First Impressions and Unfiltered Thoughts: Alice

The trailers for Alice were intriguing and the plot synopsis was thought provoking, so we just had to check out the first few episodes. Come see if we’ll keep pressing play on the new time travel sci-fi drama Alice!

The Plot

From Asian Wiki – “Park Jin-Gyeom (Joo Won) is a detective who doesn’t show emotions. While investigating a mysterious case, he realizes the existence of time travelers. The time travelers come to the present day from the future through a space called Alice. Park Jin-Gyeom struggles to prevent negative things happening through Alice. During this time, he meets Yoon Tae-Yi (Kim Hee-Seon) again. She died in the past. Park Jin-Gyeom insists that their meeting is a fateful reunion. Yoon Tae-Yi is a genius physicist and she holds a key to time travel. While they unravel the secret of time travel together, she realizes a secret behind her.”

Karie the Maknae: There are a LOT of storyline layers going on here, and the time travel makes my head hurt. I finally had to accept that time works in Alice like it did in Avengers: Endgame — going back in time and changing things creates a new reality and a new timeline, instead of erasing the future. Once I thought about it that way, I could accept things like people killing their past selves without they themselves disappearing.

There’s also the mystery of Joo Won’s mother, his disappearing father, and the secrets that the head honchos of Alice are keeping. AND, just to keep us all on our toes, there’s a book of prophecy that documents everything that will happen once time travel becomes commonly used. Add to that a rebel group of brokers who help time travelers break the rules, and my head is spinning. That’s all just from the first three episodes!

Kmuse: So much plot, and I am LOVING it. I am a huge fan of overly complicated science fiction plots. That, combined with Joo Won, has me totally glued to my seat.

Kdrama Jen: I was definitely hooked on this within the first few minutes. This is going to get messy with all of the time jumping and alternate universes, but I am so intrigued. This is one my whole family is watching (teens and up), so we are having endless conversations about the different plot twists.

The Characters

Joo Won plays Park Jin Gyeom, an emotionless detective who was raised by his time traveler mother. She had been murdered by a mysterious weapon 10 years before he discovers the possibility of time travel again, and he takes a mysterious artifact to her present-day counterpart to figure out just what’s going on.

Kim Hee Sun plays Yoon Tae Yi/Park Sun Young, a genius physicist who cracks the secret of time travel, goes back in time with her partner to find the book of prophecy, discovers she’s pregnant, and stays in that time to have and raise the child. Also, she undergoes a complete personality transplant as a result, becoming a kinder, gentler person who just bows her head and takes whatever comes.

Karie the Maknae: The drama starts off with a bang, with Kim Hee Sun kicking butt and saving people, then having witty banter with her partner. And then she folds in on herself and becomes someone else after realizing she’s a mother. I liked the return to her sassy self when Joo Won found her in the future — she’s so scrappy and self-confident!

And I have to question a drama that already has so many layers having an emotionless lead. Make it hard to connect with him and therefore care about the story….

Kmuse: I am the opposite. I totally connected with our leading man and don’t find him that emotionless. He has emotions but at a different level. His feelings for his mom once he loses her are obvious, and I love that he continues to search for answers.

I’m also a huge fan of the time-traveling mom and son reunion. It adds a very interesting layer to their relationship and I am very interested to see where things go. (Update– Uhm… Not sure I am liking this dynamic anymore. Some things have happened that make me a bit uncomfortable.)

Kdrama Jen: So, this is Joo Won’s post-military ab-flashing opportunity, and he does not disappoint. I have been a huge fan of his acting for a long time, even if I have not enjoyed all of his drama choices. I remember seeing him on a variety show a few years ago and they had him cry on demand. It was pretty incredible because he could do it so quickly and simply transform. He is bringing his amazing acting ability to this role. The fact that someone who cut the ears of bunnies as a child can become a character I care about takes talent. Also, the fight scenes rock!

I also love Kim Hee Sun in this drama. She is strong and intelligent in all of the different realities. I think she is very believable as “Mom” and also as the young professor.

Also, my family is really enjoying the weird-looking robot-thing in the professor’s lab. It almost seems like product-placement, but we can’t figure out why anyone would want a waving-armed robot-thing. If any of you know what it is—please share!

Would We Recommend?

Karie the Maknae: Funny story — most of the Fangirls decided independently that Alice would be better as a binge watch. Personally, I agree that keeping track of the myriad of storylines and details that come with complicated time travel is better done all at once, instead of trying to remember things from week to week.

Kmuse: From the time I started writing this post to the time we are uploading this post I have had a change of heart. I am half way through and there are some questionable plot twists that I’m not sure I am on board for. I say wait to the end to see what people say before starting.

Kdrama Jen: I am fully on-board. I am hoping they don’t pursue a love-line with the girl who looks like Mommy. It might not be his real mom, but it still feels icky if they go that direction. Other than that…let’s hit play on another episode!

Until the next time jump, we remain —

The Fangirls

Dramas with a Side of Kimchi

2 thoughts on “First Impressions and Unfiltered Thoughts: Alice

  1. I’m a big sucker for Time Travel stories. As far as the uncomfortable bits … sounds like they’re teasing to be a little like “Dark” from Netflix. Though I doubt Korea would go that path fully. Dark is an AMAZING show, time-travel perfection in ways, but talk about uncomfortable, my gosh!

  2. As I wrote in another Alice review. d ont be uncomfortable by the mom/son plot development. Believers of reincarnation think that for instance your husband in thid live can be your son or brother or friend or teacher and so on in a next live.

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