Last week I talked about Cheese in the Trap and how I was going to do a 4 episode test*, so here we are. I was almost tempted to do a 2 episode test, but I had to wait because this is too too good.
The initial reaction to the webtoon turning into a live action show was met with some resistance. The writer exclusively keeps the webtoon on Naver (Naver english) and with that the fans were pretty open with how they felt about the casting choices. I think it’s a very engaged fan base that wants justice for the comic they fiercely enjoy. Now you all know I love a good engaged community, but I decided not to follow the webtoon and just watch Cheese on its own. Sometimes it is just better for me.
The story revolves around some students in college and their involvement with Yoo Jung (Park Hae Jin) and Hong Seol (Kim Go Eun). That sounds really simple, but at the same time it is complex. I’ve decided to break it down with just Yoo Jung.
Now I love that they picked Park Hae Jin to play a college student. I find that he both looks the part, but doesn’t. The key to the whole Yoo Jung character from what I can deduce in these 4 episodes, is that sort of manuerism.
He’s from a very well off family. Which you sort of know when you can “make a call” and something happens. (NOTE: I wish I had that power.) His friendships are not deep. His interactions with people are even more shallow. So why is he so fascinating? He’s a borderline sociopath. Not evil, but just not totally aware of the emotions others have. This might not mean much, but when these are people you connect with in school and some functions, you’d expect some kind of, I don’t know, friendship or acquaintance. Yoo Jung does not have that.
In the beginning we see him with another student, Lee Da Young (Kim Hye Ji). She obviously sees him as more than a friend, but he just sort of let’s her be. When he sees her do something malicious, he does not help or protect her. His involvement is rather detached, but it still ruins her intentions. These type of actions he knows how to manipulate, yet he sees it just for himself.
When he pursues Hong Seol, that’s when we begin to see some of his façade change. Remember, I haven’t read the webtoon and I am taking in his persona as I see it. It seems for so long he has had all these leeches around him, but Seol sees beyond that. It still makes for assumptions that cannot be dealt with.
Then there is his past with Baek In Ho (played fantastically by Seo Kang Joon) which is riddled with a lot of pain and complications. I tend to think that those two need to be locked in a room with puppies to sort their issues out, but then we wouldn’t have a show to talk about. We would have a viral video. [tvN, if you steal this idea, you have to hire me.]
Seol may bring out Yoo Jung. Her timidness has a spark. I love that she tries to speak up and that intrigues him. He tries to still do his “make a call” shit, but I think old habits die hard.
I think Yoo Jung is the best character, though. The world isn’t around the girl, it’s around him which includes the girl. How he going to deal with that is what’s really interesting.
Watch Cheese in the Trap on DRAMAFEVER.
Have you started this? What do you think? Comment below or tweet me @cherylfornia!
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*4 episode test – An unofficial test that is given to Korean dramas in the dramaverse. First taught to me by India of DramaDebussie.com, it is basically a trial watch of a drama. If after 4 episodes, it does not progress well, you drop it without any conscience.