Westworld is HBO’s new flagship drama. Starring world class actors like the profound Anthony Hopkins, Westworld sets us up for what is potentially a fantastic adventure in the world of the rich and the cruel. Due to the show’s recent success and also it’s relatively fresh status, we’ll be steering clear of any spoilers for this review. We’ll be purely discussing the show on non spoiler merits, so don’t worry about spoiling yourself for the future. With that said, here’s our review of Westworld!
To start, I should say that I love Westerns. I’ve always loved those old Clint Eastwood spaghetti Westerns, and even beyond that, I love the time period itself. It’s essentially a new renaissance, an era of exploration, adventure, and another time of true heroes and villains. Westworld takes this trope and spins it on its axis. Westworld is a theme park built for the extraordinarily rich. For $40,000 a day, the wealthy guests can essentially rape, kill, save, or destroy any of the “hosts” that exist within the park. Hosts are animatronic representations of human beings that serve as cannon fodder throughout the park. Each borders on the simulation of consciousness, and there is a large moral quandry that looms over the series, questioning the ethics of the whole situation.
I wanted to wait until the season finale of Westworld to review it, because this show is so mired in story threads that I wasn’t sure they’d be able to tie them all together. Shockingly enough, the show absolutely ties them together. Not only does it tie them all together, it does it in a spectacular twist that so many did not see coming. What was once a show that seemed to be potentially unable to bear the weight of all its mysteries suddenly came together at the end to reveal the clockwork motions within each ticking piece of Westworld.
Beyond all of this, the cinematography and acting are top notch. Actors like Anthony Hopkins help to truly elevate the story to the next level, and keep a sinister undertone throughout the entire series. The locales and the shots that were chosen throughout the series are also phenomenal. Giving you a view of the park as well as a gritty representation of sex and violence help to really push the boundaries of the ethical quandaries that the show seeks to raise.
My only gripe stems from the unfortunately boring nature of some of the plot lines. What I will say is that there are DEFINITELY story elements that you’re hoping to return to rather than remain on what can sometimes be a very dragging or boring element of the story. However, when we do finally return to the more interesting parts of the story, the show runners never fail to deliver a solid jaw drop or a surprising revelation that turns the story on its head.
All in all, Westworld is a phenomenal story that has its hiccups. The hiccups mainly come due to setting up the conspiracy and the massive world that has to be methodically set up so that the viewer can maintain unaware of the goings on that continue throughout the series. If you haven’t seen Westworld, absolutely check it out. Make sure there are no kids around, and make sure you fully pay attention. This is one of those shows you absolutely don’t want to miss.