K-dramaMadame Antoine

Madame Antoine ~ Midway Review ~ Dramajjang

MadameAntoineMidwayDramajjang

“December 26, 10:30 p.m.
Finally, sparks began to fly in my mind.”

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This is an article written by Kwon Sang Seung only for Dramajjang.co.
If you’re reading this article elsewhere, it doesn’t belong there.
Read the original article only at Dramajjang.co.

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[*] Post-exam article in an attempt to catch up with the last five episodes of the drama in order to start working on the proper Kwon-views from the this week and on. While mainly presenting my thoughts on the drama so far, i will lay emphasis on the last five episodes since i have already unveiled almost everything i had to say on Madame Antoine’s first three episodes throughout my reviews.

I am in heaven lately and it’s all thanks to Madame Antoine and One More Happy Ending. In the first one there’s Han Ye Seul, in the second one there’s Jang Na Ra and all these pretty noonas, what else could i ever ask for? Well, there’s something and it’s an immense part of both dramas. Emotional literacy; emotional intelligence with a heart. It’s all thanks to Claude Steiner’s approach on the subject and it’s always one of the most essential parameters i take into consideration in the dramas i am watching. Both One More Happy Ending and Madame Antoine lean towards that direction in the most desirable way, but Madame Antoine makes it even more intriguing since Soo Hyun is a psychologist with a diametrically opposed point of view.

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In its own way, Madame Antoine presents health issues that derive from childhood traumas such as the lack of maternal love, the presence of an abusive father and the absence of parents under circumstances that remain carved in one’s mind and heart by giving birth to all the necessary figures that had been missing. I was more than pleased to find out that Jo Eun Ji was behind the figure with dissociative personality disorder. She’s not only a pleasure to my eyes, she’s also an exemplary actress who knows when her character has to break to pieces and when she has to look hilarious and lively to the fullest! She was simply astonishing for one more time and i will miss her (and her personalities). Needless to say that her chemistry with Han Ye Seul in their deeper interactions, but also as partners in partying crime, were exceptional!

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Soo Hyun is strictly scientific and a rationalist while neglecting the emotional intelligence factor because he doesn’t believe in love. He may be exemplary in his field of knowledge, but he fails to approach his patients’ hearts and gain their trust. That’s when Hye Rim and her profiling abilities come into play as she approaches Soo Hyun’s patients in her own way by embracing them or shaking them up until they experience an awakening moment that will eventually bring them closer to Soo Hyun and the proper treatment process. Through Hye Rim, Soo Hyun gradually learns how to be more humane.

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No matter how nerve-wracking Soo Hyun may be due to his experiment, i love the way his relationship with Hye Rim evolves, step by step and through all the necessary collisions and agitations accompanied by the growing feels and the humorous aspects that adorn their interactions! His push and pull technique lessens as episodes pass by as he gradually gets absorbed by the “pull” part. The more he pulls Hye Rim closer to him the more he moves towards her as well! The lessening distance between them becomes a mutual characteristic. Well, it’s 25% on Soo Hyun’s behalf and the remaining 75% applies to our beloved Hye Rim, but Soo Hyun’s almost there too and his moves don’t always derive from his experiment!

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The first palpable proof of underlying feelings made its appearance after the chicken revenge took place around Hye Rim’s mouth and physical contact left its own imprint on Soo Hyun’s equivalent of a heart, his mind. He was desperately trying to remind himself that it’s just an experiment and that his one and only goal was to prove his arch hypothesis correct. However, the signals he was receiving were embedded in white noise (goodbye, digital signal processing!) as they were steadily penetrating his tough shell.

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Hye Rim walks upon her own push and pull pathway which isn’t necessarily one she can control, it’s all about gravity and the war against it every time she receives vibes that warn her to remain cautious. However, Hye Rim’s orbit around Soo Hyun is too powerful and every time she tries to avoid it she gets absorbed by it even more. At some point, the violent free fall with either crush her on the ground or she will land in Soo Hyun’s embrace. The key to unlocking the second door option can be found in their interactions and the soulful amounts she will be able to infuse in his heart while helping him overcome his trauma that is related to his mother after she abandoned him at the amusement park.

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The sense of guilt that made its appearance back then has transformed into the urge to scientifically prove that real love never existed while at the same time it left its own psychosomatic effect that awakens every time a liquid drop lands on his skin. He’s eager to mend his health issue on his own, something he would be unable to achieve despite being a renowned psychologist. Mi Ran plays her own part in trying to awaken him in order to receive proper treatment from another professional, herself for example. Being unable to convince him for now, she asked for Hye Rim’s sincere help since she’s the only one who can awaken the human lurking inside Soo Hyun.

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Soo Hyun has partitioned himself, he’s almost suffering from a conscious form of dissociative personality disorder! We’ve got the human Soo Hyun who constantly falls in love with Hye Rim, Soo Hyun in the role of male subject A who tries to make Hye Rim fall in love with him and then push her away and last but not least, the experiment supervisor Soo Hyun. While being the first figure he steadily becomes the person he discovers step by step. When it comes to the second one, he has to walk upon love’s pathway in an internally clinical way while pretending to be the human Soo Hyn in order to be convincing. As for the third one, he simply has to prove that his arch hypothesis was correct and he tries to restrain the second figure from resembling the first one before it’s too late. It almost is, but someone like Soo Hyun always has some hidden aces up his sleeve.

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I love his notes, they offer a different drama narrative tone where he’s sincere about pretty much everything going on in his mind and heart eventually. All his internal collisions are there in the form of a scientific diary while remaining natural at the same time. The drastic changes he’s going through are distinctive. Every time he finds out she needs help he’s always there for her in his own direct or indirect way, but she was also the only one he needed by his side the moment he decided to visit the amusement park. There’s also the jealousy factor that didn’t only make its appearance every time he was trying to find a substitute male subject A for himself, it was also there in the quirky confrontations with Seung Chan! As for Soo Hyun keeping his distance from Hye Rim, love’s gracious poison had already entered his veins and there was no way he would ever be able to stay away from her!

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There are distinctive approaches on Soo Hyun’s behalf. There are times he wonders how he should proceed in order to bring Hye Rim closer for the experiment’s sake, but there are times he tries to decipher the signals she transmits because he got emotionally attached to her. And the same applies to the moments he tries to restrain himself from diving deeper into her world, it’s either because he doesn’t want to endanger the experiment or because he can’t understand what Hye Rim wants to convey. Of course, there are moments he can’t hold back and the human side of Soo Hyun takes charge; willingly. He doesn’t only get to know her by being with her or observing her, Hye Rim’s interactions with his patients play their own part as well.

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The kiss scene was so beautiful, it  was passionate, natural and it possessed its own dynamics with Soo Hyun taking the initiative after being partially sincere about the experiment. However, trust is a thin red line in Madame Antoine’s world and it can easily break apart with unfathomable consequences in the realm of emotions. The more the time she spends with him the more Hye Rim gets to trust Soo Hyun, but he’s not someone she can trust completely since there are hints that keep alerting her. One of them has to be Seung Chan’s warnings concerning his brother and Mi Ran’s concerns when it comes to the experiment, but the most important sign has to be Soo Hyun’s enigmatic physiognomy and contradictory approaches.

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Sung Joon’s facial expressions are simply priceless, they parade effortlessly one after the other and they could easily forge a smiley portfolio or something! The same applies to Han Ye Seul’s enthusiastic explosions, but there are also the moments when she breaks apart to depict Hye Rim’s fragile world! I like Lee Joo Hyung’s take on Ji Ho, his ecstasy every time he learns something new in the field of love is immense, but there’s also his inexpressive side that paces perfectly well with Ji Ho’s nature as Soo Hyun the 2nd! I am glad that Hye Rim electrocuted his “confession” with brave amounts of truth, this way my silent ship can sail! I am referring to Ji Ho and Yoo Rim, they are so adorable together i hope that he will start diving deeper into her world! I treasured all of their kisses to the fullest!

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Seung Chan and Mi Ran’s interactions are adorable, i love how she wants to spend her remaining time on earth the way she wants to, but i hope that her health issue will be revealed somehow and she will have a change of mind before it’s too late because it would be too painful having to bid farewell such an intriguing character. Jang Mi Hee’s interpretation is wonderful, she brings forth the craving for everything Mi Ran desires before the curtain falls. Jinwoon as Seung Chan is simply hilarious every time he teases Soo Hyun and tries to unsuccessfully join forces with Ji Ho to prevent his brother from marching on! He’s the healthiest contributor to the experiment and after he started falling for Hye Rim his graffiti confession felt essential along with the fact that he keeps nurturing his protective approach towards her by bringing forth in the world of Madame Antoine the immoral characteristics of the experiment. Something i’m looking forward to is chairman Kim’s daughter’s health issue and how Hye Rim and Soo Hyun will work on it.

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Our main couple’s twofold world makes me eager to find out what will happen in the forthcoming episodes. It’s a world in which Soo Hyun tries to earn her heart by impressing her for the experiment’s sake while at the same time he wants to be genuine because he craves to be loved by her and wants to love her back whereas Hye Rim wants to love Soo Hyun and feel loved by him while at the same time she can’t utterly trust him. The moment he realized that she was being overly humorous because she wanted to be of any help when it comes to his trauma he could appreciate her to a wider extent despite the fact that he misinterpreted her intentions in the first place, but she could also open up her heart even more concerning her struggles and emotional concerns.

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The hug was beautiful, but as we reached the drama’s midway ground the key part  has to be Soo Hyun’s declaration of love to the woman that had all the characteristics he disliked, but managed to graciously entrap him in her very own universe. The drama weather forecast predicts further complications since Soo Hyun will eventually have to choose between the girl and the experiment, he can’t have love and the devoid of love outcome he desires at the same time!

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Related Dramajjang.Co Articles:

Madame Antoine ~ Episode 1 Review / Thoughts
Madame Antoine ~ Episode 2 Review / Thoughts
Madame Antoine ~ Episode 3 Review / Thoughts

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This is an article written by Kwon Sang Seung only for Dramajjang.co.
If you’re reading this article elsewhere, it doesn’t belong there.
Read the original article only at Dramajjang.co.

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Kwon Sang Seung

Kwon Sang Seung

elles viennent
autres et pareilles
avec chacune c'est autre et c'est pareille
avec chacune l'absence d'amour est autre
avec chacune l'absence d'amour est pareille
-Samuel Beckett-

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  1. February 19, 2016 at 1:34 am — Reply

    Hello! Very thorough midway review with lots of great insight and things to ponder (thank you very much).

    I really, really love Hye Rim. Her character is very down to earth, can be quite comical and I love how perceptive she can be. She also strikes me as quite realistic (I think because in some ways I feel I have a similar personality). I hope she doesn’t get too blinded by her feelings. Her gut is revealing a lot to her, but her romantic nature is clouding her vision a bit.

    Like you, I really appreciate Soo Hyun’s research notes. He’s claiming it as research, but in his notes he is very honest with himself.

    I laugh every time the droplet falls on his hand. Sung Joon’s reaction seems really exaggerated and hilarious to me. I’m not saying his acting is bad, but he gets so into the moment that it comes across as comical. I think also I laugh because it shows such a contrast to his often stiff character. Sung Joon in general cracks me up.

    We are teetering right now between happiness and utter catastrophe. I worry right now, because once the truth starts to get revealed it’s going to get really ugly.

    • February 19, 2016 at 11:09 pm — Reply

      *hits the gong* BOOYA! And gomawoyo!! XD
      Hye Rim is sooo adorable, she’s both realistic and daydreaming at the same time! The second aspect takes charge a bit more lately and i too hope that she won’t get hurt (too much). You have a similar personality in some ways because you’re Znoona XD
      Yush, that’s why i “named” it some sort of scientific diary, he thinks it’s the adjective, but it’s the noun!
      I laugh a lot too, it’s as if a cosmogony is taking place with each droplet XD I can’t take these scenes too seriously because i recall his various facial expressions! He’s daebak in this role!
      “We are teetering right now between happiness and utter catastrophe. I worry right now, because once the truth starts to get revealed it’s going to get really ugly.” It can’t get more true!

      • February 20, 2016 at 12:30 am — Reply

        Yay! New episode tonight 🙂 … And the preview last week looked good.

        • February 20, 2016 at 5:20 pm — Reply

          Aye!!! The preview ofthe 10th ep is quite booya dare i say!!!

          • February 20, 2016 at 5:31 pm

            To be honest I wasn’t crazy about ep 9. He’s disappointing me.

          • February 20, 2016 at 5:33 pm

            That’s the point in his char, to disappoint since he can’t abolish the experiment overnight! 😀

          • February 20, 2016 at 5:37 pm

            I’m displeased with him. I kinda want him to suffer so he can regret being an idiot. Right now, he doesn’t deserve her.

          • February 20, 2016 at 5:38 pm

            He doesn’t deserve her for sure and i am looking forward to seeing how he will be able to deserve such a precious noona!

          • February 20, 2016 at 5:40 pm

            Ya, he is really REALLY going to have to repent and prove himself.

          • February 20, 2016 at 5:46 pm

            For sure, i can’t think of what he could possibly do in utterly repenting at this point, but i am curious how writer-nim will work on him, so far everything flows the way i want to in the love versus experiment way.

          • February 20, 2016 at 6:04 pm

            I think he needs some serious inner healing. After he deals with his mother leaving, only then do I think he can truly love her and let go of this need to protect himself through scientific research. His research is like a comfort blanket.

  2. February 19, 2016 at 1:13 pm — Reply

    this:

    “Well, there’s something and it’s an immense part of both dramas. Emotional literacy; emotional intelligence with a heart. It’s all thanks to Claude Steiner’s approach on the subject and it’s always one of the most essential parameters i take into consideration in the dramas i am watching.”

    perfectly voiced! i couldn’t agree more and it’s exactly why i love these two dramas at the moment as well. it’s a bit funny how these two dramas so astutely throw the bulk of kdramas into relief. accompanying the emotional literacy is a modern realism and individuality within the characters that is expressed in every aspect of the production, too. the lead female characters are distinctive & individual, from their clothing to the set designs to their peccadillos and personality traits. they are strong women with backstories and layers which are acknowledged without judgement on the part of the writers; we could even say they are respected and recognized for creating these vibrant women. what an immense shift from the shallow norm. it’s a norm that really bothers me, especially when used as a plot device to shame and diminish the female characters in asian dramas….not in these two though.

    i want to add i am really pleased with how sung joon is handling this role. he gets alot of flack from reviewers and i never really got that. he’s doing this one wonderfully and i too love the research notes. it’s a fabulous conflict and dichotomy there in the notes, as he evolves yet fights it he is able to recognize these things. i wonder if she will ever read them. i’ll bet she does 🙂

    thanks for the recap! as usual you give voice to alot of subtext missed by the bulk of mainstreamers! really enjoying this one 🙂

    • February 19, 2016 at 11:16 pm — Reply

      So glad we love both dramas for like-minded reasons! Post-punk spirits roll alike! XD
      Highly agree, the women partaking in both dramas are as natural as they can get (given the drama’s storyline and their own backgrounds) with their own sense of self-awareness and theory in life and love. Kdramas definitely need more great female figures, we’ve had enough of “behind a great man there’s a great woman,” we need that great woman in the spotlight, not in the shadow of a man.
      How can he get lots of flack for his interpretation in this role? o.O I could understand it for many of his character’s features, but not for Sung Joon’s acting itself. He’s distinctive when he lies and pretends, but it’s more than apparent when he doesn’t since it’s a world he currently discovers when it comes to emotions. And his facial expressions are more than hilarious! Chi Ang and Hae Joon receiving love and Sung Joo’s acting getting flacks… XD
      I want her to read the notes as well, especially after she finds out more about the experiment and things get awry, they will be insightful and kind of helpful in her final decisions i presume.
      You’re are very welcome and thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!!!! 🙂

  3. February 20, 2016 at 9:46 pm — Reply

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