I guess I should outline what was unexpectedly palatable about Wonderland's pilot. I'll start with the biggest surprise and relief: Alice. Alice was the biggest presumption that I was wrong about. She was clever, and not in the way that TV heroines are clever because we are told they are. She is resourceful (like torching a stretch of a marshmallow pond in order to leverage herself out of it) but moves on. That is, I think, why I believe it. Clever people don't stop and marvel because they were smart enough to act. More often than not, they are clever because that kind of thinking isn't unusual for them. They find a solution to a simple problem and move on. I believe that Alice is smart, something I did not expect to.
Furthermore, her interaction with the supporting characters is fun. Alice and the Knave have a particularly witty rapport, and the rabbit is a little scared of Alice, further reinforcing her badass reputation.
True, Alice as veritably given up the will to live because the love of her life died . . . but that's not weak. I made a mistake in implying so in my preview review. I can accept that a young girl who has experienced wonders in her life and found herself in a quest to prove herself would love equally as passionately as she lived her life. She doesn't want to die; she wants to forget. She wants to stop the pain. We've all been there.
My objection actually lies in the depiction of relationship itself, and I may be proven wrong over the course of my 12 episode sojourn. She and her genie travel and have adventures and make flirty eyes at each other . . . but I don't buy the relationship. I believe that she's in love, but I don't feel their connection. Honestly, I have more investment in Alice and the Knave getting together than Alice and her one true love being reunited. Again, there's room for this to develop, but it made a poor showing in the pilot.
Also, I get the Queen of Hearts as a villain--she was established a bit in Once Upon a Time, but Jafar? We're really pulling out all of the stops, aren't we? The jarring clash of two such different worlds has me just waiting for disappointment.
Once Upon a Time also established portals for traveling between worlds (from our world to the Enchanted Forest to Wonderland to Neverland), but I'm pretty sure that Wonderland pulled the time traveling rabbit hole out of their ass. I'm not trying to be nitpicky, but the entire time that the Knave was jail breaking Alice, I was wondering how the hell they got to Victorian England. I guess that would explain why Alice was clueless about the standards set for genies by Disney. An unfortunate side effect of doing whatever they wanted with time travel is that there are no anchors for how Wonderland fits into the OUAT timeline, leaving returning fans and newcomers alike confused.
Back it up a little. You noticed my mentioning two plot devices borrowed from Once Upon a Time? Well, there are more, including the Mad Hatter's house and reference to the White Queen, that there doesn't seem to be much intention of explaining. Pretty lazy writing, guys. It's one thing to have fan references for those will greater knowledge about the universe, but to leave out big chunks of Alice in Wonderland lore is frustrating.
There are plenty of small details that made me nuts (I have a running count in my head of how many scenes it will take for Alice for put on real clothes), but as it is Wonderland wasn't as horrible as I thought. It is instead a lazy show with writers hoping that Once Upon a Time fan loyalty will sustain them. I hope they get another strategy soon because this one just annoyed me.