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"This Is Wonderland" More at IMDbPro »

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14 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Best show on my TV.

10/10
Author: G. Allen Morris III (gam3@gam3.net) from Fort Bragg, California
5 March 2005

This show is weird, hilarious, and poignant. The production quality is very good, the acting is great, and the characters are brilliant. Even the sound is good, which is more than I can say for most US TV shows of late. I understand that the producers ended up in the Old Toronto City Hall one day and found it so odd they had to make it into a TV show.

As an American I am not used to the Canadian Justice system, but this just makes it all the more interesting. There is a court that would be like the US night court and then three more: bail court, plea court and crazy people court. Oh yes and once in a while we get to see trail court as well. While the judges wear red robes, like in Rumple of the Bailey, there are no powdered wigs.

If you can get CBC -- watch this show. If you can't get CBC -- move.

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Courtroom chaos, comedy style

Author: phbalanced
30 March 2004

A one hour show depicting all that can go wrong in a courtroom combining the elements of drama, comedy, and lots of people in the courtoom "audience" can make it a bit chaotic for the viewing audience trying to follow what's happening. Michael Riley shines as the extroverted Elliott Saks, bringing back memories of his quick pace and quirky character in Power Play. Recognizable faces as recurring characters including Michael Murphy, Janet Laine-Greene, and Eric Peterson, best known from the CBC series Street Legal, and now on the new CTV series Corner Gas. Lots of laughs though we can sometimes empathize with the plight of those on the witness stand - accused and victims. How best to describe this to those who haven't seen the show? Imagine a little bit of the 80s sitcom "Night Court" + any prime time legal drama = This Is Wonderland.

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Best Canadian show... well, possibly ever

Author: terriblevirtue from London, Ontario
19 January 2004

Congratulations to CBC for picking a real winner for once! Not that I dislike their other shows necessarily, but until now there hasn't been a Canadian series that could compete at an international level (with a couple of possible exceptions). This show is funny, smart, and grabs your attention. It's almost impossible to *not* watch until the end once it's started.

I'm praying real hard that it finds its audience because once it picks up steam, it could actually draw... my god... ratings. And I don't mean acceptable-for-Canadian-made-TV ratings. Actual numbers! Did I just say that? A highly rated CBC show?

Well I can dream, can't I?

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

I love the way this series captures urban chaos

Author: bill engleson from British Columbia
4 March 2004

Even with the frantic pace, this courtroom comic drama takes just the right amount of time to tell its painful, and painfully funny stories. As art it creates its own universe and peoples it with highly original characters. As a piece of urban it seems to tell the truth. It is a highly inventive and revealing portrait that shows how peoples lives are affected by their dance with the court system. What is also revealing and truth-telling is the necessary manipulation of the judicial process in order that people actually get a bit of justice. A funny dramedy. CBC, you're on the ball.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

It really *is* Wonderland

Author: ReganRebecca from Ottawa, Ontario
11 March 2004

This is really an excellent show. Despite being only an hour long the show manages to cram in wonderful stories and sub-plots without feeling rushed at all. It really is like Wonderland. Every character is insane, with their own personal, quirks, twitches and attitudes. The only exception is Alice herself (played by Cara Pifko). Unfortunately she has the task of playing the straight man, the one earnest character who isn't there for laughs but to balance out all the other weird characters. This makes her character remarkably dull. However since this show does have 3 to 4 plots going on at the same time it leaves little time for Alice and more time for the rest of the characters.

Don't flip the channel when you come across this show. It's one of the few shows worth watching.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A great show that deserves a chance to grow and flourish.

Author: propsguy from Toronto
26 April 2005

After watching the final episode of series 2, I was somehow left with a feeling of sadness that this show might not be renewed. Sure it's quirky and oddball. Sometimes it feels like the actors are trying too hard. Sometimes it feels like it's going off the rails. But it always draws you back. It draws you back with poignant scenes filled with human tragedy. It draws you back with well written scripts. But mostly it draws you back with the passion that everyone involved in this production seems to feel for this programme.

It's rare these days that a television show gets the free reign to break away from the formulaic ideas that are making North American TV so boring and one dimensional. I'm just very afraid that it won't get the ratings that it deserves and it'll get cancelled. Or worse, it will be re-tooled and changed to be more acceptable to the masses. That would be wrong, the masses have enough to watch, this one is for the rest of us.

Please CBC, bring it back.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

a very good show!

Author: juliagates2002 from Canada
14 March 2005

this show is great. it is an example of when cbc does things right how good a show it can make. i think that the star and her supporting cast are all perfect in their roles and i hope this show comes back for not just one but for many more seasons. it is very funny but at the same time quite dramatic and it has a heart. it's the kind of good Canadian show i would have my children watch and will as soon as they are old enough as long as this show is still on. unfortunately a lot of good Canadian shows on cbc get cut down so i hope this one survives. the production values are terrific (again especially for a cbc show) and the writing is superb. good work all around.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Law and Order... without the Order. Yep that sums it up.

Author: cayer23 from Ottawa, Canada
3 April 2005

A brilliantly written, staged and acted bit of TV.

Yes I am a big fan ever since the first season which I am glad to hear is going to be available soon on DVD.

The variety of story lines, some recurring with return visits from some of our favorite "clients" for the main core cast of lawyers and judges to deal with, keep the show from being too predictable or dull.

The show definitely deserves the classification of Dramedy as alternatively you just aren't sure if you should laugh or cry.

A cast with a lot of Canadian actors, some recognizable instantly, some familiar and many new faces with the occasional visit by a well known guest make it a Canadian Treasure.

Rumour on it's web site forum are that it has been picked up for a third year.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

this is... actually great!

9/10
Author: adam-1009 from Poland
11 June 2008

When I had first glance at this series I presumed that this is some old American series about brave lawyer who fight for their clients, fight the system or do some other out-of-reality tasks. But after just few scenes I realized that this can't be old - there are too many modern things. Then I realized this can't American series - it's interesting. And at the end I realized that this can't be about lawyers - it's entertaining.

I don't know how to describe this series in other words than "great idea, good actors, interesting cases", etc. It's hard to point out any downsides of this series - it reminds me of US series "Queens Supreme" (which died too early) where you can feel that this is the real thing and real people in court with their real life problems.

And on the other hand creators have left aside lawyers private lives which would make the series sink instantly (like in Grey's Anatomy). Instead of the my-sad-personal-life stories there are loads of humor in scenes which makes the whole idea work just great, f.e. when Nancy Dao lost her first case:

NANCY (to her client): You see what you did? You made me lose my first case! And... to him! I hate you!

JUDGE: May we proceed to the sentence?

NANCY: Whatever...

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Cara Pifko really shines

8/10
Author: SnoopyStyle
22 September 2013

Alice De Raey (Cara Pifko) is a young lawyer thrown into the deep end defending the overlooked in a chaotic legal process. Elliot Sacks (Michael Riley) is a smarmy lawyer that has a heart of gold. James Ryder (Michael Healey) is suppose to be Alice's boss/mentor, but has fallen completely off the deep end.

With the lead named Alice and the title This is Wonderland, it refers to the wacky crazy world of dysfunctional legal system that Alice has fallen into. The show works best when her clients are crazy and the cases are impossible.

The third season do lose its way. It gets convoluted as it gets away from the procedural nature of its story. Also Alice not flustered is not as compelling.

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