The Wizard of Oz. Come on, we all know the story. We most likely grew up with it, in some incarnation or other. You know the one. Dorothy and her little dog Toto from Kansas must follow the yellow brick road to Emerald City, and she makes more than a few friends along the way. Of course, she makes enemies, too. The Wicked Witch of the West has it out for her, and it seems that Dorothy might never make it to the Wizard of Oz himself to simply manage to go back home. There’s singing. There’s dancing. There’s comedy. There’s fear. It’s got it all, and that’s just the 1939 original starring the one and only Judy Garland. If you’re unfamiliar with it, you really ought to check it out.
Why Make Emerald City In 2017?
The Wizard of Oz is one of those movies which has stood the test of time. A combination of beloved characters and the ease in which it entered popular culture ensures that any new series would be – and has indeed been – received well today.
The franchise’s ability to infiltrate into modern culture and the wider culture of ‘fun’ has been apparent through the ages. In the 70s there was even a theme park, which opened in North Carolina but sadly has since shut down (but not before providing customers with ten fun years). These days, it’s evident in Sun Bingo’s Winnings of Oz slot games. Today’s digital natives can appreciate the graphics associated with the movie whilst partaking in a traditional slot game that’s been taken online. Featuring the same magic and fantasy found in the film itself, there’s everything from a Wizard bonus through to a yellow brick road that Dorothy must progress through for authenticity. You see, no matter where we are in time, we can always root for a young heroine. In gameplay, we’re rooting quite literally for ourselves, and so it’s easy to see where the inspiration comes from.
Enter Emerald City, a brand new, fresh take for today’s younger millennial generation. NBC haven’t missed a trick on this one, knowing what we know about the timelessness of the tale itself. Saying that, characters have to be relatable in order to maintain their relevance in 2017. Emerald City’s nod to today’s savvy young people only scratches the surface of the depth that this story still has left to explore. The Wizard of Oz – right from its incarnation as a novel – has always had so much scope for creativity, and in this sense, the ten-hour TV series does not disappoint.
Kids today have seen everything. That’s why TV now really needs to be smart. This dystopian reality has all of the hallmarks of success, from a prophecy through to violence, whilst still loosely following the story we all know and love. Its characters are multi-faceted and even have romantic interests, adding layers upon layers in a way that keeps audiences gripped throughout.
How Much More Can They Really Do?
The Wizard of Oz has stayed so fresh in people’s minds partly because of how often it’s been recreated, which is honestly a lot of times – almost 60. From spinoffs to foreign recreations, if you find yourself addicted to the story, you won’t be short of material to watch.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the tale is getting a little, well… tired. This may certainly have been the case previously, but a serious shake-up can actually go a long way in changing perception.
They say nothing beats the original, and you know what? In this case, they’re probably right. Judy Garland isn’t iconic for nothing, and the original quite literally paved the way for everything else. It’s timeless, faultless, and yes, it’s these very facts which have cemented its status as a classic.
However, as far as spinoffs go, Emerald City is basically on point. If you love modern drama with an edgy twist, this will be right up your street. And, if you find yourself missing the original? Just put on your ruby red slippers and whisper “there’s no place like home”.