Westworld a la HBO

This topic contains 12 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Earl Earl 8 months ago.

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    HBO is already trying to line up other stuff to hang on to the GoT audience. Case in point: a TV remake of Westworld, long-delayed and apparently a little bit troubled behind the scenes. (The incredibly short-lived 1980 TV series Beyond Westworld? Yeah…forget that happened.)

    HBO has set a premiere date of Sunday, October 2 for the premiere. Brace yourselves once again for robot gunslingers. 😆 I don’t know if this is something to really look forward to or not, but it is, like every third thing on our screens these days, produced by J.J. Abrams.


    Watched the first episode…beautifully photographed, just one of the best-looking things anyone’s ever put on TV.

    Seeing as this was on HBO, I don’t know why it took me by surprise that it would be so HBO-ified (i.e. tailored to catch the Game of Thrones audience, complete with nudity and over-the-top violence); maybe it was because I’d recently reviewed the original movie and its unsuccessful spinoff TV series and was irrationally expecting something in the same vein.

    The original movie didn’t skimp on violence, but this iteration of the story – particularly where the Man in Black is concerned (minor spoiler: this time he’s not a robot, but one of the paying customers who has pretty much moved into Westworld for his own purposes) – went right out there with the depraved cruelty. It was a little bit stomach-churning in that regard. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Ed Harris play such a complete and utter bastard before. The graphic violence is jaw-dropping in a couple of cases (actually, “face-popping” might be more appropriate). Even the stuff that’s implied – that any or all of the female robots have had visitors force themselves upon them – is horrific just on a conceptual level.

    The first episode is, naturally, all set-up. I’m waiting for the show to make its excesses worth it by bringing up big issues to think about, questions like “Where’s the point of balance between repression and unleashing your base desires?” that even the original movie barely addressed. The pilot isn’t a reasonable place to expect that to happen.

    Stuff I’m patently not interested in: the inner workings of the nameless corporation (Delos in the movies and original TV spinoff, not named here) that runs Westworld. Don’t care. Unless there’s some meaningful zinger planned for that plotline, the hints of corporate power play behind the scenes are less interesting than the designer and programmers of the robots grappling with the robots’ emerging sentience.

    Get good pretty soon, Westworld. I’ve got too much stuff, new and old, to watch – I don’t stick around to watch unpleasantness for its own sake.


    Westworld gets a second season. [LINK]

    HBO has given second season pickups to its trio of new fall series — fantasy drama “Westworld” and comedies “Insecure” and “Divorce.”

    “Westworld” has quickly developed a fanatical following among viewers who parse every detail of the show described as a puzzle-within-a-puzzle set in a resort where humanized robots cater to the out-there whims of high-end patrons. Bloys said the fan obsession that “Westworld” has generated organically through social media and podcasts has been a pleasant surprise. He makes a point of scrolling through Twitter when the show airs live on Sunday nights. Bloys admits he’s gained insights about the show’s many mysteries by following the real-time detective work of fans.

    “The level of detail that people devote to thinking about it is impressive,” he said, citing the intricate mythology crafted by “Westworld” creators/showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy.

    “Westworld” has been an unqualified success, averaging 11.7 million viewers per episode to date when reruns, VOD and streaming airings are factored in.

    All three shows were renewed for 10 episodes. Bloys said there are no plans for major casting moves or showrunner changes — another welcome sign of stability.

    I was getting a bit nervous with how late they left it.


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    Just watched the latest episode (#7).

    The violence has not let up, and we got that behind the scenes zinger you were looking for. A couple, actually.


    I have doubled back and have been rewatching from the start, writing the episode synopses as I go. I seriously thought about holding off on writing any of it until the season’s over; this is not a show that slows down to check if you’ve been doing the flowcharts on your own time.

    Season 2 apparently won’t happen before the beginning of 2018. 😯


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    Let me know when you get to number 9 so we can talk about things man to… man?


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    “These violent delights have violent ends.”

    Yes, yes they did. Cheers to season one of Westworld.


    @flack wrote:

    “These violent delights have violent ends.”





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    This is cool (easter egg, no spoiler).


    That makes it look like Yul Brynner was wearing silver scleral shells or something similar in Westworld, which I don’t remember (he said, looking at his avatar). It’s a pretty striking look (and apparently incredibly painful if you’re the one wearing them), I think I’d have remembered that.

    I’d like to have that guarding my front door.


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    I’ve been chewing on the series for a couple of days now. There’s a lot of it that feels… disjointed. Not all of it has the same “we’re making this up as we go along” feeling as Lost did, but to be honest, parts of it do.

    Remaining spoiler free, all I can say is that at least one of the major story lines completely fizzled. It’s one of those things like in the Brady Bunch where you could say, gosh, if Cindy had only asked Bobby if she could borrow his toothbrush, none of this would have happened! The stakes are much higher in Westworld of course, and we’re talking about quests that certain characters have been on for ostensibly 35 years.

    While I’m normally quick to suspend belief when watching shows like this, Westworld has some piss poor security. People inside the company are being blackmailed to do “things” and nobody notices. At my work, if somebody resets a user’s password and there’s no associated help desk ticket, it raises an eyebrow. And nobody at my work carries a machine gun — just sayin’.

    I’ve read a dozen reviews of the season finale over the past few days and the one that stuck with me was, “this would be a great story without all the twists and turns.” The whole idea of hosts becoming sentient is already interesting without all the other M. Night moments that, frankly, the show is hit-or-miss when it comes to pulling them off.

    I’ll watch season two when it comes out and there were parts of the finale that were fantastic, but don’t expect all the show’s questions to be wrapped up.


    This seems like a good time to bring up something said on Twitter by a writer whose fiction I love and whose work I deeply respect, Paul Cornell. He really dug Westworld, twists, turns and all, but he felt almost the opposite – in his view, the necessary threads were tied up, the ones that needed to be left to the imagination were left, and there’s no real need for a second year.

    The thought that he might be right has messed with my head today as much as any of the show’s own twists and turns. Maybe they need to get Paul to write an episode or two.

    Like you, I’m trying to keep it vague for the benefit of the unspoiled.

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    New trailer from SDCC.

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