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New KDRAMAS Alert: “Madame Antoine” & “Neighborhood Hero”

Lots of new kdramas in January and these two are probably my most conflicted ones on the list to watch. One seems achingly vapid and the other has baggage from their lead. How do you choose? Do you even try? Seem like I will enlist the 4 episode test* for both of these dramas. Though I think Sung Joon’s might get a 6 episode test because I love him in a strange why do I do this to myself? way.

Madame Antoine 마담 앙트완
 Comedy, romance
Episodes: 16
Broadcast network: JTBC
Broadcast period: 2016-Jan-22 to 2016-???-??

Han Ye Seul as Ko Hye Rim
Sung Joon as Choi Soo Hyun
Jung Jin Woon as Choi Seung Chan
Lee Joo Hyung as Won Ji Ho
Hwang Seung Eon as Ko Yoo Rim

Let me get this out of the way, I have an issue with Han Ye Seul because her last drama Birth of a Beauty was such a let down. I watched the whole thing and I am still bitter. I can take fluffy romances, but I can’t take adults acting like children in fluffy romances. There, I said it. I think I might have made my peace.

Now back to Madame Antoine. This drama is basically about a really good fake fortune teller named Ko Hye Rim. She’s skilled in reading people, but not actually psychicly doing so. Sung Joon plays Choi Soo Hyun, a psychologist who believes true love does not exist. Okay, I can get with this, I think. I like challenging couplings.

Did I mention there’s also noona romance in here as well? Jang Mi Hee is paired up with Jung Jin Woon (of the ballad group 2AM). They have a whooping 33 years age difference in real life. How that plays in the drama will be quite interesting. She honestly doesn’t look 57, so there’s that. Still no matter, I’m always intrigued to see how Korean dramas do May-December storylines, so I’m here for it.
Watch Madame Antoine on VIKI / DRAMAFEVER.

Neighborhood Hero 동네의 영웅
Action, crime, comedy
Episodes: 16
Broadcast network: OCN
Broadcast period: 2016-Jan-23 to 2016-???-??

Park Shi Hoo as Baek Shi Yoon (33)
Jo Sung Ha as Im Tae Ho (47)
Lee Soo Hyuk as Choi Chan Gyoo (28)
Kwon Yoo Ri as Bae Jung Yeon (28)
Yoon Tae Young as Yoon Sang Min (40)
Jung Man Shik as Jung Soo Hyuk (48)

While I’m all sorts of conflicted with Park Shi Hoo coming back, I do have to admit I have been a fan of his acting for a while. It’s hard to “forgive” an actor when the media crucifies him after a scandal, but he’s still legally cleared. It’s definitely a gray area, but for the sake of an amazing cast, I’ll just have to press on. Just like the talent. Just like the talent.

Shi Hoo plays a fallen agent who rebuilds his life in a small town as a bartender. He can’t totally escape his agent life and fights crime in his neighborhood. He takes in an apprentice of sorts with Chan Gyoo (Lee Soo Hyuk) and they protect the town together. Not gonna lie, I’m here for Soo Hyuk. He’s absolutely delightful when he has submissive qualities. He can still play dominant well, but I like his boyish side a lot.

It’s also good to note that Jung Man Shik is back with his first drama in a year. He basically spent 2015 doing not one, not two, but FOUR movies. I wonder if this drama even counts as a break. Nevertheless, I like seeing him on screen. He’s one of the better character actors in Korean entertainment. This cast though, is just really good.
Watch Neighborhood Hero on DRAMAFEVER.

How do you feel about Park Shi Hoo’s return or about Sung Joon’s everything? Comment below or tweet me @cherylfornia!

OhKDRAMA is my new column exploring Korean dramas. Regular posts Tuesday and Friday.

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Sources/images: Dramawiki Network Sites

*4 episode test – An unofficial test that is given to Korean dramas in the dramaverse. First taught to me by India of DramaDebussie.com, it is basically a trial watch of a drama. If after 4 episodes, it does not progress well, you drop it without any conscience.


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