Cheese in the Trap Korean Drama Review

Cheese in the Trap - Park Hae Jin and Kim Go Eun

Cheese in the Trap tells the story of students on a college campus.  It follows the relationship of a girl named Hong Seol (Kim Go Eun) and the mysterious Yoo Jung (Park Hae Jin) who has a bit of a dark side.  Their relationship forces them each to examine not only everyone’s motives around them, but even the motives they themselves have.

Cheese in the Trap was an interesting watch that provided a world populated by a variety of unique characters.  It was interesting that the characters have a realness in the way they react to each other and to situations around them, but some of the scenarios were pretty crazy.

Cheese in the Trap - Park Hae Jin

Park Hae Jin did really well at portraying our mysterious Yoo Jung.  He certainly does creepy well!  But when actually given the opportunity, his smile genuinely lightens the mood.  Yoo Jung has quite the personal journey to go on as he learns to relate and empathize with others.  His struggle with this shapes many of the events that take place in the drama.

Cheese in the Trap - Kim Go Eun

Kim Go Eun nailed the awkward, shy character of Hong Seol.  I always found her amusing and enjoyed her interactions with both Yoo Jung and In Ho.  She goes on a journey of her own throughout the drama.  She learns that she needs to stop letting people take advantage of her and also that she needs to be more open.  She expects Yoo Jung to be honest with her, but she frequently hides her feelings from him.  Yoo Jung ends up giving her the opportunity to grow.

Cheese in the Trap Korean Drama - Seo Kang Joon

I really liked Seo Kang Joon as Baek In Ho.  I may have had a bit of second lead syndrome, but I was more 50/50 in who I liked best between our guys.  In Ho was just so endearing and sympathetic.  He easily pulled at my heart strings with his sad backstory and his pursuit of his dream in order to make something of his life.  He also as gave me plenty of reasons to smile because of his honest and genuine character.

Cheese in the Trap Korean Drama - Seo Kang Joon and Kim Go Eun

But I really enjoyed Seol’s relationships with both guys.  She had a more natural, at ease relationship with In Ho.  They were always comfortable to watch, at lease until you have to watch the poor one sided love of In Ho.  But their relationship was the example of how people should relate to each other in an open and honest way.

Cheese in the Trap - Park Hae Jin and Kim Go Eun 2

Her relationship with Yoo Jung took more work for sure, but it was because she saw something different in him and wanted to understand it.  It was worth it to her to pursue the relationship and be the first person to truly accept Yoo Jung as he was.

Cheese in the Trap Korean Drama - Lee Sung Kyung

In Ho’s sister, Baek In Ha (Lee Sung Kyung) was quite a girl.  She was so over the top and borderline crazy.  Her behavior was very comical at times, but it made me really dislike her as a person.  She was just so obnoxious from start to finish.  Even in the end, it was difficult to sympathize with her.

Cheese in the Trap Korean Drama - Ji Yoon Ho

Aside from In Ha, there were a lot of strange people at this school.  We had stalkers and creepy people lurking everywhere, always ready to cause problems for Seol.  She seemed to be a magnet for trouble.  These characters certainly provided good entertainment value though.  Are there this many stalker types running around in real life?

I felt like about two-thirds of the way into the drama, it sort of started to meander along like it wasn’t sure where it wanted to go.  We delved into a variety of characters and side stories along the way.  Luckily, the drama still maintained its charm, and it was all enjoyable enough.

Cheese in the Trap Korean Drama - Park Min Ji and Nam Joo Hyuk

But the drama spent a lot of time on these other stories, and it seemed to miss a big opportunity with our main story.  The huge draw to the series is the mysterious Yoo Jung.  You want to know why he has these creepy looks and does these manipulative things.  You just want to understand him.

While the drama did provides snippets throughout the drama to explain his motivations, they really weren’t handled appropriately.  It’s halfway through the drama before they even start to hint at his motives.

Cheese in the Trap Korean Drama - Park Hae Jin

And in order to feel a greater amount of empathy for his character, they really needed to include additional scenes to adequately explain his behavior. I just had to go with the fact that I knew our hero wasn’t a horrible guy, so I was able to create my own empathy.  But I shouldn’t have hade to do that, the drama should have presented his character better.


I guess I will weigh in a bit on the controversy surrounding Cheese in the Trap. This is another case where I have not read the webtoon, so I didn’t have any source material to compare the drama with. While watching a drama, I also do my best to avoid a lot of behind the scenes stuff as it can dampen my experience with the drama itself.

While I did avoid a lot of it, it was practically impossible to not catch bits and pieces of what was going on behind the scenes in this case.  The fan community was in an uproar over the major deviation from the source material which resulted in a shift in plot that left our leading man, Park Hae Jin, as almost a secondary character for several episodes toward the end of the drama.  Add that to the fact that as I mentioned above, his character motives weren’t adequately presented.

Cheese in the Trap Korean Drama - Seo Kang Joon and Lee Sung Kyung

Now I didn’t find it as dramatic as most of the drama community made it out to be.  Yes, some of the episodes chose to focus more on secondary characters, but it was really only for a couple episodes.  Yoo Jung was still around and was in a pretty good place with Seol during all of this.  And the secondary characters that were focused on, especially In Ho and In Ha, had a large presence throughout the drama that was very intertwined with Yoo Jung, so it makes since they would want to wrap up their story arcs.

But again, they did drop the ball on Yoo Jung’s story arc.  He should have got more attention throughout the drama rather than the focus on so many side stories.  We do finally get a bit an info dump in the last couple episodes of the drama that better explains Yoo Jung’s personality, issues stemming from his father, and how all of that fractured his relationships with In Ho and In Ha.  It just should have been done earlier.

Cheese in the Trap - Park Hae Jin 2

But those last couple episodes really highlighted the theme of the drama: we are all imperfect people and strange in our own way.  If you only judge people by their outward motives, you may miss what’s really going on in their heart.  The drama makes it pretty clear that the things Yoo Jung did was wrong.  Although he was right in wanting people to have to pay for their wrong-doings, he always took things too far because he was unable to empathize with their situations.  But thanks to Seol, and her actually taking the time to understand him, he is finally able to learn this and better himself.

If you watched Cheese in the Trap without knowing any of the behind the scenes drama, you would probably notice a few less scenes with Yoo Jung at the end and wish they would explain him better.  And that would be the end of it.  So I encourage people to watch the drama for yourself and make your own decision.  The story wasn’t handled perfectly, but it wasn’t the disaster that it has been made out to be.

Cheese in the Trap - Park Hae Jin, Kim Go Eun, and Seo Kang Joon

Cheese in the Trap was more than enjoyable overall, and it highlights why I try to avoid real life stuff when watching a drama.  I want to enjoy the story for what it is whether good or bad.  While the story could have been executed a bit better, it was fun and quirky with a dose of melodrama.  It’s world was filled with interesting characters, and it explored some complicated themes.  I really enjoyed Cheese in the Trap, and I hope you were also able to.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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About Kay

Greetings! I’m Kay, creator and author of Kdrama Kisses. Kdrama Kisses is dedicated to bringing you the latest in kdrama casting news, drama trailers, reviews, and more. Happy drama watching to everyone!
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22 Responses to Cheese in the Trap Korean Drama Review

  1. joybran2015 says:

    Thanks for this review. I was really looking forward to watching this drama after it finished airing, but then I couldn’t help hearing about all the behind the scenes controversy. I really like Park Hae Jin, and I think Seo Kang Joon is becoming a better actor all the time, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to invest time in the drama just to be infuriated with the last 4-6 episodes. You’ve given me a way to watch it without either too high expectations or too much dread.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      I really do think it was a good solid drama. Now I’m pretty laid back when it comes to a lot of things, especially dramas going “off the rails” toward the end. But there seriously wasn’t any horrible drama fall apart as far as I’m concerned. It remained interesting and still had a fun flair to it throughout.

      It’s only big problem of not properly creating empathy for Yoo Jung is set in motion early on. While it is noticeable for a couple episodes that Yoo Jung has decreased screen time (and I do feel bad for Park Hae Jin), it really didn’t affect the story much. And then the last couple episodes do their best to fill in the gaps about his character.

      If this wasn’t based on a webtoon, I doubt much would have been said. I’ve seen dramas fall apart at the end, and I don’t think it did. I’d say watch a few episodes, and if you like the vibe, continue on. Create your own empathy for Yoo Jung, knowing that while he does genuinely do some bad things, he is not a bad person and some explanations will eventually come. Glad you liked the review🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. shamrockmom3 says:

    Even with your good review, I’m thankful I sat this one out. You have a good attitude; I tend to get riled over shows like this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Haha, even though I found it enjoyable, I do understand why so many fans were disappointed. When the source material is so good, you want to see that brought to life on screen. But I’ve seen more than enough movies completely deviate from the books they were based on that I always go in knowing it will be different. Even more so with kdramas.

      But even looking at it just as a drama, although definitely lacking in some of its story execution, I found it way better than a lot of dramas. Sounds like you made a good decision in sitting this one out though. Hopefully, you find something to enjoy without so much controversy surrounding it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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  4. Thank you for this! Been tracking CITT tag for quite some time now, I haven’t even made a final review yet haha. Anyway, I enjoyed it a lot. It’s definitely not flawless but it could be better🙂 Plus I kind of regret that I followed what was happening “backstage”. If I didn’t know the real life drama, I would’ve loved it even more🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      I’m glad you liked it🙂 I checked out some of your posts on CITT, and it’s great to see someone else who really enjoyed it! I usually try to minimize my knowledge of what’s going on behind the scenes until after the drama is completed for that very reason, but it was unavoidable with Cheese in the Trap.

      I agree, it definitely had some issues, but it really was a good drama overall. I wish they would have developed Yoo Jung’s character better, but I think a big credit goes to Park Hae Jin for making Yoo Jung still feel relatable despite doing bad things. So that helped. But the other characters, especially In Ho, were interesting and important too, so I didn’t find it bothersome that we focused on them more for a few episodes. I’m glad you were able to still enjoy the drama🙂


  5. Huhu I posted a comment but I’m not sure if it pushed through😦


  6. Blue says:

    One of the rare rather positive reviews on CITT. Glad you enjoyed it!🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lc says:

    I really enjoyed the drama and I actually enjoyed the controversy too. I’m still not convinced SKJ is a refined actor I fine all the roles I’ve seen him in annoying. Perhaps that is what he was suppose to convey, if that is the case then he did a fine job.
    Never felt any connection outside of the friend zone between him and Seol, didn’t see anything he had to offer of any intrinsic value. Didn’t see anything outside his relationship with YJ that enhanced the story and that is only because he was part of YJ’s backstory. Nonetheless his character was instrumental in igniting passion amongst the viewers.
    I would definitely recommend this drama to others. I’m thankful it wasn’t another teenager love story. By the way I never valued any of YJ’s behaviors as bad and I thought the characters got what they would have gotten in real life because life has a way of rerouting your expressed behavior back towards you, including YJ.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      You’re right, In Ho really was at the center of what made viewers so passionate. I did enjoy him with Seol, but for me, he was your classic second lead. He was that nice and supportive guy who had an easy relationship with Seol. So even though I liked him, I knew they would never be together and always had that in mind.

      Yoo Jung was always meant to be her guy, so I was always rooting for him. I do think they should have done better at going deeper into his motives and the reasons why he acted the way he did much earlier in the drama. And like you, I always had it in the back of my mind that the characters got what they deserved. Yoo Jung tended to go overboard in how he achieved his goals, but in reality if he didn’t, most of those people would probably never have truly realized they were in the wrong and made a change for the better. But it’s all about balance.

      I also wouldn’t hesitate in recommending this drama to others, although I would advise most people to avoid reading about the controversy while watching so they can appreciate the drama for what it is. I’m glad you were able to enjoy it🙂


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  11. Mau says:

    I’m glad you gave a different perspective about this drama. I had read quite a few negative reviews about this drama which added to the disappointment that I felt after watching this. At first, I could say I was heart-broken when I watched the ending. I fell in love with the main characters and I couldn’t believe the writer/director left me hanging like this. I feel like it’s not fair that In Ho and In Ha were able to resolve their issues while Seol’s and Jung’s relationship looked flat towards the end as it was open-ended, like it was really open that it made me frustrated (Well, I was really hoping they would end up together). I can see that this is not a typical romance drama. I mean, they did say this is a romance-thriller so expecting that typical “happy ending” would not live up to they wanted to portray. And that’s what got me hooked up. I mean I even spent my whole Sunday watching this up to the point when I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. However, I agree with you when you said that the story could have been executed better. I was expecting more revelations of Jung’s and Seol’s relationship at the end. After going through your review,I realized I should just be happy for what it was. I realized that there’s no sense in complaining. They concluded the story of Jung and Seol the way it was and that’s about it. Overall, I did enjoy watching it. So, I guess I’ll just take the good memories and leave the bad ones behind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Yes, it was really disappointing that they didn’t explore deeper into Yoo Jung’s character and his issues. That would have also given them more of an opportunity to go more into Yoo Jung and Seol’s relationship. It definitely didn’t execute the story as well as it could have, especially in those last few episodes.

      Although the ending was a bit open ended, I was fairly satisfied with it. They didn’t get a nice tidy happy ending, but I looked at the fact that Yoo Jung finally read her messages as a sign that he had been able to address his issues and was now ready to take the first steps in resuming their relationship. Maybe I just like to let my imagination go, but I thought it implied that their relationship would continue. So in my mind they will get their happy ending.

      So while it certainly could have been better, I enjoyed most of the drama. I’m glad you were able to enjoy it too despite being disappointed in the end. I too hope the good memories of the drama are what comes to mind for you in the future. There were a lot of good things about it, and hopefully they outshine the bad ones🙂


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