I always love stories about fortunetellers so here’s my kdrama review on Madame Antoine. This kdrama is not one of the greats but if you want a light, fluffy romcom, give this a try.
For readers who want to see my Rating of Show, you’ll have to scroll down to the very bottom or else, click HERE to make the jump.
MADAME ANTOINE SUMMARY
Ko Hye-Rim (Han Ye-Seul) is a fortuneteller who is said to have a direct line to Marie Antoinette, the Archduchess of Austria. She doesn’t really connect with ghosts, but rather, Hye-Rim’s success stems from her ability to read people.
It’s hilarious when Hye-Rim starts speaking to Marie Antoinette in French as she spouts French 101 nonsense phrases.
Choi Soo-Hyun (Sung Joon) also goes by the name Marie Antoine but rather than a fortuneteller, he is a young and celebrated Standford psychotherapist. He does not believe in love and makes studies that subvert the idea of love. Hye-Rim catches his eye and decides to make her his test subject.
I’ve written commentaries below. If you don’t want spoilers, keep away! If you want recaps, Dramabeans isn’t recapping (always an ominous sign) but you can find recaps from Noonas Over Forks and Drunks On Drama.
(3/19/2016 Update: I dropped this drama! I just got too frustrated and there were too many new amazing dramas.)
MADAME ANTOINE REVIEW AND FINAL VERDICT
In a nutshell, I REALLY wanted to love Madame Antoine. Hye-Rim was a character I was rooting for. Show had an interesting premise and even the structure of the show, though predictable, was usually a formula for success. Still, it eroded what little interest I had with each episode.
The below is my personal opinion. No offense to those who loved the Show. Here’s a few reasons why Show failed for me.
1. Hye-Rim did not manifest her character’s strengths. I was looking to her showing up the main lead with her awesome deductive skills, charm, and smarts. I didn’t see that though. She devolved into a crazed lovestruck woman.
2. Sung-Joon schemed so much that I got to the point that I didn’t care for him. I also realized that I had a personal bias against Choi Soo-Hyun’s acting. (I gave up High Society because Choi Soo-Hyun and Uee had zero chemistry.) Guy is much loved in Korea though.
3. Writer kept dropping the side stories. They had potential but never reached the best storytelling possible. They also just disappeared and reappeared quite randomly.
4. I know I have more reasons but I don’t care anymore. Haha. See my Rating below.
MADAME ANTOINE COMMENTARIES
Episode 1 and 2:
Love. But what is so great about it that it drives a person insane? No matter what you do, all you can think about is that person. You’re so happy, it’s as if you have the whole world. A kind of love that makes the earth move. It’s so powerful that it even makes you want to risk your own life. I was truly curious as to where that power of love came from. – Choi Soo-Hyun
I had a lot of fun with the pilot episode of Madame Antoine.
For one, I totally felt for the first test subject, the elementary school teacher. Unknowing that they were part of an experiment she signed up for, three men approached her and lavished attentions on her. One was a good-looking gym instructor, the other was a young charming man, and the third was a rather ill-tempered older guy with a hefty monthly income.
Even though the young school teacher seemed to be falling for gym instructor, she eventually chose the older guy with the big income. This appears to support Soo-Hyun’s hypothesis that money is the primary factor to moving a woman’s heart.
I felt so bad for her during the test where she gets her physical reactions (pupil dilation, heart rate, etc) recorded. So, when said lady hits our smirky Soo-Hyun on the face with her notebook later on, I couldn’t help but laugh. That was SO satifsying. (And yes, his nose bleeds after bwahahahaha.)
We also got a taste of Madame Antoine’s fortune-telling sessions. They look so kitschy and fun! I’d love to have a session with her.
I also liked the fact that you get to solve one case per two episodes. I love solving these psych cases. And while the set-up was good and believable, I honestly wasn’t too impressed with how Show resolved the case of Mari, the young gymnast. I’m keeping my positive coat on though.
Episode 3 and 4:
Episode 3 made my eyes and face super puffy from a lot of crying. A lot of Koreans send their children to the US to study English and Hye-Rim seemed to be making huge sacrifices for her daughter to get ahead in this aspect.
It was heartbreaking when daughter chose her dad and her dad’s new wife over her actual mother. I’m thinking what if THAT happened to me and ooof, that is just twisting the knife in my gut.
I also like that Hye-Rim pulls out her Madame Antoine skills every once in a while to delight me but I wish Show would do it more often. If I had any complaint, it’s that Hye Rim is becoming such a lackey of the overbearing Soo-Hyun. (I worry…)
Episode 5 and 6:
Episode 5 made me want to drop the drama altogether because of all the male lead antics. But, love for Han Ye-Seul kept me watching Madame Antoine. If you ask me what Ep 5 is all about, I’d be hard-pressed to answer. I hit the fast forward button so much. (I’m sorry, fans!)
Fortunately, Episode 6 redeemed Show somewhat. It was pretty fun shopping for the new Man Subject A.
I read forum comments and apparently, I wasn’t the only one who died laughing when Hye-Rim was spouting her French nonsense and guy was actually fluent in French! OMG. I hope that never happens to me. Ya know. Pretend in front of somebody who’s actually an expert. He he he.
Episode 7 and 8:
A lot happen in these two episodes which include a new case to solve and Soo-Hyun getting counseled by the veteran lady doctor. I cackled like a witch when she told Soo-Hyun, “This is something I’ve always thought, but I think you’re seriously deficient in something.”
Despite her noona romance love angle, I find the doctor’s character very solid and endearing. She makes a lot of sense in a drama where sense seems to be lacking. (Also, my key takeaway from this drama is that I MUST look as young as the doctor when I’m HER age. She’s amazing!)
Speaking of Soo-Hyun, due to Hye-Rim’s mounting suspicions, he decides to amp it up by confessing his feelings and swooping in for a kiss. When I first watched it as a cliffhanger, I thought, “Eww! Not sexy at all.”
When I watched it as an opening to the next episode though, it came off much better. (Oh look, tongue!)
Here’s some unsolicited advice to all kdrama directors over in Korea, if your leads kiss badly, just angle the camera to hide locked lips so we aren’t scarred forever. Just play some romantic indie song so we can just fire up our imaginations instead.
Back to Show… the case for this episode is one of my favorites. It’s about Yoo Sun, a timid painter with a split personality. Her split personality is Emma, a rocker gal who is fiery and spirited where Yoo Sun is not. Yoo Sun was in a loving relationship but inexplicably, the relationship ended. I won’t write any spoilers about this particular story but I found it sweet that Hye-Rim came to care for the split personality so much and was hurt at the thought of Emma disappearing. The resolution of Yoo Sun’s case was also lovely.
In the meantime, the push and pull between Soo-Hyun and Hye-Rim continue. Does he really like her? Your guess is as good as mine.
Episode 9 and 10:
I hate to be such a wet rag but seriously, my patience with Madame Antoine is reaching its limit. In the face of so much evidence against Soo-Hyun (Haller! You broke into his secret safe and found his incriminating documents!), our female lead still fights to believe the scheming Soo-Hyun. Never mind that Ji Ho and Seung Chan have revealed all. Or that even Madame Antoine is joining in on warning Hye-Rim. Hye-Rim persists to believe in Soo-Hyun regardless of logic and reason.
I also don’t understand the writer for turning Hye-Rim into a bitch and fighting with her sister. I just really hated Hye-Rim this week, especially when she turned on the crazy when she found out about Phase 2.
At this point, our two leads are just two scheming, irrational, and manipulative creatures. The knowledge that they have (possibly) real feeling for each other is cancelled out in the face of my mounting irritation and frustration.
I’ve decided to end my commentaries here.
MADAME ANTOINE RATING: 2.5 stars out of 5
My love to you,