I have just witnessed WestWorld and I’m bursting at the seams to tell you all about it! I will keep this review as a general overview and not go into any details, so no spoilers ahead. Buckle up kids, its going to be a wild ride!
If you have ever thought to yourself “I wonder what Game of Thrones would be like as a western? If Westeros met the Wild Wild West?” And no, I am not talking about the beautiful, Oscar snubbed Will Smith movie. Imagine the intense drama as Game of Thrones meets the gun slinging ways of old. If that sounds intriguing, then WestWorld is just the series for you.
West World takes the best parts of GOT and completely creates a new and unique story. Gripping dialogue? Check. Battle for the top position in the land/company? Check. Names that do not quite make sense and are somewhat hard to pronounce? Check and Check. Though be warned, just like GOT, HBO loves to throw in its patented “have tons of sex and when we aren’t having sex let’s be naked” concept wildly about. That could be a pro or a con depending on what you want in a show, and as Katie Perry and CBS say, the more you know. Oh no… I am speaking in rhymes.
Not intrigued yet? Well allow me to explain one key detail my friend. All the shenanigans I have stated above, fully take place within an adult Chuck E Cheese. Yes, Chuck-E-freaking Cheeses for the twisted adult mind and no, not Dave and Busters. You see upon entering the beauty that is WestWorld, you quickly discover that the wild west is filled with two kinds of people, humans and host. The humans are well exactly that, people who wanted to get away from their mundane lives and live out their wildest fantasies in a time they could only dream about. Rich folk looking for that next high cable TV just can’t satisfy anymore.
Then you have the host, robotic AI with the ability to help you live out unique story-lines thanks to their advanced metrics and improv skill set. They can take you on the adventure of a lifetime by saving a cattle rancher from evil henchmen, have a few drinks with you in a saloon while playing cards, allow you to purchase a fine wench for a few hours of fun time or, just like in Chuck E Cheese, you can run around and blindly shoot the host/mouse and no one is going to fight back.
Unlike Chuck E Cheese, this is a theme park that is monitored by adults, so there is a third component at work here. The workers of this WestWorld live far above the park in the mountains and keep out a watchful eye, like the gods they fancy themselves. Enter corporate espionage. As you may already be aware, you can’t have a futuristic theme park and not have someone wanting to abuse it for something other than thrilling adventures, all the while accidentally endangering the guest…I am looking at you Jurassic Park.
Combine incredibly advanced robotics, rich clients, and a company that keeps more secrets than a Lost episode and you have WestWorld. The show does an amazing job of seamlessly moving back and forth between the theme park and company whilst still showing you a good time and creating a bit of ruckus on their own. Somehow the writers make something so ridiculously futuristic seem extremely realistic, all the while challenging your view point constantly with thoughts like “Can AI feel? Is it cruel to have such power over them? How much does it cost to go?”($40,000 a day by the way).
HBO does an incredible job in casting once again. Sir Anthony Hopkins is a genius as always but it’s the supporting cast that constantly surprise me and the actors playing the robots just blow me away. I never expect any less from a major company like HBO that makes every episode seem like a big budget blockbuster.
All in all, I have thoroughly enjoyed WestWorld and its first season. You will hear some people complain, as I have heard many a time already, that the first season finale is predictable but it’s one of the many things I love about this show. What some people took as predictable, I took as a taking of power from the audience’s hands. We are taught in storytelling to make the audience the smartest or make them feel most important, but just like George R R Martin giving the big ole middle finger to that rule by killing off beloved characters and leaving audiences completely shocked, WestWorld does something very similar. Instead of trying to surprise you or kill off the ones you love, they simply create a storyline that is somewhat predictable but unstoppable. Just like watching a moving train about to crash into a brick wall. The show reminds you that you are completely helpless and even though you “might” have predicted the ending, there is nothing you can do to stop it. YOU ARE HELPLESS. HBO shouts the same thing the oddly named Silento shouts to today’s youth “ooh watch me, watch me, oooh oooh oooh”
I have quickly fallen in love with this show and think that everyone should give it a shot. You may think Sci-fi might not be for you but in my Noble Opinion this show is for everyone.
I give it a full Phenomenon stamp of approval.