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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cheese in the Trap" Episode 1

2016/01/04 | Permalink

Seol (played by Kim Go-eun) is a normal everyday college student, who has to deal with normal everyday college student pressures like being pressured to eat weird food, avoiding tardy penalties in class, and racing with other students to enroll in favored classes as quickly as possible. That may not sound like much in the way of conflict or excitement but then that's kind of the whole point of college- dealing with light responsibilities as long-term preparation for real ones.

The catch to all this is Jeong (played by Park Hae-jin). He appears to be romantically interested in Seol. It's kind of hard to tell because director Lee Yoon-jeong makes Jeong look like a serial killer. Although really, that effect is more of a mutual team effort. I'm assuming that Park Hae-jin has spent a lot of time in the mirror practicing how to smile in the creepiest possible way. I just hope he's still able to smile like a normal person again once the drama's over.

"Cheese in the Trap" is to date a mystery. It's a mystery who Jeong is and why he acts the way that he does, and it's also a bit of a mystery what sort of story the drama is trying to tell. Allegedly "Cheese in the Trap" is a romantic comedy and while it is funny at points, how exactly can this drama be a romance when the male lead is intentionally being portrayed as being mildly frightening?

Still, let's examine the comedy for a minute. Most of it revolves around college students coming up with unnecessarily complicated schemes to solve problems when simpler ones would probably work just as well. Take the entire scene with the CCTV. Bo-ra (played by Park Min-ji) comes up with an elaborate lie where the truth could have gotten the job done without annoying the guard so much. And she has a good match in boyfriend Eun-taek (played by Nam Joo-hyuk) and his weirdly childish plan to stall the professor.

That's the kind of drama "Cheese in the Trap" is being so far- a romance where all the cuteness is had with the tertiary couple while the lead character awkwardly rebuffs vague come-ons. I haven't read the original webtoon "Cheese in the Trap" is based on although I wonder if I should- the still shots at the midpoint and end look like chapter end-points. Although more than that, I really just want to know where exactly this drama is going.

Review by William Schwartz

"Cheese in the Trap" is directed by Lee Yoon-jeong, written by Go Seon-hee and Kim Nam-hee and features Park Hae-jin, Kim Go-eun, Seo Kang-joon, Lee Sung-kyung, Nam Joo-hyuk, Kim Ki-bang, Park Min-ji and more.

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