17 October 2007


I'm not sure how I missed this but the Sci-Fi channel is coming out with an original TV mini-series about the Wizard of Oz. Tin Man is an edgier version of the story we've all come to know and love and while I'm in support of anything Oz related, I'm a little scared about this one.

Zooey Deschanel stars as Dorothy. Alan Cumming of Nightcrawler fame is the Scarecrow, Neal McDonough is the Tin Man, and Raoul Trujillo is the Cowardly Lion. Richard Dreyfuss plays the Wizard and Kathleen Robertson is the Wicked Witch. No idea who's playing Toto.

The cast sounds great but the problem starts with the abbreviations. Dorothy is now D.G., short for Dorothy Gale. Say that out loud. Sounds stupid right? Even worse? Oz is now O.Z. (as in Outer Zone). Nevermind the similarity to "The O.C.," that just sounds straight up ridiculous. And the Cowardly Lion is now named "Raw." Not "Rawr" mind you. But still pronounced rawr, I think.

The other problem I have after watching the trailers is that Zooey Deschanel, otherwise known as Fairuza Balk lite, doesn't seem very into it. Her lines sound wooden as hell. I mean, please, give it some emotion. I've always been on the fence about Zooey as an actress but this could make it or break it for me. Some of the dialogue seems pretty horribly written too. I cringed a few times.

Anyway, the series starts in December so I guess I'll be dedicating six hours of my life to it, even if it sucks. All this reimagining of Oz is good on the surface but I'm not sure I'd be ready for Todd McFarlane's version if it hits the big screen, even if I did enjoy his twisted Oz toys.

For a dark reimagining of the Wizard of Oz that I surely did enjoy, check out "Was" by Geoff Ryman. "Ryman's darkly imaginative, almost surreal improvisation on L. Frank Baum's Oz books combines a stunning portrayal of child abuse, Wizard of Oz film lore and a polyphonic meditation on the psychological burden of the past."