EDITOR’S NOTE: We didn’t mean to play “Dueling Emerald City”s, but as fate would have it, we find ourselves with two very different reviews of the same show to share. Which is cool because, seriously, what kind of world would it be if everybody always agreed?
by Diana Vaccarelli
On January 6, 2017 NBC introduced a new show called Emerald City. This series is a modern re-imagining of The Wizard of Oz. This time around Dorothy is a nurse in a nursing home and is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Dorothy is then swept into Oz in a police car during a tornado.
- The Writers, David Schulner, Matthew Arnold, Josh Friedman, Justin Doble, and Nichole Beattie, of this show are truly remarkable with how they have redesigned this classic story is truly breathtaking. The dark tones and how Dorothy is a kickass woman is a true testament to their talent to tell a story. So glad Josh Friedman is part of this show as he is one of the writers of Terminator, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, a show which I feel ended to early.
- Watching the show, I felt as thought I was in different world. Dorothy is out of her element in a strange new world and we as the viewer should feel the strangeness that she is – and the production does this beautifully with the set designs and costumes.
- The chemistry of the actors is nothing short of brilliant. Mainly between actors Adria Arjona (Dorothy Gale) and Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Lucas aka Strawman). I sense a romantic relationship building between these two as the show progresses.
- A big surprise for me was Vincent D’Onofrio as the beloved Wizard. The Wizard in this retelling is a tyrant. He rules with a iron fist and manipulates the people of Oz to believe the Witches are a great evil he alone can control them. I like this because there are so many places you can take this route with a character like this.
The only real criticism I have of the show is the casting of Ana Ularu as West. I feel that she overacted the part and should bring it down a notch.
Emerald City left me intrigued and wanting more. Specifically, the relationship between Dorothy and Lucas. I’m a sucker for romance. I’m excited to see where they take this in the series. I recommend this show for people who are into fantasy stories. If you’re not into retelling of classic stories, or if recent political events to which this show may be referring have you down, then you may want to keep away.