Original air date: January 6, 2017 – March 3, 2017.
Episode duration: 43 mins
With a lackluster series premiere, Emerald City failed to bring an appealing story of the popular Dorothy shenanigan within its first 15 minutes. The intrigue of what makes Oz such a special place I’m fictional history is clearly missing, but the introduction of The Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz held enough promise to immediately spice things up.
Dorothy is consumed in a strange tornado and transported to an unknown world – Oz. Immediately she arrived Oz powerful persons could tell a foreigner had arrived, a guest who smelled of trouble. The Great Wizard sent his warrior, Eamonn, to bring the dead body of the intruder to him. Dorothy’s arrival caused the false death of the Witch of the East (one of the three Cardinal Witches). Her death is soon made true by Dorothy in a bid to save her life and her newfound male companion (Lucas) using a weapon foreign to Oz (a handgun). The remaining two Cardinal Witches (North and West) suspect the Wizard of causing their sister’s death because of former bad blood between them, and agree to set aside their hatred for themselves to fight the common enemy.
The Great Wizard had a deal with the Eastern Witch which he hopes her sisters (Mistress North/Glinda and Mistress West) can help with, even though there’s obvious resentment between them (especially with Glinda).
There’s also the story of a boy (Tipp) who discovered he really is not just a girl but a one older than the body he was trapped in. He’s put on a journey of full discovery to bring to life the person his adopted mother had always tried to hide from the world. Though poorly told, her story evolves and reveals her to be the true heir to the throne (her father, the previous King was killed when the Wizard took control of Emerald City).
I have a problem with The Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz, who I never got to see use magic. The Wizard appeared to be an advocate of science and showed a great hatred towards the use of magic, killing children if need be. This is weird because we all know the history of The Wizard of Oz… he’s a wizard aafter all, as the name suggests. Though every story is open to a writer’s intepretation, this wasn’t really enjoyable as it quickly established the story to be one of science laced with magic, when all we wanted to see was magic magic magic!
The Wizard is assigned women to aid his activities, they make up his council. He falls for one but kills her when her loyalty was in question, to prove he wasn’t one fall easy for love.
One thing Emerald City does get right is its ability to split characters on missions of their own, and still find ways to bring the together for engaging story-lines; take for example, when Lucas found out the warrior sent by the Wizard after Dorothy not only knows him but was his leader in the army, or how Tripp ended up as the acolyte of the Witch of the West and came across Dorothy again (after the events that set her free from her adopted-mother). Emerald City did a good job with making story-lines go full circle, only that the pacing of story-telling’s poor.
Next, I want to talk about The Beast Forever. What ever this is, it was declared the central villain of the story from the very first episode. Though its name kept on appearing again and again, it wasn’t seen until the 10th episode.
Dorothy had most characteristics of a typical protagonist – kind, selfless, and caring, but those weren’t enough to make me fall in love with the character.
Things do really start to get very much interesting by the 6th episode when it was revealed Dorothy and The Wizard have history together ooutside of Oz, one that predates her birth. The Wizard capitalizes on this to cajole Dorothy into setting out to kill Glinda (The North Witch) in order to return to her world. This mission goes awry when Glinda restored Lucas’ memories and its revealed both of them are married.
Overall, Emerald City is A half-baked story, poorly constructed, poorly acted. At first, the unique take on the Wizard was intriguing, but as time went by, the character became more annoying and almost intolerable.
The myth of The Beast Forever dangled for too long, and the ultimate reveal of the villain was… anti-climatic. He didn’t even have enough screen time for someone who’s presence hung over the entire season since the series premiere. Worst is the fact that the season ended In a poorly constructed cliffhanger of revealing The Beast Forever conquered Oz, and only Dorothy can save the whole kingdom… cliche!
To bait a second season renewal.
If you’re searching for a miniseries with fantasy, magic, then Emerald City is for you, but if you’re in search of quality TV entertainment, its pacing will certainly turn you off.