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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Madame Antoine" Episode 6

2016/02/06 | 769 views | Permalink

Yoo-rim (played by Hwang Seung-eon) is Hye-rim's younger sister and I'm spotlighting her this time because she's the main character who tries to do something different this episode by being sneaky like a normal person instead of a psychic / psychological genius. It's lucky for her that Ji-ho is so fantastically ignorant he'll entertain any ridiculous proposal she comes up with just for the sake of science. Personally I suspect someone put pressure on the production team to work more kisses into the story somehow.

In terms of dramatic tension "Madame Antoine" frequently underperforms because Seung-chan and Ji-ho are not credible love interests for Hye-rim. She treats them like kid brothers, and it's not a "think of you as a brother" thing, it's more that they actually really do need an older sister to look after them. Soo-hyeon is a bad influence. He plays lawyer with every possible ethical rule so it's always fun to see him get challenged in the same logical vein and struggle to explain why other people are wrong.

While this is all amusing enough to watch, I'm starting to have doubts about the long-term trajectory of "Madame Antoine". Soo-hyeon is grasping at straws trying to justify his actions and it's hard to blame Hye-rim for just about being completely out of patience. The main issue is that Soo-hyeon is too proud to admit that he's wrong under any possible circumstance, even as his actions go obviously and extremely too far.

It's issues like this that make me wish this drama focused more on the temporary storylines. What I liked about the early patients at the clinic was that we got to see how Soo-hyeon's method differs from Hye-rim's. It was interesting that Soo-hyeon was right, yet Hye-rim was the only one who could provoke a breakthrough. But Hye-rim doesn't even participate in this particular case, and it turns out the psychological issue was just boilerplate Freud anyway. That kind of generic psychosis is hard to make interesting, Star Wars references notwithstanding.

"Madame Antoine" is cute enough when it wants to be, and the wide variety of character reactions is frequently the drama's main strong suit. Observe how when Hye-rim is met with an unforeseen circumstance when fortunetelling, she has one back-up plan, and then another back-up plan on top of that. Hye-rim's intelligence is what frequently makes her such an appealing character- I just wish the drama would give her better opportunities to show it off.

Review by William Schwartz

"Madame Antoine" is directed by Kim Yoon-cheol, written by Hong Jin-ah and features Han Ye-seul, Sung Joon and Jeong Jinwoon


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