Oz in the News 1.18.17

Gabby Douglas to Guest-Star on Nickelodeon’s Wizard of Oz Themed ‘Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, & Dawn’ The series follows the adventures of four 12-year-old quadruplets — Nicky (Aidan Gallagher), Ricky (Casey Simpson), Dicky (Mace Coronel) and Dawn (Lizzy Greene) — who don’t have much in common except their birthday. The season finale, titled “The Wonderful Wizard of Quads,” finds a hometown celebrity (Tia Mowry-Hardrict) returning to Boulder, Colo., to direct the local production of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The Quads know these are the roles they were born to play, but when Dawn does not get the part of Dorothy, she goes on a mission to prove that she deserves the part over a theater diva (Jade Pettyjohn).

10 Things Parents Should Know About ‘Emerald City’ When it comes to race, gender, and sexuality, you may want to prepare yourself for some conversations about nuance. First, credit where it’s due: the cast is diverse. Two major characters, Dorothy and Tip, are played by non-white actresses. Despite this, the darkest-skinned members of the cast aren’t treated very well by the script. You know the Black Dude Dies First trope? Well, the only black cardinal witch in Oz, and the darkest-skinned actress in the cast, is East, the witch best known for dying first. In fact (SPOILER) she is killed not once, but twice, the second time, tricked into shooting herself in the face. Her servants, also played by black actors, are also apparently sacrificed, and for no apparent reason. There are also some problematic stereotypes about women and consent happening here. (SPOILERS) Tip, a young boy who has been held prisoner, is busted out of his cell and runs away with his best friend Jack. But Tip changes into a girl within 24 hours of gaining his freedom. And of course, Jack can’t keep his eyes off Tip’s new cleavage. Eventually, in the middle of an argument (because Tip is understandably confused and upset and wants to go back to his old body) Jack moves in and kisses Tip. No permission. No preamble. He just goes in for the kiss. The whole thing is played off as Jack being a teenage boy who can’t control himself. Tip violently rejects his friend’s advances, and the show punishes them both for the incident. Lastly, let’s talk about sexuality. West has forsaken magic and owns a brothel. She is depicted as being bisexual, but her bisexuality is portrayed as one facet of a dissolute personality. Also, while West does own her sexuality, it is presented in a male-gaze way, rather than a part of who she is.

A traveler’s guide to emerald city, part i: welcome to westeroz Critics in 2017 reach out to points of comparison that are familiar to them, which in this case are the 1939 The Wizard of Oz, on the one hand, and HBO’s Game of Thrones, on the other. By this point, Google and Metacritic are rife with critics humorously referring to an Oz peopled by Wildling-like Munja-kins, and witches that are either brothel-masters or orphan-masters, not unlike Kings Landing’s Littlefinger and Varys. The thin comparison between the two shows doesn’t hold up once you move from tone and atmosphere to character and plot; Emerald City doesn’t have a Jon Snow or an Arya, and Game of Thrones doesn’t have a Tip or a Jack. And, each show has its own distinctive threats, so that the White Walkers and the Dragons do not resemble The Beast Forever and the stone giants. In Emerald City, magic is more ubiquitous, and even crueler than the blood-baby that crawls out of Melisandre; the magic of Oz creates a Prison of the Abject and sends women into ritual suicide.


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