Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Emerald City - Mistress - New Mistress

Three episodes in I can already see a problem with Emerald City and how each story is constructed. In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy is the stand-in for the audience. As she is introduced to the bizarre new world so are we. We never learn information or specifics about Oz which Dorothy herself isn't subject to. The construction of Emerald City, which feels much more like a book with different chapters from different characters' point-of-view, proves problematic as it chooses instead for a rotating narrative as we see the world from the perspectives of Dorothy, but also the Wizard, the witches, and Tip. While this might help balance the screentime for the series' cast, it creates a less cohesive narrative structure.

After discovering that the Wizard (Vincent D'Onofrio) wants her dead, Dorothy (Adria Arjona) and Lucas (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) leave the road and head to the home of the Witch of the East. Dorothy is hoping that she might be able to ride the cyclone floating about the dead witch's castle all the way home. The witch's former servant (Deobia Oparei) hopes his new mistress can calm the weather. Neither will get what they want as this short side-trip ends in disaster and Dorothy returns to the road more determined than ever to see the Wizard.

When the episode leaves Dorothy, it spends the bulk of its time with the transformed Tip (Jordan Loughran) and his/her friend Jack (Gerran Howell) and showcasing more of the inner politics of the Wizard's castle and the suggestion that he might be just as powerless to defeat the Beast Forever as everyone else in Oz if the increasing portents are true and the monster is returning. Aside from taking time away from Dorothy's exploration of Oz, these scenes don't add much to the narrative other than more screentime for D'Onofrio (which isn't a good enough reason, in and of itself, for these scenes to exist).

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