January 26, 2017 Emerald City
The Emerald City is the Capital of The Land of Oz. In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the walls are green, but the city itself is not. In fact, the Wizard makes everyone wear green tinted glasses or goggles. Later, the glasses are no longer required eye-wear. However, Baum describes the Emerald City as being built with glass, emeralds and other jewels. On the 1910 book The Emerald City of Oz, the city is described as having 9,654 buildings and 57, 318 citizens. Many feel that Chicago was the inspiration for his fictional city.
Anyway, the sixth book in the Oz series is titled The Emerald City of Oz. In it, we find Dorothy living in Kansas with her Aunt and Uncle. Henry and Em are facing the possibility of losing the farm. Using the Magic Belt seized from the Gnome King, Dorothy summons Ozma. Ozma transports Dorothy, Henry and Em to live happily ever after in the Emerald City. However, the Gnome King plots to take over the Land of Oz. This one of my favorite adventures because it give a great deal of details and backstory to Oz.
The New Miniseries Emerald City is a reimaging of Baum’s work. It does not follow the books at all. It plucks various people and places from the books, but doesn’t adhere to any particular plot. Dorothy is swept away by a tornado to Oz, but finds a wild and cruel tribe of tall Munchkins. She rescues a man on a cross that is supposed to be a sort of scarecrow. The Wicked Witch of the East is a Black Voodoo Priestess who is resurrected before being killed again. Glinda runs an Artemis like cult or perhaps a nunnery. Glinda’s sister is a drug addicted whore. The Wizard doesn’t hide behind a curtain. He is a forgettable ruler concerned with keeping his power. We see a young man, Jack I think, become mostly mechanical after an accident. He is the Bronze Man instead of the Tin Man.
Then there is the whole subplot from The Marvelous Land of Oz with Mombi and Tip. Ironically, Fiona Shaw who played Aunt Petunia in the Harry Potter books, plays Mombi. Petunia was jealous and afraid of her sister Lilly’s power. She hated Lily for being a witch. Now Fiona gets to play a witch in Oz. Her reasons for transforming Tip into a boy in the TV series is unclear, but we see Tip slowly transforming back into a girl and has some sort of transgender thing going on.
In this last episode, we Dorothy exhibits some sort of magical powers. She seemed to control the weather or affect it at least. She also gets a glimpse of another place as if she transported herself there. We also see Jack is not in Oz, but in the Land of Ev, but with Princess Langwdere from the book Ozma of Oz.
Like The Series of Unfortunate Events movie from 2004—this unfortunate Oz series attempts to smoosh three books into one convoluted event. It just doesn’t work. I do like the exotic locales. They filmed in Croatia, Hungry and Spain after all. These locations and the more adult themes are probably why it has been compared to Game of Thrones. But it isn’t Game of Thrones or an actual Oz story. I really don’t understand why no one has taken to filming a 14 to 24 episode series where each of the original Oz books gets an episode or two of its own. And no more using The Wizard of Oz as a springboard. Wicked was amusing enough, but all the knock offs were annoying to downright boring.