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Alice: Season 1 [Import]
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Sensuality and drama intertwine in a breathtaking and humorous story. Alice is a 26 year-old woman that lives a simple life in Palmas, a region of northern Brazil. After four years of dating Henrique, they decide to move in together, but her father s unexpected death changes everything, taking Alice all the way to Sao Paulo, where she gathers with her stepmother, aunt, and sister. Alice stays longer than planned, and she finds new loves and friends, awakening to a brand new world. In the middle of urban chaos, Alice re-discovers the city, her country, and ultimately, herself.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
As a 26 year old woman, Alice is a pretty typical representation of young adulthood. I'd like to say that we're all grown up and responsible by that age (and we should be), but it has become increasingly common for people to use their twenties to figure the world and their place in it out. Alice embraces drunkenness, drug fueled nights, and open sexuality in her seeming liberation. Along the way, she betrays every one that cares about her with her utter and complete selfishness. No one is more battered than her friend Nick. Nick gave her a job, covered for her when she messed up, got her promotions and assignments, lent her money, supported her every whim--and the minute he ever questioned one of her schemes or her obnoxious behavior, she blew up at him like he was an unreasonable ogre. Luckily, the actress does not alienate the viewers and maintains a sense of being grounded. Alice is not always likable, but she is believable. But as she becomes more successful, her bad acts intensify.
I liked "Alice" mostly due to a large and engaging cast. It is colorful and interesting and it's nice to see the arc of Alice's character. In thirteen episodes, the finale seems a bit rushed. Alice never has to deal with the repercussions of her actions. While hitting rock bottom in Episode 12, everything seems forgiven and/or unresolved going into the final episode. I'd have liked to see her realize the consequences of her actions, but everyone seems perfectly content to be used as her doormat and still give her unconditional love in return. The final episode has Alice confront a painful past back in her small town and wraps everything up with a pretty and convenient bow. One of the things I enjoyed about "Alice" was how messy and real it seemed, but for the finale--all that mess was swept under a rug to be forgotten forever. Still, a worthwhile show that straddles the line between unpleasant and uplifting--a strange combination. KGHarris, 5/11.
The reviews for this series were positive and the price was very reasonable for 13 episodes that are each about 45 minutes long.
I had no problems viewing the discs, though they were really hard to remove from the case. The audio is excellent (I chose 5-channel Portuguese, but there is also 2-channel Portuguese and a Spanish dubbed track). Subtitles are available in English or Spanish, but not Portuguese.
The video quality is very inconsistent. I think that the transfer to DVD was not done very well, but it could be the original source, though the series was shot in 2008. The problem seems more apparent with longer shots, when the image has very obvious horizontal lines (like on an non-HD TV, except worse). Strangely, close-ups look quite sharp in comparison, and since most of the series consists of close and mid-range shots, it's only the scenic long shots that are affected by the problem. The video problems in the final episode were distracting, with noticeable shifts or jerks in the image, but by that time I was hooked on the story and did my best to ignore it.
As for the series itself, I was totally drawn into it and watched the entire season in a couple of days. Be patient with it, because by the second or third episode it looks as if they have introduced way too many characters and story lines, and then they appear to drop them. However, the characters do reappear, and there are enough twists and turns in the storyline to keep your interest throughout.
Although the story is centered around Alice, the other characters are just as interesting and they are allowed to develop enough so that Alice becomes the catalyst around whom their stories are told, more than the driving force of the plot.
Alice herself changes from a shy girl from the hinterlands, to a more outgoing and assertive urban woman. In the process, she loses some of the traits that made her the most endearing at the beginning, but it's a gradual change, and it wasn't until the last few episodes that I really became impatient and annoyed with her (as do the other characters in the series). However, she never really means to do any harm, and as one character remarks, even when she has hurt people, they do not stop liking her. My guess is that most viewers will forgive her, too.
The series is filled with strong, independent, and complex women, and not all of them are young. The depiction of several of the older women in the series is unusually realistic and unlike most of what we see on American TV, they are not treated as caricatures, or "cute old ladies." In general, the men are more stereotypical, but they too are complex in their own way. One of the strengths of the series is that each character has his or her share of faults, and the viewer comes to accept the good and bad in each character.
Many Brazilian films seem to be about the problems with crime, drugs, and the huge income disparity, with lots of stories about life in the favelas. While these are all important subjects and are worth viewing, it's a nice change of pace to see a series that focuses on the everyday life of a group of middle class Brazilians.
One caveat for viewers who are uncomfortable with nudity or sex scenes: there is a fair amount in this series, so if it offends you, you should probably steer clear. It's nothing more than you'd see on HBO in the US, but it's definitely more explicit than you would see on broadcast network TV here. There's also a lot of cigarette smoking, drinking, and some recreational drug use, but it doesn't dominate the series.
I enjoyed the series a lot more than I had thought I would, and in spite of issues with the video transfer, I highly recommend it.
I hope soon we will be able to enjoy the last part of the show.
Other than the technical difficulties, the series was a good watch. It isn't always easy to find movies and such in Portuguese and My fiancée loves it when I do.