The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Madame Antoine

마담 앙트완

Drama: Madame Antoine
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Writer: Hong Jin ah
Network: JTBC
Episodes: 16
Release Date: Jan - Mar, 2016
Cinderella: No



Ko Hye rim (Han Ye seul) is Madame Antoine, a divorced fortune-teller. She insists that she is spiritually connected to Marie Antoinette, but the truth is she can read people due to a keen sense of awareness. She adores Romantic melodramas and dreams of a love like that.

Psychotherapist Choi Soo hyun (Sung Joon) tricks Hye rim into taking part in a psychological test project. His goal is to prove that true love does not exist, and that women especially are incapable of love. Coincidentally, the name for his psychological treatment center is Madame Antoine. ~AsiaWiki (w/edits)


So now I just love Sung Joon even more.

This was good.

Better than good, really.

It was great but not outstanding enough for 5 stars.

I'll get to the reason for that in a moment.

The story was on the original side, and it wasn't formulaic Cinderella stuff since everyone involved (women as well as the men) were all self-sufficient and mature;

kind of

established in their respective careers and therefore not in need of  'a man' to make everything whole and right.

No woman was chased after by two handsome, wealthy swains, and the leading lady was in her mid-thirties, divorced, and with a seven-year-old daughter.

Hye rim runs a quaint Café just outside the big city, and as a part of her service, she reads fortunes under the guise of her being able to channel the late Marie Antoinette (hence the Madame Antoine thing).

What she actually does is hide behind a hand fan and speak basic French phrases she learned in a travel guide. Luckily, a majority of her clients don't understand the language and therefore believe she's actually momentarily possessed by the late Queen of France.

What she's good at is reading people via outward clues such as handbag choice, hairstyle, body language, and mannerisms and is nearly precise at pinpointing the client's actual needs/wants. Nine out of ten times she's spot on, too.

Along comes Psychotherapist Choi Soo hyun (Sung Joon) and his dastardly deed of tricking Hye rim into participating in his latest experiment.

He's bucking for grant money to further his research into the theory that love isn't real and that women especially are incapable of love on any plain.

His half-brother (Jinwoon as Choi Seung chan) a retired baseball player, and a young genius (Lee Ju hyung as Won Ji ho) with a Fellowship are decoys in this experiment and set out to entice Hye rim into falling for them.

Soo hyun is bait as well.

Hye rim is wary of love due to a failed first marriage, but she isn't immune to the emotion or Soo hyun's natural charms.

Until she discovers the truth and then things become all the more interesting.

Both leads have trust issues, and these need to be resolved in order for their relationship to become grounded.

There were also several aside stories that needed the help of both the psychoanalyst and the gypsy, which were interesting but too few and far between to add any depth or value to the plot.

I laughed as much as I shed tears, and I waited anxiously for each episode to upload so that I could get my fill of this one even if it wasn't all that terrific.

Here's Why it Wasn't

Superficial things include Hye rim's oddball wardrobe choices that didn't quite suit her age and sometimes ended up being hard on the eyes.

Hye rim's sometimes behaving more like an immature nineteen-year-old than the mature woman of thirty-six with a failed marriage and a child under her belt whom she is supposed to be.

The overall lack of chemistry between the two leads was a huge disappointment.

However, I will concede that Soo hyun's personality called for his being aloof,

but there were plenty of romantic moments between them that never really gave me the impression it was genuine or heartfelt in either's case.

It was more like watching someone attempt to make two magnets stick together on their positive sides.

She was good in the maternal sense, which is hardly romantic on any level, and he remained man-child throughout: stubbornly refusing to remove the self-imposed blinders and accept anything at face value, including his own inclinations towards emotional commitment, which makes for an extremely difficult love interest.

This also gave a mixed message feel in that it was like watching a Cinderella tweener drama that wasn't filled with KPop boys and wealthy heartthrobs vying for the mousy leading lady's affections.

I had no idea if I was supposed to assume this was a romantic comedy, a melodrama, a human interest, or a bubblegum themed story.

And the inexplicable fact that it starred Jang Mi hee as Bae Mi ran, another psychologist with educational and practice ties to Soo hyun.

Her story and reason for being in this production threw everything off balance and made me very uncomfortable.

The better romance occurred between Hye rim's younger sister and the baby-boy genius working for Soo hyun.


But since that isn't why I wanted to watch this show and they weren't the two leads, it kind of fell flat with me.

The preponderance of age in marriage that is so overrated and annoying cropped up again.

At one point in the story, Hye rim angrily tells her younger sister, who is engaged to the young boy wonder, that her failed marriage was due to their inability to get along and accept each other's differences.

Age 21 or age 31, you don't really know someone until you live with them, so 21 and 31 will experience the same growing pains and the same personality flaws in marriage.

21 might be immature, but not always, and with youth there is growth whereas 31 is definitely set in their ways and much less likely to tolerate change, so where is the logic?

Hye rim finally decides to accept this engagement, but after her sister rattles off a litany of  'to-do'  items that all consisted of financial planning. Not love, family, or reason, but money.

So, it's money and financial stability ALONE that make a marriage, not age or love or wanting to raise a family with someone you're crazy about.


Still not buying it.

Maybe if Soo hyun hadn't dragged out that experiment as long as he had, and after twice insisting that it was over, this might have worked to merit 5 stars.

If the romance had actually blossomed and gone somewhere without all of the push-me, pull-you that went on in every episode, this could have been better.

The Subs

twice now I've seen this, and it makes me very nervous
 I don't think the subbers actually know what this implies

like nails scraping a chalkboard


cool beaded wall

I don't know how he did this

cute couple

pretty boy

yuck, but the background is kawaii!

like a moth to the flame, I adore bright lights and shiny things


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