Friday, 1 April 2016

[REVIEW] Madame Antoine

Madame Antoine (2016, South Korea)

Title: 마담 앙트완
Also known as: Madame Antoine
Episodes: 16
Broadcast Network: JTBC
Broadcast period: Jan 22th - March 12th

Go Hye Rim is a famous fortune-teller. She is known as "Madame Antoine" and insists that she is spiritually connected to Marie Antoinette, but that part is a lie. She can see through people and read their minds using "cold reading" as a technique (a set of techniques used by mentalists, psychics, fortune-tellers, mediums and illusionists to imply that the reader knows much more about the person than the reader actually does). She dreams of having love in a romantic film. Hye Rim then takes part in a psychological test project conducted by psychotherapist Choi Soo Hyun . His goal is to prove that true love does not exist. Coincidentally, the name for his psychological treatment center is Madame Antoine - MDL
Overall Score: 8/10
Character Development: 8/10
Plot Development: 8/10
Acting: 9.5/10
Soundtrack: 7/10

While I did start this drama while it was still airing, it took me some time to actually finish it. I think I marathoned it all the way to episode 6 or 7 and then suddenly I put it on hold because that was starting to get a bit draggy. Luckly enough it picked up again a few episodes after that, and I was able to smoothly finish the whole thing in two sittings. Madame Antoine is not one of those super deep dramas. I'd say, while it does touch upon some psychological elements (and the characters themselves don't grow tired of throwing around fancy psychological terms left and right every episode) it's actually a pretty typical romance comedy. Our main female Go Hye Rim gets without knowing it, dragged into a psychological experiment where the main guy tries to prove that love doesn't exist, but things don't go exactly as planned and they realize they're slowly falling for each other. Oh the unexpected plot-twist. *sarcasm*, well, if you don't expect too much from it, I think you'll actually quite enjoy it. To a certain degree, I know I did. While the plot was pretty simple, I felt like the drama's strong point was the big variety of characters.

Go Hye Rim is not a female lead you see often in dramaland, aside from being a single mom, she's a strong, witty and independant woman who isn't easily fooled by men, and despite the fact that she does fall victim for Choi Soo Hyun's experiment and the constant flirting from the other two supporting male leads, she still never truly wavers to 100 percent. Despite being a hopless romantic she felt surprisingly realistic. She was a 30+ something year old woman, and she acted like one! I don't know why I find this so surprising in dramaland, but I do! The take on romance itself wasn't perhaps the most mature thing ever, but I definitely found the characters strong and likable. I know a lot of people found Choi Soo Hyun grumpy, arrogant and bitchy, but I actually quite liked him. And while the arrogant and bitchy main lead isn't all that unique in dramaland, I found Sung Joon's take on this role quite fresh. And it was because of that reason that I ended up giving this drama a higher score than it probably deserves. And that fact is MARK TO SEE SPOILER  that he actually stayed the same all the way until the end. He didn't turn into the all-nice-guy because he fell in love, he had his believes and while Hye Rim did open up his eyes that love does exist, the personality traits that made him him didn't change. END OF SPOILER.  The character stayed consistant, and that's not something we see very often in dramaland. Sadly.
I also felt like the main couple had very nice Chemistry. but that's to say about every drama that is starring Sung Joon. The guy is a Chemistry-magnet. I don't know how he does it, but it's working. It almost makes me wish he'd starr in a drama alongside Park Shin Hye. No offense to her fans, but to me, that girl is quite stiff when it comes to showing Chemistry and romance. But perhaps someone like Sung Joon would be able to make her feel more comfortable and drown in his smexy and charismatic brown eyes *_* -fangirl drool- <- jupp, Sung Joon fangirl right there. If it wasn't obvious already. Okay back to the plot! X_X Madame Antoine is a cute fluffy rom-com, it did try to go a bit deep and angsty with Choi Soo Hyun's past and all that, but I don't think it hit me as hard as it was supposed to. I don't think this drama ever intended to play off as a melodrama, therefore I didn't let it borther me too much. It played its role as a rom-com well, no complaints there.
Now the reason why this drama wasn't a masterpiece for me (because despite being a melodrama and sagaeuk-lover, I do give rom-com's 10/10s. It's not impossible. Marriage not dating is one of my all time favorite dramas, and that's a rom-com) was first and foremost because of the pacing. I did find it a biiit draggy during the middle part, and while it did pick up by episode 10-ish, MARK TO SEE SPOILER and I  loved the part where Hye Rim realizes what the experiment is all about and decides to get her revenge by doing the experiment on Choi Soo Hyun END OF SPOILER I still felt like something was missing.The Comedy was very good! I liked how Hye Rim switched languages while she did her fortune-telling if her costumers knew french. There was that one guy in particular who almost caught her lying. It was hilariuous to try to see her struggle out of that situation xD. And her "talk" with Marie Antoinette in french made me crack up! I also really liked the scenes between Choi Soo Hyun and Choi Seung Chan. Bromance and brothers who bicker whenever they see each other is like a guilty pleasure of mine xD There was one scene in particular that made me roll on the ground laughing, and that was when Seung Chan tried to prove to Soo Hyun that he does care about Hye Rim so he came up with a scenario that made Soo Hyun panic and then when he admitted that it was all a lie, Soo Hyun got so pissed off that he threatened to hit Seung Chan with a baseball bat xD.
Oh gosh. It was hilarious because Choi Soo Hyun keeps his poker-face or bitchy smirk face on 24/7, so whenever he actually looses it it becomes the best thing ever. Choi Seung Chan as a character however didn't really do it for me. I found him too perfect and one dimensional. I never felt like I understood why he was even there to begin with, other than to serve the purpose of a guy who is the complete opposite of our main lead. I think that was one of the let downs for me, I really think they shouldn't done more with his character. There was definitely potential for something more. Birth of a Beauty,but she totally won me won in this drama! The woman can act and she is gorgeous! I look forward to her next project. Sung comments are necessary xD Jung Jin Woon, hm...I think he was so-so. Not that his did anything wrong, I think my problem was that his character came out as pretty flat and therefore I also didn't feel like paying much attention to the actor overall. I hope in his next drama his role will stand out a bit more. Hopefully he'll pick something else than a romance Comedy, because Seung Chan almost felt like a recycled version of the character he played in Marriage not dating - the always smiley-smiley all too perfect supporting main lead -.-*.  
Same goes for the other supporting male lead Won Ji Ho. I found him very very interesting. Mostly because of his extreme introvert-ness. It was so cute and quite fresh, but it was never fully developed to serve a bigger purpose in the plot and that's a waste of potential. With that said, besides our two main leads, I don't think any of the other characters picked my interest, which is sad because this drama could've been so much better if it had just put more focus on the side characters and developed their stories a bit more. There were side-couples but I didn't really care much about them either. When it comes to the acting in this drama however, I can't praise it enough. I think everyone did a very good job with their parts, especially Lee Joo Hyeong who played Won Ji Ho. I really liked how he portrayed his character. I wasn't a big fan of Han Ye Seul in
The OST was pretty solid. I liked the main track that played at the end of every episode. It made me hyped for the preview but nothing more.

Overall this drama was enjoyable. Nothing outstanding but nothing too bad either. If you're looking for a cute rom-com, perhaps this is the one to add to your to-watch-list!

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