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Joo Won 주원 - Finished Drama: Alice


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Okay.. so what just happened.

 

May be it's better to comment after subtitles but Alice seemed to be just went too heavy on open ending or I just didn't really understand it.

So I was thinking about open ending when I first started Alice. But after episode 15 I was like they would probably not give us that usual open ending..

 

But it feels like all those theories comes to an end without tying their ends together. 

 

Anyways I will wait to see what you all think about it, see the subtitled episode and comment.

 

But Episode 15 was actually the real ending..the ending of the universe we knew and loved..I kind of feel so selfish to say that but that's how I really feel.

 

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The reason why JW was bending down and looking at the man. Cr as tagged. Many asked me why I like JW and why I like him for so long?  THIS. Plus his acting. 

I gotta say, @flutterby06, that your comment about Episode 16 was so intriguing that I really wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I haven't gotten there yet, but by breaking it down into lots of little snippets rather than sitting down and watching it in one go, I did manage to get through Episode 15 - so I'll give my spiel on that first.

 

Spoiler

First of all, let me get my bit of fair criticism out of the way first: as poignant and moving as Yoo Min Hyuk and Yoon Tae Yi's deaths were, as a general whole, the long chain reaction of characters killing each other off in this episode was a tad much. We felt for Min Hyuk and Tae Yi because we cared for them as characters and knew how much they both mattered to Jin Gyeom (although he's rather reluctant to admit that about Min Hyuk just yet), but the numerous antagonists' deaths (starting from Oh Si Young's in Episode 14 onward) started to feel really cliché by the time we got to the end of the chain. Like, I get we were supposed to root for Jin Gyeom in those moments, but there was something really cartoonish about the cumulative effect, and the surprise factor was lost on me.

 

However, that aside, I honestly loved this episode - and my guess right now is that I'll love the finale as well. Why? Because I love where this drama's going with Jin Gyeom's connection with the Teacher. I will admit to being rather put off by it at first, back in Episodes 13 and 14; it seemed to have no real connection to anything we'd seen prior to that point (save for that glimpse of the Teacher in Episode 1, which I completely forgot about until @kireeti2 pointed it out), and I honestly suspected that the writers were throwing in the possibility that Evil!Jin Gyeom killed Park Sun Young for its shock value and nothing else. 

 

So how did I go from hating this twist to loving it? Well, I don't know if it's ever happened to you guys while watching a drama, when there's that one moment or line of dialogue and it all just "clicks" in your head, and all of a sudden, everything makes sense? Well, that happened to me here with the line in the prophecy about "[Sun Young's] marvelous creation." I will confess to figuring it out a fraction of a moment before Tae Yi does (although it's because I already knew how this episode would end, so it's nothing really to brag about), and once it did...wow. :) 

 

We knew all along that "our" Jin Gyeom was different from his numerous parallel versions. In addition to being the one who successfully became good through his mother's guidance, Tae Yi rightfully pointed out to him in this episode that it wasn't just her. "Our" Jin Gyeom's been slowly shaped into the person we love by all the people who cared for him and showed him unconditional love in the ten years since his mother's death: Do Yeon, Go Ahjussi and his wife, the rest of his team, etc. What that means is that "our" Jin Gyeom's not only starting off on a better foot than his parallel version (who we saw in Episode 13 was already corrupted by the Teacher's influence as a teenager), but that he has it inside of him not to succumb to the same bitterness that the Teacher himself experienced as a young man.

 

(Given that, huge kudos for Jin Gyeom's do-over with Do Yeon in this episode. I don't know how they'll end up in Episode 16 - don't tell me either, guys - but I love that he was there for her when she needed him. And I also love their little confessions to each other, even if it's purely platonic on Jin Gyeom's end; and Do Yeon's "Wait - don't come here" moment when she realized that the attack on her might be a trap for him.)

 

However, just because "our" Jin Gyeom has a good head start doesn't mean he's good to go - and herein lies the brilliance of these final episodes, I think. He hadn't been aware of this potential for darkness inside of him before, but the events of Episode 14 helped him to realize that; and after Tae Yi pulled him back from the brink and helped him see that there's another way out than just letting that darkness control him...that influence disappears. First win for "our" Jin Gyeom :) - he's already gotten farther than any of his predecessors in this cycle. But he's not done yet. The only way he can stop this cycle now is if he completely destroys that darkness inside of himself: he has to kill himself, but not in the way we saw in the beginning of the episode. Instead, he has to kill the evil inside of himself that's outwardly manifested by the Teacher...even if it means he himself ceases to exist in the process.

 

And I find that a really important life lesson for all of us: that at the end of the day, the only one who could stop each of us from succumbing to selfishness, bitterness, or temptation is ourselves. Sure, those around us could guide us on the right path, but ultimately, it's always going to be us as individuals against our own inner demons, and I love that Alice is showing that in such a concrete way here. :approves:

 

That being said, although I could see why the drama's writers want Jin Gyeom to end this battle alone...RIP Papa Min Hyuk  :criesariver: I don't think the show "did him dirty" as some viewers have said, but I did find it heartwrenching that he died without the sense of closure that I think we all wanted for him. Instead, we see him reflecting back on his life and thinking about what he would have done differently if he could: staying by 2050-Tae Yi's side rather than insisting that she get an abortion. It's true that he really stepped into his own as Jin Gyeom's father in this episode, which is what makes his death all the more tragic: we imagine all the potential ways he could have helped Jin Gyeom (and eventually win Jin Gyeom's trust) in the future if he'd had the chance. However, here, too, is an important life lesson: we really only get one shot at this life, and sometimes (I'd argue more often than not, actually), we do end up leaving this world bearing more regrets than closure. So we should - like Min Hyuk does - make the most of what little unknown time we have left, because we never know when that end will come.

 

And for those who are wondering why there's no RIP for Tae Yi yet? Because I know already that her story's not over ;) 

 

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7 hours ago, flutterby06 said:

Okay.. so what just happened.

 

May be it's better to comment after subtitles but Alice seemed to be just went too heavy on open ending or I just didn't really understand it.

So I was thinking about open ending when I first started Alice. But after episode 15 I was like they would probably not give us that usual open ending..

 

But it feels like all those theories comes to an end without tying their ends together. 

 

Anyways I will wait to see what you all think about it, see the subtitled episode and comment.

 

But Episode 15 was actually the real ending..the ending of the universe we knew and loved..I kind of feel so selfish to say that but that's how I really feel.

Well, it is not a perfect ending, but I do agree with the writers. I personally don't have any complaints with the ending, I do think it was the logical ending since PJG killed the "Teacher" which is his future self and which subsequently destroyed Alice, time travelers, and time travel. Only complaint I have is that they did not pair the KDY and new PJG in the end, I think writers owe at least this to much to KDY character. Overall, I am satisfied with the drama's ending and I did not find any loose ends left. But, yeah without subs it is really hard to grasp the ending, so maybe re-watch it after subs, it makes it better

1 hour ago, kittyna said:

(Given that, huge kudos for Jin Gyeom's do-over with Do Yeon in this episode. I don't know how they'll end up in Episode 16 - don't tell me either, guys - but I love that he was there for her when she needed him. And I also love their little confessions to each other, even if it's purely platonic on Jin Gyeom's end; and Do Yeon's "Wait - don't come here" moment when she realized that the attack on her might be a trap for him.)

Even though they had little screen time together, their chemistry was off the charts. I really hope these would do a drama in future with a melodrama plot line. I think these two would do great job in it :love: In episode 16 these two have really good scenes where we can see them  portrayed as high school couple, like, KDY helped PJG pick up cake for her mom's birthday and they were flirting with each other like regular couple.I was not expecting for more scenes of these two in last episodes since the writers had to tie lot of loose ends, but I am glad they did include these scenes.

 

 

 

1 hour ago, kittyna said:

save for that glimpse of the Teacher in Episode 1, which I completely forgot about until @kireeti2 pointed it out

What did I point out? I seem to have forgotten it:sweat_smile:

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2 hours ago, kireeti2 said:

What did I point out? I seem to have forgotten it

 

You mentioned there was an old man standing outside their house in Episode 1 - and I'd completely forgotten about him as a potential suspect ;) 

 

2 hours ago, kireeti2 said:

Even though they had little screen time together, their chemistry was off the charts. I really hope these would do a drama in future with a melodrama plot line. I think these two would do great job in it :love: In episode 16 these two have really good scenes where we can see them  portrayed as high school couple, like, KDY helped PJG pick up cake for her mom's birthday and they were flirting with each other like regular couple.I was not expecting for more scenes of these two in last episodes since the writers had to tie lot of loose ends, but I am glad they did include these scenes.

 

I can't comment on Episode 16 yet, but I did find the Episode 15 scenes really cute (danger and peril aside, of course). I loved that Jin Gyeom admitted to Do Yeon that he was never bothered by her butting into his business all the time, and that bit of banter about the gloves was adorable. (DY: "What's the Christmas gift I gave you doing up here in storage?" JG: "Um...my mother must have put them there." DY: "These were from last year." JG: O_O... "Oh.")

 

I think my favourite moments were when Do Yeon was in danger, though: both for Jin Gyeom's promise that "if something bad happens to you, it happens to me", and for Do Yeon's attempt to protect Jin Gyeom by telling him to stay away. And then she yells at him for coming anyway :P - it's a cute throwback to the whole "You're okay? So I can hit you" bit from Episode 5.

 

So...this isn't the video I'd initially hoped for, but we do have behind-the-scenes photos showing the makeup process for creating the Teacher. It's really freaking bizarre to see JW still trying to do aegyo whilst in costume, though :lol:

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Watched the drama with great interest, I really liked the play of the actors, the evolution of the characters' characters, the theme of temporary transitions fascinated me. Therefore, I was looking forward to the last episodes with impatience and hope, where all the riddles were to be revealed and logical explanations for many events were to be found. But, alas, the banal melodramatic ending crossed out the whole series for me. In addition, I saw a clear borrowing from the drama "The King - Eternal Monarch". Science fiction turned into melodrama, which was very upsetting.

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I am confused. If time travel was reset, not a "thing" anymore, how did Mother from the future return to 1992 to give birth to Jin Gyeom? I would have liked to have seen a slightly different ending.

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I agree that that remained unexplained and the question was asked but never answered as to why those with the scientific minds capable of time travel would fear a rather childish looking book of prophecy.

1 hour ago, nina_mitrokhina 5misnina said:

For me, in addition to all other questions, the main thing remained unresolved - who wrote the "Book of Prophecies" and why ?!

 

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3 hours ago, nina_mitrokhina 5misnina said:

For me, in addition to all other questions, the main thing remained unresolved - who wrote the "Book of Prophecies" and why ?!

 

1 hour ago, Nella2019 said:

I agree that that remained unexplained and the question was asked but never answered as to why those with the scientific minds capable of time travel would fear a rather childish looking book of prophecy.

 

Forgive me if I end up incorrect about this - since I've only watched up to Episode 15 right now - but my understanding is that that's the whole point the drama is trying to make about the Book of Prophecy: that it doesn't make sense, and the major mistake on the time travelers' part was believing it.

 

Out of the villainous characters, the only ones who know the full prophecy are the Teacher and Seok Oh Won, and both of them are ultimately twisted and corrupted by their belief in it (as for everyone else, they're only told that a means exists to stop time travel and it's their job to kill those involved before it happens). For Seok Oh Won, it appears that he just thinks that any threat to time travel is a potential threat to his life's work and it must therefore be eradicated - even though Tae Yi points out to him directly that it doesn't make sense for a scientist to believe in the prophecy, he still does in that slight off-chance that it would happen. He's a scientist, but he's an arrogant one: so caught up in his perceived right-ness of his research that he's completely closed to any alternatives or challenges to his theories.

 

As for the Teacher, his belief in it is much deeper: based on the prophecy, he believed he was doomed to become a twisted monster just by virtue of his still being alive (meaning that his mother hadn't aborted her pregnancy, leaving the door of time unclosed).

 

As you guys have pointed out, that's completely irrational - but it's also completely human. Even the smartest of us are prone to developing a narrow vision of the world, and especially our own lives within it, so the fact that it's a group of scientists who are getting so hung-up on the prophecy doesn't faze me at all. And all this time, throughout watching Alice, I've felt that the drama's point about the prophecy was the same as that in the classic story of Oedipus: human efforts to prevent a prophecy from taking place are the actions that ultimately bring it about. So by going back in time to kill Park Sun Young, the Teacher (or those under his orders) ends up bringing about the circumstances behind his own bitterness and corruption, and his mistaken belief that his only source of self-worth comes from his ability to control time. That, in turn, further adds to his need to maintain the existence of time travel and the desire to kill in order to maintain it. This, therefore, is not a divinely ordained prophecy (or, fate driven, if you prefer), but one that's entirely manmade and self-fulfilled.

 

But "our" Jin Gyeom is different. He recognizes that, no, he's not  doomed to become a monster just because that's what supposedly happened to his older self (i.e. the Teacher) after witnessing his mother's death. It's the fact that he doesn't believe in the prophecy that allows him to step outside of the loop and find a way to break the cycle/curse/whatever else you want to call it that's been binding him and his mother all this time. Because rather than assuming he's doomed to become a monster, he actively tries to prevent that from happening to himself - and that's what gives him the impetus needed to kill the Teacher (i.e. his monstrous self) and set things back to rights.

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10 hours ago, kittyna said:

DY: "What's the Christmas gift I gave you doing up here in storage?" JG: "Um...my mother must have put them there." DY: "These were from last year." JG: O_O... "Oh.")

It did sounded like an old couple fight and was cute

10 hours ago, kittyna said:

I think my favourite moments were when Do Yeon was in danger, though: both for Jin Gyeom's promise that "if something bad happens to you, it happens to me", and for Do Yeon's attempt to protect Jin Gyeom by telling him to stay away. And then she yells at him for coming anyway :P - it's a cute throwback to the whole "You're okay? So I can hit you" bit from Episode 5.

And also in the police station, she gives him a warning that to be careful and if she finds any scars on him, she is going to kill him. Lol, KDY's threats are so cute

 

And also, the drama got average ration of 7%, that's not bad considering the back to back low rating dramas before Alice. So, I think Alice did manage to punch above its weight

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I guess I am being nitpicky but at the end, his father would have been about 5 years old????   Or was his mother the only person from the future who had still been capable of time travel.  Did she keep the knowledge to herself? Why was the Professor the only one who still remembered him? 

 

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And...it's done :) I've finally finished watching Alice. I've been thinking for a while now about how to wrap up this series of analyses (I hesitate to call them reviews, because they really aren't), so here's what you guys can expect:

 

1. My take on Episode 16 (along the usual lines)

2. A summary of what I thought were the main strengths and weaknesses of the drama (meaning, yes, you guys will finally get an actual review)

3. My thoughts on my first experience watching and writing about a drama while it's still airing (yep: I've watched K-dramas for 5 years now, and this is my first time doing it in "real time")

 

Long post ahead, people - so sit back and enjoy the ride! ;) 

 

1. Thoughts on Episode 16 (i.e. the finale)

 

Spoiler

While the actual details were a surprise, I think that I wasn't the only viewer who already knew how the first half of the episode would play out: Jin Gyeom goes back to 2010 in one last ditch attempt to stop the Teacher and save his mother, and this time - in true drama fashion - he succeeds and brings about a reset. That ending, more or less, was to be expected, as all the groundwork was already laid out in Episode 15.

 

Personally, I loved the contrast that was shown between Jin Gyeom and the Teacher, and it seems to go even deeper than what I already discussed in previous posts. I was floored by the Teacher's claim that it was his mother's fault that he became what he was - not because I was surprised by his logic, but because I wasn't. I still remember asking the same question back in Episode 14: i.e., how could it be right for a mother choose to keep her pregnancy when she knew that doing so would fate her child to become a murderer? And while I did realize come Episode 15 that the answer lay in what the child chose to do with his life - that he could still proactively choose to do what's right despite the odds stacked against him - it was still really freaky hearing my own thoughts echoed back to me by the drama's villain, of all things.

 

With that said, the one major thing that did catch me off guard, despite knowing already that it was coming, was Park Sun Young's suicide. On the one hand, I understand that she did it in a last-ditch attempt to save Jin Gyeom (regardless of which version we're talking about), as well as a final admission of guilt for setting the whole cycle into motion. However, since the end result is still ultimately her death, and neither "our" Jin Gyeom nor the Teacher shift from their positions because of it - rather, her suicide seems to reinforce their respective views - I found myself wondering where the writers were trying to go with this development.

 

Given that, then, I love that "our" Jin Gyeom stayed true to his principles and didn't waver from his goal: killing the Teacher (i.e. his darker, future self) and triggering the reset.

 

And now, at last, I come to the question that seems to be haunting everyone who's watched this finale: why 2010??? As some of you guys have already pointed out, there are two key logical points for the reset: either all the way back to 1992 (i.e. with mini-Tae Yi and her dad and none of this Book of Prophecy stuff), OR forward to 2050 (i.e. a point just before the creation of time travel and "Alice"). And yet, instead, we end up right in the middle of the action, in 2010.

 

Why? If this is a true reset and elimination of time travel and time travelers, it doesn't make sense for the clock to start here. Nor, to be honest, would it make sense for Jin Gyeom and his mother to still be around in our universe at all. So, what's going on?

 

Your interpretation may differ from mine, but here's my interpretation: we're not really dealing with a reset. We're dealing with a restart - and, more importantly, a restart of Jin Gyeom's own choosing. Why doesn't he die at the same time as the Teacher? I think that, as the last person with control over time, he's granted the chance to choose the point from which time restarts. And, given that choice, he goes with the moment that he's always wanted to do over again if he could: his mother's birthday in 2010, when his teenage self was finally starting to learn to appreciate and care for her in a way he hadn't during his childhood.

 

And the stuff we see in 2020? I like to think that this is the 2020 we would have gotten if Park Sun Young hadn't been murdered all along: that the young Jin Gyeom we see in this episode (i.e. "our" Jin Gyeom as a teenager) was able to take a whole different path in his life. "Our" Jin Gyeom thinks he'll become a detective, but with no murder to solve, he has no need to - instead, he's become an architect with a passion for renovating old hanok in such a way that they could meet 21st century living standards while maintaining their historic touch. 

 

Does it sound crazy? Maybe. And I'll admit that there's one big hiccup with this interpretation: that in this version of 2020, Go Hyung Seok and Park Jin Gyeom have never met, and that doesn't work with Jin Gyeom's chosen reset point. But that's what I've thought of for now: that "our" Jin Gyeom and Tae Yi were allowed to pick up their lives as students in 2010, taking their separate paths in life until meeting (presumably for the first time) in 2020.

 

Yet Tae Yi still remembers Jin Gyeom, and it appears that, despite a slight delay, he remembers her, too. And that's because I think that the parallel universe theory still holds true: destroying time travel didn't destroy these universes, just the conduit between them.

 

And so I like to think, in some world beyond the one we see in the finale, it is 2050 right now, and that there, we'll find two young lovers named Yoo Min Hyuk and Yoon Tae Yi. Maybe she's still a physicist; maybe he's...well, I don't know what he is. But what I do know is that right now, they've just discovered that they're expecting their first child :) 

 

2. Thoughts on the Drama as a Whole

 

Generally speaking, I enjoyed watching Alice. Is it one of my top favourites? Probably not. My favourite JW dramas, for the time being, are still Good DoctorNae Il's Cantabile, and Yong Pal. But that being said, I did find it an enjoyable watch overall, and I can see why JW wanted to go with this script over all the others in that massive pile of 50.

 

So what did I like?

  • Gorgeous visuals. And no, I don't mean the cast (although that's true as well) :P What I mean is that even before the story really got started, I was already drawn in by the cinematography, set designs, costume designs, visual/special effects, etc. of Alice. The production crew really worked hard to make this feel like a world I could immerse myself into, and I really loved that.
  • Great versatility and acting from our leads. Generally speaking, I've never had reason to be disappointed by JW and Kim Hee Sun's acting before, and I can definitely say that that still holds true here. I went into Alice expecting a great deal of range from KHS, since I knew she was playing two characters (technically the same person, yes, but in such different circumstances that they really did feel like two distinct personalities throughout). However, I wasn't expecting to see JW play multiple versions of himself either, and that allowed him to broaden his emotional range in a way that I couldn't have anticipated. I know an actual win is being a bit greedy, but I hope we'll get at least one credible Daesang nomination come year's end (unlike the "let's just nominate everybody" mess that was 2017's SBS Drama Awards).
  • A compelling second lead. Prior to Alice, I only saw Kwak Si Yang once: as the antagonist in Chicago Typewriter. And that role...well, it wasn't much to write home about, as far as I was concerned - in both the past and present timelines in that drama, his character was written pretty one-dimensionally, in my opinion. But damn, was I impressed by his showing here as Yoo Min Hyuk! I think he really came into his own as a strong emotional/character actor here, so I hope that his performance in Alice will give him a first lead role in the future :) 
  • Awesome veteran actors. You know the ones: Kim Sang Ho (Go Hyung Seok) and Choi Won Young (Seok Oh Won). One gave us an adorable Ahjussi that we all loved - and the other gave us a villain that we all loved to hate ;) So kudos.
  • Some interesting life lessons. Usually, I don't go into an action/fantasy/sci-fi drama expecting any real bits of wisdom; I'm mostly just in it to be entertained. So I wasn't expecting all the little lessons about life, death, memory, grief, guilt, etc. that we got all along the way. For me, personally, the biggest one is one that Yoo Min Hyuk said (in Episode 14, if I recall correctly), and that we saw being reinforced in the final episodes: you can't change the past, but you can make up for it. No one's doomed by their circumstances or their past mistakes to become a monster; at any point in our lives, we can choose to hit that reset button and start doing the right thing instead.

These aren't all the things I liked (for instance, I like to think that Jin Gyeom can count as K-drama representation for platonic relationships everywhere), but you get the idea.

 

So...what about things that I thought could have been done better?

  • Genre whiplash. Sometimes, I felt like Alice wasn't quite sure what sort of story it wanted to be. There was the overarching Sci-fi and Mystery element, of course, but other than that, I felt like there were very clear breaks in the show where the overall tone would switch drastically and I was left struggling to figure out, say, what on earth the psychological horror of Episodes 13-14 had to do with the family-based tragic story in Episode 11. Fusion/crossover stories aren't bad in and of themselves (Yong Pal, for example, is one instance where a mid-drama switch in genre worked for me), but I would have liked for there to be some sort of transition between subplots instead of just getting thrown in headfirst with cliffhangers serving as the key clue as to what's coming.
  • Much ado about nothing. From a mystery/crime-solving standpoint, there were a ton of loose ends in the story. Mostly, the problem was with the clues: rather than building up into a solid case, clues in Alice seem to just lead one step ahead before just dropping out of the story altogether. Some examples include the drones (which prompted Jin Gyeom, Tae Yi, and Do Yeon to start investigating but bore little relevance afterwards), the time cards (which all but disappeared after Episode 8), the knife (which I was really curious about re: its origins and significance since it appears in the actual Book of Prophecy, but only served to point Jin Gyeom to Seok Oh Won's hideout), etc. If this were a live shoot drama, that sort of looseness to key symbols and objects would be okay; but I was expecting a tighter weave overall from a pre-produced show.
  • Underutilized/one-dimensional side characters. I know, realistically, that a 16-episode drama won't have the time to really delve into all the characters and their stories - and that's okay. However, given how much was done with our three main leads, I think that having some sort of depth or multidimesionality to the various supporting characters would have helped balance the story out a bit. For instance, I didn't like that the drama just made Oh Si Young the jealous rejected lover whose entire motivation behind her actions is an attempt to lash out at Min Hyuk and some version of Tae Yi. The fact that she was friends with MH and TY prior to the events of the drama could have made her a satisfyingly multifaceted character, but we didn't get that and wound up with (for me) one of the most annoying clichés out there for female characters. On the flip side, that same one-dimesionality seems to persist among the good supporting characters, too: Tae Yi's family, Kim Dong Ho (although he does get better eventually), etc.

And...that's generally it for where I saw the biggest flaws in the drama - mostly in terms of the writing. But again, as a general whole, I didn't dislike this drama at any point; I just think these were instances where things could have potentially been awesome, but they ended up just sort of ordinary or bland.

 

And finally, last but not least:

 

3. What was it like watching in "real time"?

 

Long story short: I...don't think I'll be doing this on the regular. Probably just for JW's dramas, and only because I do find myself feeling so eager to watch that I don't want to wait for the full version. However, compared to waiting until the entire drama is finished and only deciding whether to watch after already seeing some of the feedback on it...doing it like this is really stressful. I didn't anticipate just how nervous I'd get waiting for and reading viewers' comments on this forum, or YouTube, or Instagram - especially when, in the middle of the drama, people started dropping it because of a possible love line between Jin Gyeom and Tae Yi.

 

I've never experienced that feeling before of watching a drama and being afraid to say whether I liked it or whether I thought it was good or bad: because if I thought it was good, there was always the chance that it could go south at the end; and if I thought it was bad, there was always the chance it would improve and redeem itself. And it's a good thing that JW's currently stepping away from dramaland to do Ghost, because I don't know when I'll next be ready to take on such a project again. Honestly, guys, I don't know how you do it, so kudos. :approves:

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57 minutes ago, kittyna said:

Underutilized/one-dimensional side characters

Yeah, I totally agree with this one. Lot of good side characters were not utilized properly, like, except for the TY(2020) adopted mother, not other family members has been used in the plot directly or indirectly. Even detectives were not used properly expect for filling in few comedic scenes.

1 hour ago, kittyna said:

Great versatility and acting from our leads

I guess this is the problem with Alice, too much reliance on main leads, it's like, writers expected that main leads are going make the drama watchable without the help of the other characters. Yes, writers can rely on leads but not much so that they have to ditch the other fine supporting characters. Alice, would have been 10 times better had the writers gave more role for the supporting characters to play, like, take KDY for instance, even though she is close to main character, her role was not give much of screen time but eventually was able to garner lot of fans, sometimes giving more screen time to supporting characters will eventually make the drama watchable, that's what I have seen as common thing in the high rating K-dramas.

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@kireeti2 I think that, for me, my own experience now as a fanfic writer with a long series (almost) completed has given me a way to look into Alice's writing that I didn't have the last time I did this sort of drama review/analysis (which was for My Sassy Girl, I think). I won't say my own writing and character/narrative plotting are perfect, by any means, but I better appreciate now the need for installments/episodes to be tightly woven together. Not all motifs or characters need to be tightly woven in - there is such a thing as "extras", both in fiction and in our real lives - but anything that is painted as significant had better actually be significant.

 

Spoiler

For instance, in Seolleim in Salzburg, you will find that I repeat pieces of music or side characters a lot. Not always (I do have some characters, for instance, who only just show up in a single installment), but generally, I try to plan out my plots several installments in advance. By having a sense of direction as to where the story will go as a whole, I can start foreshadowing or laying groundwork in a way that's relevant earlier on. And I was expecting Alice to have that same tightness to it.

 

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2 hours ago, kittyna said:

I won't say my own writing and character/narrative plotting are perfect, by any means, but I better appreciate now the need for installments/episodes to be tightly woven together. Not all motifs or characters need to be tightly woven in - there is such a thing as "extras", both in fiction and in our real lives - but anything that is painted as significant had better actually be significant.

Does this mean that you are working on "Alice" Fan- Fiction? :grin:  Since the drama ended in vague manner, I won't say it is open ended, like, we can see PJG was able to recall who TY(2020) was and they union signifies that "Son was finally able to meet his Mom" and it felt more or less like a happy ending.

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6 hours ago, kireeti2 said:

Does this mean that you are working on "Alice" Fan- Fiction? :grin:  Since the drama ended in vague manner, I won't say it is open ended, like, we can see PJG was able to recall who TY(2020) was and they union signifies that "Son was finally able to meet his Mom" and it felt more or less like a happy ending.

 

I'm nowhere near that point - nor was that what I was hinting at in my comment - but I would like to someday. It's harder to figure out what I could flesh out further (which is what I usually do with fics), but the idea to write something has been there from the start. ;) 

 

Generally, I'd say that my fics take on three main directions: prequel/backstory, sequel (e.g. Seolleim in Salzburg), or alternate perspective (i.e. looking at actual drama events from another character's POV). Which direction I'd take with Alice, though, is still hard to say.

 

Behind the scenes photos from JW's manager

 

“Alice” Main Cast Chooses Most Memorable Scenes From The Drama

 

Kim Hee Sun, Joo Won, And More Share Final Remarks To Bid Farewell To “Alice”

 

Young Jin Gyeom's backpack

 

Episode 16 making film:

 

 

By the way, I know it was a blooper (mistimed reaction), but I actually loved the take where Jin Gyeom walks away while Do Yeon's still talking and she ends up chasing after him. It's actually in line enough with their teenage selves that I kinda wish they kept that.

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Cannot understand and accept three points in the last episode:

1. If Jin Gyeom lived a happy life with his mother, graduated from university and became an architect, then how could this independent person "remember" the life experience of Jin Gyeom as a police officer ?!

2. Why wasn't Jin Gyeom surprised when he met Professor Tae Yi that she looked like his mother ?!

3. In terms of DNA, Professor Tae Yi remains Jin Gyooma's biological mother. Then how can incest be allowed between these two characters ?!

It seems that the writers went to the violation of common sense and logic for the sake of the notorious "happy ending".

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1 hour ago, nina_mitrokhina 5misnina said:

1. If Jin Gyeom lived a happy life with his mother, graduated from university and became an architect, then how could this independent person "remember" the life experience of Jin Gyeom as a police officer ?!

2. Why wasn't Jin Gyeom surprised when he met Professor Tae Yi that she looked like his mother ?!

3. In terms of DNA, Professor Tae Yi remains Jin Gyooma's biological mother. Then how can incest be allowed between these two characters ?!

 

My best guess right now is that if we assume parallel universes still exist, then quantum entanglement (i.e. the idea that Yoo Min Hyuk brought up about people being able to subconsciously feel the memories/personalities of their parallel selves) might exist as well.

 

I'm not entirely sure how it works for Tae Yi (since we just see her life resuming in 2020 with no memory of the alternate version of her life that she apparently lived), but for Jin Gyeom, I think there must still be some blurring between the new version of him (the teenager that grew up) and the original Jin Gyeom. Because it's not a perfect reset, the original Jin Gyeom and the new Jin Gyeom did briefly inhabit the same space (that house on that night in 2010), and so it can be expected that quantum entanglement still applies. If that's the case, the original Jin Gyeom's memories were probably hidden somewhere in the new Jin Gyeom's subconscious, but it would take some sort of trigger (i.e. seeing Tae Yi for the "first" time) to bring them up to the surface.

 

I will confess to also being surprised that Jin Gyeom didn't appear to recognize Tae Yi at first. He does do a double take after their conversation, as though he's wondering where he's seen this girl before, but it does appear to be separate from any memories of his mother. It's possible that Park Sun Young is still alive in this version of 2020, meaning that Jin Gyeom doesn't feel the same urgent need to find her again...but if anyone has any other ideas, please let me know :) 

 

Finally, as for the relationship between Jin Gyeom and Tae Yi after the drama's ending, I still can't see it being a romantic one. If they had no memories of their original selves, then it would be possible in the way that it plays out in Oedipus (i.e. the son marries his mother because they literally have no idea they're related); however, since they do remember, I don't think it's going to happen. So this is actually the least of my worries re: Alice's ending.

 

1 hour ago, nina_mitrokhina 5misnina said:

It seems that the writers went to the violation of common sense and logic for the sake of the notorious "happy ending".

 

If it were up to me, I think I'd be happy with the drama ending after Jin Gyeom and Tae Yi first run into each other again - when, after realizing that Jin Gyeom doesn't recognize her, Tae Yi finally starts to think that it might be better for him this way. I loved that bit about her just being happy that he's happy, because I think that's what love (romantic or otherwise) should ultimately be about.

 

And if the story really had to continue past that point so that Tae Yi could also be happy? As fine as I am with the actual ending, if it were entirely up to me and my writer's imagination, I'd have the second meeting play out differently. K-dramas often have some sort of concept of a "new beginning" in their finales; and rather than a reunion based on subconscious memory, that's the approach I would go for.

 

So, rather than Jin Gyeom starting to remember Tae Yi, I would have written him as someone who doesn't remember, but who ends up meeting Tae Yi again in a different context. Maybe she ends up buying the old house and commissions him to renovate it or something, I dunno. And then they officially introduce (or, in Tae Yi's case, reintroduce) themselves, and a new working relationship or friendship could start.

 

lol - I dunno, guys. It feels sort of sacrilegious to start thinking of an entire alternate ending so soon after the drama's own finale, but..should I? ;) 

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The trouble with many open endings is that they are most often used by writers when they are confused and do not understand how to end the series. Therefore, the viewer has to come up with his own version, then illogical endings give rise to "crazy" ideas (for example, incest). In my opinion, it was necessary to perform a complete reboot of the two worlds, and then Tae Yi and Mi Hyuk were supposed to meet in 2050 and give birth to baby Jin Gyeom. Or end up as you suggested, Professor Tae Yi made sure Jin Gyeom was doing well and happy.

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  • Jillia changed the title to Joo Won 주원 - Finished Drama: Alice

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