Westworld


#1

Has anyone else started watching Westworld? In case you somehow haven’t heard of it by now, Westworld is new science fiction show from HBO. The show centres around a virtual theme park with a western theme. We’re only two episodes in, but so far it’s been great; if the quality remains constant, I can see Westworld becoming one of my new favourite shows.

The reason why I thought Westworld might appeal to people here: although it is based on a 1973 film, the writers of show were also inspired by modern video games such as Red Dead Redemption, Bioshock, and Grand Theft Auto. Having played those games (and completed the first two), the influences are very apparent.


#2

The premise is interesting, but so far I’m not entirely convinced by the series. There’s arguably too much going on at the same time, with everyone having their own agenda. I just hope it doesn’t end up like Lost.

Especially in that latest episode, I feel like we lost track of the character of Dolores. At times she appear to be controlled by something or someone else (Arnold?), to the point where she’s now even misleading Ford, even in analysis mode.

I’ve actually seen the original movie a long time ago. While I don’t remember the details, the story was much more straightforward. The hosts got out of control and started killing the guests, and it resulted in a chase between of the hosts and the main character, somewhat reminiscent of Terminator. It was an innovating movie in its own right.


#3

The main problem with Lost was the unsatisfactory way that the mystery was wrapped up, but the process of trying to understand what was going on each week was part of the show’s appeal. The experience transcended the viewing time because you would spend the time in between episodes trying to piece together the mystery. If Westworld becomes a new Lost in that sense, I wouldn’t mind.

I haven’t seen the original film, but you’ve sparked my curiosity now. Perhaps the host outbreak is where this series will get to.


#4

It already is the new Lost in that regard. There are tons of theories already on the many questions that viewers have at the moment.

The host rebellion is almost certainly going to happen, although it’s not clear what the results will be. I do believe they intend to have more than one season of the show.


#5

Yeah, Westworld almost certainly will be multiple seasons as they halted production to plan out the next five seasons. HBO need a big replacement show now that Game of Thrones is ending in two seasons and, given it’s popularity, Westworld seems suitable to fill that hole. I just hope they can keep the story interesting without the same quantity of source material to draw upon.


#6

This actually looks pretty good. I prefer the real Wild West though. I always wanted to wear a cowboy hat and a coat with collars. Maybe in my next life.


#7

I’m quickly losing interest in the series to be honest. The characters’ actions don’t make much sense at this point.

What particularly bothers me is that the development of the hosts is driven by external influence. The machines aren’t obtaining a sense of free will on their own, but rather someone (presumably Arnold) arranged for this to happen. The changes in the character of Dolores, who is switching between multiple personalities, isn’t nearly as interesting as it could have been. Ironically, the moments where Dolores is now gunning down people because she’s “getting out of her role” are the parts where she feels less human than ever. She’s now driven by voices in her head (again Arnold), it’s pretty much the opposite of what you’d expect to be free will. The writers are writing her out of her “damsel” role, but there’s nothing organic about the process. We have no idea what part of her is supposed to be the real Dolores anymore. She actually feels more like a machine now than before. Teddy is going through the same process. Meanwhile, Maeve is now super intelligent at the click of a button. It doesn’t make sense that Felix and Sylvester agree on working with her at all. How is it even possible that this wasn’t noticed, didn’t they have camera security far beyond what even most workers were aware of? The story is already a mess at this point.


#8

I had been meaning to post here, but didn’t get around to it for some reason. Now that season 1 is over, what are your thoughts about how the various stories came together @Draikin? I think we have better explanation as to some of the characters motives and personality changes now. But I’m of a mixed opinion on how well the show is going:

On the one hand, I enjoyed the twist that Anthony Hopkins characters was trying to bring about the hosts self awareness though suffering. I didn’t see that coming and it turned him into more of grey character which is always interesting. That said, I feel that this story has so many grey characters now, it’s difficult to know who to root for. Perhaps that is the point, but it’s hard to sympathise with Dolores gunning down all those people in the finale. I doubt they were all aware that the hosts were sentient (if you’re playing a video game, and you shoot someone, you don’t really think you’re hurting someone).


#9

Before the final, I had questioned why Ford was recreating these events if he didn’t want the hosts to become fully conscious. Of course with the plot twist, it finally made sense. Sadly, they already killed of Ford and that’s a very big loss for this show. If The Man in Black/William is dead (not sure if that’s the case), that’s another really interesting character who’s gone. As for Dolores, the question is if her gunning down those people was really out of free will, or if we’re basically just seeing Wyatt. To be honest, I’m not even all that interested in finding out, as the constant flip-flop between scared Dolores and evil Dolores is getting old really fast. Also, I have no idea where they plan to take this show because the way it ended doesn’t exactly leave any room to continue the status quo. It feels like a bit like Prison Break, which went downhill after the first season because of the same reason.


#10

[spoiler]Ed Harris who plays The Man in Black will be back for Season 2, although we don’t know for how long, and I haven’t heard word on whether the younger version of William will make an appearance.

Ford’s arc had come to an end, so it made sense to kill him off, although I do agree will be a shame not to see that character in Season 2 (unless his consciousness somehow survived). I guess it’s also expensive to keep such a famous actor as Anthony Hopkins around for more than one season and he probably has other projects to move on to.

In the next season I think we’ll be visiting some of the other parks (perhaps the Westworld hosts will try to liberate them). It will be interesting to see how the balance of power will transformed between the humans and hosts. I’m assuming that there’s a lot more humans outside of the park who could deal with any outbreak, so perhaps the hosts will need to go undercover to survive. Hopefully the writers will be inventive enough to keep the show interesting now that the “Jurassic Park” event has already occurred.[/spoiler]