WestWorld SE1

So its probably become a bit clear that a. I’ve been binge watching a few television shows lately, and b. I’m well behind the curve.

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For those living under the same rock at me, Westworld is a series about an amusement(?) park replicating the wild west and populated with ‘hosts’ artificial people who appear completely human but follow the story narratives of the park owners/programmers and basically allow the guests do anything they want to them without fear of harm.

As you can imagine the guests indulge in sex and violence in equal amount.

The first few episodes were some of my favourite. The nature of having human actors play the roles of non-human hosts and the shrewd directing helping create empathy towards the machines creating the perfect creepy atmosphere that exemplified the theme of the show, the question of whether the hosts were ‘real’ and to be sympathized with.

In terms of compulsion the show is not your typical story. The hosts gain a lot of sympathy as essentially targets of torment for the guests, but as automatons its hard to really root for them as characters. The workers and owners within the organisation are mysterious and callous in equal measure and again hard to root for as their motivations are kept close. In the end the driving force for the show is desire to know what exactly the heck is going on!

While I thoroughly enjoyed many aspects of the show I had a few sticking points that it feels like most of my co-watchers didn’t (it’s true I’m a nitpick). The man in Black just felt like a relatively pointless plotline yet dominated the screen-time. There was a cunning twist in timelines which was kinda forced, and didn’t really seem to add to the plot, it felt more like a series long red herring like it a little unfair from a catharsis point of view.

Anthony Hopkins character Ford was my highlight. Switching back and forth between villain and saviour throughout the show I found it very satisfying to learn that ultimately he shared his late partners vision but simply realized that some terrible things had to happen along the way.

Finally as I said above I liked how much of the shows thematic material was viscerally shown to the audience, but as the show got to the end too much got thrown at us in dialogue, i.e. the man in Black literally just explaining his own backstory to other characters even though a. they didn’t really ask and b. no-one really talks about themselves that way.

Apparently the next season is a long way away, which is probably a good thing for giving me a break from the scene, of course Game of Thrones is back very soon, so good luck with that fool.

 

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