Sweet Trap

Sweet Trap

A charming, though cliché, comedy kitchen drama that celebrates traditional Chinese cuisine

6.9

TV Show

China
Mandarin
Drama
2024
Binbin Xie, Peng Yaqi, Tian Xuning

TLDR

Now if we could just lower the volume on the sound effects…

What it's about

Jiang Jie is a talented chef seeking to be considered the best. To do this, he won the prestigious Five-Star knife through a cook-off against one of the seven families of Baichuan, the families that reign over traditional Chinese cuisine. However, one apprentice, Li Nai, seeks to restore her mentor’s honor by infiltrating Jiang’s kitchen.

The take

With over-the-top soundtracks, and an enemies to lovers plot, Sweet Trap seemed like it would be cliché. It totally is, but it’s unabashedly so, learning into these moments like a comforting, well-worn coat, that actually supports its main goal as a celebration of traditional Chinese cooking. The stakes are familiar, but the melodrama is slightly justified, as the series quickly and easily establishes reasonable motivations for the initial enemies, with Jiang Jie out to be number one and Li Nai out to restore her mentor’s honor. Sweet Trap might have all the cliché trappings in Chinese dramas, but it does this in such a charming way that comes from pure appreciation, not utter disdain.

What stands out

Sweet Trap is so funny not because it’s particularly original, but because the characters get so pressed, angry, and dramatic that it’s hilarious. The series might still rely on the overly insistent sound effects, but the cast plays their roles just so overwhelmingly earnestly that it’s so entertaining.

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