Once Upon a Time in Wonderland S01E01: "Down the Rabbit Hole"


Oh man, just when I thought I'd handed over enough of my brain to Kitsis and Horowitz, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland was announced and I felt the overwhelming pull that a sea anemone might experience as it's raked back into the shadowy depths of the ocean by a silent riptide. Like, I had to watch it, whatever my initial misgivings (references to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland carry a lot of zesty, rave-y, day-glo-mushrooms-in-an-abandoned-warehouse-with-a-fire-dancer-outside subcultural baggage). But Once Upon a Time in Wonderland parts ways with Lewis Carroll’s epistolary wooing of an eight-year-old girl by aging up Alice, making her a butt-kicking karate master, and inserting a love interest and not one but two super-baddums. By the end of the pilot, we were accompanying our heroine as she made her way down her own version of the Yellow Brick Road with sidekicks in tow. It felt not unlike Oz: The Great and Powerful, less the James Franco.


The show seems to assume its audience completely overlaps with OUAT Classic, grounding some of its first scenes in a tumultuous Storybrooke with no real explanation. Having already made inter-dimensional portals a thing, it feels completely natural for Alice and the wildly charismatic Michael Socha to hurtle themselves into a spinning blue screensaver of a portal, and we nod along at the assumption of several interlinked dimensions (Agrabah, Wonderland, Storybrooke, Victorian England? Victorian England, you know, that independent dimension.) Which great, hey, thanks for saving me the boredom of a world-logic re-tread! Appreciated.


However if they’re catering to an OUAT audience, they have overlooked an important element of why we watch OUAT: First Edition. I’m talking, of course, about Lana Parrilla. J/K! Well, sort of J/K. What feels left out of Wonderland is a real-world storyline. A huge draw of OUAT was trying to piece together who in Storybrooke did what in the Enchanted Forest, and the way the cozy, small-town setting heightened the fantasy elements. Contrasting an uptight mayor or a downtrodden schoolteacher with their “true selves” in the flashbacks was a weird Jungian reflection of how a lot of us feel—that in conforming with our narrowly defined roles in contemporary society, we have lost touch with a more primal, more physical, more true self.


If this pilot is any indication, Wonderland is ditching the introspection and making its home in pure fantasy. There are no real-world archetypes to make parallels to, no mystery to unravel. To me that's a lot less compelling. Restrictions lead to creativity: Take away all the physical rules of this dimension and any obligation to draw meaningful parallels between the real world and fantasy and suddenly you’re staring at a blank page with the first thoughts that come to mind standing in for the best ones. Suddenly your hero is waist deep in literal fluff.


But I digress. Forgive me, my expectations for Wonderland are high. We have to appreciate the fact that OUAT Original Flavor got a spin-off, considering OUAT is Nucking Futs in the best and bravest way, and Wonderland is trying to do its own thing: commendable! And I will take any amount of Mallow Marsh over another CSI: Gooey Body Parts.

Wonderland is pretty straightforward, and its pilot was a textbook case of exposition all dressed up for a party: Alice is a little girl who plunged into Wonderland and when she came back, her Papa was sort of angry about it.



Alice wanted to prove Wonderland is real, but since her dad didn’t believe in her, she wound up in a madhouse, signing away her rights to not have her brain diddled because she believes that her one true love, a genie named Cyrus, fell into a boiling sea. And if your man is gone, what do you need a brain for? Get the lobotomy and a drippy cup for under your chin and chill.


When Alice realized, thanks to the intervention of the White Rabbit and Knave of Hearts, that Cyrus might still be alive, she threw 35 burly asylum orderlies around like Super Mario and jumped right back into Wonderland.


Once back in Wonderland, we learned a few things: Alice can trust no one. John Lithgow’s White Rabbit, who saved her from a lobotomy, is working for the Red Queen and brought her back at the Red Queen's behest. The Knave of Hearts considers stealing her shoes and running away. The marshes are made of marshmallows. Cats eat people. Life is hard, even if it’s as vibrantly colored as a screen saver.

Alice has two things going for her: She has inherited from Cyrus three wishes, which conveniently take physical form as three plastic jewels. And she is also some sort of karate master, although that does little to help her when she’s fighting the oversized CGI Cheshire Cat. (Cue kids screaming. Cue parents wondering if they should have watched CGI: Random Body Parts after all.)


Don't get me wrong: I am so grateful I got to see a tiny lady wrestle with a giant cat, thank you Wonderland. But FIX YOUR CGI. Your CGI lace front is showing.

ALSO: If you want a reedy, skinny heroine, then give her the kind of fighting power that reedy, skinny people have. I love Sophie Lowe , but let’s be real, girl wouldn’t win in a cage fight against a golden retriever. Make her quick. Maybe she’s an expert at throwing bleach on people. Maybe she’s slippery as an eel. DO NOT have her throw people around like Hulk Hogan. Strong girls have muscles they have earned doing strength-training and that’s beautiful, cast one of them if your character being a skilled combatant is important to your story's plot. But don’t give us ladies a whole other set of complexes, telling us we should be WWF fighters yet look feeble at the same time, that’s rude.


Ha me and my tirades. Anyway, so we’ve set up our otherwise winning heroine, her dynamic with her companions, her strengths, and her conflict: She must get past the Red Queen, who wants badly to ruin her life. The Red Queen has her own problems, namely Jafar, or as Emma Rigby/the Red Queen insisted on calling him, Jaffffaaaah.


Jafar, played by Naveen Andrews, was looking so fine until he stepped out of the shadows and revealed his flowing mane of puffed-out Jerri Curl. I don’t know who approved that hairdo, but between him and Robert Carlyle’s OUAT Season 1 Rumpelstiltskin, it’s clear that whoever is in charge of the Hot Toolz thinks Crimper = Evil.

Anyway, we'll trust that they'll fix it (remember Regina's weird insect bangs in Season 1?). Jafar pulled the ol' Darth Vader ghost strangle on the Red Queen, but then she reminded him that he would not know how to locate Alice without her, as he doesn’t understand her realm and there is no Google Street View in Wonderland. Rigby was S.T.Rugglin’ to make this scene work, and she really committed, clenching her throat muscles and doing the whole gaspy bit, but unfortunately, through no fault of hers, it felt a little flat and weird? 


I’m glad we have a Big Boss and a Big Bad, but I’m also confused about why the conflict between them would be escalated this quickly. It certainly undercut the Red Queen’s mythos to see her beg for her life in the pilot. Still, the show dialed her "bad character vibes" all the way up to 11... I think we can handle a little less mustache-twirling going forward.


Anyway. Alice suffered a false defeat when she went into the clearly dark, uninhabited Mad Hatter’s house and realized Cyrus was not curled up hiding in a cupboard like Charles Manson. Then she earned a victory by refusing to stop searching and finding his oversize pendant in the grass. Can we guess that this is another portal-opening totem? It was all she needed to believe Cyrus was alive and well, which he is, in a GIANT BIRDCAGE RULED BY JAFAR!


So, easy arc here: Wizard of Oz, with a Dorothy who intends to rescue a dude in distress and is not homesick for Kansas. I don’t doubt that she will rescue him, is the thing. Then when she does—in the finale—boom, next big problem. I would love to be wrong about this, I would love for things to explode next episode into a morally ambiguous conflict where we sort of root for Jafar or something. One of the things OUAT has going for it—and I’m sorry to keep comparing but the name and interlinking of the shows certainly invite it—is that every character has a certain level of moral ambiguity, with both good and bad aspects to every person. Emma is a savior, but she’s also an angry ex-felon who stole a bunch of watches. Regina is a power-mad evil queen and a dedicated mom. Prince Charming cheated on his wife (with his real wife) but is incredibly brave and loyal. These elements mix like a well-made cocktail and generally yield an unpredictable outcome. Hopefully Wonderland brings in something a little deeper and more unsettling: Alice's dad, Alice's past, more internal conflict. Right now, the show is plucky heroine against cartoon villains: a sweet, colorful soft drink, fun but not intoxicating.


QUESTIONS:

… Wonderland: How did you like it?

… Alice and Cyrus: Enough chemistry to fuel the season?

… Do you think we’ll have any “real-world” subplot? Do you think we need one?

… Where are you hoping this series goes?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 4/3/2014

Season 1 : Episode 13

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I'm guessing the Queen of Hearts will be a good guy by next season. Also, I'm confused - wasn't Cora the queen of hearts? Did this lady replace her?
The Genie is a bit of a dud, but I love the Knave. I'm seriously hoping he turns into the love interest.
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As a "Being Human" (UK) fan, I am so happy to see Michael Socha. I wish the writers would stop wearing out his "bloody 'ell"s. Corny. Also, the CGI is atrocious. I feel like I'm watching Teletubbies.
Love Naveen Andrews but ugh on the jericurl. Who's idea was this? Seriously WHO saw this look and thought it would be....menacing?
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I haven't watched the original so I don't have anything to compare it to. I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Plus... Michael Socha... enough said. :)
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I just watched the first two episodes, and I think you're spot on here. It was enjoyable, but didn't hold my interest all that much. I'm big on fantasy, so I would never have thought I'd miss the real-world storylines, but I definitely found myself wanting some of that here. I wish we could at least get some of that maybe through flashbacks of the Knave, since he obviously lived in the real world. All his little mentions of "real world" things are a lot of fun, and that was when I realized I actually wanted to see some of that.

And Jafar and the Red Queen aren't doing much for me, either. Possibly this is because I wasn't paying much attention, but it seems like there hasn't been much reason given yet for why they want Alice and Cyrus so badly? I feel like it being for the wishes and world domination or whatever isn't enough. I mean, Regina got way more interesting when you realized she wasn't just after Snow because she was jealous of Snow, but because there was this whole backstory where she blamed Snow for Daniel's death. Something like this could be coming, as we're only two episodes in, but I think I need more on these villains soon, because so far, they're not much. The Red Queen especially - she looked so evil in the previews, but like you said, her interactions with Jafar just make her look like a pouty girl.

I'm also skeptical about the romance between Cyrus and Alice driving so much of this, because so far, I'm not much into Cyrus, which makes it hard to care about Alice, since Cyrus is all she cares about. I mean, these writers have done pretty good romance before - the Snow/Charming flashback story all through Season 1 of OUAT was pretty great. This couple is a little boring so far, though.
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It makes sense for the other "real" worlds, because before Rumple did what he did, there was no magic in our world. So all the worlds, like a Victorian england connected to Neverland and Wonderland where there is magic would have to be a different Victorian enland to ours because they have magic and we don't.
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I stopped watching the original OUAT when they killed the sheriff so I don't know that world's rules, but portals between worlds is hardly a revolutionary concept, so I didn't have any trouble following the plot.
I really like it so far, and I like that it's not connected to the 'real world' in any major way - it seems like a pure escapist fantasy show so far and there aren't many of those.
The knave is clearly the most compelling character and so far much more charismatic than Cyrus. Alice is well cast as well, but the villains are a bit too over the top to be taken seriously.
Spending a bit more time/money on the CGI certainly wouldn't hurt, and the parts where it's worse than what amateurs on Youtube produce are really grating, but as long as they put the knave front and center I will keep watching. Kill him and I'm out ;)
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Cora was the Queen of hearts, I think Emma Rigby is the Red Queen, and there should also be a White Queen, and a Lion and a Unicorn as well- yes, it's unnecessarily confusing. But red & white queen = chess, Queen of Hearts equals cards.
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I really liked the show, I know that the CGI was not that great but it can be sorted out. The one character that starts to annoy me is the knave of hearts, the same line "bloody hell" over and over and the same expression all the time, happy, sad or afraid the same face in all the scenes. He also gets a lot more screen time than the others (excluding Alice) and I think that has to be a bit more balanced so that we get to know the other characters well and then it will become more interesting.
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Given the cast, the fact that it was a spin-off, the general plot, OUAT Classic's tendency to walk dangerously close to bad plots cliff, and my high standards when it comes to Alice in Wonderland, I didn't expect much of OUAT in Wonderland.
However, it still disappointed me a bit:

- Isn't CORA supposed to be the Queen of Hearts ??? Who the Hell is Botox Barbie?
- The CGI in OUAT was already pretty bad sometimes... How can they have made it worse? Come on guys! It looks like a bad school project!
- What the hell happened with the timeline?
- Where did Alice grow up? In Wonderland? In the "real world" trying to go back to Wonderland and driving her father crazy? (It was suggested, I think, that time passes more slowly in Wonderland, since Alice was "gone a long time"... I mean... parents don't just loose hope on finding their missing child after a week of disappearance...)
- How can the rabbit go find the knave of hearts in present-day Storybrooke, Maine (and by the way what the hell is he doing here???), and then find Alice in Victorian England? 0_0
Is Alice's Victorian England considered "another world" since it actually is in Alice's book?

Everything wasn't bad, though:

- LOVED Alice's "I'm running in the woods in my underwear" style (though I hope she'll find something to wear eventually).
- Thumbs up for the Knave of Hearts. His acting's good, and he COULD be an interesting character.
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That botox barbie is the red queen, Cora was the queen of hearts, 2 different queens. Hopefully Cora will do a cameo in wonderland...
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Now THAT makes sense! I completely mixed the two characters! Of course! She's the red queen from "through the looking glass"! Thank you, NOW it makes (a little bit of) sense!
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Cora's dead and she's been away of Wonderland for the last 30 years of her life. OUaTinW is a spinoff so it runs at the same time with OUaT. Thus Alice wasn't even born when Cora left Wonderland. Hence is makes perfect sense for her to not be in this show.
If I got that right, Alice went once in Wonderland when she was a child and stayed there for a while. Then she returned but she said all those crazy stories about Wonderland and none believed her. When she became a teen/young woman, she decided to visit wonderland for a second time and get proof that she didn't imagine everything. But she met Cyrus so she didn't return. Not untill Cyrus "died", at least. When she returned, her family sent her to the phychiatric center where the Knave found her and took her back. And this should be her 3rd visit in wonderland. Now about Victorian England, I have no clue. But what happens at the show, happens at "OUaT present time".
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Ok, you "saved" the timeline here! Well... except for "victorian England", for which the only possible explanation would be that Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland's victorian England is not "our" victorian England, therefore it is not in synch our timeline... which almost makes sense, if we forget the fact that Alice's adventures in Wonderland was published in 1865, during the reign of Queen Victoria... so no, it doesn't make any sense!

But what bugs me is that Cora was supposed to be the Queen of hearts quite some time ago, but she does not seem to have been pushed through the looking glass THAT long ago... Well, let's see, given what we've got...

- Bealfire went to... well... England, but this time it was OUR England since he wanted a world without magic, and given Peter Pan's publication dates, it was during the reign of Georges V... But it was J.M. Barrie's England, so was it yet another dimension, as for Alice's?? Let's assume it was our land (since he wanted a world without magic, and then worked to go "back" from Neverland). He then went to neverland where people stop aging. So when he went throug the portal it was roughly in 1910 (for us).

- Quite some time later, Rumpelstiltskin, in his quest to find his son, met the young Cora who then had Regina.

-Then Regina, in her early 20's (?) pushed her mother through the looking glass and started her training to be a powerful vilain. 10 years later (at the most!) she cursed everybody. This was 28 years ago, so let's say Cora was pushed through the looking glass 28+10=38... 40 years ago (I'm feeling generous), which makes it in the 1970's for us, and the curse in the 1980's.


Now, tell me, how can Barbie be the Queen of hearts now? Did she replace Cora after she left wonderland (which was when exactly? Before or after the curse? How long did she "reign"?)
Cora had to have left Wonderland at least 10 years ago, since Alice had time to grow up... Except if Cora was the Queen of Hearts she met the first time, and Barbie the second time...


It's quite complicated right now and I hope the timeline is explained later, because what I liked in OUAT season 1 was that the timeline always made sense! Now it's getting sloppy...
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You can't really calculate according to the publication date because stories like Snow white have been said hundrends of years ago.

I don't really understand what Baelfire has to do with it. Was Wendy also supposed to be at Victorian England? Sorry, I've grown up with different stories (I actually never read Alice in Wonderland).

Anyway, you forgot that Cora didn't spend the 28 years of the curse in Wonderland. Regina sent Hook to kill Cora just before she threw the curse but he just kidnapped her. Cora was at the FL land all this time (she was the reason that one part of it didn't froze).

Knowing that Alice never stopped aging and she is now (at OUaT's present time) 15-20 years old, she couldn't have met Cora.

To sum up, if we arbitrarily assume that the tv show started in 2011 - our time then the curse was thrown in 1983. So Cora has already left Wonderland in 1983. Now, lets assume that 4-6 months passed in OUaT time frowm the time that the show started (in our 2,5 years). This means that there they have 2012 and if Alice is 15-20 years old, this means that she was born in (minimum) 1992, visited Wonderland at 1998+, many years after Cora left.

Regarding Victorian England, they maybe just couldn't make Alice in Wonderland without this element. I'm guessing they're gonna say that it is like Storybrooke, a hidden city that has its own rules. It would make more sense to make the show at the past but maybe they want OUaT and OUaTiW to interfere at some point.

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I "calculated" according to the publication dates because both Peter Pan and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland are placed approximately at those times (there's no "Once upon a time, in a far away kingdom" in those books: the stories were supposed to happen when and where they were written/published, just like Harry Potter is placed in England in the late 20th-early 21st century).

No, Peter Pan's story is a bit later (some 30 years later or so, and Victoria was dead at that time), but I mentioned Baelfire because we have some info on his "journey through time", and I think he's sort of the starting point of this mess (he's why Rumplestiltskin made all his moves!).

Thanks for the reminder about Cora's location during the curse, this part was blurry in my mind, and I don't have the DVDs so I can't "re-watch" it!

Now I like your "timeline" with Cora leaving Wonderland in 1983 and Alice going there in 1998+, BUT although she does meet the Red Queen in "Through the looking Glass" (so when she goes BACK to Wonderland), she has to meet The Queen of Hearts the first time! There's no "Alice's adventures in Wonderland" without this encounter! So who was Queen in 1998?

And I agree, Alice without her frilly Victorian skirts wouldn't quite be Alice, but still, it's weird and I'd appreciate a justification from OUATinW!
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As a pilot episode, I didn't mind all the exposition in getting to know Alice and I kinda like how quickly it got weird (or weirder?) and I'm completely down for the Storybrooke tie-ins -- although it would have made more sense with Ruby closing up the diner??

That being said, it was wild and wacky, had some crazy (good and bad) CGI and I really want to live in the Red Queen's castle.

The worst issue I had is the Red Queen herself. Not just that she nearly came to her demise so quickly but the fact that her collagen injected lips made all her speaking lines absolutely hilarious to me. I just couldn't look at her without wanting to laugh during her lines. Get her to act and speak better and I'm in.

Big thumbs up on the knave and the genie though!
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I kept thinking, the whole time, that the Knave of Hearts looked like a Poor Man's Jake Gyllanhaal. And I approved.
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Watched half the pilot only - this was just plain awful for me. I don't even think it is the actors fault. It was grey, and boring, and I could not care less about Alice and her genie. I found the whole assylum thing totally absurd. I did read ages ago the book and it is a rather crazy story, but this is not that story, and it doesn't even have the same feeling in any way. So all in all, there is not one single reason to give this any more chances.
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Loved the Knave of Hearts.
I hope they give us a look at his backstory ASAP.

This was just the pilot, so obviously it suffered from a case of pilotitis, and the CG was off, but I'll be watching.

The creative team behind this has always been good at developing interesting characters, and I'm already fascinated by Michael Socha. I'm a huge fan of Misfits, and when I saw that Lauren Socha's brother was in this I had to watch. And I'm glad I did.
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First and foremost...Purple Rain = Genius!

I don’t doubt that she will rescue him, is the thing. Then when she does—in the finale—boom, next big problem.

I got this exact same feeling and it's one I was hoping to avoid since it's what ruined OUAT v.1.0. Lifting the curse in the first season took away the best part of the story IMO and from then on, things just started to get silly and I bailed on the show mid way through season 2.

Wonderland picks up where the silly left off, but I thought that might be a good thing. I am however completely unsold that Agrabah nor Storybrook need be involved at all. The crossover of modern day Disney fairy tales gave OUAT too much source material to try and shoe horn into the story line...a story line that had only begun to be told using the base characters introduced in the beginning.

So, if I'm to follow what they're telling me, "Robin Williams" jumped worlds, wound up in Wonderland and fell in love with Alice during her 2nd visit? Does that mean Aladdin, Jasmine, Abu and Iago are all somewhere waiting to be introduced? If they courted while going from world to world, does that mean what's true in OUAT is also true here?

Sticking with just the characters from Wonderland provides so much opportunity to interpret and expand on the novel that I don't understand why it's necessary to water it down with other tales...at least, not from the get go. If you want to establish that this is a parallel world to Storybrooke to leave the options open in the future...great. But I guess my wishing for a "continuation" of Alice in Wonderland was missing it's plastic jewel to make it come true.

I'll give it the 5 episode trial...but I have a bad feeling it won't survive for me beyond that.
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Hmm... Honestly? I didnt really liked the pilot. The CGI is a mess! The story doesnt have a lot potential. And the acting can be better... I'll give it a 3-episode test. Maybe it will improve. Liked a LOT better the pilot of the original...
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Jafar, played by Naveen Andrews, was looking so fine until he stepped out of the shadows and revealed his flowing mane of puffed-out Jerri Curl. I don’t know who approved that hairdo, but between him and Robert Carlyle’s OUAT Season 1 Rumpelstiltskin, it’s clear that whoever is in charge of the Hot Toolz thinks Crimper = Evil.

Just like that, my cup of tea spewed all over the computer screen. To be fair, I really started choke laughing at the whole Purple Rain thing. I thought I was the only one thinking that.

Let's see...OUAT In Wonderland...ummm.....Nope. Can't do it. If their goal was to make me feel as though I was on an acid trip, they succeeded. But trippin ain't my thing, and neither is terrible CGI, lack of chemistry. Soooo much cheese. I'm sorry, but Naveen Andrews and his pretty hair can't keep me watching it.
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I never really got past the pilot of the original Once Upon a Time but thought I'd give this a shot. Was happy to see my "Sayeed" back on tv but I'm afraid that wasn't enough for me. Alice the badazz fightin' machine was a bit too much for me. It made no sense nor did her apparently going back and for to Wonderland for YEARS before she obtained the "proof" she needed to prove she was right. And was it just me who thought the reaction to her stories being flat out lies was a bit much? I mean, her father thought she was dead and she comes back with these tales about Wonderland, I'd think my child was sick, deluded, something but just lies and seemingly anger over it instead of worry? That just seemed off to me. Oh well, gave the pilot a chance and kept an open mind and it was nice to see "Tom" back on TV after Being Human UK but nope, not adding this to my roster either. Scratching this off along with The Tomorrow People.
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Thought it was very poor, far too much CG, and very poorly done CG at that, Once Upon a Time is vastly superiour in every way.
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crappiest acting ive ever seen in my whole life.
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Quaint little show. A fighting Amazon like Alice and an evil queen with blonde twirls that look like a Jessica Simpson reject. Hmmm. Well, I'll indulge the hopeless romantic in me for one or two more episodes and see where it leads me. If I fall asleep and tumble into the rabbit's hole, I'll just wave my remote and send this into my deadpool. :)~~Meow! Down Cheshire down!
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So why is the queen of hearts a young blonde woman when everyone knows she was Regina's mom - old with brunette hair. The character did die in OUAT already yes, but they showed that this all took place right when Emma came to storybrooke - hence she's still alive. Anyways i don't see any chemistry as such between the genie and her. All i think abt the genie is robin williams from the cartoon aladdin.
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The Queen of Hearts (Cora) and the Red Queen (the one in this show) are two separate characters.
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Exactly, the QofH being in Alice's adventures in Wonderland and the Red Queen from Through the looking glass. It's suprising how many people aren't making that connection on these posts. I thought the chess set castle (and obviously her name) gave it away if there was any doubt, lol
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Regardless of that point, OUAT set it up that Queen of Hearts ruled that realm. Even though somewhere in through the looking glass another character existed - it wasn't in this universe! So I'm simply stating that according to this universe how do they justify the introduction of the other character being in Cora's place?
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I was all excited and then boom there was that series of really bad cgi effects, and then I couldn't stop staring at the queens weirdo lips ... will probably watch a good four episodes before I actually come to a decision.
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Definitely not as good as original flavor, at least not yet.

I am going to reserve final judgment until we get a couple more episodes in and this are fleshed out a little bit more. But it's definitely as absolutely insane as original flavor.

I still wish that ABC had held this until midseason...
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The Knave of Hearts is crazy charismatic, I could honestly just watch Michael Sochastarring in a one man show set in front of some loony CGI.
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I am loving it, and all I really need is to watch Will/Knave just be himself because he's awesome.
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Hey, Grumpy and Cinderella, how ya doin'?

Anyway, given what we had to work with, I liked the pilot. I think the problem is the commercials overhyped the pilot...they made it look like the escape from the Asylum was going to take way longer than it actually did.

I am interested in seeing the Red Queen's rise to power, more specifically the circumstances under which Cora allowed it to happen, since obviously she doesn't die until much later. Also looking forward to other Wonderland denizens like the March Hare (a cousin of White Rabbit, perhaps), Dormouse, the White Queen, etc.

I am also curious to see if there will be any flashbacks of Cora/Jafar interaction...it would be creepy and awkward.
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You know Cora is the Queen of Hearts (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), not the Red Queen (Through the Looking Glass). For starters they didn't once call her the Queen of Hearts, and secondly she lives in a Chess Set Castle.
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I know, but if I remember my Carroll correctly, the Red Queen doesn't rise to power until after the Queen of Hearts is already gone.
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If I remember my Carroll correctly, there was no indication that the land through the looking glass had any relationship to Wonder Land. Different books; different cast of characters. They've been conflated through the years in a bunch of not very good movies, but Through the Looking Glass Land was actually a giant chess board.
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It was terrible. Acting was awful (The queen of heart was the worst), CGI was terrible, seriously they weren't even trying.

The story... look... If you want to have a spin off then you need at least some consistency with the original.

The entire premiese of OUAT is that there are very few ways of getting between worlds. Gold had to manipulate an entire lifetime of people around him just to get Regina to cast the curse because that is the only way he could travel worlds.

And yes, we got some magic beans, the compass and the hat but each had some limitations in one form or another.

Adding *more* portal magic makes everything nuts.

And the inconsistencies... Cora was the queen of heart. Sidney is the genie from Agribah and Jefferson is the mad hatter.
How on earth does any of that sit with Wonderland?

Adding to that the stupid cliches, the terrible art directing, acting, writing and frankly boring storyline and I'm definitly not seeing this show making it to season 2. Not at this point.
The original started with an interesting mystery (which was later flushed down the toilet) but it had a strong beginning. This show is flat out awful.
It almost feels like they took everything from the trash can of the OUAT writing staff and just glued it together for a new show.

Jafar does not a good mystery make. They obviously want us to go "hmm... I wonder what he needs the wishing for" but frankly, it's not that interesting.
Heck, it even gave me flashes to the Never Ending Story 2 - and that alone is punishable by death...
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Well they were looking for the Hatter, so I'm sure that we'll see Jefferson.
As pointed out, the Queen of Hearts and the Red Queen are two different people.
Sidney is the Magic Mirror that the Regina has. I too thought that he was a genie as well, so we'll see where that goes.
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Jafar was a decent villain. I look forward to see more of him, but I would like the Red Queen to be vanquished within the season... lol. They should set it up for her to die and for Jafar to be the biggest villain that will stick around, kinda like Regina/Rumple - they are always there while other bad guys show up and are soon gone (Cora, Peter?, Owen & Tamara).
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I didn't feel it needed a real-world storyline to make it good. I don't mind if they spend their time entirely in other worlds. I think they might go there though. They kinda have to in order to explain certain things though.

Storybrooke was a nice touch. I like the way it seemed like OUAT and OUATIW exist in the same universe at the same time(?). The way they explained that the Mad Hatter hadn't been around for a while. I kinda wish it would have been set in a different timeline than OUAT (if it isn't) and that they would have cast Cora as Queen of Hearts instead.
Because, the WORST part of the whole pilot was the actress that played Red Queen - she was truly BEYOND AWFUL! Worst actress I've seen in a long time, those ridiculous inflatable rubber boat lips, the slutty clothing she wears and the overacting was too silly. The biggest miss-cast character in either OUAT show by far! She looks like she belongs in a brothel or a salloon. At least Regina's style as evil queen doesn't look that cheap.

I don't have the same problem as others when it comes to the chemistry between Alice and Cyrus. I think they seemed OK together. Besides, we only got a few glimpses of the two together. We need to see more of them together IMO. I just know that I like Cyrus and I want to see more of his character. He was the most interesting character. I would say they have enough chemistry for the first episode.

Knave is to Alice what Hook is to Emma - the one they don't fit with, but seem to have "chemistry" with. I want it to just be a bond in the form of friendship - not love. They do not fit together either of them. Knave and Hook both seem too dishonest and mischievous.

I find the pure fantasy a lot more refreshing and compelling, since every other show has to have reason, logic, rules and restrictions. It won't be completely bonkers in this show either, but a little is only a good thing IMO.

The other minuses was the poor CGI which looked a little too cheap, and that it felt like it lacked something. Overall I liked the pilot more than enough to continue watching. It wasn't bad, it just could've been better. I give it a 7+/10, but expect it to get better as it goes.
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Oh boy, this was several levels of pants. Terrible CGI, bloated duck mouth queen, cheap Alan Rickman wannabe Jaffar, terrible dialogue, boring plot. I can't believe that someone somewhere thought that the tired Alice in Wonderland story which has been done to death without much success on screen would be a good idea for a spin off. Can't wait to scrap the memory of this off my TV boots. Some sleeping dogs (and rabbits and cats) should be allowed to freaking lie!

Congratulation show you get the Award for Most Useless Spin off with a side of How Not To Film Stuff.
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I kinda liked it, although the CGI was bad. Don't know about the chemistry between Alice and Cyrus, on the contrary there is something between her and the Knave of Hearts in my opinion. By the way Michael Socha is the best character in the show.
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I agree Alice and the Knave had some spark but I think that's because we never really got to see Alice and Cyrus together much. My theory is that across the season the connection between Alice and the knave will get stronger and feelings may develop, and Cyrus will not be escaping that giant cage any time soon
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It was ok. Nothing amazing. Knave was the only character that really held my interest. It'll be interesting to see if Wonderland can improve on the pilot...But (and I pretty much know the answer to this) if the overall arc of Wonderland is the love story between Alice and Cyrus, well this show's gonna fall short. There's no chemistry, and a pre-established relationship leaves little for the audience to invest in. Wonderland's got a lot of work to do to live up to OUAT: Original (and post season 1 that's not exactly a high bench mark as it is!)
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I would have given this a shot but looking at the first screenshot, umm No thank you !!!
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Probably the biggest disappointment for me this fall... I expected so much more after watching the trailer - mainly in a way that OUAT managed to "grow-up" children stories and make their universe and characters more kick-ass. Granted, they managed to do that here as well (in one way only, unfortunately) with Alice's hospital breakout scene but that was pretty much it. The villains were indeed laughable as someone already summed it up. I won't even mention the CGI at this point. I'll probably stick with the show for no more than 2-3 episodes unless it somehow gets really good, really fast.
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OK episode. If the main story is the love between Cyrus and Alice then, why have her spend all of her time with the Knave? I feel like the real chemistry is going to come from them. CGI was laughable as was the Queen and Jafar.
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Personally I loved this pilot! I stopped watching Ouat and I don't really think you need to constantly compare one another because apart from that bit with the Knave at the start there isn't much more to compare. I really loved the whole mental asylum thing, also just because she doesn't appear to be physically hulking doesn't mean she can't kick serious ass, anyone seen Hanna? The CGI is terrible, but I feel as though that is part of the franchise now. Also the chemisty between Cyrus and Alice was brilliant, similarly with Alice and the Knave, I can see a lot of fun is going to be had with these relationships.

I'm excited for more crazy fantasy adventures and the big bads are not bad. Can't wait for more!
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It was OK. Some of CGIs were really bad, but then it is a new TV show/series. I am not sure if I want to watch more.
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Why does she get old soo quick? how does she get back to wonderland when shes older? there is a huge hole from when she was a kid to older... and why is the genie soo damn weak, why isn't he powerful like Jafar... OUAT original's character's were never soo magicless....good and bad... OUAT left us with mysteries , this show seems to leave us with allot of plot holes to fill....its annoying... OUAT started out with individual stories that came together beautifully ... this is just annoying
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Alice repeatedly returned to Wonderland. It was mentioned in the asylum "Your frequent disappearances". The Genie is weak because Alice set him free.
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i know that but i dont like it
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The villains suck. Other than that, it's alright and could be good. I do love Michael Socha and his eyebrows.
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eh... wasn't at all impressed. for it to be based in Wonderland, it had no sense of wonder.
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This was great I like this show and will stick with it. Alice was a very convincing ninja I like how in both this show and once upon a time the female fairy tale characters are strong and can hold there own in a fight.
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If I put the timeline together properly, Alice spent several years running off to Wonderland (and freaking out her father with her disappearances). So she had plenty of time to learn streetfighting style. Alice's reawakening when she found out Cyrus wasn't soup, and subsequent asylum-breakout was when I actually started liking the show- she was so weepy to start with that rearranging her brain wasn't quite as terrifying a prospect as we were supposed to think. If this was how Belle felt during her sojourn in the hospital basement, it explains a lot.
The Red Queen has a lot to live up to, fashionwise and in the depiction of evil (Lana rules!). But I had to giggle at Jafar, after Emma's "perms and waxed moustaches" Sunday.
If they do tie things in to present-day Storybrooke, I'd like to see the Knave meet up with Ruby! (Maybe that's why he was breaking into the diner...)
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Dracomom - since Red left Storybrooke to play "Intelligence" with old, wrinkled Josh Holloway - I fear we'll never see her again.

So we can forget about pairing her with Knave (she, Knave and Belle would make a perfect love triangle).
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TPTB have said Ruby will appear eventually later in Once.
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Don't be so sure about that. Everyone assumed that due to his involvement with Revolution, Sidney is gone for good.

He did make an appearance this season.

But I don't see any point in interactions of wonderland and original characters, until the point where wonderland would be in danger of cancelation then they'll quickly do cross overs to raise ratings.
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Well, I suspect Esposito's part from last episode was recorded outside of OUAT's set (after all it was just a talking head in a freaking mirror). I don't think that would work for Red.
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Well I'm glad he did make an appearance, even if it was just his voice. After all that's all you really need for a number of his flashbacks and it doesn't take much to get him to record at the nearest studio. And i assume Intelligence films in British Columbia as well so I'd like to see a small cameo or two of Red since all these characters are unable to leave town and have no beans or portals left to escape otherwise. And it looks like Cinderella's back (was upset that they didn't even mention what happened to her and other cast members of season 1 hat no longer appeared in s2. They can mention them in passing and pretend they are in town.)
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It would only be fair for Ruby to get the storylines she was promised... maybe I can snag one of those wish-gems out of Alice's bootheel!
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I've said this before and I'll say it again. Aging up Alice, making her a martial artist, and giving her a love interest are absolutely ruinous to her as a character; the fact that she was she was still forming; still curious about the world around her, trying to form her identity is what made her compelling. And you made a great point; they could've written her as needing to get out of situations by being clever; by using her mind. This show looks like a mess.
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It was okay to me. I don't feel that strongly about the main romance. With Snow and Charming they've been together for the audience long before OUAT. But for Alice and Cyrus, it hard to root for them when their romance was so short lived for us.
-The Red Queen isn't evil enough, at least not yet. Also she's really going to have to step the red wardrobe up. It's difficult not to compare her to Regina then be completely let down.
-I usually love the bad guys, but so far neither seem extremely powerful or smart. It was nice to see people fear Regina and Rumple. But Big Red and Jafar seem to have to rely on tricking our heroes. Where rumple just liked tricking people, and Regina had no times for games. Really having trouble figuring out why Jafar just didn't snatch the genie and why they wanted Alice to believe he was dead only to bring her back.
-Maybe neither are as heartless, idk.
-Are they really not going to have The Mad Hatter in this series? I understand Jefferson quit and is in Storybrooke watching over his daughter, but they really could have deleted that scene and say this was set before he even had a daughter.
-They really can't keep this entire show in CGI can they, please no.
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My guess?
Jafar wants the genie wishes to himself, but he can't use the wishes until the previous owner completes his (or her) 3 wishes.
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-So he didn't know that Alice had wishes left I'm guessing? Well I get that, but they're still doing it in a round about way.
-It's very difficult to not compare the two series and what our other characters would do in this situation. Like use Alice as leverage for the Genie if he doesn't tell him where the lamp is and to grant his wishes. Do you think true love is the main plot here also like in OUAT? Because for many characters it was how they got in bad situations but also how they overcame them.
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I like the fact that the show opened up a few more worlds
Aladdin world and Victorian England (this maybe the world Neal landed on)
and even OUAT already introduced QUAT camelot the possibility are endless.What I don't get is why Wonderland has a yellow brick road since It is taken from the Wizard of Oz which should get a world of its own

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It was more of a checker brick road. And, to be clear, Camelot is part of the world of the Enchanted Forest.
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Agrabah was mentioned in "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree" as part of the Enchanted Forest world. Sidney/The Mirror was from there originally, and Regina imported a two-head viper from there to kill King Leopold and frame him.
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Actually Agribah was already mentioned in the original.
Sidney was the genie in the lamp and eventually becoming the queen's mirror.
It was flat out said he was from Agribah.

Isn't Victorian England just our England in the past?
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No, Alice's Victorian England is an alternate one that exists at the same time as modern day Storybrooke's world. The Knave and the Rabbit didn't time travel.
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Maybe it is the home of Charles Dickens stories :)
even Guliver could be there
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Wonderland was excellent (okay CGI issues) , Wonderland does not need a real world suplot but IMO we will get a little taste not much just a taste!! Emma Rigby is awesome as the RED QUEEN!!
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Q1:
It was entertaining enough to give a chance to a second episode. But if the cg doesn't get any better they probably should invent some electric broadcasted drugs before the fifth episode.

Q2:
Worst part of the whole show. Hope the guy gets offed soon to give some fuel to the story. At least now he will see why it should have been wiser to stay an immortal genie instead of being free and human.

Q3:
If Alice would be more victorian style than it could be interesting - if Ichabod can talk and act oldish-weird and raise the veiwing rate then why can't Alice?

Q4:
I hope the show would go more with Carol's surreal and build on that, like the marsh made of marshmellow or the dragonflys that are actually dragons. And I wonder how they would tie in other characters from Scheherezade's tales.

And I liked the Red Queen, because contrary to the other comments I think it wasn't bad acting. Keeping up a emotionless face for a long time is really hard without botox. And she is suppoesed to represent cold and sensless fury according to the original book. Divide a loaf by a knife: what's the answer to that?

Btw: saying that only hulkish man/woman can throw people around is like spitting in the face of Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee at the same time... And you even chose the worst picture to prove your point: doing choke holds and arm locks doesn't require much force. Actually that's kind of the point for those techniques.
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I'd say Ichabod Crane actually makes sense stuck in a world that's only alien to him, but not for the audience. Also, Sleepy Hollow made his wife an actual guide in said world, so not only their bond is more profound than Alice & boyfriend's, but Ichabos's spouse is actually invested in his mission regardless whether or not she gets free.

Finally, because he's an 18th century man, and because Abbie is everything his abolitionist self hoped for ever since he sympathized with the colonies, Ichabod is actually conflicted about his journey in a way Alice is not. Abbie is also unaware of his conlflict as only a XXIst century woman would br to any 18th century man that is smitten with her. The oher guy in Wonderland is just that: the othe guy.
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Ugh... Okay. I meant how the character is depicted. A century ago the people speaked in a different manner and style. They had different values. Even if I factor in that Alice was influenced by the other worlds she should be from an era where the suffrage movement was only gaining momentum, where women doing physical activity was viewed harmful for their health. She is from a world of double standards and where manners and appearances were the morst important things.
I'm not trying to compare the two characters, just saying that the makers missed out on that opportunity.
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Wonderland can always get away with it by saying this is a parallel Victorian England, as in not the centuries old Victorian England from our history books.

Problem with it, is that Alice could very well be this ninja voting woman in a world where ninjas, suffrage movements or strong physical activities weren't adviced to ladies of her condition, which doesn't help my suspension of disbelief one bit.
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I loved it I think it was better than most series premieres this year the cast is great and they have great actors can't wait till episode 2
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I didn't realise this starred Australia's awesome Sophie Lowe. Does that mean I must watch it? I'll think about it.
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I Liked it.
Why can't skinny girls kick ass?
That Genie has dreamy eyes and looked at Alice like he was completely head-over-heels for her, so chemistry: check.
I SO agree with the CGI: FIX IT!
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Skinny girls can kick ass, but not the way Big Brienne can kick ass when saving Jaime Lannister in Game of Trones. If Alice uses her speed or size to outwit the bad guys that's great, but if she can defeat men twice her size just because she's the lead that's just not believable IMO.
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It's not believable in a show where the rabbit in a waistcoat and glasses break assist and breaking a girl out of a mental insitute is what your saying?
Also she wasn't exactly picking the guys up by there throats. They showed her using actual fighting techniques.
It's not like the actress is 5'2" and 90lbs.
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Somehow my comment disappeared about seeing a female lead being able to fight and hold her own because she spent a lot of her life fighting and surviving monsters in a different land since she was a child should isn't too farfetched to believe that she could take on a few orderlies using fighting skills she no doubt picked up along the way fighting loads who were physically and probably magically stronger than her.
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Fantasy has to ground itself in reality for me to believe in it:
  • I can believe in Dragons if the girl that kills 3 men with her sword is actually big enough to wield it.
  • I can believe in a Headless Horseman of the skinny girl is smart enough to outwit her former partner to save Ichabod Crane from him.
  • I can't believe in Wonderland if Alice can only defeat the bad guys just because her name is in the main credits.
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Skinny girls can totally kick ass, and I'm really glad we got to see it be done. Because while Snow and Emma can be bad ass, I haven't seen them pull those moves on OUAT.
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they can kick ass within their weight class. Even guys operate within their weight class. But Alice taking down 5 200 pound burly men? No. I'm sorry, no. It was ridiculous.
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How is it different from just about 90% of movies/shows with women fighting though? Nearly all of which are under 135lbs. They all take on henchman almost twice their size who were hired to fight.
While yes it would be great to have variety of women sizes taking on action/fighting roles. This really isn't any different.
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I honestly don't believe this show's gonna make it. As have been said before, it relies too heavily on it´s audience being hardcore OUAT fans and lacks to appeal to a broader audience.
OUAT is already bordering on WTF crazy but manages to keep it in check by drawing on those classic fairytales we all know and love, but Alice in Wonderland was pretty over the top as a novel already, and throttling it as a TV show isn't helping.
Also, I bring to the court exhibit D: Michael Socha´s accent made me think of Game of Thrones. Which made me pause OUATIW and watch old clips of said show. Nuff said.
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I think it should have aired it's pilot after OUAT. I i'll be honest in saying i don't know how picking show nights work esp. since I watch most shows online. But it'd make much more sense to pair it with OUAT then Scandal and such. They could easily switch it with revenge.
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