is not a therapht session. Hehe. In all, it was a show that could and shoulda but still enjoyable if we take the behind the scenes away.

      Liked by 1 person

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