If I'm anything, I'm a guy who likes familiarity. When I go to the deli down the street from my office, I order the same thing every time. When I've planned vacations it's been to Disney World, not only because it's the happiest place on earth, but because I've grown accustomed to the surroundings. When I start a new tv series, like I did on Monday with Men of a Certain Age, it's usually because I had a previous relationship with someone as I did with the likes of Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula. For this reason, I decided to watch the SyFy mini-series Alice. And for this reason, I enjoyed it more than I probably should have.
Alice took the Lewis Carroll children's stories of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and modernized it for the SyFy mini-series. My previous relationship with Wonderland is mainly with the 1991-95 tv series Adventures in Wonderland. As you could guess from the years of airing, it featured a roller-skating White Rabbit and MC Hammer-esque tweedle dee and tweedle dum. Missy Robinson from that one episode of Boy Meets World, or the lead from Point Pleasant, starred as Alice on the Disney Channel show. A couple of years ago, I watched the Disney animated classic Alice in Wonderland for the first time that I can remember.
SyFy's version started off with Alice, a 20-something girl in the real world, and her boyfriend having dinner with her mother. After her boyfriend, Robinson Crusoe, was captured and taken through the looking glass, Alice followed him to Wonderland. Wonderland was a dark, broken down world that sat mostly high up off the ground. As Alice tries to recover her boyfriend, who's actual name was Jack, she runs into many of the characters we have known in the past. White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, Caterpillar, Cheshire Cat and the weirdest version of the March Hare you could ever imagine. Every time there was another sighting, or mention of a character I knew, I got excited. Even when a fat man with a long mustache was just referred to as the Walrus, I loved it.
Sure there were plenty of flaws, but it did keep my interest throughout the three hours of run time. Caterina Scorsone who played Alice was fantastic even if she did have dark hair. Andrew-Lee Potts was even better as the Mad Hatter. He was funny at most points, but also had the ability to make me care about what happened him. The Hatter and the White Knight followed Alice on her adventure, which started out as a plan to save her boyfriend, then turned into trying to save her absentee father that was stuck in Wonderland, and finished with trying to take down the vicious Red Queen played by the fantastic Kathy Bates. All in all there were plenty of twists and turns and the ending was well worth it. Let's just say I had no idea that was where they were going to take the story when I began watching.
I plan on getting to watch SyFy's Tin Man, made a couple years ago, at some point in the near future. Another recreation of a famous children's story, obviously based on The Wizard of Oz.