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The rise and fall of Cheese in the Trap

By now, you’ve probably already heard plenty about the brouhaha surrounding Cheese in the Trap, which we haven’t commented on too much here—mostly because the controversy started off at a relatively low rumble with claims that were, for the large part, difficult to substantiate or confirm.

But I’ve been keeping an eye on the developing headlines, and somewhere in the past couple days, it feels like the controversy reached a tipping point and is now gaining momentum and intensity, rather than dying down. I’d wanted to wait for more official statements and facts to come out before talking about it, and now that we’ve had multiple statements from key parties, including Park Hae-jin, it seems a good time to weigh in.

Reading the Cheese recap comments, it seems like most fans are already aware of the issues so I won’t go into comprehensive detail, but to give the general overview: Fans have always been critical of Cheese deviating from its original material, but for the most part, after the show premiered to praise and massive ratings, those comments calmed down for a while. However, about halfway through the show, the complaints began growing again, coupled with the increasing disgruntlement over the drama’s curious shortening of star Park Hae-jin’s screentime (playing Yoo Jung, but you know this already), which has coincided with the drastic increase in screentime for his co-star Seo Kang-joon (Baek In-ho).

We’d all noticed this, I’m sure, but it feels like things really blew up this week after Episodes 13 and 14 aired, and our lead actor was hardly in them.

A lot of conspiracy theories are floating around for why this might happen, but I have to admit at first I disregarded them as overreaching by upset fans. After all, I don’t see any problem with a drama deviating from source material to be its own thing, and viewers can’t expect or demand that a show re-create a webtoon perfectly. That said, the longer this controversy stretched, the more confused I got, and now I have to join the chorus of puzzled viewers wondering if there isn’t something to the rumors—I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but this whole situation is so bizarre that there aren’t many explanations otherwise.

I don’t actually find the main plot points of the drama to be too problematic on paper—for instance, In-ho struggling to reclaim his life, Jung and Seol arguing and making up—but it’s a case where the balance is all wrong. By skewing the focus so drastically, the show has altered the effect of the story in a way that now feels unnatural to its intent.

It came out that there were significant edits made to the shot footage, which was markedly different from the footage that was aired, which happened to favor a focus on Seo Kang-joon over Park Hae-jin. My jaw dropped to read reports that Park Hae-jin hadn’t been invited to the show’s own wrap party or reward vacation. (He clarifies this in the interview below.) There are rumors that Park Hae-jin finished shoots on the show a full five days in advance of Kim Go-eun or Seo Kang-joon, which is mind-boggling.

On a related note, I do also have to issue a mea culpa of sorts for Episode 13, because at the time I wrote the recap, I wasn’t aware of the full behind-the-scenes controversy, and therefore merely thought that while it was curious that Park Hae-jin was getting so little to do, I was sure—so totally confident—that the drama was just on a minor detour that there was no way he was going to be shafted in the long run. Because of course that’s how it should be! Who writes a drama and cuts out the hero at the end?

The story of Cheese in the Trap was so clearly about Seol and Jung, with In-ho playing a supporting role, and so I presumed In-ho would get his big moment and then fade away, like Copycat Min-soo and Stalker Young-gon. I had too much faith in the show to consider that anything else might happen, but after reading through the massive flood of new articles currently floating around in the internet ether, I’m concerned that I was too optimistic, and that the show might not right its course.

On February 24, webtoon writer Soonkki wrote publicly on her blog about the production not consulting her about the plot after Episode 6. She stated that the show contacted her later about the last two episodes, then disregarded her requests not to write a certain ending, lest it overlap too much with her own plans for the webtoon’s ending, which is yet to come. She wrote, “Considering that the medium is different, I’d wanted the drama to have a different feel from the original. However, it was reported that the drama was ‘faithful to the original.’ While the drama was being produced to be faithful to the original, I did not receive even one call, and I don’t know what plot will be produced.”

And that brings us to today, with new interviews with Park Hae-jin asking him for his thoughts on the matter. He is diplomatic but somewhat forthcoming, enough that we can read between the lines. I always find Korean stars to be so excessively polite and image-conscious that they hardly say anything in interviews, and therefore you know things must be really bad for them to say anything negative about their projects or the people they’ve worked with. (Mostly, it’s starting to look like PD Lee Yoon-jung must be nuts, and Park Hae-jin is a class act. PD Lee is getting a firestorm of flak right now, with Park Hae-jin being inundated with public sympathy. As this is also my sentiment, I have no problems with the current tide of public opinion.)

At the time that the drama’s reward vacation plans were announced, Park was asked about it and replied that he’d never heard anything about it. This time he clarified, “This is something I think I have to explain clearly. Because of my schedule, I told them in advance that I wouldn’t be able to go, and I think that’s why they didn’t contact me. Later I heard about the reward vacation’s time and location through the news. As I said, I didn’t know anything about it… The next day at an event, I was told, ‘I tried to tell you the plans, but the news came out first.’ If I’d heard [the talk] that I didn’t go because I was hurt over the drama, I think I would have just gone. It’s a situation that got misrepresented through misunderstanding.”

Park was asked about certain complaints about the drama character not living up to the webtoon character, and it sounds like Park himself wasn’t happy with the characterization.

Park Hae-jin: “It’s possible the drama viewers would think that. In my family, my noona and I have read the webtoon, while my brother-in-law and mother haven’t. Those who haven’t read it ask me, ‘Why is Yoo Jung doing that?’ and I explain it to them. There’s no need to take the webtoon directly as is, but in the drama there’s a connecting flow and you need to create plausibility. There’s a slight disconnected feeling, and in some parts it could be like ‘fishing’ [bait-and-switching] to viewers. From the viewer’s standpoint, you need to be able to sympathize and relate.”

He added, “If the plot interferes with plausibility or is unable to be understood, you can’t watch the drama. There are parts I’m disappointed about. There are parts where the feeling between what we shot and what aired is different.”

He said, “There are things I’m disappointed with regarding the screentime and editing. But even being the lead character, depending on the episode your emphasis could be greater or lesser. Truthfully, I don’t think the real problem is the screentime or editing. The biggest issue is that my character, Yoo Jung, has changed. He carries hidden scars that he can’t show to others. He smiles to cover that up, and shows a bright face. There are certain scenes that are necessary to show the characters’ internal and external sides. But in the drama, they were different from the original. I was disappointed in this point. I chose Cheese in the Trap because of Yoo Jung’s duality, with his sweet and chilling sides.”

“Past the first half of the series, this side of Yoo Jung wasn’t revealed much. Thus the character’s very essence was weakened, and changed. More than the shortening of my screentime because of the editing, I’m just so disappointed in the character faltering.”

“I really wanted to take on the role of Yoo Jung, but I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to show something more. And I’m also sorry to writer Soonkki of the original.”

A source from his management’s side said, “When he agreed to take the role, he only had one condition. That they not shatter the original. He only wanted for the characters’ personalities and situations to be explained adequately. Now only Episodes 15 and 16 remain. Park Hae-jin’s part is small, but he put forth his best effort. He mentioned that he’d be a ‘scene stealer.'” Also: “From Episode 10 onward, we asked the producers constantly to explain. But all they said was that they were in talks with Soonkki.”

What about the ending? Park said, “I don’t know how the ending will be. There are a lot of instances where we filmed things that didn’t air, so even I will have to watch the broadcast to know. But since it’s a drama I appeared in, I hope it will wrap up well.”

“Because filming has already wrapped, I can only wait to see how the director edited things. It’s upsetting. I worked hard as the actor in the lead, but I’m sad I couldn’t show more.”

One source with the drama said, “The original [story] has completely crumbled. Episodes 15 and 16 contain events that are incomprehensible.”

Park seems to be unhappy with PD Lee Yoon-jung’s direction, though he seemed careful not to badmouth her. Regarding the constant changes to the script, he said, “There were a lot of revisions made on set, to the extent that a script being complete became meaningless. I heard that’s her style.”

He described how PD Lee didn’t seem that concerned with sticking to the original material, and would sometimes ask why it was a problem. His interviewer asked if the new parts—the scenes the drama created that weren’t in the original—were the problem. He replied, “[The drama] didn’t capture the parts that are in the webtoon well, either. I’d like to ask the director once, why she did that. I don’t know what is still to come, but I’d still like to ask that.”

“When I watched the broadcast, Yoo Jung didn’t appear very much. I’d like to ask [the director] why. It’s not only the scenes I filmed, but there were child parts that were entirely skipped, and the emotional lines between Yoo Jung and his father, and parts where we could have explained more and still been insufficient, but got removed. There were things that didn’t get filmed, but even things we filmed were edited out. So I’d like to ask that myself, what the reason was.”

Park’s management company, WM Company, stated, “The viewers’ reactions are already known, and we’re extremely disappointed about the screentime issue. We just don’t understand why things that were already filmed were cut out. There are major scenes for Yoo Jung that were shot that weren’t included. [He/we] expressed extreme opposition to the current plot, but [they] did not accept any of it.”

He was asked if he’s satisfied about what’s aired. He replied, “To be honest, it would be a lie to say I’m 100% satisfied. The reason I confirmed Cheese in the Trap at the very start when the director, writer, or anything else hadn’t been decided was the because of the strength of the original, and my trust in the webtoon. Right now, I have nothing to trust in.”

Even so, a source with WM Company and the production staff did give an interview on the 26th stating that rumors of discord between Park Hae-jin and PD Lee were completely groundless and “pointless rumors.”

Meanwhile, through this all, PD Lee Yoon-jung has remained quite tight-lipped, only saying in one phone interview, “You’ll have to talk to the drama’s team leader, not me.” Also, “I can’t really talk about it, so I don’t plan to give an interview.”

She told one reporter, “I’ll talk about it later, in other circumstances. That means I’ll tell you if we meet on personal terms.” That is to say, off the record.

Park did express gratitude for the response to his role: “I’m thankful for receiving love beyond my expectations. I don’t know if I was able to bear the weight of the webtoon. Rather than bearing it, there were parts that were incomplete. I did my best with the situation I was given. I’ll work hard on what was lacking to show a better side in the future. I’ll return having grown more.”

“I think I’ve changed a little through doing this drama, about doing my best to protect the character. I had thought that an actor just has to do a good job on set, and get along with the other actors and staff without trouble. But it doesn’t seem that’s all there is to it.”

Via Herald, IS Plus, Sports Khan, Star News, Dailian, My Daily, TV Report, Hankyung, Sports Khan, Munhwa, Osen, Hankooki, FN News, Seoul Shinmun

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Whatever. I'm still enjoying it and I love it even more. Sorry not sorry but Seo Kang Joon having a lot of screentime is totally LOVEEEE!!

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So you don't care at all that the whole line of story-telling has been collapsing as long as you see your favourite character?

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Exactly what I wanted to ask.
I think lovers of the art of story-telling are askance at this.

Also, this is not the time for SKJ fans to be happy. He is getting a lot of suspicion and hate over this. Knetz are saying he has a "sponsor" and that's why scenes which PHJ filmed were cut and refilmed with Inho in the course of three days after PHJ left.

I'm not sure if it's his fault so I feel bad he is getting hit with the backlash.

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WORD!!

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WORD✋ WORD
Im personally not a fan of either but i really loved Jung 's unique character and the unique story but it's has turned to crap.i more disappointed because of what this show was 1-8 and could have been but has failed to be.i feel horrible for us viewers and the author because it's such a waste, it could have been among the best dramas to ever grace dramaland but no.

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+1...
I'm not a fan girl of PHJ or SKJ ... During all these internal fights not just jung all the three main characters have lost its credibility... plot makes no sense and original is lost... I only feel sad for sonkii...its totally not professionalism to sabotage a wonderful story with internal fights like this....

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+ 1 ! Their internal fights ruined citt !

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but there wasn't even a fight there, just a story and an actor's role (among others) being steadily eroded and twisted until it was almost unrecognisable.

The ruining of the drama wasn't as the result of a fight, it was the result of the PD's/whoever's unilateral decisions. It's only a fight now that Soonkki AND Park Hae-jin have decided enough is enough, and disclosed just how they were treated. They didn't do anything to ruin the drama, it's not their fault at all.

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Exactly I like skj more after this show I like the character Baek in-ho however the story was supposed to be about Jung and Seol. There are so many scenes I wanted from Jung as a character that I didn't get. I wanted to see more interactions with his father, more explanations for his behavior, possible character development ect., ect. But we haven't truly gotten any of that. To be sincere all the problems that are currently being addressed in the show could have been solved much much earlier, they shouldn't have been left for the last minute.

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Have you watched King of Dramas, drama world is harsh!!! and this sponsor have powers, it is in the high ups, they can decide where the story is going, even on running drama. They can decide the ending as they wish too. Be afraid, be very afraid of the ending

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Well they had better learn to be afraid, very afraid of the fans.
Koreans don't mess around when it comes to their kdrama opinions.

I'm skipping the end. I'll let you all tell me how it went. I never could stand to watch a wreck happening.

Rant: Did they think we were stupid? It's bloody insulting. They thought CITT would attract unintelligent people? 😒

Huh. I've never been this angry about something in the entertainment world before.
We got played. 😑

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We definitely got played. Funny we had this discussion few episodes back that the show did not deliver its premise for several episodes, and then it just as if we are on shipping wars, when we (now for sure) know that we were aware that the show cheated us on its story.

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I find it very interesting that this show started to go wrong (with InHo taking Jung's place in key scenes, and InHo's character becoming less violent, more soft and likeable, and InHo and his (frankly juvenile) problems taking center stage) right after the holiday break. Wasn't that when we started hearing more about Entourage, the following show that also features Seo Kang Joon? It sounds like Cheese in the Trap is being turned into one big infomercial for Entourage.

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@skelly
I think it was started going in different direction since episode 9 tbh. I watched ep. 1-8 diligently like a good student. downloaded the ost, typing the ost's lyrics in english, because every details of citt seems pretty telling on the characters. Re-watched the episodes to see what I have missed. And then when I had the OST and the lyrics, re-watched it again while looking at the lyrics to make sense of the scenes more. It was pretty satisfying, and CITT really delivered.

But, episode 9-14 they started to changed shift, it was very slowly in the beginning of ep 9-10. But, I agree that it went full force in the last two episode after the holiday. If it the rumor is true that they do this for SKJ's role in the next TvN drama, how do they feel now that their plan is backfired. N [Read more]

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Like Petra, I'm skipping the last 2 eps. There is no point to it, esp. in watching Seol got run over in the penultimate ep. A wreck indeed!

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So true...it must be one of the reasons why some actors chose to just focus with movies

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I have serious Trust Issues now because of this kdrama...

I will never watch anything including SKJ!

PHJ acting is beyond amazing and twisted. My mouth dropped during his scenes. I was memorized with PHJ's acting. Now his some crazy psychopath b/c of the missing back story.

PHJ & KGE What a waste of talent on this BS!

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+10000000000

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Ditto!

I didn't want to believe that it was happening. I felt like surely the PD would zoom the focus back to Jung, but ouch.

Scenes cut, even the ones where he was a kid - and they had already shot them?!? Why would they trash those? And then to give In-Ho key scenes that were Jung's in the original webtoon. Just wow! The poor cast and original writer! And poor us, the audience. I feel like I got conned. What a waste of an amazing show. 😓😓

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DAME THEM!!!!! man I'm on the same boat wit you guys...so freaking piss that they would do this to the fans! !!

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After putting us through all of this, I wish they could at the very least release Jung's (both PHJ and his childhood scenes) deleted scenes so we could just find out more about Jung's character that way!!!!

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I'm getting tired of the two siblings' character... I wanna know what's going on with Yoo Jung's.. how he'll end up... I sure am don't like to be fed with unnecessary scenes from supporting character

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I'm baffled how fan meeting & free hug events turned into scandals & explanatory interview within weeks...
PHJ worked scenes were cut..
SKJ worked his but off in doing extra scene is being criticised
KGE worked double hard with both guys.. all are wasted...
As a viewer I was so pissed with PHJ screen time and was wondering how he should be.. seems like he is pissed to, to the extent to give an interview with this much risk...
The one who dug hole only for PHJ.. slipped & took everyone with him..

"Success has many fathers but failure is an orphan"... i'm certain no will take responsibility for all this mess and it will end like this...

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Come on people, do you really think Seo Kang Joon is a victim too? Wise up! He's not victim. This was part of a plan to make him lead in this drama mid way through. Hopefully, he and his team are learning a valuable lesson. The PD was working with someone to make this type of idiotic decision...to only benefit SKJ.

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Do you have any avidences? If not then how can you blame a person for that? And what was his motive? If his high-ups/team where so powerful then why start from the mid way? They could make him a first lead, it is easier then cutting out whole story from drama

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To Nerdy, here is a my opinion as a Korean and K-drama fan. Yes, if crews made SKJ a first lead, it is easier then cutting out whole story. But simply they can't. Because if they choose SKJ as a first lead, they can't sell CITT in China. You know well enough, PHJ has many fans in China. The K-Drama are making a lot of money by exporting their products and their biggest market is the China. So If you want to making the money by this business in Korea, first thing is casting best-known actors at home and aboard. And PHJ perfectly fit the profile but not SKH. So here we are. They casting PHJ as a first lead, because of him. CITT were sold for a good price in China, Japan, Singapore even before on-air because of him. And now? They cheat in here as like SKJ is a first lead. What a surprise, hah [Read more]

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It's just a directorial choice in a miniseries drama, not a crime against humanity. If we want to get all worked up over something aren't there more important uses of time, energy and passion? Seriously. Look around at what's going on in the world.

It worries me that people can have so much of their personal identity tied up in their fandom of a cartoon. A cartoon. It's just not healthy.

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Lol

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YES to all of this!!

Cutting scenes and changing everything, is no ok. It affects the actors, the viewers, the staff, the author, etc. And calling that PD (or whoever) on that behavior it's the right thing to do.

Aside from that, what worries me more, it is that they (the fans, and here in DB too) are adults (+20 yrs), older women, ADULTS that are so embodied with the drama that they justify and are romanticizing abusive relationships, morally and ethically wrong behavior (the stalker, the job interview, etc) just because oppa had an unhappy childhood, and he is a misunderstood guy™.

And is in this second statement that I think "Grow up, love yourself, would you -really- like to be treated that way, do you think what he does it's ok or romantic?"

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Exactly. It's the reason I dropped the drama a few episodes in. In thought its messaging had been all kinds of wrong.

At the point that I dropped the male lead had shown significant markers that he might be a psychopath. Yet we had a supposedly smart and strong "Candy" decide to date him just because he - the cute rich guy - suddenly became interested in her. While ignoring the fact that she couldn't figure out why her former abuser had a sudden romantic interest. Then she began to dismiss her instincts that he was indeed duplicitous and not fully trustworthy. And then she started to 'obey' him when he asked her to draw back from other people she cared about. *headdesk*

Sure, there might be reasons for his behavior, that weren't revealed yet. But the point remains, they were [Read more]

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It does worry me how many women think Yoo Jung's behavior is acceptable and romantic. YJ is a manipulative abuser and his behavior should not be justified just cause he is cute.

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Then there are the fans who did not romanticize Jung's dual nature. What we wanted was an unflinching look into what made him the way he is WITHOUT EXCUSING HIM OF CULPABILITY.

Can we not allow for this? Is it so scary that we ask for BOTH understanding and accountability? If it was a simple case of us being sorry for his boo boos and ignoring the red flags, there wouldn't be this many arguments.

Let me say it this way, some of us do not want Seol in any relationship at the end; that's not the important point. What we wanted was an honest examination of what makes a human being tick, even a grey one. Inho was white-washed, Inha was made into an often comical figure, Seol was marginalized and Jung was... left in the dark.

That's a failure. It's a reason to be upset in light of [Read more]

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I wouldn't call Seol and Jung's relationship abusive though. Either way for me this story is Seol's story. As far as story telling and character development goes, two types of endings makes sense to me: 1. Seol ends up with Jung 2. Seol doesn't end up with neither Jung nor In Ho.

It doesn't make sense for her to end up with In Ho when she showed not even a hint of interest in him romantically. The story of "Cheese in the Trap" is about discovering if there is a trap, and what it really is, and that trap is obviously Jung. Having her end up with someone else that has nothing to do with the title doesn't make sense to me.

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I agree. At the beginning, all the web-toon's fans wanted was just look-alike actors, now they want a plot out of a cartoon which probably has several episodes. They wanted a depiction of their favorite original but the writer did not not. The script should be exactly the toon they had read and not (simultaneously!). The director was shifting directions following the original material but she shouldn't! CRAZY!!!
Everything is going out of proportion the same way it happened with Nodame Cantabile or Orange Marmalade (and my own personal "favorite" Oh, My Ghost! which it was not a cartoon but the angry comments about the two leading ladies and all the "ships" ruined a very good show). Projections and a few psychotic episodes of several fans (domestic and international) can turn series th [Read more]

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Indeed, it seems a quite obvious turn of events: the writer has a loved webtoon and she consents to a drama adaptation. Then later she has to face the problem that the drama closure might give hints of the future of the webtoon. She forbids the drama producers to go that direction. Halfway shooting they have to change focus. Obviously it is not an easy task: quality might be affected, and if you want to depict a different story it makes sense that you have to change things in characters and actions, etc.

In my opinion they handled quite well a big mess (which I do not know whose fault is), in fact I am loving it.
I never read the webtoon so I am fine with everything. I guess this is why I am so driven towards In Ho's story, to me the show is still very enjoyable.
Sorry for the webtoo [Read more]

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That scenario would make sense except it doesn't follow the timeline.

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Like it or not, consumption is becoming one of the most vibrant and eclectic sites of self-identification in the modern world. Add to that the idea that TV is becoming more and more recognized as an art form, and there you go. People care. How about that.

Also, people on this thread are venting and engaging in a little hyperbole...kind of like you're doing lol. Taking five minutes to rattle off an impassioned comment on Dramabeans (...a blog dedicated to drama fandom..) does not mean a) they are not critically engaged in the real world, or b) that they'd prioritize their fannish concerns over srs bsns (though really, would it ever come to that? I kind of doubt it).

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Perhaps. But if you use the number of comments on most popular series as a baseline, the fan investment in this debacle does seem to have gone a bit off the charts.

The example was just to put that conclusion into sharp relief. It wasn't an absolute statement of fact about what people spend their time doing.

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@Gidget. Okay, no problem. I am just hypersensitive to comments that even vaguely echo "why are you so invested in fiction, get a life." Hazard of growing up a nerd I guess lol.

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"If we want to get all worked up over something aren’t there more important uses of time, energy and passion? Seriously. Look around at what’s going on in the world."

I'd hazard a guess, from the various people I've engaged with on the board and the information gleaned between the lines - that many here are professionals, have meaningful real-life relationships and are also doing multiple other things in their lives. I think by and large, we do what most people do - juggle a multitude of interests and tasks in life, spinning plates, and we also, when we are bothered, engage in discussions about shows we enjoy in bits of downtime we have.

Rarely, does having an interest negate the ability to be engaged in the world in multiple ways, and certainly, from the answers and analysis t [Read more]

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That misrepresentation (in the short-changing of his development and backstory) of Jung and his character have some people saying people with Personality Disorders are NOT HUMAN. That's Millions and Millions upon MILLIONS of people.

Do you know what happens when people start seeing one group of people as LESS THAN HUMAN?

Yeah, Crimes against Humanity.

So thanks for your opinion but the reason we are upset about a Manwha is that it speaks to real life issues...you know, the important ones such as what makes a monster.

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Why is it that literally every single person who makes noises like "why do you care, there are more serious problems" and looks down on the fans, cannot actually see the issue at hand and inevitably turns out to dislike Jung?

Are you people so unable to separate the actor from his character?

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Just because this is a debate about a drama, you can't dismiss it just like that. People want their rights as consumer (drama audiences) respected. They can debate whatever they like (as long as they don't spread unnecessary hate). Also, what humanity are you talking about? Isn't human cheating other human a problem with our humanity too? If you don't like people debating about drama, why are you even here?

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completely disappointed in how the drama veered off course in the last half. They should put back the scenes of Yoon Jung the producers cut out and release a new ending. this is ridiculous with no closure in the end at all. At least air one more episode so we can know even with the retarded 2nd half that Hong Seol and Yoo Jung would end up happily ever after. the excess scenes with baek in Ho and baek in ha were useless!

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Thank you for asking that question. we do watched for our bias at certain point but if the story went south then even our bias would look stupid and if we condone it then we will be ignoramus and did not know how to appreciate art. This would be just a normal romcom if it was not for Jung. A whole different character from any other Kdrama hero that what got this drama so popular and intrigue but now it all went sour. So frustrating for a drama this good to end this way... I do not think I m able to watch the last 2 eps.

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Personally, I am quite satisfied with Jung. With all of this, I wonder what is missing. But I guess I didn't really (I mean completly and faithfully) read the webtoon.

True enough, he didn't appear much in the last episodes but I always thought that his apparitions were made with quality. So much that, even if In-ho rises my sympathy, I never completly fall into the second role's syndrome.

I guess they could have done better but I don't think Jung was done wrongly.

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the scene that cut out, is violating jung's character.
if it goes with the original one, we should see the development of jung's, how he end up like that, and the resolution.
now thanks to the PD, all we see,is the crazy jung.
as it confirmed, that the cut out scenes was to determined the truly character of jung , without the more scenes that explained how childhood or how jung deals furthermore.
we will all judge that jung is psychopath. that's it for all.
and i understand why PHJ show his disappointment, we all demand that PHJ can show us the real char, as we read on webtoons, but the PD cut out his scenes,that he has worked his ass HARD. so if PHJ didn't speak up now, i guess , all of us will say that he is not good enough on showing jung's character. and that's not good comment re [Read more]

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And if you guys notice, starting episode 11 PHJ looked a bit old and tired. I dont know if he has been sabotaged but he just looks different then. From ep 1 to 10 he looked great, then all of a sudden come ep 11 the feel of his presence changed!

Fighting PHJ Oppa!

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Totally agree. Here is my 2 cents worth on the topic. I have been reading the recaps and avoiding watching the whole drama (just bits here and there as well as the first few episodes) precisely because I totally saw this coming what with the hype over SKJ. Honestly speaking, I am not a fan of him but he seemed to have done well in his acting for this while PHJ was, hands down without a doubt, nailed Yoo Jung from the start. There was a reason why he was name-dropped by the fans of the webtoon in the first place.

I am a big fan of the webtoon and what made it interesting was the crazy complex character of Jung. That was how they sold the show and that was how the first few episode went. Then suddenly, probably due to the SKJ hype, the writing took a turn. This is why I really hate it wh [Read more]

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well said! just because you love the second lead doesn't mean the rest of us should suffer with a weak ending. Once this drama started, I recommended it to everyone but with the ending I feel bad. I still love this drama but if it had a better ending it would have been the one of the best korean drama.
props to park hae jin and his awesome acting <3

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What does that have to do with this ?

No actor speaks out against the team lest they be blacklisted. Its a measure of how cheated he must be feeling to publicly declare that he is unhappy and had no clue about whats going on

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Especially in image-conscious South Korea. I wanted to mention this to people who may not be aware of this part of Korean culture.

It's not like here in the States or other places where celebrities are more free to just say stuff.

For him to have said as much as he has...and he really sounds like he is holding himself back...is a big deal.

I was actually trying to read the interview in Korean and took a break when I saw this post by Javabeans.

Thank you very much, jb!

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Actually feel sad for all three of them it was PHJ step to lead.. SKJ shine in acting skills & KGE's first drama... why??

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iKR! It was barely weeks ago that everyone was applauding how much of a breakthrough Cheese is for pretty much all cast members. Im just hoping no one will end up getting a depression because of this. God knows how cruel the k-entertainment industry can be

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Me too. The actors were terrific. Moreover, even if there was "sponsorship", which is so far just a supposition, I don't imagine actors have much say in what investors and high level management does. Really, I think that it is inappropriate to direct hate at any of the actors.

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IKR -- i've been waiting for PHJ lead act opportunity, to suddenly see this.

I'm glad he speaks up, though still maintaining politeness. I hope he finds his way back up through another drama/movie. he's one of a great actors in SK (IMO). he's versatile.

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Exactly, PHJ is risking being blacklisted and dragged through the mud (it's a very common tactic, to dig up the past 'scandals' of those who speak out) and all some people can think is 'wheeee, more pretty boy!'

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PHJ is one actor that actually quite firm and honest in giving statements. I am afraid of what risks he is going to encounter, but i believe Knetz are more on his side. I dont think the PDnim has to be blamed, he / she still following orders from upper hands.

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I find the development of this issue quite interesting on another level.

Yes, Korean culture, especially K-ent culture is known to be controlled and conservative. But K-culture has been knowingly and deliberately exporting itself to many countries. By doing so, it's acknowledged the power of those markets and audiences, which in a way, is arguably shifting the power of the K-ent system. Is this a sign things will start to change?

Say, if more stars gain more star power in China, will their agencies and K-ent domestic system have to acknowledge that what they give a hoot about, perhaps other people in the world don't care? Will more stars find themselves agitating for change, in that they know they have the backing of international audiences?

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@ Dramapanda

I'm also watching this unfold with that in mind as well.

If Korea is serious about exporting more and more entertainment as a product, which I think is a great idea, the entertainment world there is on the brink of some changes.

A time of flux is always controversial, I suppose.

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I think it's also because the public is VERY much on his side.

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Oh yeah. He has enough public backing I think. Not that this wasn't brave or awesome for him to speak out and clarify for people. But he's certainly got people on his side from the comments I read, which would be great if SKJ wasn't suffering from some of the backlash and having nasty things said about him.

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You know what. I'm thinking that perhaps PHJ spoke up because he wanted to clear things for SKJ, the original writer and the drama writer. Because if it's not, arent they the ones who is going to be blamed ?? SKJ will have antis and it will effect his image in public, while the drama writer perhaps will be blacked-list by the public.

I feel pity too for PHJ, actually .. because I'm too worried about his future.

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And to know that, he had to be absolutely rock-solid in the certainty that he hadn't done anything that could potentially be used as ammunition against him in this.

This wasn't a decision that was taken lightly, knowing how things can get for whistleblowers - and PHJ and the writer are effectively in that role here.

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I actually think the writer speaking out might have given him a push. IDK. He seemed to want to do justice to her character, thought he'd done his best, then found out none of his scenes even made it into the episodes where they were crucial.

It's terrible it had to come to this for the writer AND PHJ.

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I am very very SAD with this development. I mean with the last 2 episodes left, I doubt there's much thing they can do to save the characters. So what if Jung and Seol have a happy ending or not, when some of the viewers still can not grasped the idea why would Seol want to spend her life with tha horrible psychopath, when there's no background to his story on why. The story was being told that the main lead has dark character, and they did not give us the importance of why he is the way he is. So many viewers have no ground to feel sympathy for his character.
The drama started as a bang, with lots of promises, and now...I am just. I do not know if I have enough strength to watch the last 2 episodes. And I have read that PHJ is always quite straight forward, but for him to speak up like [Read more]

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yup the public and the viewers, in general, is very much on his side because if we recall it the drama started with high ratings because of Jung and Seol's characters.

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because the last few eps (up to 14 now) were designed for PHJ's favors and discredited Yoo Jung's character.

I fell in love with this movie because of Jung and Seol. Up to 8th eps, the story was about misconception of Jung's character showing how he was actually good. But now he is portrayed scarier with no reason to be bad at all. which made lots of new viewers hate him while In ho's character was suddenly more sympathetic that creates more loves from new and young viewers.

I believe some one in the production team got big christmas present with a message to focus the story more on In ho's good side and vaguely create a more confusing and darker Jung. The purpose? to create a buzz for PHJ's upcoming drama on the national TV (tvN is a private tv channel like HBO). PHJ 'songs were f [Read more]

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I think you just did some typo. I assumed by saying PHJ, you meant SKJ - Seo Kang Joon?

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Yeah shots have been well and truly fired on the side of Park Hae-jin. The drama is sorely missing those unaired scenes, you only have to look at the recap comments to see how divisive and frustrating Jung is as a figure in the absence of proper characterisation.

For the little that it's worth, PHJ's acting has been very well received even with the few scenes he's featured in.

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Yup, that's the part that makes me really angry. The lack of proper characterization of Jung has led to a lot of divisive comments and even HATE towards people who are different. You just have to look at recent comments such as the one saying ppl with Personality Disorders are not Human, for Pete's sake! They could at least have shown us that Jung is Human.

No one could understand him. Heck, if I only saw the drama, I'd be bewildered too.

I didn't want to excuse him or have to have him end up with Seol or anything. I just wanted to get a better understanding of what made him tick. Wasn't that the major appeal of Cheese? For a lot of people?

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YES. THIS. I get so tired of pretty faces and sprayed-on abs, I was thrilled with a darker, more complex character in the male lead rather than your standard lily-white hero (which is why I really like City Hall, too). I wanted to learn Jung's history, what made him tick, what he did what he did and how he would affect Seol and vice versa. Instead they are focusing on this InHo character that didn't even exist in the webtoon, a one-dimensional boy playing his piano and running from gangsters. This isn't what I invested 14 hours for, show.

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Yes, me too. I loved that Jung was so flawed, and hoped to find redemption for him. The drama felt more realistic in that way and was refreshing. And one of it's early treasures was the paradigm shift - when you saw the scene from Seol's perspective, but then saw it from Jung's and it would turn the situation on it's head. For example, when Jung supposedly didn't call campus security, but it turns out that he did. I saw him in a new light, and it made for a better, more entertaining, experience.

Now though, I still can't understand Jung's actions, and he's had such minimal growth that I can't root for him. Writer's make an unspoken promise to the reader of every story. Woth CITT, the promise was of Jung's redemption and transformation and of our eventual understanding of him, b [Read more]

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wow,me too! we are in the same ship..
i feel we need more scenes to see jung's side that still not revealed. thats annoy me the most.
i watch this , because jung dark side..
how he develops from dark to a little bright,because finally he open up to seol..
if we didn't see why jung become this dark,
we just agreed in abusive relationship.
no one understand him yet, it just like murdering his character.
i need to see that jung also have warm personality and how he deals with current situation.

if the story about inho, then like other said, change its title to " the piano trap"

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I remember this switcheroo between main lead and second lead also happened in East of Eden, which curiously enough also starred Park Hae Jin.

Lee Da Hae was supposed to be the lead actress but ended up with the short end of the stick. Similar concerns were repeatedly brought up by LDH's fans. That the story was veering away from what was teased when she got offered the role. That she was getting fewer and fewer screen time to a point where there was an episode where she appeared just to pet a dog. The rumors escalated to people saying that Lee Yeon Hee was Song Seung Hoon's GF, hence she was getting the special treatment. There were also rumors of off-cam arguments and chair throwing. I admit I am LDH's fan. I've always felt that East of Eden could have catapulted her to A-list status [Read more]

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Me too! Episodes 1-8 were perfection and made me do a lot of things I never did with other dramas before like I downloaded the OST(!!), search for BTS, looked up actors' past projects and started watching them because I love them so much!!

Now, this show has left a very bitter taste and instead of looking forward to cherishing the last few episodes, I just want to get them over it so I can be mad over what could have been. Thanks, show, for the memory 🙄🙄🙄🙄

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I never thought I can be this invested to a drama/webtoon tbh
I'm feeling bitter since ep 13 that I stop listening to CITT OST
This never happen before and I've watched kdramas for 9-10 yrs..

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I think there are a few posts here in DB about East of Eden and all the production problems. Occasionally there are dramas with much "drama" behind the walls such as Faith (the PD committed suicide), Playful Kiss, The Great Seer etc. That's why we shouldn't invest on TV projects...

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This is the type of people who "I don't care about the story-line, I just want to see my eye candy and get absorbed by his beautiful eyes" -_-

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I don't know how people can just do that - shut their brain off completely. Frankly, I would feel manipulated.

It's like a store that purposely puts something they want to sell in front of your face and you buy it, but you don't even realize that you have been strategically manipulated to accept the product, or in this case, SKJ's In Ho in Cheese.

Then when you find out their strategy, you're not even bothered by it? Well, everyone to their own. I personally don't like when ppl try to manipulate my feelings or choices.

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they shouldn't have begged PHJ to take the role if he'd only get shafted in the end. so it seems a little insensitive to say "sorry not sorry".

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i usually don;t like people going to press with grievances but its probably a measure of how much of his role was cut off that he is forced to speak

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the good thing about this interview, at least the way I interpret it, is that it sounded more of an explanation rather than a complaint. I also think his agency wouldn't give him the go-ahead signal to speak out if it would damage his reputation.

It's really a pity, since PHJ wasn't adamant in taking on this role. I read that he had doubts that he was too old to play the character. I guess he "fell in love" with the role's complexity after reading the webtoon. I wonder though if he came into disagreements with the PD during filming. it seems that PHJ had visualized the character differently, while the PD has a mind of her own.

lastly, I do feel that actors need to speak up more, although in a very professional manner. and with this interview, I thought that PHJ was quite professional [Read more]

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The fact that he is speaking out like this means the reality is much, much worse; Korean stars usually whitewash everything for fear of backlash. You need to make nice and be a team player, after all.
How horrible for him, to work so hard on a part: learn all he could about the character, promote the show everywhere, put everything into his scenes, and then have all his work thrown out, scenes re-shot with someone with less experience, less talent, who couldn't even be bothered to read the source material beforehand.

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the cut scene is sold in some website. and currently is got crashed because people access to much into that web.

so they sell it, the cut scene.
like the jung's childhood, or jung's past scene.

it just commercialize for their benefit -_- i read on soompi.

so we curious right,what is on the cut scene.

they sell it separately,that scenes...

feel sorry for PHJ :'(

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If you were his fan you wouldn't want him to get screen time like this. He's getting a lot of hate and sponsorship accusations.

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This is what's pissing me off. I know for sure he can't have any type of sponsor (he started from the bottom & was broke af), but he's getting all sorts of hate for something he had zero control over.

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Yep. This is not a good situation for anyone involved. PHJ gets screwed over by having his scenes cut, but so does Seo Kang Joon by having to replace him. He's getting hate for something he has no control over. It's not even like he actually say no to filming whatever the PD tells him to film. That would not only get him hate, but could jeopardize his career. He's in a no win situation.

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You know what, perhaps PHJ spoke up for the sake of SKJ too, as well as the original writer and the drama writer. If the condition is not cleared, then arent they the one to be blamed? But if PHJ speaks up, then he is endangering his own future. Sigh..

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Exactly! I wish the public can think like this instead of just pinning on the blame on SKJ. He didn't ask for more scenes, so he was just following orders. So, it just sucks for everybody involved right now.

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Although it's not clear what exactly happened, at this point (from what we've heard) I can only feel bad for Seo Kang Joon too – lots of screen time might seem like a good thing, but it can be a bad thing, particularly if it's something he didn't ask for and then has to bear the consequences of when there's a mess like this.

Shippers – unable to see what the bigger picture – get too nasty and start blaming/personally attacking the actors, who probably both had zero control over what was happening.

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Yeah, I feel bad for both of them.

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But thats the question ppl are asking - why would the story unnecessarily tilt in his favour unless there was pressure to promote him ?

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I've heard that that is also being asked in the Korean forums. People are asking: who benefits the most from the changes.

Suffice to say this...can we call it a scandal yet...is not a good thing for SKJ. :(

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@Silkie
There are a lot of people who disagree with you.

And perhaps even you wouldn't find it so if he was on the screen more and his character was explored as it should have been.

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Tsktsktsk...

This might destroy SKJ's career if not handled properly.

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I'm more worried about PHJ's career. How much of a backlash is he going to get from this? Sure the Knetz are mostly behind him now but aren't the powers behind this mess going to try to turn the tide?

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Agreed. I think asking who's the direct benefactor is a fair start to understand why they made this decision because I am baffled as why they made such an OBVIOUS AND STRANGE PATH!! Did they really not think people would notice that the lead is essentially gone from 4 consecutive episodes?!?!?

It's too big a thing to not question the real motive (because it's crazy decision making!!!!)

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RE: PHJ career

I'm worried too tbh. The netizens support can change so easily but he is well received in China, so maybe he will concentrate in China.
He has a new chinese drama coming up, starts in march

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Yes thats right I felt bad too bcause everyone supect him for no reason. He got hating and accuse had a sponsor. He really started from bottom, the only sponsor he have just his agency who trained and raise him. I didnt know why the Production team keep silent and let netter have own thought and speculation.

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@Silkie, the lead character IS supposed to be creepy. So many fans of the original webtoon rejoiced when PHJ was offered the role because he could pull off the duality of Yoo Jung.

Also, the manga's BIH isn't as sunny and cheery as his drama counterpart. I've read some complaints but I personally didn't mind until it became apparent that the show is favoring some actors and shafting others.

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Just because you start of broke af doesn't mean you can't get sponsors down the line. Not saying that SKJ did but to say you know for sure he can't because he started from the bottom is incongruous. Because almost everyone who got sponsors started out from below.

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Yea I agree. It's a pretty difficult situation because most actors aren't informed if they have sponsors or what those sponsors are doing. I'm on the fence over whether he has a sponsor or not but in most cases the actors have no control over this and may reap in the early benefits but will have to face the backlash soon after. He may not even want this but the fact of the matter is that he is the face of the sponsor rumors and he will receive the hate that comes with it even if he couldn't dictate what happened.

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I completely concur. Sometimes fans just can not think logically.

However, I do think this may be a situation of TVN's corporate cultural influence rather than SKJ's "sponsor" rumors. Look at TVN's Reply series, which cemented the stations reputation to lead young, fresh, new talents to the spotlight. It's almost become TVN's trademark to churn out newbies into hit stars.

Perhaps, this is a case of the station trying to maintain their "new star churn out status." SKJ is that young, fresh star. PHJ was begged to star b/c they needed his talents and manhwa fan support. Seriously, if TVN wanted to promote someone, of course, they'd choose the fresh newbie - b/c then they get all the credit for bringing a new talent to stardom.

Who would want to bring an "old" actor of the cast to [Read more]

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Especially they just had cover the sponsorship issue in entertainment industry and several actors speaking against it. So, just saying more screen time for SKJ is not understanding the implication of knets start accusing him of having a sponsor. This could hurt his career as much as hurting PHJ career for speaking up tbh~

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Omona! What a colossal mess.

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I'm baffled. that's all that matters to you? lol

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It's up to you if you like or dislike the lead, but if all you took away from PHJ's acting as Yoo Jung is that he's not expressive and wooden just goes to show that you've no idea what the character and story's about at all.

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+1000

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WORD!!

Watch other dramas of PHJ and see how good of an actor he is.

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I know! I for one was so very impressed with PHJ. It's easier to act out a hot headed character, or a nice guy. But portraying a poker faced, cold creature and still managing to make the character sympathetic takes a great deal of talent.

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Exactly. He does the nuances very well. But some people don't catch nuances.

Which is why it's even more puzzling that they didn't take advantage of having such an actor on board.

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This.

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Are we even watching the same drama? SKJ's acting has improved form his other roles but he is still mediocre at best in this drama. There is no depth in his acting.

On the other hand, PHJ, whom I've only watched in Man from the Stars prior to this and thought his acting as one dimensional, has been amazing in showing the nuances of his character. The subtle changes in facial expressions and vocal inflection he uses to convey emotion has been nothing but superb. I am surprised of his ability as I didn't know he could act this good!

Just look at the fighting scene they had in the playground. PHJ demonstrated an array of emotion in between his punches making SKJ look like a student in a high school play.

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I actually thought SKJ was super cute in Cunning Lady and has improved in this drama but yeah, come on now, he has a long way to go. It's easy to look good when you started from 0 lol

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Yeah, Id have to say we were impressed that SKJ could handle even that role as well as he did because we didn't expect much from him at all.

I was surprised when they first cast him as Baek Inho. Inho was always much bigger and burly and vocal and violent. A gangster type.

SKJ did surprisingly well but he still has to grow. It was a pleasant surprise...until they started shoving him down our throat.

Meanwhile, KGE and PHJ are in a different class altogether.

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+1000000000000

Some people don't notice the details, yet they think they can criticize the acting.

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Preach!

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PHJ did an amazing job, even with most of his scenes being cut off. I like In Ho, but his character doesn't appeal to me anymore, I find him kind of boring, but Jung only makes me wait for his scenes, his intelligence, the way he changes expressions, he may be smiling, but his eyes tell a different story. I only watched PHJ in Man from the Stars, the drama nor the characters/actors did anything for me, but PHJ did such an amazing job in CITT that I want more of him now.

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