Directed by: Tarsem Singh
Starring: Adria Arjona , Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Ana Ularu, Mido Hamada, Gerran Howell, Jordan Loughran, Joely Richardson, Vincent D’Onofrio
Reviewed by Xavier Emaka
Have you seen this TV series?
This is a rewrite of the Wizard of Oz story. Since the Land of Oz was published in 1900, it’s been featured in several movies and now it’s brought back to life in the story of Emerald City.
Emerald City starts with Dorothy being adopted. It then skips to some years later when she’s a nurse in Kansas and is going to meet with her biological mother. Dorothy finds her mother injured and just as she’s about to get help a tornado hits down. She hides in a car for refuge, but the tornado picks her up and transports her to OZ. As she’s landing, she hits a person. Dazed and confused, Dorothy explores the area and soon runs into a tribal group who take her as prisoner because she just killed the Wicked Witch of the East.
The tribe vote for her to be expelled from the land since they don’t want to be caught in between the reprisals for her action. They take her to the border of their lands and point her towards Emerald City where the Wizard of Oz stays. He might be the only one who can help her get home.
Dorothy goes down the yellow brick road, which by the way is yellow because of opium fields. On her way to the city she finds a man crucified. She brings him down to find he has no recollection of his past, not even his name.
Meanwhile, in Oz, the hurricane is being treated as a bad omen and the return of a mythical beast. The Wizard of Oz gained control of the city by slaying this beast with his giant statues and the people start turning to him to help once more.
In his rule, the Wizard had banned magic in the city and now the witches in the area live in fear of his rule. The Wicked Witch of the West has been reduced to running a brothel and is a barely functional opium addict on most days.
As Dorothy and the man she rescued head towards Emerald City, The Wicked Witch of the East appears. Apparently, she never died, because only a witch can kill a witch. She captures the pair and finds a gun Dorothy was carrying. Dorothy tricks her into killing herself then inherits some of the witch’s powers as she continues towards Oz.
The best part of this series is the wonderful Land of Oz that director recreated. The plot is a bit disappointing since it is not as fast moving as you’d hope. There are also a few plot holes here and there and action sequences that don’t make much sense.
The acting is great, but not enough to lift the the script. With forced dialogue and the main character being shipped of for no good reason sooner or later your attention might begin to drift away.
Verdict: Emerald City has left me with mixed feelings. Fans of fantasy might stick around but not for very long.