There are moments when "Madame Antoine" actually manages to be pleasant enough to be passable romantic comedy material. Ji-ho's obsessing over Yoo-rim is absolutely adorable, and the sheer absurdity of the visuals over their meeting in the cafe was a delight in and of itself. But time and again we're dragged back into reality and I'm forced to remember that the actual lead characters go through these horribly dramatic mood swings over the most trivial topics.
It's actually a somewhat accurate parallelism, looking at the up and downs of the Hye-rim / Soo-hyeon loveline versus how I feel watching the episode. Just when I think that hey, maybe "Madame Antoine" is going to be passable entertainment, Soo-hyeon has to go and reference the stupid experiment again. The verbal ju-jitsu can be amusing in a sort of absurd way sometimes, but given how much Hye-rim and Soo-hyeon knows that the other knows they know, what are they even trying to accomplish?
As usual the psychological case doesn't relate to anything that happens all that well, except to the extent that it shows Soo-hyeon is willing to admit to being a jerk even when it doesn't make sense in the context of the situation. I find it odd that apparently Soo-hyeon has appeared on the cover of magazines yet apparently this did not show up in the vetting process. Were the fans familiar with him solely by written reputation? I had no idea psychologists were famous in such a limited way.
The script is also weird in other parts more subtly. We finally get some exposure regarding Mi-ran's romantic aspirations toward Seung-chan, and a damper is thrown on that almost immediately because apparently Mi-ran is about sixty years old- the same as her actress. I had assumed, charitably, that she was supposed to be younger than that. Then it gets worse- Soo-hyeon consults with his own mother the exact same way he had been talking to Hye-rim's ringer, and I thought we'd just gone back to that dumb plotline before suddenly realizing "Madame Antoine" accidentally pulled an Oedipus on me.
"Madame Antoine" is managing to fumble nearly every single plot point it has- no easy feat considering how many there are. Once again I'm left feeling frustrated that there really does not appear to be any point to this drama. The psychology barely has anything to do with itself, and I find myself wanting to see more of Marie Antoinette because at least I understand why she doesn't make any sense.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Madame Antoine" Episode 12"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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