It goes without saying that Alice is absolutely amazing and brilliant. As I mentioned I was hooked from the moment it premiered on its first night, and it just continued to be amazing from beginning to end. I am enthralled by many different takes and versions of the Alice in Wonderland story, and, much like Tin Man's retelling of the classic Wizard of Oz, this modern re-imagining of Wonderland did not disappoint. From the writing and direction to the amazing cast and acting, it was nonstop fun and, although there were some plot holes here and there, I really enjoyed it.
I know some people will probably think that it's ruining the actual story of Wonderland, that they're bastardizing it and whatnot. I disagree, since this is just one of the many adaptations of the story. They just added something new to the recipe, being a modernized take and continuation of the story itself, which timeline-wise can fit perfectly into canon, in certain ways. One of the things I can appreciate of these different recreations of original works is that, when done correctly, they can make for beautiful storytelling in a unique manner, and that is precisely what Alice did. They created an entire universe around the already existing universe of Wonderland and it was quite well-done, and very gorgeous in the setting if I do say so.
I mean, aesthetically the entire series is absolutely beautiful. From the set designs to the costuming (and the thematic wardrobe eras, which were brilliantly designed and fit perfectly in the world of Wonderland) to the color schemes and cinematography and just, um, yeah. Everything. So pretty, very very pretty.
The newly futuristic yet almost demolished-looking Wonderland will come to a shock for most, thinking it'll be all fantasy-looking like in the books. It's still fantasy-looking, but has a darker tone to it, darker than how twisted the books Lewis Carroll created. Just the original and unique ideas of what they've done, with the Queen's casino, the draining of "Oysters" to get emotions which are sold off to Wonderland residents like drugs, it really takes a modernized feel from a fantasy-like concept which makes the land kinda realistic in that sense. Alice isn't the only thing that has grown up. Heh.
The characters were one thing I enjoyed the most, of course. Alice, our main heroine, isn't this damsel in distress kind of character. On the contrary, she kicks royal ass in this miniseries, clad in only red tights, a blue dress and some boots, she has a black belt in karate, a fresh attitude and can take care of herself. She also handles situations by using her brain (ex. she doesn't drink that bottle in the beginning which, in every Wonderland adaptation she always ends up drinking the bottle with the phrases "DRINK ME" -- not this Alice, no sir; she knows that you don't drink RANDOM BOTTLES THAT SAY THINGS LIKE THAT) Alice isn't without some faults though, she has her moments of weakness, such as pining to want to release Jack and to trust him so easily. Although we know this is one of her flaws because of her previous guy issues she's mentioned, this happens to be one of those patterns. But she grows in the end, she learns from those mistakes and moves on from certain things that have been holding her back, like the search for her father, not accepting Jack's proposal even though he was the reason she entered Wonderland in the first place, etc.
Caterina Scorsone does a great job in this role, and I swear I've seen her in something else before, she looked very familiar when the preview first was first shown. Hmmm. But seriously y'all, great casting, and did you see her muscles? Dayum girl, you've got guns like, whoa.
And there is, of course, the character known as Hatter.
HATTER OMG WHAT CAN I SAY ABOUT THE LOVELY HATTER? I LOVE HIM SO FUCKING MUCH YOU GUYS, YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW OKAY. He is such a fantastically fleshed out character, and I read that that's precisely what they planned on doing with this miniseries; humanizing familiar characters from the original Wonderland story in a different way, and I think they succeeded with Hatter quite well. Andrew Lee Potts couldn't have been more perfect for the role even if he tried. HE IS HATTER TO ME, NO ONE ELSE ALRIGHT?! Seriously though, everything involving Hatter made me so happy. I loved that he was honest towards Alice and stuck by her from the beginning, his loyalty shined more throughout especially during Part Two. I just, yeah.
I am also partial to his mighty fine wardrobe, his hat and his amazingly flippy hair surrounding the rim of said hat. Also, I don't normally find guys in guyliner attractive but, Hatter's an exception. ;) And this leads me to the obvious....
ALICE/HATTER!!!! *draws hearts all around them*
I have never fallen in love so hard and so fast with a pairing much like Alice/Hatter, I think the only one that comes close is Dean/Castiel. THEY ARE JUST TOO ADORABLE AND MADE OF SQUEE AND SMILES AND HAPPINESS! I LOVED THEIR DYNAMIC IN PART ONE AND I NEVER THOUGHT THAT THEY WOULD ACTUALLY END UP TOGETHER BUT THEN PART TWO HAPPENED AND I WAS LIKE, OMG THEY WOULDN'T BE HINTING AT THEM HOOKING UP IF THEY WEREN'T GOING TO ACTUALLY, YOU KNOW, HOOK UP RIGHT?! (which apparently is what got people miffed about Tin Man, that it lacked that satisfying romance that Alice did). BUT THEN THEY DID!!!! THEY FINALLY DID!!!! OMG I JUST ABOUT DIED WITH HAPPINESS RIGHT THEN AND THERE WITH THAT KISS. HATTER WENT AFTER HER! HE WENT AFTER ALICE, THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS! FOR HER! FOR HER! :D :D :D :D :D
Sorry about all the capslocking, but this pairing is simply too cute that it's impossible to NOT love them. Just, Alice/Hatter = OTP forever and ever. ♥
As for the rest, this was a great ensemble cast altogether, with a few surprise actors popping out here and there. Matt Frewer being absolutely hilarious as Charlie, Harry Dean Stanton as Caterpillar, Alessandro Juliani (FELIX GAETA!) and OH HAI TIM CURRY! BYE TIM CURRY! since seriously, he was only in the entire miniseries for what, one scene? Kathy Bates as the Queen of Hearts is debatable to me. I think having all these different people placed in Wonderland was lovely to have, and they made for great chemistry in one way or another.
NOW FOR META AND THINKY-THOUGHTS TIME! YOU ALL KNEW IT WAS COMING, DON'T LIE.
The theme of familial ties was interesting to see, from Alice and her father to Jack and his parents, the King and Queen. I liked that we got to have backstories for certain characters like how Alice's father disappeared and was taken to Wonderland, how Jack was rebelling against his mother's demands and actually becoming part of the resistance to overthrow her from position as Queen and her rules, etc. Alice's reunion and heartbreak with her father was so heartfelt, that I was so sad that he had to die because seriously, he just saw his little Alice again after being taken from her. It's not fair. D: But I also really liked Charlie's background story too, because his was definitely sad and kinda redeeming in that heroic way, if you will. I really loved how everything was tied together in some way; Jack knew that Alice's father held the key to stopping what the Queen was producing (kidnapping humans from our world and draining their emotions and selling them to Wonderland's citizens, much like one would do here for drugs) so he escaped Wonderland to find Alice and hopefully his plan would form a coup against the Queen in some way. Which leads Alice on this incredible journey of seeing and understanding things about her life, and of herself. She sees that she can forgive her father and move on.
One thing I didn't like though was the final overthrow of the Queen towards the end. It seemed rather anticlimactic, in a way. But it really wasn't about that though, the miniseries had more things happening that it really wasn't about just overthrowing the Queen from her position. It was about the characters and how they've all grown in their own ways; Jack and the Duchess (who I still think should have gotten more screen time because I LOVE THE DUCHESS, SHE WAS AWESOME AND NEEDED MORE BACKSTORY!), Alice, Hatter, Charlie, etc. Even the King who had done all that the Queen wanted only to appease her, but said "no" this time and stayed inside the building while it collapsed.
Also, the ring. How powerful was this ring anyway, and was it merely just the key to the Looking Glass between worlds, and if so, how were they capturing humans? This was mentioned I think but I just can't remember. It's an old heirloom and meant for something more, obviously, something that establishes Wonderland and holds it together, but we only see it being used as a portal-key and nothing more.
And with Charlie's plan of action, or lack thereof, with his Dead Army of White Knights? How come nobody knew that they were just skeletons on sticks, even after going outside and seeing that none of them were moving? I can't accept that they would be THAT dense, right?
But overall, I absolutely really enjoyed SciFi Channel's Alice miniseries. It was probably the best miniseries I've seen yet, and although I wished it could have been a tad bit longer (if only to squeeze in some missing scenes to fill in blanks and more Alice/Hatter scenes for sure), I'm glad that it was only four hours and not extending it with other things that could have been left out. It went well with the timeframe that it was supposed to, and just yeah, everything about this series made me love it. Beginning to end, loved it.
ALICE/HATTER OTP OTP OTP OTP! ♥ ♥ ♥ THAT KISS BBS, DID YOU SEE THAT KISS! I will forever love that kiss, perfect ending (and still loling at Alice's mother's reaction in the background like, "wtf she was dating that Jack guy yesterday and now today she's smooching on this random guy?" lol XD)
I want my own Hatter in my life, kthx. My own Hatter and my own Misha, and my life would be complete. ♥
Alice will also be available on DVD and Blu-Ray very soon, too. Guess what I'll be getting?