Emerald City Episodes 1-5 Reviews: This Isn't Your Mama's "Wizard of Oz" - GMonsterTV

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Emerald City Episodes 1-5 Reviews: This Isn't Your Mama's "Wizard of Oz"

NBC's newest offering is "Emerald City" which airs on Friday nights. It's the latest take on the Oz universe which began in 1900 with the first of fourteen L Frank Baum books. The Judy Garland movie aired in 1939 and became an instant classic. There have been numerous iterations since--including Gregory Macguire's wildly popular 1995 book entitled "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West". 

To be honest, I was never been into all things Oz. It all seemed a bit too "vanilla" for me. I'm loving this new interpretation though. "Emerald City's" Dorothy is less of a scared young girl and more of a kick ass heroine. The show is also visually stunning and has a "Game of Thrones" vibe.   

We've half way through the series. There are 10 episodes total. What have we learned about Dorothy and Oz thus far?

Dorothy is sucked into a tornado and deposited (along with a police dog named "Toto") into the land of Oz. The natives she encounters (called the Munja'kin) waterboard Dorothy because they believe she is a witch (because she accidentally ran over the witch of the East). Apparently "only a witch can kill a witch". Don't worry that isnt the last we see of East. 

The Wizard (Frank Morgan) currently controls Oz via the use of science. He has banished magic and that includes the three cardinal witches-- North/Glinda (who runs an orphanage and supplies virgins for the Wizard's high council), West (who runs a brothel and is addicted to opium) and East (who controls the elements and runs The Prison of the Abject which holds those who dared practice magic). Mother South (who birthed all the other witches) was killed by the Beast Forever before the show begins. The Wizard likes to remind everyone that he successfully protected Emerald City from the Beast Forever by using science.

Dorothy just wants to get home. Ojo (one of the Munja'kin, his wife is in East's prison) takes Dorothy to the yellow brick road (which is lined with opium) and sends her in the direction of the Wizard. Dorothy doesnt know at this point that Wiz has sent his guards (including Eamonn) to kill her since "nothing good ever comes from the sky". 

Dorothy encounter an amnesiac who is strapped to a crucifix. She helps him down and calls the man Lucas (after her hometown in Kansas). In the original story he's known as the Scarecrow. Dorothy and Lucas (who have off the charts chemistry) run into all sorts of trouble during their journey. I won't give ya the details here since you really should watch the show. 

One of the most interesting story lines involves a boy named Tip that Dorothy and Lucas rescue from a witch who was holding him captive. Tip wakes up one morning as a girl (much to his distress) and the dismay of his friend Jack. I've very interested to see how the story of Tip's gender identity is handled. After Jack tries to kiss Tip he pushes Jack off a balcony. Jack is saved by a doctor named Jane. She replaces his damaged organs including his heart with mechanical devices. Thus Jack becomes our Tin Man. He is sold to a mysterious Princess of Ev (Langwidere). They travel to the Emerald City as well. On a related note, we now have the Scarecrow and the Tin Man but we havent met the cowardly lion. Any guesses to his identity?  

Tip ends up in a brothel as a servant of West. Ojo kidnaps Dorothy and takes her to West (who promised to free his wife from the prison). West demands Dorothy tell her why she was sent to kill East. In reality, Dorothy has no idea what she's talking about. East actually killed herself by pointing a gun at her head and pulling the trigger because "only a witch can kill a witch". It's obvious that the cardinal witches keep many secrets from each other. Glinda can definitely not be trusted.   

Tip helps Dorothy escape. She heads to the Wizard's castle in disguise. Upon seeing her, Frank says "Welcome home Dorothy". Is Dorothy the Wizard and Karen Chapman's daughter? If so, mind blown.  

Grade: 4 3/4 Monsters (out of 5). I'm definitely digging everything about "Emerald City".  The cast is excellent, the sets/costumes are great and the cinematography is top notch. I'm all in for the rest of the season.  

My only criticism is that East (played by Florence Kasumba) was gone WAY too soon. I would have loved watching her terrorize the citizens of Oz some more. My favorite line is from East "I woke up this morning and had the strangest taste in my mouth... YOU!!!!"

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January 29, 2017
Emerald City Episodes 1-5 Reviews: This Isn't Your Mama's "Wizard of Oz" Reviewed by GMonsterTV on 7:16 PM Rating: 5 NBC's newest offering is "Emerald City" which airs on Friday nights. It's the latest take on the Oz universe which beg...

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