Toted as the new Game of Thrones, the sci-fi thriller has yet to make its television debut but is quickly gathering positive reviews. Based on the novel by Michael Crichton, Westworld takes place in a futuristic theme park centered around the old west. Allowing visitors to submerse themselves in a world of sin, violence, and gratification, Westworld is all about fulfilling desires. But soon things begin going awry, and the story preys on a common human worry: what happens when artificial intelligence becomes sentient? Take a peek!
As with Game of Thrones, HBO has proven that large scale worlds and in depth drama are quite their forte. The conglomeration of a high tech, futuristic world and the dark, seedy underbelly of the West will be a fascinating mash-up. The new show has also been praised for its musical score, composed by Game of Thrones veteran composer Ramin Djawadi. The show features an outstanding cast as well. Anthony Hopkins plays Dr. Robert Ford, the creator of Westworld. Hopkins is no acting slouch, so we can be sure he will provide brilliant depth and emotional fortitude as the God of this world. Evan Rachel Wood is Dolores, a creation of Westworld who finds out her entire life is a constructed fantasy. How will her philosophy of life change as she discovers she is merely a toy for the rich and wealthy? Other amazing cast members include Ed Harris, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, and Jeffrey Wright. With such a brilliant cast to bring this world to life, it is not a surprise that rave reviews are rolling in.
IGN praises the clash between the future and the past saying, “The juxtaposition of life inside Westworld and life for those who are creating Westworld allows for an excellent entry point into the show, allowing us to invest with these artificial life forms from the start, while getting to also see the motivations of those behind-the-scenes.” With world juxtaposition in that fashion, one world can often be left behind if they aren’t explored equally. Focusing on the characters in between will provide amazing context for the worlds. With the focus of Westworld being uninterrupted sin and satisfaction, you have to wonder what kind of chaos can be wrought and how easily it could erupt. The Globe and Mail asks the question, “What horrors has humankind wreaked with a mass devotion to perfection, personal satisfaction and entertainment?” Given the natural tension to fight in the Old West, I suppose that horror would be right around the corner. And when endeavoring to bring artificial intelligence to sentience, the Atlantic finds Westworld does well stating, “The series doesn’t merely present androids as protagonists or victims. It grants them the defining victory of the outsider: the right at last to tell—haltingly, given their emergent capacities—their stories for themselves.” With the element of bring A.I. to life, the ability to tell their own story is often missing. It will be a fascinating difference to find not just villains or victims, but people wanting to tell their own story. More reviews can be read here and you can expect the premiere episode to air on HBO on October 2nd.