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.