Cheese In the Trap and the Perils Of The Live Watch

Posted by Stephanie on February 26, 2016


cheese trap

Oh, trouble be brewin’ up on the set of Cheese In the Trap. Big trouble. And when I say set, I mean production as the whole show has actually wrapped filming. But as the drama chugs along, more and more noise is coming from the production, the star, the writers, and more importantly the viewers.

As I haven’t watched Cheese In the Trap, it was not one which caught my attention at all, even though I’m always on the look out to see Park Hae Jin in as I am finding him to be a compelling and interesting actor. Now that he’s on the rise, you just can’t tell what sort of role he’s going to take next, and he has the skill to back up whatever whim he caters to.

This being said, I’m not sure if I understand everything that is going down over there in kdramaland. I just know that everyone seems to be fairly disgruntled. The show is based on the popular webtoon of the same name. While popular, it seems to be an odd choice to convert into a drama because the source material isn’t actually done yet. Haven’t they learned from Game of Thrones? Or worse? The TWDrama Skip Beat? It’s hard to choose an ending for a show based on something which has no end.

According to the original writer who definitely has a bee in her bonnet, she told the production how she was planning on ending the toon but asked them to not follow it completely so that the drama and the web toon could both be separate entities. Her issue comes in when the network stopped contacting her after episode 6 and, when she forced the issue, updated her—apparently they decided to make it very similar to what she was planning—exactly what she asked them not to do.

This though? I have the least sympathy for. You sold your rights to something which wasn’t complete. You decided to tell them how you were going to end it, and you didn’t make a stipulation in the contract about a different ending. If you want to hold onto that much control over your work, then keep it to yourself. Sounds butt-holey, but fairly straightforward. Besides, I as a viewer hate it when something is based on a book and it veers away from the original. If you’re going to remake something, remake it. Otherwise go out and get your own plot.

I might be cranky today.

But then this is when things get confusing. Word on the Kstreet is that the star, the hero, or what most thought to be the hero is also pretty confused as to what is going on over there. Apparently his part in the drama is being drastically reduced. Like they are cutting out already filmed scenes, changing the emphasis from this weirdo slightly offputting character to the second b-lead.


Now, I’m also a big fan of Seo Kang Joon. Since seeing him in Roommates I’ve wanted to see him actually at work as an actor—I’m happy to see him chugging along in his career—but I certainly don’t want to see him finally reaching leading actor status by a last minute switcheroo. That doesn’t really do anyone any good.

I don’t know if they are making the changes so that they can keep it more to the writers ending, or after the mini-stink she’s thrown, they are making changes to the show. What I do know, is that it is never good to go into a drama, a story, whatever, without knowing your ultimate destination. Things can change along the end, but if you don’t know where you’re going or if you change midstream, this can’t be good for your story.

For example take the drama How To Meet A Perfect Neighbor. This show was being written with one OTP in mind. The promotional photos were taken, the drama was humming along. But then? The other third of the love triangle was Park Shi Hoo. Viewers went crazy over him and in the end the writers made the jump and kept the heroine with him rather than moving her towards her original ending, the other guy who is not as pretty as Park Shi Hoo. Heres the thing though, yeah, you may have made fangirls happy at the moment, but in the end, when you really look at the story, it doesn’t make sense. Why would she end up with the man who constantly hurt her, who never once manned up and supported her, and oh yeah, wanted her to be his mistress instead of the guy who worked through his issues and deserved her and his redemption?

Although, I do understand it’s a sticky situation, because you want people to like your story, you want viewers which means money, which means more jobs. It’s still hard to swallow as a lover of stories.

Again, I’m going to remind people that I haven’t seen Cheese In the Trap. I don’t actually know if the story works better with the guys switched—heck, the show hasn’t been completed yet—who knows if the heroes will actually make a full switch? I just know you have one supposed to be lead actor who is pretty confused and upset, upset enough to publicly admit it. We know from experience Kdramaland does not like this. Boat rockers need not apply. Kdramaland holds grudges. So for someone who is smart enough to know he’s just started that rise to the top is smart enough to know that by choosing to speak out, he could undo a lot of his progress. He knows this and is still willing to speak out? Then maybe someone should listen.

This all brings up an interesting question outside of Cheese in the Trap, but bringing in the bigger world of live watching or simulcasting. Is this just further proof that we should hold off watching dramas until they are done? How many dramas have we (or others have because I don’t do much simulcasting) watched in horror as they flew down the tubes, changing writers (Lie To Me), losing cast (Inspiring Generation),  taking weird turns (so so many dramas) or just have a disappointing ending (again, so many dramas but I’m going to pull out my perpetually frowned at, Padam Padamwhy’d you do me like that Padam Padam—why?) With dramas being so short would it make more sense to wait it out?

One thing I don’t second guess though—stop adapting things that are not complete!


1 Comment

  • Reply hariaharia February 27, 2016 at 5:23 am

    One very sane post (unlike other blogs and thousands angry comments). Adapting is not a bad thing per se, even from an original work that’s not yet finished as long as certain rules are followed. However, in this case, there are multiple things that went wrong from the very beginning. I’ve stopped watching at episode 7 but not because of the acting, the editing or the directing; the story itself was not a TV material. The writer was right when stated the obvious: CITP should take a different approach from her original work for any given reason (her future work is factor No1, I guess). tvN has repeatedly showed several cases of arrogancy and now they’re paying the price. The hard-core fans wanted an identical copy of the original (plus actors who would look alike the cartoon characters) and they’re paying the price as well. The main lead, who had suffered from previous “scandals” and won all the cases against trashy comments and malicious netizens is being a bit more bitter than usual in kent (remember JJM? His status as an actor was seriously damaged after voicing his complaints about EK’s trajectory. No role for him in Monster). The second lead has some backing-up or not, the leading actress doesn’t need all this noise because she’s a great actress to begin with and netizens use the dramaland for all sort of projections and keyboard-wars.
    PS Lots of those shows that seemed to go downhill from some point on were “victims” of live-shooting and poor ratings (Lie To Me, for instance, is an award-winning script. Weird, right?) CITP is almost pre-produced and the editing (like most C-dramas) made all the difference.

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