“Cheese in the Trap” captured the cringeworthy awkwardness of Korean drama kisses, during a tongue-in-cheek exchange between Kim Go Eun and Park Hae Jin in the seventh episode of the college series.
In the hilariously innocent scene, Hong Seol (Kim Go Eun) tentatively kisses Yoo Jung (Park Hae Jin), her older and wealthier boyfriend, after discovering his position as a conglomerate heir.
Her haphazard response throughout the exchange helps the scene play out like a parody of other Korean drama smooshes.
The scenario plays like a gender reversal on the K-Drama trope where actresses like Park Shin Hye and Park Min Young deliver wide-eyed responses, after receiving a surprise kiss from handsome would-be suitors.
However, “Cheese in the Trap” maintained the romantic nature of their relationship by presenting a steamier, alcohol-fueled kiss in the eighth episode, realistically providing chemistry between Seol and Jung.
While she was seemingly mocking the standard in episode seven, Kim Go Eun is the latest actress to overcome the dear-in-headlights curse of Korean drama, conquering what is affectionately known as the “dearie kiss.”
Park Shin Hye is the undisputed queen of Hallyu actresses in their 20s but she was plagued by her big-eyed kiss scenes, for quite some time.
Whether it was her startled look after receiving a peck from Jang Geun Suk in “You’re Beautiful” or her shocked expression following a lip lock with CNBLUE’s Jung Yong Hwa, the 25-year-old actress did not fail to deliver “dearie kisses.”
However, her work with Lee Min Ho on “The Heirs” and Lee Jong Suk during “Pinocchio” helped to cure her nervous appearance, ridding her of what had become her trademark look during romantic scenes.
Park Min Young sparked conversation through her tentative on-screen kiss with her then real-life boyfriend, Lee Min Ho, in the action drama, “City Hunter.”
As the series progressed, their love scenes took a more realistic turn.
However, their chemistry was far less than the smoldering chemistry between the 29-year-old actress and her “Healer” co-star, Ji Chang Wook.
The dynamic traversed innocence and friendly banter, escalating to a bedroom scene that helped to catapult both stars to Hallyu fame.
What are your thoughts on Kim Go Eun and her ‘Cheese in the Trap’ kiss scenes? Do you think the dear-in-headlights look is a worn out K-Drama trope or an element that is necessary for the genre? Comment below.