This is not a review… Just some of my thoughts on the show. Also, I’ve only watched the first four episodes.
For those who don’t know, the show is a based on a 1973 movie by the same name. As far as I know, I didn’t watch it, because I was two years old when it was released, yet I have some vague memories of seeing Yul Brunner in it, so maybe I watched it as a child but don’t remember clearly. Anyway, it clearly isn’t that similar to the original.
The basic story is that there is a park, set in the style of the old west. The people who pay to visit it, the Guests, interact with the population of androids, called Hosts, who are there to please the Guests. So the visitors get to act out every fantasy, whether it is to have their way with the prostitutes, shoot some old style outlaws, or any number of other complex narratives that the androids are programmed to play out.
Of course the androids are not meant to harm the humans, but they can be killed, and are just brought back by the people who run the park. And of course things will go wrong, and they will become sentient, which makes this more a story about slavery and imprisonment, and their quest for freedom. I write that things “will go wrong” because I’ve only watched the first four episodes.
So it’s a story that’s been done many times before, but I am enjoying the way it’s playing out. It isn’t predictable, apart from the obvious things that need to happen, which I’ve already mentioned. There are a number of simultaneous narratives going on, and they have to converge, but unlike the case with many other movies and series I’ve seen, I can’t predict exactly how they will converge. The story moves along at a good pace… I don’t get the feeling that any episodes do not progress the plots involved.
What I dislike about many other series is when they become too predictable, or reveal their secrets too early. The best example I can give here is American Horror Story… In the Hotel season, for example, they revealed the details too soon, just like they did with their very first season. So once I knew that everybody who died in the hotel became ghosts in the hotel, the rest of the episodes lost my interest. It was two episodes of interest, followed by nothing but filler because there were no more secrets to tell, and a final episode of sentimental shit. But I digress…
Westworld is great. if you haven’t already seen it, I recommend doing so.
Now for my criticism… There was one part that I really disliked. I do not appreciate when they create rules in their fictional universe, and then break their own rules. For the most part, the androids do not know they are androids. They “think” their world is real, and unless they are removed from the park for diagnostics and follow voice commands, they get confused if anyone tells them that their world isn’t real, or mentions the difference between Guests and Hosts. But they fucked that up by breaking those rules in one scene… When one of the main human characters arrives, he gets ready to enter the park, by meeting what first seems to be a human woman, who introduces him to the clothes, guns and so on that he can choose to wear in the park. But she reveals that she isn’t a real person and that like all the Hosts, she is there to please him. This is an inconsistency in the rules that have been established about the Hosts. She isn’t sentient, but knows she is an android? This is an awful mistake, because an important part of the plots involved is about the Hosts figuring out that their world isn’t real. I wish they hadn’t done this.
Other than that, there are some interesting things going on that I’ve seen so far. The plots are already starting to converge in a way that’s well done, and there are other inconsistencies that are clearly deliberate, that hint at a rather significant twist in the tale. I won’t speculate on that, or on what that twist will be, because my speculation is normally correct, and I wouldn’t want to spoil it for anyone else who hasn’t yet seen it…