Updated: May 5, 2021
Yoon Tae Yi is from a secret elite team of time travelers who decides to go back in time to raise and ultimately save her child. Unfortunately, there were complications in pregnancy due to her travel in time. Park Jin Gyum is born with alexithymia, which is a condition where the person is unable to identify or understand emotions. This, of course, creates even more complications in raising him. Alexithymia aside, she then tries to hide the fact that her child could be the very thing that the agency of time travelers (Alice) are trying to stop. Years later, Yoon Tae Yi is murdered which sends her son, Park Jin Gyum, on a wild chase to find her murderer. This sends him in a web of confusion, deception, and even leads him to a younger version of his mother. To add more confusion, his father (who doesn't know Jin Gyum was born), Yoo Min Hyuk, is after Jin Gyum to make him stop looking into the agency and return the time card he has. Little does he know that Jin Gyum is looking for his mother's murderer.
Hello, hello my dear reader! I know it has been a while since I have posted my last review but to be honest I hadn't started any dramas that I thought would be good enough to review. I watched Was It Love that is hosted on Netflix. I had a love/hate relationship with the series and I found the main characters to be annoying, to say the least. There were only a few characters that I could remotely like.
Anywhoo, I came across Alice on accident and decided to give it a chance. It was more interesting than I expected. I loved the opening. It was complex, with a little bit of action, a badass strong leading woman, two handsome main leads, and no complication in romance. Look I enjoy a good love triangle as much as the next person but I get REAL frustrated with it sometimes. I seriously want to scream at the screen, "make a decision already!" So, when the romance is clear I love it.
If you are a returning reader you can skip to the next paragraph. If you are a new reader let me explain how I rate my dramas. I rate my dramas on mainly two categories, storytelling, and direction. Under Storytelling, I take into account not just the acting, but the writing, and music as well. It is usually presented as a percentage. Under the category direction, I consider both editing and direction, editing counts for 2 points while direction counts for 3. It'll be out 5. I call them my sticky notes because that tends to be what I write my thoughts on when I'm watching.
For Alice, I gave 86% on storytelling. The acting is great but there are some out of character moments when it comes to the main lead's acting and his character's disability (what I've seen). The writing is another reason I decided to make the series an 86%. I also gave direction a 3 out of 5 because I feel the director could have done certain scenes a bit differently also the editing seems to be choppy during certain parts.
Alright, let's get down to the nitty-gritty. I understand Joo Won's acting, who plays character Park Jin Gyum, and his portrayal of someone with alexithymia doesn't just go down to the acting but to the writing as well. Woo Jin is only portraying what the writer has given. It's just sometimes I feel the character does things that are a bit out of character. Then again, I don't know much about alexithymia.
Another problem I have with the writing is that sometimes I feel the whole time travel thing was well thought out but there are other moments when it feels just a bit messy. As if the writer themselves was unsure where the story was moving or conveniently forgot. This is mainly due to the fact that the writer decided to add a parallel universe instead of using the old theory that life in the future changes if certain events don't happen or happened differently. There are also a few time discrepancies when it comes to Yoon Tae Yi. I'm assuming in the time traveler 2050 version of herself she is in her 30's. Then in 2020, which in the main time era, she is again in her 30's. It just makes no sense to me. I'm confused. The timing is just weird and confusing.
WARNING SPOILER: I've not seen this as much as other people have. However, from what I read on online forums is that they see something happening between the two main leads. This is something that I along with many others do not want because the two main leads are essentially mother and son. Again, I myself don't see it as much as others do. If you do see some romantic something something then please feel free to leave a comment below!
Aside from all the things that I found confusing, I do enjoy the action scenes. The fighting scenes are intense and deserve some hype. Whoever choreographed those definitely deserve an award. They keep you glued and on your toes wondering who will end up with the upper hand. To make the steaks higher many fight scenes are between Jin Gyum and Min Hyuk! If you don't know why I was so flabbergasted and invested in those scenes reread the synopsis. Min Hyuk is Jin Gyum's father (even though they are the same age essentially. . . time travel).
Kwak Shi Yang's acting (character Yoo Min Hyuk) is also subtle and mainly in his facial expressions rather than his dialogue. This is something that I quite enjoy. As someone who hates to see when an actor does not know how to match their facial expressions to their dialogue or looks like they've been put on sleep mode until their time comes to speak, I love this acting. He says WAY more in his face than he does in speech.
Again, this is due to the personality of Min Hyuk. He's a quiet, dutiful soldier who lost the love of his life and child all in one day. He seems a bit cold, but there is something underlying that RBF exterior. All this is basically saying Kwak Shi Yang plays his character well.
Well, that was my shpiel and take on the new series Alice. It is available on Kocowa and Viki, but you have to pay the highest tier to be able to watch on Viki. If you don't have that I suggest trying to find it on Kocowa. If you know another site to watch this series on where it's free, please comment below so that other readers can see. Episode six just came out last week and the trajectory of the series might change in the next 10 that are coming. So, I'll fix and make a follow up if something happens. Also, please leave a comment for me about what you thought of this interesting but confusing drama. Goodbye and until next time, dear reader.
Hello dear reader, I regret to say that I dropped this series. While the beginning promised so much more than the outcome of the end I just couldn't support it or see it all the way through. Now looking back on some of my confusion especially regarding the age discrepancy of Yoon Tae Yi I've realized they did that on purpose from the beginning. I don't like how the writer decided to play out her role its just unsettling to me.
Also, I feel like they had an incredibly useful and versatile actor in Kwak Shi Yang that they did not use to their advantage. His character, Min Hyuk, could have been so dynamic to the plot and even pushed this story to even greater heights but they simply did not utilize the character properly. In fact, they barely used him.
I just couldn't agree with the story telling and it was frustrating me more than it should have. So, I had to let the story go. Originally I gave this series an 85% on storytelling but I think I will demote it to 80%. The writing was sloppy and confusing, certain things happened with the main leads that I didn't agree with. To tell you the truth, dear reader, the only reason I didn't rate the series a 75% is because the beginning was so engaging that I just couldn't. There was so much promise with this series.