So far, 2015 has proven to be a great year for Korean dramas, which is often stylized to K-dramas. As a matter of fact, this year had more popular shows that delivered in viewership ratings (nationwide for South Korea by AGB Nielsen) than the previous year. Yong Pal was so far the most popular K-drama of 2015 with an average of 18.3 percent viewership. She Was Pretty follows behind by an average of 13.4 percent viewership. Producer finishes the top three with an average of 12.5 percent viewership.
Out of all the K-dramas mentioned above, Producer is the one that differs from the other two because the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) did all they could to garner enough attention for the show prior to its airing. Pre-debut vignettes, on-set specials, and even highlighting both Kim Soo Hyun and IU were on the top of their promotions. In the end, all of it worked as Producer became the first K-drama of 2015 to really do well. Now, there is an upcoming K-drama in 2016 that seems to be getting the same kind of attention. Cheese In The Trap is actually so popular, it is now listed in a most popular k-dramas list prior to its release.
The fact that a K-drama, or any drama show for that matter, would already be recognized as one of the most popular when it hasn't aired is ludicrous. How can it be so popular when nobody has seen it yet? Still, that is the case with Cheese In The Trap. To be fair though, the build-up to its release may be why it is already receiving such accolades. The k-drama based off a popular web comic of the same name that was first published back in 2010 was on the forefront of upcoming drama news because of who would be cast as the female lead, as detailed by AsianWiki. The first actress in mind was Suzy of K-pop idol girl group miss A. Suzy, however, declined.
Eventually, the role was offered to Kim Go Eun who initially turned down the role due to scheduling issues, but accepted after director Lee Yoon Jung repeatedly asked her and also adjusted the series shooting schedule to fit her needs. Also, Cheese In The Trap would be Go Eun's first time acting in a K-drama. Prior to this, Go Eun has only appeared in K-movies.
In the end, however, it would be that Park Hae Jin is playing the male lead to be the catalyst for why Cheese In The Trap is on the most popular k-drama list prior to its release, as reported by KdramaStars. Hae Jin, who is known for his roles in K-dramas You Who Came From The Stars, Doctor Stranger, Bad Guys, and My Daughter Seo Young, has also starred in many Chinese dramas too including Far Away Love, Another Kind of Splendid Love, and I Love Leo.
Yet, the one Chinese drama that Park Hae Jin is most known for is Qan Duo Duo's Marriage Story. At one time, it had 270 million views within a week. By the end of two weeks the number of views jumped up to 1.5 billion. As a result of the record, Hae Jin earned the LeTV Biggest Asian Star Award.
Apparently, Park Hae Jin's popularity is spilling over to Cheese In The Trap. A representative for tvN, the broadcasting company responsible for the K-drama, provided a statement to Korean entertainment news outlet Star on how popular their upcoming K-drama is at this very moment.
"On December 12, 'Cheese In The Trap' came in tenth place which expressed the anticipation of the Chinese public."
[Image via tvN/Cheese In The Trap Promotions]