This is Wonderland is a series that follows a new legal aid lawyer as she starts her first days in court. The show is both a dark comedy and a poignant drama that depicts the chaos and injustice of the criminal system as Alice De Raey (Cara Pifko) runs around the courthouse attempting to help her myriad clients while those clients, the court and her co-workers are all yelling at her.
It’s a high stress show, which starts with a mix-up in the first episode that finds a man who was in jail over a family dispute lost in the system as he is confused for a violent criminal. But it also features many colourful and compelling characters and lighter moments to ease the anxiety.
In particular, Michael Riley as eccentric defense attorney Elliot Sacks and Eric Peterson as an empathetic mental health court judge are the calming force in this high energy show. Michael Healey as Alice’s boss who is going through a nervous breakdown is one of the more complex characters who represents the effect the broken system has on the people who are fighting for justice, while a rotating cast of inmates represent the folks who are caught in a no-win situation.
The series is too emotionally draining to be binge watched, but its urgent message and arresting acting make it worth tuning in.