Madame Antoine: First Impressions

Lee-Joo-Hyung-Sung-Joon-Han-Ye-Seul-Jung-Jin-Woon Ok I’m intrigued, like I was actually interested in this drama before because who doesn’t love a romance comedy with Han Ye Seul (Birth of a Beauty) playing a fake fortune teller, but now that I’ve watched the first two episodes I genuinely hope that the drama doesn’t go down the drain mainly because I can’t wait until Sung Joon’s (High Society) character Choi Soo Hyun is knocked down a peg or two or like five by Han Ye Seul’s character Go Hye Rim who is awesomely feisty. There isn’t really much to say when there have only been two episodes (well three by the time this post gets up) aired so it’s basically more like rough thoughts and impressions. In terms of ratings Madame Antoine kicked off its run with 0.88% which as JTBC is a cable channel is actually pretty good.

The drama follows a pretty interesting plot with one of our leads being an intuitive faux fortunetellers and the other lead is an aloof and cold analytical psychologists who’s apparently very smart if the plaques and awards on his shelf are anything to go by. It’ll be interesting to see how those two come together as they’re such different characters, but you know what they say, opposites attract. The plot for the drama is fairly straightforward though, guy meets feisty girl, guy decides to put girl in place, guy eventually gets put in HIS place and realises that he’s somehow fallen for girl and they lived happily ever after…that’s pretty much the gist of the drama I think. Although when described like that in layman’s terms it doesn’t really make the drama stand out amongst the sea of other dramas with a similar plot line in a way though Madame Antoine is lucky that it’s airing Fridays & Saturdays because there are no major channels that are airing their dramas during that time slot except for TvN’s Signal so there is only a competition between the two dramas rather than a host of four or five.

I do like that the writer is pairing off each of the eligible bachelors with a woman that compliments them and brings out another side to them, although I’d say Seung Chan (Jung Jin Woon) is already pretty lovable like I like the guy already and he hasn’t even done much except like flash those biceps and that adorable smile. The drama does seem to be moving pretty fast though, like I don’t know what they’d fill the time with if they dragged out Hye Rim catching on to Soo Hyun because she’s intuitive so it would be the opposite of her character but then again she’s a romanticist and isn’t questioning Seung Chan and Ji Ho’s (Lee Joo Hyung) sudden interest in her. I have half faith in Hong Jin Ah being able to make the drama work because she was also the screenwriter for dramas such as King 2 Hearts and Beethoven Virus, which were highly successful, but then she also worked on time slip drama Mi Rae’s Choice which was a major flop.
1450656905-98 I love love love Go Hye Rim, like if I met her in person we would click and her vintage bohemian fashion sense is awesome and I want her entire wardrobe, although that does make me question how she can afford all those clothes and the heels that she is constantly seen in because I don’t think that fortune tellers who run café’s make that much, but then again this is drama land so if the lady wants to wear Chanel, she’ll wear Chanel. I actually really liked the scene in which she feels bad for lying to the Chairman Kim because even though she isn’t with her daughter she still wants to set a good example for her and that includes not duping old men out of their riches albeit she wasn’t duping him so she could buy trivial things but she actually needed the money to stay afloat. I love how Hye Rim isn’t your general doormat of a heroine though, but she can hold her own when going up against a jerk like Soo Hyun and you can see that she’s a survivor. I am curious as to what really went down with her ex husband because she told Seung Chan that he had died but we see in a flashback and from a conversation between Yoo Rim (Hwang Seung Un) and Hye Rim that he appears to have left her for another woman.

Can I punch Soo Hyun in the face? How can someone with THAT many academic certificates be so PETTY like seriously does he have NO empathy like ok what he did with Mari and that whole “what does this song mean to you” thing that he did via Hye Rim was pretty cool. But like his whole step by step plan of trying to draw Hye Rim in to his web of lies all because he doesn’t know how to interact with normal society and she does is a bit childish for someone who’s apparently a professor at Stanford. I wonder if he was jilted by a woman he was in love with once, although I think that woman in question may be his stepmother or it could be his mother we haven’t gotten much info on that except that he’s traumatised by dripping ice cream and like a carousel where he was abandoned? Left behind? Forgotten? All of the above? Either way there is a story there and I’m positive that Hye Rim will be the one to dig it out of him.

As for our other two suitors Ji Ho and Seung Chan, poor Ji Ho doesn’t even have a chance like you can see from the get go that Hye Rim finds him adorable but in a cute little brother way and he’s definitely more suited with Yoo Rim. Firstly because he is most definitely more comfortable with her although that could also be because Hye Rim is a lot older than him hence age gap, secondly Yoo Rim is already kind of teaching him how to interact with normal people because seven year old prodigies do not know how to interact properly with people who don’t hold a something smaller than a Masters degree. Our retired baseball player Seung Chan is currently my favourite suitor and definitely the most natural about his role, but then again with a face and body like that he probably has girls falling over him which then makes me question if he does legitimately develop feelings for Hye Rim later on or if he’s just a really amazing actor. I’m not too sure how I feel about the upcoming romance between him and Mi Ran (Jang Mi Hee) either not because I’m against noona/dongsaeng romances but like… there is an age line and even though she’s not dressed like an ahjumma and still looks in her prime I can’t say that I can get fully behind the romance without thinking it’s really odd.

Han Ye Seul Bang Sung Joon Cosmopolitan December 2015 (2) Han Ye Seul is made for these types of roles because she’s got that bubbly and alluring personality that just draws guys in, and she looks like someone who could hold her own in a fight. She’s not the most amazing actress out there but there is no denying that she is made for bubbly yet feisty roles in romcoms. I’m pretty sure this is like the 10th time Sung Joon has played a psychologist, ok ten is probably an exaggeration but he’s played the role a couple of times and with his dry wit and serious looking face he pulls of Soo Hyun so well, so well in fact that I want to hit him I mean uh hit Soo Hyun not Sung Joon cause I probably can’t even reach to hit Sung Joon successfully. I’ve never watched anything with either Lee Joo Hyung or 2AM’s Jung Jin Woon, my one kind of issue or like the thing I can’t put my finger on with Joo Hyung’s portrayal of Ji Ho is whether his character is stiff like that because of that whole child prodigy thing and so he doesn’t know how to interact with normal society hence the awkward woodenness to a lot of things that he does or because this is only Joo Hyung’s second drama after doing the Korean adaptation of Nodame Cantabile and so he’s still in stiff rookie stages of acting. Whatever is the case though in a way it lends itself to his portrayal of the character and fits in the way that you think a child prodigy would be like.

I’m really really really looking forward to Soo Hyun knocked down on his pretentious ass when he realises he’s actually fallen in love with Hye Rim and its no longer a game and he wants to abandon ship because its too much human emotion for him to handle and now his whole thesis has been proven wrong because love is in fact something that is real. Alternatively I’d like to see the tables turned and have Hye Rim question Soo Hyun on his feelings in the cold and analytical way that Soo Hyun did to that poor teacher in episode one, when he asked her all these questions right after he told her that the guy she fell in love with didn’t even have real feelings for her. Or like he could grovel at Hye Rim’s designer clad feet, like if she dragged it out and pretended not to care for him I’d be all for that because it’ll knock him and his ego down a few notches and I’m sure she’s up for the job. I’m not quite believing Han Ye Seul’s role as a mother though because she just doesn’t have that air to her, but then again I can’t imagine the equally feisty and hilarious Kim Hee Sun (Angry Mum) as a mother either and yet she is. On that note if these two ladies got together for like a photo shoot or like some drama/ program special or something it’d be awesome because they’re both really gorgeous and hilarious women, like if they played best friends or something I can see all the men falling over themselves to be with them.

There isn’t much chemistry between Han Ye Seul and Sung Joon yet though or with Han Ye Seul and the other two guys but hopefully it’s one of those like slow burn romances or something but then if we want Soo Hyun to suffer it can’t really be that type of romance. So it could be like one of those dramas where the man and woman both end up playing each other? Or like Hye Rim realises that Soo Hyun has true feelings for her but then pretends not to know and turns the tables on him. I’d really like it if she figured out that all three guys are conducting an experiment around her as well, like I know Soo Hyun’s told her that she’s partaking in an experiment to find her ideal type or something like that but I feel like she may eventually figure out the true intent of the experiment and then there’ll be hell to pay cause you can bet that she’ll have the boys running around chasing their own tails.

Like I said in the beginning though I really do hope that this drama doesn’t go downhill because I can see it being one of those dramas that could do really well if everything pans out.

Madame Antoine airs Fridays and Saturdays on JTBC at 8:30pm KST

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