Alice In Wonder City (給愛麗絲的奇蹟)
Synopsis: He Ting Yu is a famous violinist who’s just returned from an overseas tour. Chen Hai Jie is a hardworking dreamer who came to the big city to become a world class violin player. Lan Die Fei is a charming girl who has a beautiful voice and an ear for pitch. Alice is a mysterious girl from Japan who wonders the streets searching for the secrets of her past.
Genre: music, romance
Casting: Aaron Yan, Zhou Tracy, Xiu Jie Kai, Lara Veronin, Yang Gui Mei etc…
I’m not sure my opinion is the most impartial about that drama cause before watching Alice In Wonder City I watched Fall In Love With Me…and I think any drama would have seemed fabulous to me after such crap. But still, I don’t understand all the negative comments I saw about Alice because it wasn’t that bad (I actually loved it!). It was one of the most (if not the most) beautiful taiwanese drama I’ve ever seen. The shot, the music, the violin, Lara Liang’s voice, the colour, the scenery, the few fantastic elements (He Ting Yu’s violon Sirens, the allusion to the fairytale Alice In Wonderland etc…)…all those elements built a magical atmosphere. I felt very calm and in peace every time I was watching an episode.
I was so into this drama that I even dropped all the other ones I had started. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that there weren’t any default cause it would be a lie. But for me this drama was really close from “perfection” (in the taiwanese world). Unlike most of the previous taiwanese dramas I’ve watched, the scriptwriters kept a good pace and didn’t massacre the story. Just for that, this drama deserves a real thumbs up.
He Ting Yu’s character (Aaron Yan) was cliché but that didn’t bother me. He was actually my favourite protagonist (and not just because Aaron was physically to die for…). I liked his cold look and haughty attitude. He was the diva of the orchestra and his every wishes were commands. He seemed insensitive to anything but himself and his music. But like in every dramas, we got through his coldness and discovered his tender, weak side. His past was quite tragic and not really creative (it only reinforced the classical image of musical genius who are tortured by their talent, suffering of too much pressure coming from their parents) but I was fine with it. Actually I would even go as far as to say that I liked that point. It added some spice to the character and gave an even more mature side to Aaron. The only point that took me aback about him was his story with Alice. >>> SPOILER- I was quite dismayed to see them sleeping together and being in a “relationship”. On one side it showed his humanity which was quite interesting but on the other hand I thought the scriptwriters were pushing this story too far. Why did He Ting Yu felt so depressed when Alice left for Japan? was he really in love with her even though he already loved someone else? It went really too far in my opinion and it lead to a botched transition between his relation with Alice and the start of his one with Lan Die Fei– SPOILER <<<
As for Aaron’s acting this role gave my hopes back. I was so disappointed by his play in Fall In Love With Me that I was kind of sceptical about his talent of actor. I’m still not quite settle about his playing though. In this drama he delighted me but I think I’ll have to watch some other dramas with him before cataloguing him in the “good actor” section. And Aaron please! Don’t make me hate you by choosing in the future other dramas like Fall In Love With Me. One mistake:ok. Two: just NO!
Lan Die Fei’s character (Lara Veronin) development was slower than any other one but I think “the new her” was worth waiting for. Sure it was kind of frustrating to see her persisting in her one side love with Chen Hai Jie when the handsome He Ting Yu was right in front of her, eyeing her up (well that’s more a way of speaking). I was also really impatient to see her singing cause I had seen many comments about that and I knew this new element could only fastened her (love) story (that made me even more desperate to see it happen). Frustration, impatience…I think it gave to the result an even sweeter taste. Well I can’t say that I would have been against earlier interactions between Lan Die Fei and He Ting Yu (I would have seen more of their amazing alchemy) but this slow process kept me on the edge and I think that was the “main” reason why I enjoyed this drama that much.
As for Lara Veronin she was a complete stranger to me. I didn’t even know she was a singer for all that matter! I was so shocked when I heard her amazing voice (among all the asian female singer I know about, she has the most beautiful voice). But as for her playing I was less charmed. She had a great alchemy with Aaron Yan, yes but…she also had some overdone facial expression and that was hard to let that go.
Chen Hai Jie (Xiu Jie Kai) marked me less than the other male character. I liked him but wasn’t particularly interested by his story nor his romance even though it was a really pretty one. I admired his pure heart (if his love was not a true one then I wonder what love is!). Maybe I wasn’t interested by him because he was Lan Die Fei’s obsession…and I didn’t want her to be obsessed by him! It might have damage for a bit my appreciation of his character (poor man, it wasn’t even his fault). He was a nice character with a nice personality (playful, free with his music, a good friends). I can’t reproach him anything. He just didn’t shine as much as the other male lead.
Xiu Jie Kai was really convincing in this role. It was the second time I was seeing him in a drama and once again I wasn’t disappointed. I think I’m going to keep an eye on him.
As you’ve probably understood by now, I was in fact only obsessed by He Ting Yu and Lan Die Fie’s romance. The other elements were just a nice plus to the story but that was basically it. And when I say nice, it’s not exactly the truth. Let’s talk about Alice’s character. Overall I was kind of bored by her mysterious story. It didn’t arouse my curiosity even though the scriptwriter tried to build some suspense about it and even went as far as staging some tragic event. Then again the scenario wasn’t particularly badly written. So what spoiled my appreciation of Alice’s character if it wasn’t the scenario? Annoying supporting character! Being with Alice meant to also be most of the time with Lisa… I couldn’t stand that protagonist. Her good samaritan personality bothered me a lot and I was really annoyed when we were spending almost an entire episode talking about her past etc…. And the actress didn’t help me liking her character which worsened the problem. The few interest I had for Alice at the beginning ended up being completely spoiled by the constant presence of Lisa at her side (actually she would have also spoiled He Ting Yu if he had not had a good story backing him up).
I wasn’t really expecting that kind of story. I thought it would be more related to the fairytale Alice In Wonderland (well not to the extent of a remake -it would have been really weird- but I thought there would be more allusions). But the good ost, the aesthetism of the drama, the overall good cast and the smoothly scenario made a result that was more than satisfactory for me . It is worth a big, fat 9! (I hesitated with a 8.5…but I didn’t want to be fair. I enjoyed it too much for that).
Note de Dushbadou: 9/10
Note de Whoovy: 9/10
Note finale: 9/10