Please be good, Alice in Wonder City, please be good. It’s been a veritable unending desert of no good dramas from Taiwan in the last few months. And no, I don’t think its any oxymoron, I sincerely believe there are entertaining and worthwhile TW-dramas out there. Fondant Garden I liked initially because it was cute and had potential, but has since taken a nose-dive into insanity whereby I’m thisclose to pulling the plug. Everything else has majorly sucked in every way possible, so I’m at my wits end here. I like to keep at least one TW-drama on my watch list just because its different and is a nice weekend treat. Premiering this Sunday on CTS will be Alice starring Aaron Yan, Xiu Jie Kai, Lara, and Tracy Chou. From the scriptwriter who did Black & White and The Hospital, I’m banking on her track record in delivering solid storytelling to gamble on Alice being good. The final long trailer is out and I still love everything I see. The fantastic cinematography, the classical music that pays homage to Nodame Cantabile, and the four-way love triangle all hook me right and proper from the get go. You’ll hear from me next week if this baby delivers, otherwise expect radio silence.
Trailer for Alice in Wonder City:
ahem.. acting looks unconvincing..
Aaron! I’m excited! I love the drama Black and White!
OMG ORCHESTRA! I’m a cellist and I will watch just to hear/see what they do with it. The only reason I watched BV and the initial reason I watched Nodame…which quickly became a favorite. I’ll keep a close eye on your posts! 😀 Thanks!
Nodame was epic (though I haven’t watched the movies)
I love both male leads so I’ll at least tune in…
I do not know what Fondant Garden is doing either. When the episode ended with my darling Jung Min being…you know what…I almost quit. I’ll tune in to see if that wakes up her emotions or what.
Retrieved from ” http://sugoideas.com/drama-2012/alice-in-wonder-city/“. Please translate.
Description of Alice in Wonder City / 給愛麗絲的奇蹟:
勇氣、 忍耐、挫折、努力、 希望、 笑聲、 眼淚像一陣雨般從天空落下 把整座城澆灌成夢的花園 那顆珍貴的種子，就在這個城市一角植下 他們相信總一天， 在十字交錯的道路 在老城牆與堤岸草原上 在看起來陰灰黯沉的天空 會 開滿各式各樣的花朵 香氛四溢、色澤繽紛 整座城就毫不客氣地快樂起來了。
They all live in this big city, each holding on to a seed named dreams, waiting to see it blossom one day.
One old social worker in the streets racing with kids who play truant – Jin Li Sha
One violinist who comes from Jia Yi to Taipei as a wanderer – Chen Hai Jie
One gardener from Japan to participate in a flower expo’s technical support – Ye Teng Wen (Seiko Ito)
One chief violinist that grew up in Taipei and crazy about music – He Ting Yu
One girl with a devilish singing voice that never knew she had absolute sense of music – Land Die Fei
One artist manager whose eyes are focused only on success, wealth and fame but persistent towards love – Tang Jin Cang
One real estate agent who specializes in selling mansions and luxurious lives – Tang Bai Jun
One woman who turns her dream home into reality – Tong Bao Yun
One China girl filled with curiosity roaming the streets – Su Mei Gui
Courage, endurance, setbacks, hard work, hope, laughter,
Tears like a rain shower falling from the sky
Watering the entire city into a garden of hope
That precious seed
Planted in a corner of this city
They believe that one day,
At the cross road
At the old city wall and grass beds
At the sky the looks like grey sinking clouds
Will blossom into all kinds of flowers
Fragrance all around, luster everywhere
The whole city is just turns happy.
A chief violinist that just returned from an overseas performance, He Ting Yu’s violin that values at nearly five hundred thousand taiwan dollars goes missing. That modern violinist was handmade by a someone violin maker about more than a hundred years ago, his masterpiece, which he even named seagull.
His manager, Tang Jin Cang does some crisis management, asking a girl by the side (Lan Die Fei) to find a violin that can be used by the chief violinist. In the an urgent situation, Lan Die Fei grabs someone who suspiciously stands at the concert theatre’s entrance, Chen Hai Jie. Just like this, Chen Hai Jie’s violin dances on He Ting Yu’s stage… After the performance, He Ting Yu invites Chen Hai Jie to participate in their annual entrance examination, preparing to scout Chen Hai Jie…
A middle aged woman with vicissitude and filled with zeal, Jin Li Sha, apart from opening this coffeehouse named ALICE CAFE, her greatest interest is… to help the kids who play truancy from school, help them to go home, help them to find direction.
A young woman, Ye Teng Wen (Seiko Ito) comes out from the airport. Her eyes are firm, face with barely any expressions. She makes a call back to Japan, using succinct Japanese to respond, I will quickly finish this task. In the coffeehouse, Seiko Ito uses Japanese and says leisurely to Jin Li She: “Auntie, I am your daughter, Seiko Ito.”
One year ago, Chen Hai Jie got to know Ye Teng Wen, they fell in love at first sight and spent five days together. Five days later, CHen Hai Jie never saw Ye Teng Wen again. He remembered that she once said she lives in Japan’s Ai Nuan Song Mountain. He thought, if he goes there he should be able to find her right?!
In this big city, they are each holding onto a seed named dreams, anticipating for it to blossom one day.
Nice! I love orchestras! Thanks for the tip koala!
The poster reminded me of Van Ness Wu’s failed effort to pretend mastering this instrument in Material Queen when he clearly could not even play a single note. ^_^
I feel like watching Mars again, all because of the mention of Xiu Jie Kai and that black-and-white header starring our dear Zai Zai. ^_^
Fully Agree that fondant garden has lost its sizzle.. :3 I’m already on my way to opt out of it.. 😛
But this new show doesn’t look that impressive either.. Sigh..
Will await your review if it meets the mark. 🙂
I am not getting burned again. I’m still watching Fondant Garden but what the heck? The Ai Ling/ HX storyline is just so messed up to me. The series is almost over so I’ll stick it out to the end. Sigh… i have given up again. I’m bummed that LF turned out to be so blah for me… it had potential for a little while, and then I just plain stopped caring, even about the characters that I did think were interesting.
This one does not interest me in the slightest. I’ll wait until the verdict is out after a few episodes have aired. I might try it when i can marathon it.
totally with you on LF!
I DO love Taiwan dramas, agree some are just too painful to watch. Liked Fondant Garden but now the story isn’t as inspiring. But discovered a 2009 Taiwan drama called “Letter 1949″… which is great acting, great storylines, everything is wonderful. However, I could only watch up to the 10th episode on viki. Please if anyone can tell me how to find the rest of the episodes my Mom and I will forever be grateful. “Letter 1949” starring Lin YoWei and Dai Jun Zhu where are you?
Letter 1949 / 家書－我在1949, 等你
Nodama Cantabile is just about the only drama which I have watched that has executed the classical music premise well…Most of the actors and actresses looked convincing playing the instruments. I always cringe when the actor/actress does not even act like they know what they are going with an instrument in hand (I.e. LJA in Beethoven Virus) when they are supposed to be talented in the show.
I’m really keen in this one, cos it’s classical music and I like Xiu Jie Kai. Will give it a shot this coming weekend.
The playing of the instrument could look a little bit more practiced, but the first episode is off to a pretty good start in my opinion. I really do like aaron though so I’m a little bit biased. The music in the drama is wonderful though! 😀
Hi ockoala, I’ve been following this really good TW drama of late called “In Between” – Janel Tsai and Johnny Lu. It’s a low profile drama, but I absolutely love it because it is not lame and the acting is great. You can catch it on Sugoideas.
Just curious… there’s been a radio silence on this one… so it’s not up to expectations?
Snow0512, I don’t know what the rest think, but I’m personally following 4 Taiwan idol dramas right now so I think I can make a fair comparison.
I rank this drama 3rd out of 4th in my current list by the pure fact that the cinematography and soundtrack are gorgeous. But honestly, the acting and far-fetched plot doesn’t cut it for me. I also don’t like the main characters that much – they are the kind that makes you NOT want to root for them. There are various unexplained plot devices that make the story really messy (like a lost childhood, a lost girlfriend, a lost violin- gee, the coincidences) and unfocussed, plus the couples, Aaron Yan and Lara, Xiu Jie Kai and Tracy Zhou, don’t seem compatible and/or don’t have chemistry. I’ve decided to stop watching the series, even though its only at its 4th ep.
The other dramas I’ve been watching are In Between (mentioned above), Absolute Boyfriend (Jiro Wang, Goo Hye Sun), and Ti Amo Chocolate (Van Ness Wu, Joanne Tseng), which I rank 1st, 2nd and 4th respectively in terms of watchability. I’d urge those who like TW dramas to catch In Between, because I think it comes close to In Time With You but has exceptional acting and more mature + realistic themes. I’m enjoying the dialogue and female lead’s character a lot, and I do identify with her even though I’m much younger. This show is highly recommended.
Absolute Boyfriend is entertaining and the acting is decent, but its plot is close to the manga – a sci-fi about a girl who ordered a robot boyfriend and a friend who confesses his feelings to the same girl. So those who hate suspending disbelief, stay away. It’s also quite cheesy in parts, think robot with superhuman strength and bent on pleasing his girlfriend in every possible way (except in bed, they haven’t gotten round to doing that yet). A lot of chivalrous rescue scenes have already been filmed. The show got better as it went along and I felt that Jiro was coming into his own in portraying the robot so well.
As for Ti Amo Chocolate, it’s an 80-ep idol drama (rare!) and I just watch it cos I need to unwind every day after work while watching something which doesn’t need me to employ much of my brain. But I must say Van Ness is versatile and quite good at comedy, some of his scenes in this series made me laugh out loud, for real. Only watch if you are really free, like me.
Hope this helps.
Hahaha… thanks for your long reply. I am actually watching In Between, been watching ever since it started because I really like Janel Tsai 🙂 And the maturity of the show and its characters kept me watching. I really like it too. Probably the only one I’m excited about every week.
I have no interest at all in Absolute Boyfriend. As for Ti Amo Chocolate, I did watch it until a week or two ago when I had work to concentrate on… and then I kept up with previews, and lately I find myself not even watching the previews. It would seem that the story has veered off into the “makjang” as we call it 😛 I think there was an imbalance of how they developed the characters, in that they only rode on the fame of Vanness and Joanne Zeng, and spent too little time on the secondary characters. By the time they milked all they could from the bickering, which was most fun while it lasted, they had to turn to the secondary plots, but at which point we didn’t care what happened because we didn’t get to spend enough time with them. I definitely think the previous drama, “Inborn Pair” did a better job at this, because although I watched for the main pair, I did care very much for the sister and the brother, and ultimately the whole heartwarming family relationship.
I guess I might check this out when I really have nothing to do… I was really only interested in Xiu Jie Kai 😛
Yay, another person who likes In Between! I realized that it’s a very low profile drama.
Yep, those are really astute observations (concerning Ti Amo Chocolate)… but good things come to those who wait, I watched the best episode yet yesterday (episode 47) which revolved around the secondary characters, Xi Hui and this guy dubbed “007”, essentially a romance between a young schoolgirl and an ex-gangster. The dynamic is intriguing and it came to some sort of climax yesterday (when they kissed passionately)! I think I will finish watching this drama just to see whether these two end up together. (:
I didn’t catch Inborn Pair, it sounds good!
Oh yes, Xiu Jie Kai’s character is probably the most likeable of the lot, in Alice. Haha.
I’m back ‘cos I can’t find anyone else to talk about the show! Haha… I can’t believe it but I’m actually watching it now. So doomed… the messy parts are gonna start next episode, I just finished Ep 7.
I have to say Tracy Zhou hasn’t exactly changed my preconception of her. I don’t know where they’re trying to go with her storyline, and I don’t really care much for it. I’m bummed that she’s paired with Xiu though 🙁 Also, lots of her cookie points are gone because she making Xiu hurt *angry fists*
On the other hand, I can’t wait to see what happens with Aaron and Lara. I feel like those two look so very pretty together. And Aaron’s character has such different personalities when he’s with different people I keep wondering exactly what kind of person he is supposed to be.
Also, I do love the opening and ending theme so much 😀
Hahaha I’ve started watching too again, cos some of my dramas have ended. I must say the soundtrack is really, really nice. I like the nuances to Aaron’s character, and I think when Lara started singing in the show, it made it watchable. Her voice is angelic.
No offence to your liking to Xiu Jie Kai, but don’t you think his character is getting a bit one-dimensional?
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