These are very different shows, but both boast strong female leads. In the case of Emerald City, several strong female leads.
Emerald City (lost)
I wish I had poked more people about this sooner, but I wasn’t confident it could hold my interest (or even hold together) as much as it did. Unfortunately, now, it is not likely to see a second season and I’m bummed. Baum’s Oz was never the happy-go-lucky place Judy Garland convinced folks it was, but neither was it quite as dark and twisted as director Tarsem Singh (Self/less) brought to our screens. But I liked it. It was a re-imagining, sure, but with enough love to the original material and with a sense of modern politics and tastes. And, like all Singh’s efforts, it is gloriously visual.
Adria Arjona (True Detective) is a solid lead, tough and intelligent, but lost enough to keep it interesting. She is joined by a host of women: Joley Richardson (Snowden), Ana Ularu (Inferno), Gina Bellman (Leverage), Jordan Loughran (The Infiltrator), Gina McKee (The Borgias), and Stephanie Martini (Doctor Thorne, Prime Suspect 1973). Each is strong in their own way and each is fighting their own particular battle. This many female leads in such an expansive series alone should qualify it for renewal.
Vincent D’Onofrio (The Magnificent Seven), Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Dracula), and, amusingly, Gerran Howell (Young Dracula) are the primary male figures in the story. And, interestingly, each is under the shadow of at least one woman in their lives. I can’t think of another drama where that is case across the board. Even if broadcast television doesn’t pick it up, there is always hope that one of the streaming services will see the value and continue the story which was clearly a prologue to a much larger canvass.
Anna Paquin (True Blood) has finally started to grow up. This Canadian detective series (on CBC) isn’t perfect, but it is interesting. Its pacing and tenor are like a slightly more contained and energized Da Vinci’s Inquest.
The season is following two seemingly unconnected crimes that are somehow intersecting after 20 years. Paquin is playing a strong, but damaged police detective in rural Canada who is investigating one of the threads, but is embroiled in the other. There is enough mystery and character here to pull me in, though time will tell if it works or not. For now, it is definitely working well enough to keep me coming back every week.