The new NBC series Emerald City takes your favorite childhood characters and drops them in a trippy world that's more like Game of Thrones than the whimsical, idyllic Wizard of Oz story we grew up knowing. Emerald City starts with Dorothy's story in Lucas, Kansas. Dorothy has grown up with her adoptive parents, Aunt Em and Uncle Henry and she works at a local hospital. Lucas is a small, rural town set in the middle of nowhere. It's isolated and quaint, but is Lucas, Kansas a real town?
Well, despite the fact Dorothy says, "this is definitely not Kansas" when arriving in Oz, Lucas is actually a real town located in Russell County, Kansas. According to the United States Census, its population as of 2015 was an estimated 397. Lucas itself was established in 1877. According to the Kansas State Historical Society, it was originally called Blue Stem, but it was renamed in 1887, 10 years after its founding.
While Emerald City paints Dorothy's hometown as drab and boring, the real town of Lucas is vibrant and culture-filled. It's filled with quirky landmarks and sightseeing stops, it houses a small but powerful collection of business, and it has museums, parks, and gardens. Among its marvels is even a public restroom covered in "bling." It's not surprising that according to its official website, the town brands itself as the "Grassroots Arts capital of Kansas."
So, there you have it! Oz may not exist, but Dorothy's hometown does. It may be small, but it's mighty interesting. Who wants to join me in paying a visit?
Images: Rico Torres/NBC