The Meeting of the Face and the Gaze

Yoo Jung (Park Hae-jin) and Hong Seol (Kim Go-eun) in 2016 Korean drama Cheese in the Trap

On the lush grounds of frizzy-haired college girl Hong Seol’s campus roams a bunch of green-eyed beings—stalkers, thieves and one copycat—accusing one another of being weirdos who think of normals like themselves as weirdos. There is also the Mr. Nice, Yoo Jung, whom Seol catches betraying a faint smirk when a flirtatious schoolmate trying to strike up a relationship with him at a party “accidentally” has beer poured over herself. Jung, in turn, catches Seol catching on to his trick and stares back. Such is the chilling tone of the lead couple’s first encounter in 2016 Korean drama Cheese in the Trap. In the time to come, Seol suspects Jung of more misdeeds, while he subtly maneuvers people into harassing her—or at least she thinks. One year later, though, Jung starts acting friendly to Seol too and pestering her to have lunch together. At first flustered, Seol discovers the real culprit behind a misdeed and acquiesces out of guilt, only for him to propose that they date not long after that. But the audience gets to see the incident from the culprit’s perspective and find out that Jung is the puppet master after all. Just what is Jung scheming now?

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