Where have all the flowers gone?

Behind the hum and routine of daily living, there lay a persistent and wild longing for something not easily put into words

John Mark Green

Title
Alice in Wonder City (2012)
Also known as
Give Alice a Miracle 
Genre
Musical, Romance
Written by
 Wu Luo Ying
Directed by
Wang Li Wen
Country of Origin
Taiwan 
Episodes
16

oh! … brief

A mysterious girl from Japan calling herself Alice, captures the attention and affection of Chen Hai Jie, a hardworking violinist. Alice is searching the secrets of her past and desperately looking for her mother who she believes abandoned her to her grandparents. He falls in love with Alice, but she mysteriously disappears. Chen Hai Jie accepts a position under He Ting Yu, a famous violinist and now master of an orchestra. There Chen Hai Jie meets Lan Die Fei, a young woman with little confidence and no ambition.

oh! … talks drama

I think I just bragged about how wonderful my list of Asian drama and film was in the post before this one and then I blow that right out the water by watching this one. It looked interesting and I did force myself to watch it to its conclusion, but I feel like I wasted my time. I’ve learnt from this experience that tdramas are either a hit or miss thing.

I can honestly say that apart from attractive looking actors and actresses, this tdrama delivers little else! As such, this review will be short.

Wu Luo Ying wrote a script that was so drastically flimsy that it never draws a solid conclusion to all the silly plots going on. Nothing made sense at all and the plots and sub-plots go nowhere at all. The script was filled with holes and illogical thinking that didn’t develop into anything resembling a story with a start, a middle and a strong finish. What was Wu Luo Ying thinking? Very little of anything watched made sense, not even the screwed-up relationships. It’s hard to say what Wu Luo Ying intended with the writing behind this script. There was so little substance to anything and any of the characters. This would be a good example of what not to do with scriptwriting!

The characters are extremely flawed and devoid of emotions or sincerity. The actors and actresses all appeared to struggle with how to be in their roles. The story if fragmented and disjointed and I had a hard time watching, so its no wonder that the performers struggled to bring any soul to their roles and the story as a whole.

As director, Wang Li Wen, try as he might just couldn’t deliver on the visual narrative. That’s what happens when your script is garbage! He did attempt to polish the musical components and there is some beauty in the cinematography that he managed to capture, but it doesn’t pull the production together at all, it just makes the production come across even more disjointed.

The one thing this drama had going for it was its production values. Wang Li Wen did create some artistic value with the wardrobe and sets. The cinematography was passable at worst and in maybe two or three scenes quite stunning, but even that wasn’t strong enough to save this tdrama. I was miserably disappointed.

Given the cast, this should have been a good production but even Aaron Yu and Xui Jie Kai couldn’t pull it off. Adding to the mix of Lara Veronin and Tracy Zhou just made it even more implausible to have any success.

He Ting Yu, famous violinist was played by Aaron Yu. I pitied him for his involvement in this sad attempt at tdrama because he’s typically a good actor. So, apart from his good looks and scowling face, he was in no position to win with this production. Aaron Yu did make his best effort to play He Ting Yu, but it didn’t feel authentic and he shared no chemistry with either of his character’s love interest, Alice or Nan Die Fei. Everything felt forced!

Xiu Kie Kai played Hai Jie and he’s the only actor that I felt came close to pulling his performance off. His performance felt a lot more genuine than any of the others. Xiu Kie Kai gave the right amount of emotion and feeling to his performance as Hai Jie. However, being the only actor comfortable enough to be natural, it didn’t matter how well he acted, against the others he just stuck out because everyone else was all over the place – overacting or underacting. Sad!

Lara Veronin played Nan Die Fei and what a colossal waste of effort and time. She was awful! And her singing the same damn song over and over had me wanting to throw up every time the music started. It was a horrific forced performance with no substance at all, singing or acting. I’ve seen worse performance sure, but this was about as bad a female performance as I have ever come across.

Tracy Zhou as Alice was equally awful. No emotion, no cunning, nothing but bland line delivery. It’s almost as if Tracy Zhou was in script-reading mode from start to end. Tragic!

oh! … sidekicks

There are more than a few supporting acts to draw from for this production, but they were all equally awful and ineffective. Perhaps a shout-out to all those poor musicians and dancers who supported the production with their playing for the orchestra or performing dance routines. They were the best!

oh! … that’s a wrap

Even if you’re a fan of tdramas, Alice in Wonder City just is not worth it!

The storyline is an absolute mess, the script tries too hard to deliver but goes nowhere and the lines for the characters show little thought or creativity.

The cinematography is perhaps the only positive for this show. The music is repetitive, so this cannot even be classed as a musical. There’s just so little good about this show and it’s hard to find the words to describe the good.

Perhaps the only good thing is Aaron Yang singing “The Hidden Truth” for the accompanying soundtrack?

oh! … soundtrack

oh! … gallery

oh! … trailer

Written by