In 2017, artificial intelligence (A.I) is now apart of everyday life, from restaurants, to cars, to phones. Westworld (based on the 1973 film of the same name by Michael Crichton) delves into how A.I can be used to fulfill humans every desire – and the repercussions of that.
Westworld, HBO’s latest blockbuster series is centered on a futuristic amusement park of the same name. It is set in the indeterminate future where Doctor Ford (played by the always excellent Anthony Hopkins) and his team have created an adult playground full of eerily realistic AI robots “hosts.” Who are immersed in numerous faux 1800’s wild west storylines to entertain the parks “Guests”. Wealthy humans who pay up to 40,000 a night to indulge in their every desire with the “hosts” from sex, to murder and for some, love. The series begins with a few interlocking storylines, the employees of the park, the hosts, and guests of the park. The employees, like Bernard and Therese are divided between supporting Doctor Ford and its corporate company of Delos who just wants to use the hosts intellectual property. In the park the story focuses in on hosts Dolores and Maeve who are starting to think beyond their storyline. Park guests include the mysterious and sadistic “Man in Black” and new guests, soft spoken William and his spoiled soon to be brother in law Logan.
The plot is obviously quite complex and it takes a few episodes to start to piece together all the storylines. The plot is a bit slow moving which is countered by the distraction of the top quality production and setting. The A-list roster of actors really help to enhance the series however the cheesy and basic dialogue is a bit disappointing considering the caliber of actors (Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Thandie Newton) who could have taken the story and Westworld realm even further. Like Game of Thrones, Westworld also deals with the struggle of having so many storylines that the character development gets delayed or is sped up rapidly to go along with all the other storylines. This creates a bit of confusion for the viewer as well as creates quite a few plot holes.
By the end of the season the foreshadowing (and reddit theories) was enough to clearly see where the second season is going to head (also the fact that it was conceived by the creator of Jurassic Park), which makes me intrigued at the plot but I honestly don’t know if I’m invested enough in the characters and their stories to continue to watch.
Westworld is available to stream on HBOGo and HBONow with subscription