Cheese in the Trap Update: Airing Special Episode with Excluded Scenes and Chinese Distributor Upset at Park Hae Jin Screentime Decrease

The epic meltdown that is Cheese in the Trap, both the recent drama story line and the behind-the-scenes mess, appears to have reached a conclusion. It’s probably the best and only thing that can happen to try and salvage the understandable audience frustration and fan anger over what has been one of the most glaring narrative shifts mid-drama that I can recollect. The production of CitT has announced that it will be airing a special episode after the final episode 16, consisting of Yoo Jung scenes that were filmed but not aired, as well scenes that explain more the backstory of Yoo Jung, In Ho, and In Ha.

This move confirms all the recent brouhaha that Park Hae Jin filmed many Yoo Jung scenes that were not aired, and his screen time for the last episodes 13 and 14 noticeably decreased. I’m happy the scenes will be aired but doing so in a special episode out of context can’t undo what has transpired before or reconstitute the narrative which has been sorely lacking in Yoo Jung development. I’ve not been invested so as a bystander this just feels like tacking a band aid on a chainsaw hack, but I guess at least the effort the address the anger counts for something. Maybe? What say you, the remaining actual viewers of CitT?

As a K-drama veteran, I can’t say the mess behind-the-scenes of CitT is all that surprising, there are always things that go on the audience never hears about but can vaguely sense when the end product arrives. What’s surprising is how public this spat became, and how it’s taken over the discussion of the drama at the expense of the story. I don’t even know if the final two episodes will air the way the production intended before all this went out, or will the production change it again as a result of the recent feedback. The scandal will probably benefit the drama with some extra ratings buzz as folks may want to check out the ending episodes just to see how it all goes down.

For the second part of the update – CitT sold to Chinese web portal Youku for the highest per episode price for any cable drama to date. It hasn’t officially aired yet in China since the drama needs to be finished with airing to submit to the Chinese regulatory authority for approval. Youku is reportedly upset at the reportedly decrease of screen time for Park Hae Jin since his popularity in China was the main reason this drama sold for such a high price. Park Hae Jin will be going to China to meet with Youku to explain and defuse the situation, with his agency explaining that Park Hae Jin does not want this to become a bad impression left by K-dramas. Dude, you got thrown under the bus and you’re still going to help the folks out who tossed you under? Impressive professionalism, I must say.


Cheese in the Trap Update: Airing Special Episode with Excluded Scenes and Chinese Distributor Upset at Park Hae Jin Screentime Decrease — 69 Comments

  1. It is a big joke!!. He was used and then tossed aside. I was really disappointed at the decreased screen time of Yoo Jung. But to be replaced with InHo playing piano repeated is a big insult.
    I am glad China has voiced up. As I am very certain when this drama air in China, PHJ’s fans in China will be very angry.

    • It wasn’t just China, I believe the Japanese and Singaporean distributors have also demanded an explanation after the news broke.

      I’m astonished tvN thought they could get away with this tbh. And who knows what was going on with the PD…

      • Really, Japan and Singapore too. Lol, even Korean are complaining, I should not be surprised other Countries who bought rights to air the drama due to PHJ’s popularity in their Country do the same.
        I think the PD has lots of explaining to do. In future I am sure other good actors/actress will work with him with cautions.

      • Repeated piano scene if it is a drama like Nodame is different but Cheese in the trap is not a drama about a pianist. Seems out of place to see him in the four scenes playing piano.

  2. Hi koala can I ask you? Is PHJ really popular in China, or at least well know? I kept gettig people say this isn’t true, and that they never heard much about PHJ in china and that the media play is all lie… I don’t understand chinese so..

  3. Park Haejin and his agency are really good at managing this into his favour. It could’ve gone wrong too.. he could have been blacklisted by industry people for going openly against production in public. You know how things work in Korea. You are not supposed to say anything and just work smiling.

    • The production company may not be that powerful.
      It’s the TV stations. The production company used both Park Hae Jin and the webtoon original author.
      Even the author spoke up so PHJ is making a smart move backed up by his own agency and “supporters”.
      Perhaps even the TV station TVN is backing him up quietly.

      • Wait… Is this show produced by TVN?
        I doubt so coz normally the producers would locate the station who wanna buy and air the program.

    • IMO I think he might of done it so the outside companies don’t think is him the reason for lack of scenes. In me he just gain a fan for life. I love people that know when fight their battles.

  4. This is even worse because it is a pre-produced drama. He has done his part, film his parts, and it was more or less deliberately edited out or replaced.

    • I agree that’s what makes it so surprising. I was actually optimistic about it because it was already filmed versus the shows that are filmed on the fly and sometimes shift gears due to fan feedback.

  5. the fact that they roped in PHJ to sell it to china and then stabbed him in the back i the main reason why this is so unforgivable
    This PD and production should make their money honestly -______-
    they’ll all be rolling in the $$$$$$$ he brought in after shafting him
    dishonest people without any integrity!!!!!

  6. Doesn’t this just make matters worse? It would seem for the fans to see first hand what was cut would just make them more upset. I guess it depends on how they go about it. I wonder if they’ll show scenes PHJ filmed that were redone. The fact that they actually admit his screen time was cut though is the biggest take from this.

    It also makes little sense since the ratings dropped when his time was cut. This isn’t a case of desperately trying to find something to interest the audience to help rating, but going against what everyone wanted and making the ratings become stagnant. It’s just a really strange situation that makes no sense.

    • You summarized it perfectly. Thanks. Their chand of direction is puzzling and showing the unaired scenes seems like an admission of guilt. I think it’s an even worse thing to do unless the last two episodes can conclude in a manner that can satisfy most fans.

      Unless some drastic events unfold, it will take a lot of convincing for me to accept something other than a Jung seol ending coz as of now, their relationship still feels rock solid. Despite the focus on In Ho, my interest is very much still on Jung and seol, separately and as a couple.

      I really hope the drama can conclude sensibly and satisfactorily

    • I bet the deleted scene in Korea will be added to the China, Japan and Singapore production. They will have to sell the re-edited version to those Countries. And sell it as never been seen “Cheese in the Trap”

    • My thoughts exactly. You can’t just shove major character development—for the *male lead* no less—in an extra, disjointed episode and expect that to fix things. If anything, it’s just going to make it more obvious that the narrative got shafted by poor editing decisions. It’s too late in the game for a special to do more than show us what we aren’t going to get.

  7. Well, they already ruined the latter half of the drama for me so they might as well give me a bonus.

    I’ll be happy to watch the extra episode (which I hope will be 90% PHJ scenes). While it doesn’t erase their mistake, it’s still better than nothing.

  8. I think PHJ got screwed big time n this is too little too late.

    I liked the first half but dropped it when it looked like InHo was being ridiculously shoved towards Seol.

    Still, I m still curious to know wny it went InHo way.

  9. Yes the mystery of the editing process. Ok, I get not all filmed scenes can be used, but I’m seriously disappointed….the narrative shifts from the thought provoking main characters (not black and white, lots of grey) to some seemingly formulaic cliche. For penance (from their financial gains), they put out a proper Directors’ cut with the deleted scenes in the story just like what was done for the Tamra Island.

    • Yes! They might as well do what they did with tamra’s island, to this day both versions (shortened and uncut) are still circulating. Although i would prefer of they just re-aired episode 13 and 14 as they should have been..

      Out of interest, for the chinese airing would they edit the episodes to show more jung or keep it as it is? Also, would the show be dubbed or subtitled?

  10. Honestly, this comes way too late. I’d rather they edit PHJ’s scenes back into the drama where they should have been and rerun those episodes (if they can do it for Padam, Padam, then they should surely be able to spare a few days and delay Pied Piper). PHJ’s character has really shone throughout this whole debacle though. The man is such a gentleman, and clearly one who keeps his word.

  11. This is one case where I hope a foreign broadcastwr is able to sufficiently voice their displeasure such that PD has no choice but to re-edit the CiTT drama in Yoo Jung’s favour. As it should be.

  12. lmao. Damn’ Korea you biased” Koreans are so unlike other asians they have Middle-eastern slush Jewish mentality they are so different

  13. I was actually more upset about the shift in focus away from Hong Seoul….she was the main draw to me for the drama…Her growth as a character was interesting and complex. Also fascinating was the juxtaposition with Jung…..her relationship with him and her realization of who he really is. That journey of becoming a young adult and having your first real relationship. The drama wasn’t sugar coating their relationship or making it seem all “love is the moment” for lack of a better term. So the drastic shift away from Hong was jarring…

    As others have said I don’t hate In Ho’s character. He is interesting but his story is not the story I became invested in….its Hong’s story…So when I have the 5th scene of In Ho playing the piano that doesn’t advance the plot at all… when I see In Ho doing push ups in his room for 2 minutes…..when I see In Ho brooding walking down the street instead of seeing Hong studying or meeting with her friends or dealing with her family or Jung and his crazy I start to get annoyed.

    If they had more than 16 episodes it would make sense for them to explore other storylines in this way but as it stands there are only 2 episodes left to wrap it all up and something will be rushed and not be given the care and attention that it deserves. The extra episode with cut scenes is strange…out of context I think it would be just as bad as all of the In Ho stuff…

  14. tvN is getting worse day by day. The “symptoms” were all there but the viewers, that’s US, people, refused to acknowledge. Let’s remember shows that were cut short, fanwars over second leads (need I mention AM’94?), casts were possible with the netizens’ approval ONLY (I don’t like Suzy either, but do we make the shows on our own or do we watch the entertainment projects?), editing out actors because of “scandals” (is PD Na worth of an award as a creator of a variety programme or is he just a “slave” to upper CEOs?) and more…
    The main lead actor has made a serious mistake (exactly like JJM and all his nagging in EK. Considering the fact that even though JJM is older and much more talented and yet he didn’t get the role in Tyrant, we all get how things work in k-ent. It’s all about the team, period).
    And a valuable lesson to all webtoons’ die-hard fans out there: TV can never ever adapt the original material according to your wishes and all the actors need to be more than just the exact “copy” of the characters you’ve read online or in mangas (thank you, Kim Go-eun for being both talented and beautiful. We all remember what happened to Shim Eun-kyung in Nodame Cantabile). Besides the toon’s writer has already spoken out, right?
    And finally: Production teams, PDs, writers, you should all make firm decisions, stop trying to make everyone happy (because that is just impossible). You either stick to your choices or let the netizens write and direct all your projects (plus let them do the editing, too!). A “special” episode that makes no sense whatsoever insults us all, the cast and the audiences. (What happened to one of the best PDs in the industry? Did she “move” to tvN in order to have artistic freedom or just because of money? H2H was amazing even when the plot became so outrageous -I could swear that she and the OTP she chose made a difference nevertheless!)

    • ….except that the production cast and kept Kim Go Eun as Seol despite floods of abuse directed at her for not looking like a webtoon copy, so they were quite capable of taking their own decisions from Day 1.

      And this part: “Production teams, PDs, writers, you should all make firm decisions, stop trying to make everyone happy”

      The writer of Cheese in the Trap did her job and wrote a complete script, it’s the PD who overstepped her limits and rewrote things entirely on her own whim – and large-scale rewriting is not a PD’s job. Lee Yoon Jung may have been one of the best PDs in the industry in the past, but for the last few episodes of Cheese in the Trap, I’m not seeing any evidence of it. And netizens aren’t to blame for the direction Cheese in the Trap has taken up to now, since it’s well known the drama was pre-produced.

    • Fuc* ! Why u need to include Jjm here? Did you just say Jjm made a mistake? they cut his scenes bec of Jcw’s Fans. *bec of $money. So just shut up girl! EK writer owes Jjm a drama with Hjw.

    • For JJM fans and their shippers, I’m JCW fan and it’s true that JJM got shafted in EK, either because netizens’ feedback or production team’s favor, we will never know. But JJM NEVER gets the same kind of treatment as PHJ and FYI EK has 3 leads, Joo Jin Mo, Ha Ji Won and Ji Chang Wook so they SHOULD get equal parts and again EK married to Yuan Emperor in history, what do you gonna do if the drama shows her married to Goryeo King not Yuan Emperor? Viewers would went batshit crazy.

      And JJM actually still had many screentime and important role in every episode compared to PHJ only get 5 MINUTES in CITT. Well, I admit MBC was crazy during this time and even crazier when they aired re-edited last episode for delay broadcast (you can search ep 51 re-broadcast version). This version is what EK aired in other countries too. But TvN is worse!! Like literally 10000x worse, they made PHJ shot so many scenes, they cut his scenes and even give his to Inho, screwed up PHJ, fans and original webtoon writer and never contacted him for vacation (although PHJ later clarified this).

  15. I wonder if the episodes which will be aired in China would be re-editted and the missing scenes included in them just to please the chinese viewers?

  16. I lost interest when it was turning into another love triangle.

    I was so intrigued at the start about how Yoo Jung thinks and how Seol thinks and what’s happening to them both because of their interactions. I wasn’t here for another lame love triangle.

    I feel like the production team only relented because China will get mad about PHJ being shafted. I doubt they would have given in just for the normal knetz and inetz bitching.

  17. Park Hae Jin should not go to explain. It’s not really on him… I was not a fan of Park Hae Jin but after this, I sorta feel for the guy. The whole production should say apologize to him, instead using him as shield in front of complaints.

  18. The online ratings for Cheese plunged by 10 percent from episode 13 to 14, so it’s safe to say Korean viewers have made their displeasure felt in a material form.

    I have nothing but praise for Park Hae-jin, the man must be a saint for putting up with all this and still promoting the drama anyway.

  19. Would like to point out, in the final paragraph about ‘Park Hae Jin will be going to China to meet with Youku to explain and defuse the situation’ is not true. Park Hae Jin’s WM company had clarified that CJ E&M went ahead to published that report without first consulting them.

    • What the hell!!!??? I need to know the production team behind this drama. I will never watch any of their stuff ever again! they are so messed up on so many levels.

    • My god, the shamelessness of tvN, to be doing this to him….

      Just wait and watch, they’ll try to put out dirty rumours about him being unprofessional or conflicting with the PD. Even though he has always had a reputation for being easy to work with. If he felt like he had to do this, how bad must it have been..

  20. chances are its entertainment politics someone lined the producer and director wallet well enough ,gave an irresistible offer or they maybe something happen during the filming, for them to shift the main actor to another actor so that the actor could have higher exposure. Highly doubt the original creator want it the story to develop this way.

  21. Oh, the irony. In their haste to promote the rookie skj for upcoming drama, they enraged drama viewers to a point now that many questioning this show and skj – not in positive light. This admission of ‘special’ episode shows their gilt and probably pressure from China $ and audience. Thank goodness for free flowing internet or we fan of good drama would be kept in the dark.

    • There are some many talks of female actress with sponsor. Who is to say actors do not have sponsors. This is happening in the mist of the sponsor talks. I bet SKJ will be questioned too by netizens.

      • I just read There are already lots of talks in Korea about SKJ being sponsors. The guy is definitely caught in the middle of this politics in a bad way. Some say he is a victim, some say not. I really dont know.

  22. i like PHJ even before CITT but my respect for him rose to epic levels after this brouhaha. he is very professional and ethics unquestionable. it’s true they say that he is a very well mannered person since his reaction over this issue is one of a professional and not a biting comment or sarcasm i’d say.

    as for the YOKOU complaining, they have all the right because they had been banking on PHJ’s popularity in China. even before YWCFTS aired, i read it here in your blog sis that he was that in China.

    for one i can’t understand the shift since, the story is well grounded on Seol and Jung and the public interest did catch on that. it’s not like SKJ elevated the ratings of the drama for his presence. well… i don’t realy know already since it had come to this. but to me, even if you’d give me all Seol and Jung over the 16 episodes, i would never complain since there is so much with their interactions alone to fill the whole drama.

  23. Yes, this is what we got. A special episode? Why those scenses did not put in main episode???? This is how TvN and PD relieve the public. Rediculous!!!! They took advatage of PHJ name then threw him away and treat him bad. And now, under pressure, they still take advantage of him to relieve customer in Korea and foreign.

  24. I lost interest in this drama too. I don’t know why, but maybe it’s because of the results of what’s happening behind-the-scenes like, the second lead gaining more prominence than the main leads in the series right before the drama ends. I’ve seen it happened in other dramas I’ve watched before and it’s sad, really…because it’s perhaps one of the reasons I stopped watching K-dramas altogether… but *sigh* what more can be done?

  25. this is really funny yet sad for PHJ
    I don’t want to downplay the production team but PHJ 1st refused to do this drama and after he agreed,he is the face that they used to hyped this drama, then they shove him like unneeded person after the drama gain the hype train.
    Drama watchers always kinda suspicious in Seo Kang Joon, he rose from cunning single lady smoothly, then land hit in weekend family as supporting actor then he is the lead in hwajung that gets bad response, then his good things in CITT is arguable since all the pd-actor fiasco, I would be surprise if no one blame he has sponsor cause even if he has bad reps, he has all the buzz and hype. That kind of comment will always appear.

    tbh, it wasn’t really just about TvN, it’s the pd team just like all other network. The PD that work Reply now work in Signal and they’ve been good.

    • Wow and here I thought I HAD already read the most stupid comment in a while. Don’t you guys get it!? …this actors have no saying…. Other wise PHJ wouldn’t have been upset!! Smh

    • I know its bad of me to say this, but if this is a Hollywood drama and suddenly the story are changed and become second male lead life story, I would have thought “hmmm, solma, did Seo Kang Joon did any “favours” (sleep) with Ms PD so that he can overshadow the male lead….?” lol

  26. This is all very weird and unfortunate for everyone involved. What does the other side have to say? There has to be a sensible answer, the PD has good shows under her, she cannot hold the story hostage to her whims.

    • The PD said she would not comment on this matter unless the reporter agreed to talk in privacy off the record. She also asked the reporters to ask the high-ups instead of her.

  27. Since everyone agree that Ms PD screwed up big time, I really would love it if they can do a do-over from ep 13 to ep 16. I know, its wishful thinking, but wouldn’t it be nice if this could happen?

    Since I’m never gonna get what I really want, the special episode better be 80% Yoo Jung, 15% happy ending for JungSeol couple, 5% Bora- Eun Taek ending. So, to summarized, 95% MUST have Yoo Jung in it ok…. Oh, appreciate it if they can leave out In Ho and In Ha story out. Piano playing screen time not required…

    What worries me on the special episode is that Ms PD may sabotage it. She’ll show crappy scene of PHJ (maybe the rehearsal part or worse) so that it’ll show that her idea was better all along… Ms PD, you better not give us crappy special episode I tell ya…

  28. A
    I just finished watching the whole drama, I know its too late but still I need to let it all out.
    My friend suggest me to watch this drama, at first I didn’t expect that the drama would engage me in some way because of the lead female is not the korean beauty type (I know I’m judgemental and I was wrong!). But the story caught me because I feel the stugle too as college student, especially because they brought anxiety that in some ways attack ppl around that age.
    I love the drama a lot eventhough there was bts scandal, when I heard about the scandal I thought it would overshadowed me but then I don’t know..I still find the plot good and touching. I know they have replaced Jung’s scene with more In ho’s, yet I still feel Jung’s suffer and see him as lead male, I still love both Jung and In ho.
    And speaking about the ending, despite Jung breaking up with Seol after the accident, its simply beautiful and so unpredictable. Its just reality, unlike most fairytale ending, I know it resolve nothing that they let Jung develop his character offscreen yeah they made mistakes there whereas Jung is the main character who’s story still need to be told.
    It has such a deep message, I think they try to portray that everyone has their own story and strugle eventough In ho’s strugle have been told too much in this drama. Every cast deals with something just like real life, even when seol works at her dream company things didn’t get easier.
    Overall I love the drama so much and still can’t move on. Please if somebody know where to watch Jung’s deleted scene, just tell me it’s so frustrating:(

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