Rating:
Average user rating 3.7
206

Cheese in the Trap: Episode 1

Initial thoughts: I like it.

I wasn’t sure I would, given the excessive buzz and weighty expectations, which always seemed to me to be overblown, although maybe that’s because I wasn’t part of the webtoon’s fervent fanbase. But given that it didn’t have multiple drama versions or anime seasons or a particularly long history (the webtoon began running in 2010), I didn’t quite understand the volume of media noise about this show, or how Cheese in the Trap had drawn as much attention and scrutiny as franchises like Boys Before Flowers or Nodame Cantabile.

Ultimately, though, I’m watching this show as a drama, so it needs to work as a drama. So far, I think it does. Casting feels spot-on, the characters are enjoyable, and the show gives the rom-com genre a few tweaks, coming up with a vibe that feels interesting and fresh.

SONG OF THE DAY

Epitone Project – “Lost and found center”Download ]

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EPISODE 1: “The reason I decided to take leave from school…”

A drinking party is winding down at a college bar, and one partygoer in particular is pretty far gone, slumping at the table and thinking to herself, “I’m tired of it. So tired…”

Barely intelligible, she slurs to her friends, “I’m gonna take leave from school.” It comes out something more like “Imaleevskooo,” and her friends are more concerned with getting her home. They manage to get her to stand, but she whirls and points at an empty chair, demanding, “Where’d [he] go? Where?!”

Then she picks out a blurry face in the background—a tall student playing pool—and points at him… just before falling over in her chair and sprawling onto the ground. Thud.

The pool player hovers over her in concern, and the drunk girl slurs at him, “He’s here! It’s your fault! So fine.” The rest she just thinks to herself: “I’ll disappear from your eyes. Happy?” She glares accusingly, and he looks taken aback.

Fade to black. One year ago.

The girl is HONG SEOL (Kim Go-eun), and today she’s sober as she arrives at a beginning-of-term drinking party for her department (business administration), where she joins her friend BORA (Park Min-ji). Seol has taken the past year off from school to earn money, and Bora welcomes her back to the fold and introduces her to a male student she calls Underling (his name is EUN-TAEK, played by Nam Joo-hyuk).

A bossy sunbae tries to force a student to eat food soaked in soju, and when it’s refused, the guy singles out Seol instead. Cringing all the while, she attempts to eat it while Bossy Sunbae pours liquor into her mouth, but finally she has to spit the whole mess out—rice, lettuce, dribbly hot sauce—just as a tall, good-looking student arrives. Spew. Not the most auspicious meeting.

He’s YOO JUNG (Park Hae-jin), and he’s re-entering school as a third-year after fulfilling his two-year military service. Seol thinks Jung looks cold, but Bora admires his handsome perfection and predicts that the other girls will go out of their way flirting with him.

She’s right, and a girl presses Jung to take a refill, and in the process ends up with a pitcher of beer in her lap. He apologizes, but Seol narrows her eyes, thinking the spill looked deliberate—and catches the tiny smirk on his face that goes unnoticed by everyone else.

Then he looks up and their eyes meet. She wonders what his deal is.

A bit later, Seol runs into Bossy Sunbae in the stairwell just as he’s skimming cash from the students’ party fund. He hides it and she doesn’t say anything, as he assures another student that rich Jung will foot the bill for the next round, his voice booming through the stairwell. Seol rounds the corner and sees Jung standing there, having heard the whole thing, and her voiceover from the future notes, “I shouldn’t have run into him like that. That was the beginning.”

Later, at school, Bossy Sunbae—fine, his name is SANG-CHUL—comes charging up to Seol, accusing her of exposing his little embezzlement on the department message board. Funny how he’s the one puffed up in outrage about it. Seol has no idea what he’s talking about, but he insists it had to be her because she was the only one in that staircase.

Jung arrives in the hallway as she says there was someone else there too, and Jung steps in with friendly words to placate his buddy. After Sang-chul storms off, Jung tells Seol he understands why she had to report it.

Scoffing, Seol asks if he really thinks she did it, reminding him that he was there too. “It wasn’t me,” she says pointedly. “So who could it have been?”

The clingy girl at Jung’s side (the flirt from the party, JOO-YEON) gets huffy at the implication, saying that Jung was the one running around to calm the situation before it got taken to the police, and that he would hardly be fixing everything up front when he’d stabbed from the back. But Seol isn’t cowed, and asks again, “Was it really not you?”

Her voiceover sighs, “I shouldn’t have argued like that. At the time, I didn’t know that behind sunbae’s smile, a frightening double side was hiding.”

Seol runs into Jung again at the coffee shop and tries to ignore him, though he doesn’t let her. Instead he talks to her in full nice mode and gives her the juice he just bought, saying she drinks too much coffee. She’s stunned speechless, wondering if the nice act was meant to prove a point to the clingy girl. I really enjoy how coming from him, an act of kindness is a cause for panic.

That was when lovestruck Joo-yeon started to torment her, Seol narrates.

Case in point: Joo-yeon tells her a class got moved to the afternoon, meaning she’s not there just minutes before its 10 a.m. start. She’s jolted awake by Bora’s frantic call and races to campus immediately, while her friends try to think of ways to stall the professor. Bora even asks Eun-taek to kidnap him temporarily, and her promise of a kiss on the cheek is enough to shake Eun-taek’s composure. He’s adorable.

They’re partially in luck because the professor got ill at the last minute, but the assistant professor still intends to take roll call. So Eun-taek takes it upon himself to create a diversion, approaching the lectern and grabbing the class roster before bolting out, sending the assistant professor chasing him through the halls.

Seol makes it to the building and races inside, at which point Eun-taek gives up the chase and turns on the aegyo with the professor (and amazingly isn’t punished for his stunt, beyond a few hearty whacks).

Safely in her seat, Seol notices Jung sitting a few rows ahead. She narrates, “After the beginning-of-term party, sunbae harassed me endlessly, using other people masterfully.”

She tries to avoid Jung at every opportunity, hurrying past the elevator one day while he waits, only to trip in the stairwell. He comes up to her and steps on her fallen papers, his face a cool mask as he tells her she should’ve been more careful.

Seol shrinks back and thinks, “I could feel it for certain then—a clear malice toward me. My school life turned into hell through one person, and that’s why I decided to take leave from school.”

Now we’re all caught up to our intro scene’s timeline, and resume the day following her drunken declaration. Bora tries to give Seol her savings to use for tuition, assuming she’s got more money troubles. Seol tries to say it isn’t about money, but just then, unexpected good news arrives: Seol has been granted a full scholarship for the term.

It’s a boon, but has her more puzzled than anything. She mulls it over and over, wondering how it could have happened. Furthermore, it doesn’t solve her initial problem: “How can I go to school with that person?”

The course selection period opens, sending the students scrambling to claim the classes they want. There’s one in particular that everyone’s eager to grab, because the professor is relatively easy—whereas the other professor teaching the same subject is known for being much harder.

Our trio all get into the class, and as they leave they run into Jung’s trio in the hall. Bossy sunbae Sang-chul calls for Seol to buy everyone meat, since she got her scholarship because of Jung—apparently the professor lost Jung’s report, so the scholarship he would have gotten went to Seol instead.

This news confuses Seol all over again: Jung was the reason she suffered all last year and nearly left school, but now Jung is the reason she can keep going?

She can’t shake the suspicious feeling, and nearly jumps when he comes up to her in the library. He’s all smiles today, saying nicely that he’s glad he got to see her again, and invites her to lunch.

She’s in such a hurry to get away that she makes an excuse and forgets to log out of the computer, displaying her class schedule. He takes note.

She’s unnerved by the encounter, even though her friends think he’s just making an effort to reach out to her because she’s always running away from him. Bora points out that Seol’s the only person in their whole department who doesn’t like Jung. On the other side of the library glass, Jung watches their conversation with a cryptic smile.

Seol, Bora, and Eun-taek are all present on the first day of Easy Professor’s class, as are a whole slew of hopefuls who didn’t get in. The professor is firm about sticking to the class list and commences with roll call, and curiously, Seol’s name isn’t on the roster.

When she checks with the department afterward, records show that she’d canceled the class selection herself. She obviously didn’t, so she and her friends suppose her account was hacked and wonder who would have done it.

The class is especially important to Seol because having to take the other professor’s course would likely drop her grades and negate her scholarship, and she’d have to take next semester off to work again. And then, Jung pops up in yet another one of her classes, calling it interesting that they’re in this one together too. Suuure, it’s coincidence, right? Some people call it interesting, other people call it stalking…

Seol recalls seeing him in the library around the time when she supposedly canceled her class selection, and starts to suspect him of being the culprit. He follows her out after class and asks her to dinner, which she hastily declines. He asks whether she has any idea who might have canceled her class, and Seol replies that she doesn’t, but intends to find him.

Jung goes to the department office to inquire into the case, and asks for a favor.

Seol appeals to the professor with her circumstances, but he’s not willing to make an exception to his rules. She can’t quite insist that she needs his class more than the alternate because the other professor is in the office, insisting that she’s really quite nice despite her hardass reputation, even if the students have named her Kang Witch.

Jung turns up at Seol’s cafe job, and she nervously processes the transaction, handing him his coffee and fruit shake. And when he gives the shake to her, the gesture fills her with dread rather than pleasure, making her wonder what he means by it.

The day gets worse, because her fellow cafe employee doesn’t show up and makes her late for her class on the first day with Kang Witch. The professor is crystal clear about her stringent rules, and pointedly marks Seol’s tardiness.

On the upside, Seol’s classmate approaches her afterward to offer her helpful information: She was at the library that day, and saw Jung lingering around the computer after Seol had left.

Seo’s more convinced than ever than Jung must have done it, but Bora and Eun-taek caution her not to accuse too readily, especially when she already accused him once for something that didn’t pan out. She decides to look at CCTV footage from that day, and starts to head off just as Jung finds her there.

He asks point-blank whether she suspects him, and suggests that they go together to look at the security footage. He tells her to meet him later and offers her a can of coffee that she’s unsettled to accept.

Jung calls Joo-yeon to cancel on meeting their friends, and curiously, he stays out of view while watching them the whole time as he tells them he’s meeting Seol to find the culprit.

And yet, Jung goes directly to the security office without her, leaving Seol waiting for a while before she decides to go without him. Bora concocts a sob story involving a dead father and a lost wallet to convince the guard to let them see the footage, which succeeds in getting them access to the archives.

The friends scan the library videos to locate the conversation between Seol and Jung from that day. Seol realizes with a shock that she hadn’t logged out of her computer, and sees Jung moving closer to the computer after she leaves it. But to her surprise, he leaves after a moment, without touching anything. The security guard cuts their session short before they can see what happened next—which is how they miss seeing the arrival of sunbae Sang-chul on the scene.

Ah, but Jung has figured things out for himself and confronts Sang-chul that night, asking why he did it. Turns out he’d called his friends earlier to tip off Sang-chul that he was going to look at CCTV footage, and when he got to the security room early, he’d been unsurprised to find Sang-chul arriving as well.

Caught, Sang-chul apologizes and begs Jung to keep this between them, swearing that he hadn’t premeditated anything. He’d just come to the computer and found it logged on to somebody’s account, and seen the class he needed so badly—he’d failed under Kang Witch once already, and if he fails again, he’s in danger of not graduating or getting a job. He was desperate, he swears.

Jung points out that he should be saying all this to Seol, and I find it equal parts exasperating and amusing that even now, Sang-chul feels like he’s the victim—he’d canceled Seol’s class intending to take the spot, only to find that somebody else swooped in and claimed it. Which is how he ended up stuck with Kang Witch again. Ha. Karma.

Only now does Jung admit that the camera angles weren’t that clear, and nobody can actually see what Sang-chul had done on the computer. A look of fear crosses Sang-chul’s face as he realizes, “Were you toying with me?” Like this is the first time he’s seeing Jung’s scary side, perhaps.

Jung replies chillingly, “Of course not. I didn’t know you would spill everything like this.”

Seol walks home wondering who the culprit could be if not Jung, and as chance would have it, she runs right into him. He asks if she still thinks he’s the one, and she asks why he hadn’t said it wasn’t. He asks, “Would you have believed me?”

Point made. She admits to herself, “No. I wouldn’t have believed you. Why you gave up your scholarship, why you’re taking the same class as me. There are so many things I want to ask you, but I don’t have confidence I’ll believe your answers yet.”

So today, she just bows and apologizes for misunderstanding. He asks her out to dinner, but she blurts out a hasty refusal and runs off. Hm, does he actually look disappointed?

That night, Seol sighs that class selection period has ended, and she never found out the truth. But she’s decided to think that there was somebody in more desperate a situation than herself.

It isn’t too far from the truth, depending on how far your sympathies stretch. We join Sang-chul in his tiny rented room, eating a simple dinner with canned tuna. He takes a call from his mother and lies that he’s eating expensive food, and that he’s got a few job offers but is thinking them over. Aw. I actually feel sorry for him.

Elsewhere in Seoul, a rumpled-looking young man—BAEK IN-HO (Seo Kang-joon)—sits outside a building, waiting for somebody. A fancy car pulls up and a spoiled-looking woman steps out, indifferent to her angry date who appears to be taking their breakup with a distinct lack of grace. He calls her gold-digger and do-nothing, but she hardly bats an eyelash, though In-ho steps in to challenge the rude date.

The woman’s name is BAEK IN-HA (Lee Sung-kyung) so she must be his sister, although the guy assumes she’s dating around and drives off in a huff. The siblings trade barbs and seem to be quite used to an antagonistic relationship.

They head inside In-ha’s apartment, which she airily says was given to her by the chairman so she could be self-sufficient. In-ho retorts that independence requires that she do it herself, which makes him the smarter of the pair. In-ha has quit school, content to get by on other men’s money, which In-ho finds pathetic.

She says he’s more pathetic, goofing off for the past five years, and supposes that he’s back to take more money from the chairman. That sparks his temper and In-ho warns her to watch her mouth, looking like he regrets attempting this sibling reunion.

In-ho halts his exit when In-ha asks pointedly, “Have you seen Jung yet? He’s changed a lot.” She offers to call him, and although Jung rejects the call, she fakes her half of the conversation, then tells her brother that Jung wants to see him—a notion In-ho scoffs at.

In-ha says, “Even if you go, you should see his face before you do. Isn’t that the only way you’ll leave with a clear heart?”

In-ha sends Jung a text telling him In-ho’s back and suggests meeting up “like old times.” Jung deletes the messages.

Seol decides she’ll make the best of her class assignment and sits in on the next lecture, but to everyone’s surprise, Jung arrives during roll call, saying he swapped classes since this one seemed more interesting. He takes the seat next to Seol and gives her a friendly wave, while she sinks into her seat in agitation, wailing internally, “What is this guy’s deal?!”

 
COMMENTS

I did read bits and pieces of the webtoon to give me a general idea of the storyline, but am mostly coming into the show with a clean slate. From what I can tell, the casting feels pretty much perfect, and whatever concerns there were about Kim Go-eun not fitting the vibe of Hong Seol seem to me to have been assuaged. I’d much rather have an actress capable of nuance and neuroticism than someone picked by fans for her looks, because Kim Go-eun nails this character’s anxious-yet-plucky vibe.

Admittedly, Park Hae-jin is way too old to play a third-year college student, even one who’s been to army and back, but I do appreciate the way he gives Yoo Jung an effective air of mystery about him. It’s all too easy to put an actor into a “cold, unreadable” role and have the interpretation come out as a brick wall—you’re not supposed to be able to read him, so he gives you very little. But Park Hae-jin gives you a lot—one moment sweet, one moment chilly—and the inscrutability comes from our inability to know what his true feelings are, not from his inability to emote them.

I found myself really enjoying the quirky tone of Cheese, where everybody’s living in this light campus drama and Seol is in a Hitchcock thriller, which is probably something we must credit to a strong directorial hand. (Perhaps this’ll be the project to finally get PD Lee Yoon-jung to stop being thought of as “the Coffee Prince director” and establish her more as an all-around director.) For the first 45 minutes, I was totally there in Seol’s head with her, finding Jung so obviously creepy and dark that I was amazed nobody else in her world could see it. Was everyone so easily fooled by a pretty face and a well-timed pleasantry?

I loved how that gave us a nice reversal on the standard courtship depiction, where a handsome, persistent suitor is nothing but swoony and romantic, and the girl just hasn’t seen his charms yet. (I’m thinking Boys Before Flowers, Secret Garden, Heirs, and so many more.) In this case, the girl finds the guy’s constant hovering unsettling and creepy—he’s not just a misunderstood nice guy, but rather stalker-like, even. When she wonders what he means by giving her a fruit smoothie, I was just as skeptical, thinking surely there must be an ulterior motive. He couldn’t just… like her, right?

But then we see a tiny glimpse of an alternate explanation, and suddenly it starts feeling like Seol is the paranoid one. I definitely don’t mean to suggest she is paranoid—the direction is very clear in making us suspect him—but I like this unreliable narrator aspect to the story. We can’t quite trust her judgment, but she admits at the end that she can’t quite trust it either. And because we’ve seen those hints of Jung being more than purely nice, we’d be remiss in giving him the free pass right away, too.

In fact, I find myself hoping that the show doesn’t clear up the shadows around him right away, because I find a lot about the ambiguity to be enjoyable. Seol talks about Jung making a whole year of her life untenable, to the extent where she’d drop out to get away from him, and I like that I don’t know whether to take her at her word or not—was she reading too much into his actions, or is there really a subversive side to Jung that only she sees?

I’m looking forward to seeing the story unravel from here—and I have to ask very very emphatically, if you’ve read the webtoon, PLEASE NO SPOILERS! If you post spoilers, you’ll get deleted, and you’ll probably ruin my day. Don’t do that, please!

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oo yes i've been waiting for ur recap! i haven't read the webtoon, so i'm coming from a blank perspective as well. off to watch!

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Same here. I watched this without knowing the webtoon at all which I guess is a good thing since I don't need to make any comparison.

So far I like the first episode! I've always liked Park Hae-jin and I do like the other characters here too. Gonna add this into my weekly watch.

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read a bit of the webtoon ages ago so I was basically on a clean slate as well :) slightly tempted to try reading the webtoon again but I'm holding back!

I really find it intriguing how Park Hae Jin's character, despite not being the culprit who changed Seol's timetable, did nothing to prevent the event. He knew and clearly saw it was still logged in her name, probably knowing it wasn't the safest thing to do. But he left it that way! Interesting.

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Right! He didn't log her out! That as my first thought. Which, whenever I found people who had forgotten to log out of computers at uni, that would be the first thing I did. Because it's basic sort of kindness!

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See, that's what makes him intriguing and I now understand what the character description meant when it described him as "mysterious."
He's nice, but not the type to go out of his way to help someone (logging off for Seol), he's quite observant and cunning, and he's a bit mysterious in the fact that you don't really know his true self because of his facade.
I'm so hooked on this drama--the story, the characters, everything. Love it.

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I really enjoyed the 1st episode and I hope the drama keeps everything the same until the end, especially as it is half pre-produced.
However the first part looked so very familiar somehow. I reminded me of a not so great production and I was taken aback for a while. (Name That Drama moment) The same too drunk heroine that rants unintelligible angry stuff. Luckily Seol doesn't have any shoes problems and the episode started to grew on me and now I am looking forward to the next one. I have been trapped!

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I haven't read it either, but I'm in LOVE with this drama :)

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I'll be watching also from a blank perspective. I didn't see the webtoon or read about it. I was just curious because my timeline feed is always filled with articles about Cheese in Trap and others are even comparing the live scenes from the webtoon itself. Nevertheless, I want to see if this is likeable so I searched a little research about it. I decided the best way to know if a drama is good to read a review about it. Ofcourse, my number one helper is dramabeans.com.

Gomowo!

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Ohhh I'll have to watch this!! If javabeans likes it, then I'm sure it's worth a watch.

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Lol I was thinking the same thing :D

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I really want to read the recap but gaaahhh I don't want any spoilers :( Subs aren't out yet but looks like from javabeans' review and netizens' comments, most are happy with the first episode. Guess tvN doesn't disappoint. 👍

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I was wrong! Subs are out!!! Off to watch 😁

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Loll, your comment made me laugh. I just finished the second episode and it was dae-bak!!! omooo lol

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Lol, that was fast. Yay for subs!

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Omg omg omg😊😊😊😊
I just loved this episode....
I have been a fan of the webtoon and i was worried they would turn it into another orange marmalade but eveything has been spot on...😊 i like the leads and all the other characters...

Kim go eun is really well casted.. Good start👌🏻👌🏻

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I thought exactly like you! I was worried that I would be like orange marmalade, but turned out this drama is still entertaining!

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I haven't watched yet (subs weren't out last night). I was reading the webtoon last night instead (I had read season 1 before)... damn, and I was reminded again why I like this webtoon so much. While I was reading the webtoon, I was checking the casting again. Kim Go-eun seems like a brilliant choice. I haven't actually seen her in anything but I have read reviews of films she's been in, so I know I can expect a lot from her. Plus - I didn't even recognise her visually, meaning she can be a total chameleon with her roles.

How is Nam Joo-Hyuk faring as Eun-taek? Reading reminded me how he's one of my favourite characters, but he's a sensitive soul... so NJH wouldn't have been my casting choice at all (as I'm watching Man Who Can't Marry atm and loving Hyeon-Kyu, I want to stick Yoo Ah-In in that role, though he's probably too old and more lead-material – damn, this is were I prefer J-dramas, because ensemble drama casting will include actors who normally take leads in supporting roles). NJH, please deliver!

I am going to have breakfast and then I'll watch this. Really, really hope the complexity of the characters and the story remains. Good script is crucial here!!!

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Have watched now. Really liked it. It better stay good!

NJH as Eun-taek – weaker than some of the other actors (Kim Go-eun was indeed fantastic), but not bad. I think he could settle quite nicely into this role.

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Just wanted to know where can i read the complete webtoon?
I tried looking but most of the sites only have the first few episodes. =(

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I'm really glad I watched this! I was originally going to wait until the series was over and see how the response was but I got curious and had to watch.

I haven't read the webtoon either so I really don't know what to expect but I thoroughly enjoyed this and I hope the rest of the drama follows suit.

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right there with you.. I was expecting a 'brick wall' affect as well, pleasantly surprised that Park Hae Jin actually brought forth some versatility and nuance

Kim Go Eun had me intrigued by her portrayal as soon as her head hit the floor..

looking forward to the next episode, my interest has been peeked.. i will implore the writing staff to continue with the moral ambiguity.... completely delicious

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I loved this episode. Absolutely loved it. Totally beat my expectations.

The only minor flaw I found was actually with the second female lead-- she seemed to be seriously overracting.

Otherwise, I love how the show is progressing so far.

The relationship between Park Hae Jin and Kim Go Eun is intriguing, and certainly not the normal rom-com setup.

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Do you mean Baek In Ha?
Because thats exactly my thought about her when reading the webtoon. So I think her acting here is spot on.

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I loved her as Baek Inha. She is a bit cray-cray in the webtoon and the actress didn't disappoint at all.

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Ah ok. I've read the webtoon before, but that was a long time ago, so I've actually forgotten the plot. :P

On another note, it's interesting that In Ha and In Ho are siblings in the drama and both have these curiously light brown eyes. Beautiful, those eyes.

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Well, baek in ha is actually a bit crazy even in the webtoon. So I don't really have any problem with Lee Sungkyung's acting.

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Ohh I see..it's good to know cause I thought the actress was really off the wall. But I guess she fits the bill if it was meant to be that way.

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I won't say overacting. . . more like forced especially her facial expressions. But she still looks like a fun crazy character so I can't wait to see more of her.

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Just episode 1 and I love it so far :) Like others, I do agree that Park Hae-jin is a bit old to play a college student but that is something I can forgo given his talent to portray nice and mysterious supersede his age for college student.

I am sure the fanbase felt the same that they didn't care that he may look old to play a college student but wanted him to play Yoo Jung no less. He has the talent to give off that aura of nice one bit and mysterious the next.

But the most surprising of all is Kim Go Eun portrayal which I find her to be doing a superb job as Seol.

Can't wait for more.

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I'm caught up on the webtoon and was a little scared to watch this show... BUT IT'S SO GREAT. It really does capture the weird feel that the webtoon has, and the casting (like jb said) is perfecttttt I CAN'T WAIT FOR NEXT EP

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Not sure how I feel about this, I want to like it...but I don't know...it feels....off kilter? Of course being a first episode, I don't think I can pass judgement yet. Thank you for the recap!

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Episode 1 is a bad start. Opening was a drunk woman spoiling the mode without even knowing what's the cause of it. I'm disgusted, I think I will watch other drama and forget this one.
I can't even give one star.

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srs get over yourself

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I'm no fan of drunken episodes in kdramas, but the webtoon does have that scene.... and the rest of webtoon is worth putting up with that opening!

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If drama is to be believed, Korea is a nation of alcoholics. This kind of sloppy drunk scene is practically inevitable, especially in a trendy. I'm kind of glad they got it out of the way--I could be misremembering, but I don't think Hong Seol got drunk much in the webtoon after the first scene.

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"In a 2014 report released by Euromonitor, a London-based market intelligence firm, Koreans were said to drink 13.7 shots of liquor per week on average. This makes them the heaviest drinkers in the world, beating Russians and Thais, according to the study."

From an article published the Korean Herald yesterday (http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20160104001115).

No, Hong Seol doesn't get drunk much after that scene (having just reread the webtoon). Bora does at one point, but these scenes are far and few between.

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lol. I just think it's interesting as a westerner that so many vices are so taboo in kdrama--recreational drugs, any kind of sex, casual or otherwise--but getting wasted and drinking to get drunk is treated as this unproblematic, often cute, even, cure-all for a bad day. Alcoholism is a socially constructed disease, but I never really questioned whether it was globally acknowledged until the last few years, now that I've got enough trendies under my belt lol.

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And it's not only lightweight heroines getting drunk so they can get piggybacked in trendies, either. Like for example, the scenes in Misaeng where Lee Sung-min comes home drunk to his wife at two in the morning and harangues her to feed him--as an American, it was more than a little bizarre to see that kind of thing being treated with misty-eyed, nostalgic indulgence.

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I really enjoyed the first ep as well! As a big fan of the webtoon, I was afraid they would turn this into a normal rom-com, but this ep was really reassuring. No visible weak links in the acting (PHJ and KGE are great as the leads), and the directing keeps a nice balance that makes the viewer wonder if Jung is truly as frightening as Sul thinks he is. A promising debut, and I hope this deft touch continues once the story hits the darker elements.

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Yes, I agree. I've read all of the webtoon and follow each update. I was curious as to how closely they could create the world and characters. I think they've done a pretty good job so far - just a nice blend of lightly comic college situations plus, a strange sort of uneasiness where Seol can't figure out what Jung's intentions are. The drama does better also getting that nervous energy out of Seol, and Jung's still stare is quite unnerving.

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y'know, this has to be the first time ever that I've seen a yandere (or maybe-yandere) hero in a kdrama. And it's quite refreshing!

I'm also glad people have piped down about Kim Go-eun. After watching her in Eun-gyo and Monster, I was surprised she was getting it from netizens, but that was probably only because she had this particular role. I'm with jb, her acting is the priority here, not her looking like the webtoon's Seol.

(and ep 1's ratings were pretty solid too - 3.5 percent, not bad at all)

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I think people who were complaining about Kim Go-eun just haven't seen her in anything before and generally want a generic pretty face (probably their favourite idol) rather than a good actor in a role.

I actually haven't seen Kim Go-eun in anything yet either, but I have read reviews of her films – so I know that casting her was casting an actress. We need more castings like this in dramaland. I'd sort of put her alongside Go Ah-sung and Yeo Jin-gu – they don't have these cookie-cutter looks that have become so standard in drama leads, but once you actually watch them act....

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She had amazing chemistry with Park Bo Gum in the Coin Locker Girl. Go watch it! :)

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well she got really bad reviews on her acting in chinatown and memories of swords and angry lawyer, so a lot of people were complaining about how she only looks like she's an amazing actor when she's really not.

i think she just picked roles that she couldn't handle at this point, i'm hoping she does well with a more lighthearted role such as this one.

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it's funny that I started hearing about these bad reviews only after she was confirmed to play Seol.

I'm not even sure they existed before that, and people managed to selectively erase the memory of the good reviews she did get for her first two movies (which were polar opposites in 'type', so it's not as if she only does one thing well).

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you clearly weren't on Korean Internet then, she's been getting shit about her acting on movie comms way before she was cast as Seol, it's just that her movies also flopped in general that there weren't many people who watched the movies in the first place.

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I didn't know what yandere meant when I read your post, so I went and looked it up. Yes. That is the exact vibe I am getting off this character. I keep thinking about The Gift of Fear and hoping he doesn't turn out to be a serial killer.

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YAAAAAAAAAAAAS. I've just downloaded this but I wanted to read the recap first!!! Thank you for the recap!!!

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I haven't seen the episode yet, only read your recap, but the vibe and casting definitely feels spot on when compared with the webtoon.

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omgomgomgomgomgomgomg.

Wow. So is this what I was missing out on?
If this first episode is any indication, then the webtoon must be like crack level 1000. (I'm planning on saving the webtoon for after this drama ends but that could change depending on how hard it is waiting between new episodes.)

Knowing my personality, yes I can admit that I like to jump headfirst into things with a passion but I must declare very, very seriously, I already kinda---yes I know it's too early---like waaaaay too early----love it.

While I do appreciate Park Hae Jin and the mysterious, cool yet kind of dorky (that cute moment when he walked into his new class, sat next to Hong Seol and gave her a little wave) vibe he's giving off, I dedicate this comment to Hong Seol.

I think 2016 is going to be a year of interesting and awesome characters like always in dramaland, and Hong Seol is the first one to put on my list. She's likeable, she's real, her "what-the-eff is this guy doing?" looks are hilarious, and I love the actress' naturalistic acting and all around the acting from the cast.

I gotta say this just blew away my non-expectations and I'm really excited to see how the story will play out.
I can't get a read on Yoo Jung at all (other than mysterious-cool) but I'll guess we'll figure him out as it goes on.
I thought that Nam Joo Hyuk was going to like Hong Seol at the beginning but I'm glad he has a little romance thing going with her other friend. Which speaking of those two friends, I really like them too, yay for believable friendships in any type of drama setting!

Okay, so I guess I can sum up this long rambling comment to me starting out with no expectations for this drama to I can't wait for tomorrow level expectations.

Thank you for the recap!

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Yep, yay for that believable friendship. And I especially love the fact that the only guy in the trio is the maknae. That gives a really different dynamic in their relationship. And those cute moments between Euntaek and Bora are sooo adorable.

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<I thought that Nam Joo Hyuk was going to like Hong Seol at the beginning but I’m glad he has a little romance thing going with her other friend.

Eun-Taek (MJH's character) only interest is Bora (although he's very supportive of Seol too). To be honest, this is the greatest bit about the webtoon – you don't get an "OTP" and second lead love rivals, but a complex web of very real relationships. Sure, there are characters that sort of are 'love rivals' but their roles aren't anywhere as straightforward as they tend to be dramas, in part because there aren't any clear second leads – it's too much an ensemble drama for that.

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Thanks for the assurance alua :D Definitely sounds like not our average rom-com and that makes more excited!

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Yessss I'm so happy JB likes this. I read the webtoon til the latest chapter that was subbed into english and I liked it but didn't want to put my hopes too high on the drama. And even if they're going to change the plot a bit I think it'll still work because my memory about the original story is slowly fading away.

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I was a big fan of this webtoon, so I am quite glad it came out as a drama. I promise no spoilers though! Park Hae Jin, in my opinion, is doing an amazing job portraying Jung. There is a mysterious air to him that not many actors can convey! All the nuanced expressions really make me feel what Seol is feeling such as him being a stalker. I loved your analysis of Sangchul too because I had not realized that he would think he was in the right, I just thought he was making up excuses. That is a whole new meaning and thank you for recapping this javabeans!

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Sung Kyung is nailing Inha. Inha is really crazy and she becomes even crazier and more violent as the story progresses.

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Woah. Gosh, I don't know if I'm ready for the story to progress like that. Sounds dangerous...

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I liked it too! I'm a huge crazy fan of the webtoon, and I had my doubts but. I liked it quite a lot. The actors are great: I adore Kim Go Eun as Seol, and I agree that Park Hae Jin really sells Yoo Jung's mysteriousness. And the supporting cast so far is great too. Also the trio is adorable!! I love how much Bora adores Seol :) I'm still a bit skeptical about Seo Kang Joon, but he looks the part (maybe minus the earrings lol) and he and Lee Sung Kyung make fairly convincing siblings, I think. But everything else I was super pleased with, especially the tone and the pacing. I'm super excited to see all my favourite parts play out on screen!!

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I haven't read the webtoon and didn't know cheese in the trap is a remake of a webtoon until this drama was announced and knetz kicked up a fuss. lol

So far I would say it's interesting but I'm creeped out by Jung already. I'm also fed up of his character as it's a typical behaviour of those makjang stories who stalk the girl the love as a way of wooing her. Is this that same typical story, does Jung like her? No need to be a creepy jerk.
That's it, I'm off to read what cheese in the trap is all about.

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as someone how has read the webtoon (btw it's an adaptation not remake), all I can say is: It's no makjang at all. It's no BBF of Heirs.

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As someone who hasn't read the webtoon either (I did some of it), I came into this expecting nothing aside from wanting it to be good enough as a drama. And that it was. And I think I'm glad that I don't have to worry about it "staying true to the webtoon". I'm also glad that I know nothing of this mystery. It does make me curious how people who have read it are experiencing it. Part of the charm is in not knowing.

And oh please, I hope no one who has read it will spoil anything. I think I'll refrain from reading comments from here on, just in case. xD

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I'm caught up on the webtoon latest translation and after watching the first episode, I found the 1st episode adaptation much better than the webtoon.

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I totally get what you mean. Part of the charm is not knowing, indeed. But having read it some other charms of the story come out. I was actually curious of how people who have not read it would feel watching it. I think we end up seeing and noticing lots of different things in the drama. Especially when it comes to Yoo Jung and Seol and other characters, since I know what's the deal with them (well, sort of - some of it is still a mystery, even in the latest episode of the webtoon).

It's like with every other book adaptation (The Hollywood movies and such). I remember watching the Potter movies and constantly comparing those. But it actually meant that I was enjoying the story in a different way as well - since I already knew the story I ended up enjoying the interactions and portrayals and other aspects of the movies. I think that's the case with this one too.

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Whaa...I loved this episode so much! It's taking all my will power not to go read the webtoon...but I am determined to wait till after the drama.

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Surprisingly, I love, love, love this show. Especially the tonal shift whenever we see Jung's 'suspicious' behaviour from Seol's point of view. It's refreshing to see a romcom with this different feel.

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i've read the webtoon...and read this recaps...wow...park haejin is really suit for jung...his gaze reminds me him at bad guys.. he's perfect and looks something hiding in his eyes... omo... really like it...can't wait for next eps^^

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I loved him in the rooftop scene with Sang Cheol. How he delivered his last line was perfect. Ugh. I think I watched this scene like ten times or so.

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I was reading the webtoon as well and wasnt so excited with this drama (thanks to orange marmalade which gave me a trauma). But then I gave this drama a try and hey! It was good. It stilll entertaining. It didnt sync in with the webtoon 100% but it still worth to watch and have a good story line. So yea, It's good. I had no worry with Kim Go Eun since I like her acting in Coin Locker Girls. So yea. I like this one. Hope it will get better and better!

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Hmm, nice to have this to start year 2016.

By the way, Related Posts' links are no longer valid, probably due to wrong year used in url ?

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my new obsession. i love it. it's awesome. <33333

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As a fan of the webtoon, I have to say that I was most worried about how the drama would portray all the underlying political scheming and manipulations that the webtoon does such a good job melding with everyday campus life and routine. I'm glad that the drama is paying attention to that aspect and not just developing the romance, where these mixed-up relationships have a lot to do with the politics. It still keeps the story a campus one as well, so I'll be happy to continue watching!

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I, too, have never read the webtoon, so I'm interested in what cheeomonis think of the remake and casting. My first thought was Seol is paranoid. She barely met the guy and already suspected he had it out for her. Then again, Jung's hollow eyes are creepy.

Eun Taek and Bora are adorable separately and even more adorable together. I could relate to their class registration war, but Eun Taek stealing the class roster was too far-fetched. So far, the complaints have been about Lee Sung Kyung's overacting, but I guess she was going for cartoon character.

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I don't think Eun Taek would have done that had the professor come in. Unfortunately for the teaching assistant, he was not as respected.

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was the cartoon char like this? if yes then i guess Lee Sung Kyung’s overacting is acceptable..

but yea i cant get use of that bitchy tone and the eye like on the head every moment, not to mention the make-up O_O.. but then only see her for very little screen time in first ep.. got to see more to know..

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I'm so glad this seems to be off to a good start. I hope it continues! I knew Kim Go Eun would do well. She's got this for sure. I saw it in the teasers.

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Park Have Jin and Kim Go Eun, ugh. They're nailing their roles, I already love their characters.

And can Eun-Taek (Nam Joo Hyuk) be any cuter?

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I liked most of the changes they made from the webtoon, it moved the plot along faster since we only have 16 episodes. Like how (I'm pretty sure) they cut out the study group plot from the flashbacks and instead made use of their first meeting as the moment Jung caught her watching and laughing at him. That was just as effective and to the point. Even with all the plot changes it stayed true to the character dynamics of the original source, very impressive.

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Thanks for the recap, JB!

Ever since I heard the buzz about this series, I've wanted to read the webtoon since I like checking out the source material and seeing how the drama interpreted the content. So, I finally got started on the webtoon recently just prior to this first ep. to get a sense of the plot and characters. I really think the cast is spot on. KGE is perfect for Hong Seol and PHJ is doing great for Yoo Jung. His smirks! It really seems to indicate a dark side, which only Seol seems to notice right now. I love Bora and Euntaek, too. Hope NJH will have fun in this role, which is so much cuter than his School 2015 character. =P

Anyway, I'm liking the vibe and can't wait for the next ep. Gonna keep reading the webtoon to stay ahead of the drama storyline. XD

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it was my fault for reading the recap before watching it..but now I just think of Seul as being paranoid..it really feels like it..but idk if that just because i read the comments first..lol oh well. also the way Lee Sung-kyung is playing her character feels like she is going for a Cheon Song-yi feel..or perhaps I should say alil overthetop..but I probably just need to get used to her character first..i mean its barely ep 1.

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Exactly!!! Pretty much the only thing that irked me in the ep. lol

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Waaahh I am sooo in love with the drama! I have read the webtoon and am glad that the adaptation's very good! This is very exciting news~ and wow hats off to Kim Go Eun and Park Hae Jin for their amazing performance and also let's not forget Nam Joo Hyuk! He's so cute there! >u< Can't wait for the eng sub and next episode. Kinda sad now that there's only going to be 16 episodes :')

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I read the beginning of the webtoon in preparation for this drama and I have to say - I actually enjoy the drama more than the webtoon *gasp*.

Park Hae Jin is absolutely spot on with Jung's character, I really love Seol in this too - she's super quirky and weird (just as she was in the webtoon) but this actress really brings it all out. C

Super excited for episode 2!!

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OMGah. It's started airing already! Right in the middle of my busy schedule. :( /bangs head on wall/ I need to make time for this. Do I still need sleep? :(

Thank you for the recap, JB! I see that the drama is fairly true to the webtoon so far... that unreliable narrator aspect is part of what I like about the webtoon too!

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OOOOO...I am an avid Webtoon fan and know all about it and WILL NEVER spoil it for anyone. And I will also tell you I am totally, 100% satisfied, no, delighted with episode 1. I am especially delighted with lead actress because she gets that energy perfectly right. I am so looking forward to second episode.

Episode one made me feel perfectly content. The tone felt right, the cast felt right and everyone was adorable. If PD, writer sticks to the story and does not do anything stupid with it, this will be awesome!

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I love how javabeans points out that all the other characters are living a light college story, while Seol seems to be in a Hitchcock film. It's really great to watch something with such a different tone, which seems to mostly come from the source material. I have never watched a webtoon in my life but I might have to if this show keeps being so great.

Also, I love love LOVE the lead actress! Did people really regret her casting? She is too adorable. I just want to wrap her in warm blankets and feed her soup and protect her from handsome but potentially psycho love interests.

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PS. I have never related to a kdrama scene more than I did watching the class registration war = My life, 2 x a year for 6 years

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Me, too! While I was watching the manic running towards the computers, the dismay when the registration site went wacko, the overflow of unregistered students in the 'easier' teacher's room, the pleading to get into the class, the other teacher saying 'ah you didn't take my class because they said i was difficult? they call me a witch, right? but i'm not, i'm a good and nice teacher, and you'll learn a lot,' and the forced, reluctant answer of, 'ah, yes, of course, ma'am, bye, gotta goooo,' I was just laughing self-deprecatingly and chanting over and over: same, same.

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I think the Hitchcock comparison is a very good one. I am also coming to CitT completely cold having never read the webtoon and I loved the first episode. It reminded me of the 1941 Hitchcock film, Suspicion. Not in the plot or anything but in the sense of paranoia and doubt both heroines feel about the leading men which no-one else seems to feel. In Suspicion it's a lot more dire for the heroine; she has good reason to believe the man she married is going to kill her. But the audience never quite knows until the very end whether this belief is justified or not. Hitchcock is on record as saying that he was forced by the studio to change the ending and that he wanted to make it much, much darker but couldn't because of Cary Grant's leading man status.

I agree that Park Hae-jin is slightly too old for the role of Jung but it doesn't much matter because he is really nailing the ambiguous nature of the character. Kim Go-eun I've seen in Coin Locker Girl and Monster and am very impressed with her, especially as the mental challenged Bok-soon in Monster. She's perfect as Seol. This drama requires very good actors in both roles because both Jung and Seol are mysteries to the audience. Does he have an anti-social behaviour disorder? Is she paranoid? PHJ and KGE are up to it.

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I've read the webtoon, I love it, and I was a tad apprehensive to get into this because there are too many humans involved in a series/movie production to cause a lot of error in the relaying of paper to the screen. But I love this. The tone is on point and perfect. The characters feel the same, and I'd daresay Kim Go Eun elevated Seol, especially that last scene (which should also be a meme for 'personal space, personal space).

I LOVE THIS. PERIOD.

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Park Hae Jin has that ability/demeanor to send double signals with those eyes and that smile. After his role in Bad Guys it's easy to see him as they boy next door turn axe murderer on a dime. I'm liking scrappy siblings Beak siblings, too (Seo Kang Joon can do no wrong). 🙂

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As a reader of the webtoon even before hearing that CITT will be made into a drama, I can say that this pilot episode exceeded my expectations! Seriously. The acting was spot on, I did not have the chance to finish CITT's Season 3 because it was not yet subbed, but I like the progress of the story.

Park Hae Jin, Nam Joo Hyuk, and Kang Seo Jun in one drama is really a gift (lol) (eyecandy) and they really fit in their characters! I saw the reactions of k netizens and some are annoyed with how Sung-Kyung delivered In Ha, but really, In Ha is exactly like her; a bit b*tchy, you can say, so I liked it. Hong Seol, wah, Go-Eun totally rocked that. I like her fashion, and of course the way she portrayed Seol, our intelligent heroine.

I can't exactly figure out what Yoo Jung is up to in the webtoon, and I will probably have a hard time in this drama (lol). He is so scary, and weird. I love the weirdness of this drama (in a good way), and releasing this drama was a great start in 2016!

TvN truly doesn't disappoint! I can't wait for episode 2! <3

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Kickass first ep!!! You can really tell that park hae jin did his homework..he LITERALLY IS yoo jung!! Nailed it to a T! Kim go eun shut a lot of mouths with her acting..probs to her!!

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I liked the first episode I am currently reading the webtoon, I will continue before the drama catches up to me Lol. Thanks JB for the recap :)

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Lived the first episode. I loved that they kept the unsettling feel of Jung. Is she paranoid? Or is he really as bad as she says he is and everyone else is not seeing it?

Park Har Jin is perfect as Jung and KGE, I think she's going to be added to "my queen" list. I have adored her in all her movies and feel her pitta yak of Seol was straight out the comics. I felt the suspicion and intrigue (and she doesn't even know she is) right along with her. I enjoy all of Seol's quirks and bless this drama for dressing her cut but comfortable like a normal college student (and true to the webtoon). I also really enjoyed the side characters and can't wait for ep 2.

Thanks for the recap.

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Cheese in the trap has a cool cast and light tone attached to it

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The way they choose their modules (first come first serve basis) makes me appreciate the fact that I get to choose my modules on the bidding system, where I can wake up late at noon and I can still get the module I want.

I guess most Korea universities don't have the bidding system in place for students?

Also, although I am definitely aware that Korea is very competitive, the fact that so many students actually sat in the class despite not getting the class in hope that the professor allows them to stay on wowed me. Like, come on, are they that desperate?

I wonder how close that scenario is to reality.

Furthermore, how is it that 2 professors come up with 2 different sets of assessment formats for the same module? Isn't that very unfair? People obviously will choose those with less assessments. I thought most unis will use the same form of assessments for all students under the same module.

I know the above mentioned are not as important, but they are burning questions that I am worried of since I plan to go to Korea on exchange soon! I hope they are dramatised for the show.

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I've seen students attend entire courses without ever being enrolled because one teacher is supposed to be better than another (on top of the class listing they are obligated to attend for marking purposes)

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From experience or in my university, different professors have different forms of assessment. I had friends taking the same subject under a different professor, theirs was relatively okay, unfortunately mine was stressful. She was the best teacher you could ask for that subject but the amount of requirements she wanted and her exams were just torture. It was a miracle that I passed.

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You're lucky!! The way we chose courses in university is exactly the same as this drama....you literally had to be on the second the website opened and hope/pray for the best...it was such a hassle getting courses changed or waiting around at odd hours hoping someone dropped the course you wanted!!

This drama totally made me re-live those moments!

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I really love this drama as a fan of webtoon am glad it turned out well. and all the actors are all nailing it. thank you Jb for the recap

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Can't wait for this!!! How can i watch it by English subtitles ?

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Hi! Is it ok to say this here? Go to myasiantv.se

They're super fast providing english subtitled episodes (for this and other shows). And if, like me, you can't have access to dramafever or most shows on viki (region problems), that is a good website ;)

Hope this helped!

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Thank You :-)
Just finshed watching epiode 1. Looks promising and different!!

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I felt like I was watching rom-com that had elements of a psychological thriller 😂 Jung was such a mysterious character. He feel like a jerk. He feels extremely nice. You can't properly read him. At the same time, you don't know if he actually likes Seol, is intrigue by her, or he wants something else from her. Still, it feels like he's very manipulative and has this dark aura whenever his devilish smirk flashes (or maybe I'm just as paranoid as Seol).

I also love how Seol sees him as creepy or unbearable, and not the usual "this guy probably likes me because he keeps doing these nice things to me". He did made her drop-out of school for a year so it makes you wonder what other things he did to make her feel that uncomfortable around him.

I'm afraid to say how I love this show already but it's really a good start. Hoping this show doesn't falter. Thanks javabeans for the recap :D

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