Cheese in the Trap is set in a University and focuses on of the top business students, Hong Seol. In this series, the story centers around the strained relationship between Hong Seol and another student, Yoo Jung, who is a junior (sunbae) in her department. This young man is everyone’s want to befriend, rich, handsome and very considerate and charitable, that is what he presents. Seol found out that this is a front, and Jung knows this is he is rather unpleasant to Seol. This is the reason she takes a month leave of absence and returns after calming her nerves.
After returning to university, she is confronted by a more pleasant and even kind Jung. In fact, Jung goes out of his way to help Seol. This develops over time and their relationship blossoms. However, within this seemingly simple yet bizarre relationship come complications, and these appear in the form of siblings Baek In Ho and Baek In Ha. In Ha warns Seol away from Jong, only because she wants him for herself, and In Ho wants her away because he was hurt by Jong in the past.
Amidst this rather interesting web of intrigue, Seol has to handle family conflicts, fending off a stalker and deal with an identity thief.
Running Time: 16 episodes, around 1 hour per episode
As I mentioned, Cheese in the Trap is originally webtoon series, so it is based on an actual following and storyline. As such, the readers expect to view something that represents the original series, however, since it is a comic, just like Marvel and DC, you can actually do whatever you want, which includes staying with the original story, or pick a new one to develop and follow. Naturally, the writers stuck to the original strip up until halfway, when they decided to get creative and rethink the chapters. As such, I feel, that you get a whole new play on this toon, and in fact, Cheese in the Trap, the TV series is not a webtoon come to live, but a separate entity with a right to its own existence.
The fact that Jung stays true to his persona is a breath of fresh air, so we have this passive sociopath smiling at everyone when we all know that underneath boils a turmoiled spirit that is released every now and then to wreak vengeance on people that cross Seol. In Ha remains that petulant, immature child that has everything and wants more, while her brother, the piano prodigy can form great relationships, but dropped out of university, a step that perhaps stunts his growth. Then there is the next door neighbor, Min Soo that tries to steal Seol’s identity, making life in the hood very colorful.
The acting is good, and both Park Hae Jin and Kim Go Eun are perfect main leads that match well together. Both actors portrayed the characters as I believe they should be represented.
Seo Kang Joon as In Ho continues to maintain a solid career and I believe his future in acting is just going to continue to grow. At the same time, Lee Sung Kyung enjoyed overacting her role as In Ha, which actually worked out well for this neurotic role, making the serious scenes even more bi-polar.
The beginning, the middle and the inevitable end
As I started out and stated, this series remained true halfway through and then went on a divergence. The first half started out with the focus on our two lead roles, and this was the way it should be. For some reason, maybe there is behind the scenes politicizing or influence, the lead role was cut down and the second lead role came forward. So we got more from In Ho then we did from Jong. While both actors are fine and even great, the story is around Jong and Seol, so I question the real reason why In Ho became a more popular screen time item for the producers.
If you read the original toon, then you will like the first ten episodes of this series, if you didn’t read the toon, I suggest you do. Essentially, the script captured the essence of a University campus and the discordant relations within its corridors. It also captured the roles and persona perfectly. For some reason, it disintegrated after episode 10, but as I say, since this is a toon, essentially you can do what you want.