There are a number of ways to approach this show: as a modern adaptation of the novel by Louisa May Alcott; as a mystery-thriller; as a dark commentary on socio-economic inequality.
However, I find it most effective to approach this one as a stylish makjang, because I feel that that’s the lens that gives me the most enjoyment, of this show.
Show is darkly atmospheric and consistently intriguing and twisty – and it’s all pretty engaging and satisfying, when viewed with a makjang lens.
Our cast is strong across the board, with our primary cast putting in great performances, but I have to confess to being most fascinated by the deliveries of Uhm Ki Joon and Uhm Ji Won, and to being most dazzled by Wi Ha Joon’s very handsome face. 🤩😁
Overall, adjustment of expectations is a must – and very worthwhile.
Show is, in my opinion, a solid and worthy follow-up to Season 1, which I had found fresh and wonderful in all the right ways.
This second season, the animation and live-action mash-up still works really well, and our actors do a great job of mirroring what’s going on in their respective cell towns, with their micro-expressions.
The thing that strikes me the most, is that Show really is quite remarkable, in how relatable it is, and at the same time, how fresh it feels, too.
Through my entire watch, I felt like I could relate to so much of what Show was serving up, AND YET, at the same time, I felt like I still couldn’t quite predict where Show was going to go.
If I had to pick just one word to describe the watch experience of this show, it would be “fresh.”
Show is just really good at what it sets out to do. It’s great at mixing the live-action with the animation stuff, and it’s also great at shining the spotlight on all our human thoughts, reactions and foibles. And Show manages to be funny and entertaining, while remaining heartfelt and relatable. Really impressive, all-around.
I’d suggest putting this on your list, even if you were originally going to give it a pass.
This show is very ambitious, in just about every sense of the word. It aims to be this very shiny, expensive, mind-bendy parallel worlds thing, with an epic romance at its center, and it therefore aims to blow your mind and sweep you off your feet, in one fell swoop.
Because Show is that ambitious, though, I feel like it doesn’t quite manage to keep all its ducks in a row, all the way through.
Sometimes it kinda-sorta blows my mind, and sometimes it kinda-sorta sweeps me off my feet, but it doesn’t manage to do either with any degree of consistency.
Ultimately, Show is neither as brilliant as its fans say it is, but neither is it as terrible as its critics say it is, either.
It’s actually not bad, with some slightly hefty lens management.
You know how, when you drive past an accident on a highway, and your brain says not to waste time staring, since that’ll just slow down traffic even more, but as you crawl past in your car, the curious cat in you can’t help but stare in morbid fascination anyway?
Yep. That’s sorta what happened with me and Cheese In The Trap.
Because I wasn’t able to keep current with the episodes as they aired, I was only at episode 8 (ish?) when all the behind-the-scenes drama erupted and everyone got really upset with Park Hae Jin’s heavily reduced screen time in the last third of the drama.
A big part of my brain said then, that I ought to just drop the drama and look away while the going was good, but the curious cat in me was morbidly fascinated by it all. Was it as bad as everyone said, I wondered.
I guess there’s something to be said for spoilers, since I went into the finale stretch having had the ending quite thoroughly spoiled (I couldn’t help reading ending spoilers, even though I’m usually much more spoiler-phobic; not only was I morbidly fascinated, I was also – at times, anyway – trying to decide whether or not to keep watching).
That prepped me for the ending really well, and in the end, I didn’t actually hate it. Gasp!