Oz in the News 1.6.17

b5d99c16d131c5d7888c4ffad8d851c5‘Wizard of Oz’ Superfan’s Memorabilia Collection Worth Nearly Half a Million Dollars When NBC’s Emerald City premieres on Jan. 6, Walter Krueger knows he’ll be watching. The 30-year-old is a die-hard Wizard of Oz superfan. Over the past 27 years, Krueger estimates, he’s spent more than $400,000 on a collection that he’s been building since he first fell in love with a Wizard of Oz coloring book when he was 3 years old. He’s currently working with partners to open a museum in the coming year that will house his entire collection and help him fulfill his dream of sharing Oz’s message of hope with the world. With that mission of spreading the message of Oz, Krueger is looking forward to NBC’s Emerald City, which he describes as “our greatest Oz venture that is yet to come.” Krueger says he loves all the iterations of Oz and is not a purist who likes only the original books or movie. He’s excited that the show will bring in new fans. “Emerald City‘s venture will probably bring in more people,” he says. “It keeps the story alive and fresh and new.”

EMERALD CITY: SEASON 1 REVIEW (Note: This is a review of the entire 10-episode season of Emerald City, but will not delve into major story spoilers beyond the initial set-up). I’ve seen some say Emerald City is Oz meets Game of Thrones, and I’m guessing that description did probably come up in some network meetings. And there is that vibe, in some regards, with the gritty feel, warring factions and various “Who can truly lead us?” plot threads. But it feels very hollow, especially compared to a show like The 100 that is also obviously trying for somewhat of a Game of Thrones vibe on network TV – but creating much stronger characters and world building, and truly delivering on the consequences in a way Emerald City fails to. There are some moments in Emerald City that work in the moment as surprises, but too often, they feel like they’re either undone immediately or don’t have enough follow-up to warrant that initial shock.

Emerald City’s cast and creators talk feminism, the Wizard, and their take on Oz “The movie is iconic,” Schulner says. “We are doing the books.” Besides the fact that MGM has an iron grip on the rights to anything and everything that was seen in Victor Fleming’s 1939 musical, the producers wanted to give Emerald City a more modern feel. “L. Frank Baum’s mother was one of the very first suffragists,” Schulner says of the book’s author. “Baum’s books are infused with feminism and anti-patriarchal [ideas]. In the second [Oz] book, an army of young women march on Emerald City because they are tired of being ruled by men. It is a matriarchal society of witches who ran Oz for thousands of years.”

10 Important Wizard of Oz Adaptations of the Last Century As Emerald City premieres, we’re taking some time to look back at some of the on-screen Oz incarnations that have defined the story’s legacy and the legacy of film and television. What is so timeless about this story? What do the quirks of each of these on-screen adaptations say about the respective eras they were made in? And what does Emerald City tell us about right now?


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