We are now three episodes in and it’s become pretty clear that NBC’s new drama, Emerald City, is all flash and no substance. The show is well made and fun to look at but the story just isn’t there right now. This week, Dorothy and Lucas continued their journey to find the Wizard of OZ. While on the road they hitched a ride with a traveling circus but it was cut short when the Wizard’s guard stopped the caravan to look for (and kill) Dorothy.
She and Lucas escaped and instead decided to visit the Witch of the East’s castle because there was cyclone circling above and Dorothy thought it could take her home. Of course, that didn’t work, though, because instead of taking her home, the tornado took her to some interdimensional world where she found a lab coat with her mother’s name on it floating in an icy river. As it turns out, her mother was once a visitor to OZ as well. Though we don’t know much right now, at the surface this detail seems like an unnecessary plot point used to make the story seem deeper and more dramatic than it really is. Depending on how it plays out in the end, this is something that could make or break the story. Will it end up seeming forced or clever?
Elsewhere in the world of OZ, the Wizard’s legitimacy began to be questioned by members of his high council, particularly Anna, the newest member. Out of all the characters, we have been introduced to so far, Anna is the most intriguing because of her background. She has ties to both Glinda and West and her mother was once a “friend” of the Wizard. Right now, she is locked away in a cell because she threatens the Wizard’s influence on the people, but it will be interesting to see how her role progresses the rest of the way.
Right now, though, the story just hasn’t developed into something that holds my attentions. The drama seems forced, whether it was the three flying women who committed suicide this week or whatever is going on with Tip. Like I said earlier, it’s flashy but uninteresting. Instead of trying to have the look and drama of Game of Thrones, Emerald City needs to focus on developing its characters and give us a reason to root for and feel attached to them. Sure, there are many questions surround the characters, but right now the only person’s motivations we know is Dorothy’s. I want to love this show, but right now Emerald City has a lot of work to do to get to that point.