Another shining example of a recent sci-fi story that has audiences polarized. Some love it, some think it’s OK and some think it’s vastly overrated. Here at MyM, we fall into that last category.
The cinematography is breathtaking, the sets are beautiful and the scenery is mesmerizing, around the national parks of northern Los Angeles County. (Season one drinking game – drink every time you see Vasquez Rocks. You’ll be hammered pretty soon.)
But all that can’t hide that season one is, in essence, about a rich eccentric with expensive toys in an expensive park run by wealthy people for other wealthy people. Consequently, it’s really hard to actually care about what happens to anyone.
Granted the original movie follows a similar-ish plot, but it’s only 88 minutes in length, this is 10 hours worth to schlep through.
Shown on HBO Sundays at 9pm ET and Sky Atlantic Mondays at 2am and again at 9pm BST, we’re currently up to episode two of season two…and we ask that you cast your mind back, for a moment, to Battlestar Galactica – Ron Moore’s epic sci-fi reimagining from 2004. Why do we ask this? Because that’s exactly what Westworld is: a reimagining.
As early as episode three, entitled “33” – which won a ton of awards including a Hugo – we cared deeply about the characters and what happened to them. Season two, episode nine “Flight of the Phoenix” was one of the most moving episodes of any sci-fi series, ever.
If you recall, moral was low on the Galactica and working Vipers were in short supply. Chief Tyrol starts to build one from scratch and while everyone mocks him at first, one by one we see people rallying to his cause as the episode unfolds and contributing to the construction of what will eventually be called the Blackbird. In a massive lump-in-throat moment at the end, the Blackbird is officially unveiled by President Laura Roslin and we see that the new fighter has actually been name “Laura”.
Anyone who wasn’t sobbing at this point…is made of stone quite frankly and has no soul.
That was quality sci-fi drama…and Westworld is far, far cry from that. Oh, how different it might have been if Ron Moore was helming the show.
The acting is phenomenal and clearly production values are high, but the series is riddled with lazy writing, unlikely character choices, clichés, silly twists, unsatisfying conclusions or no conclusions at all.
But we appear to be in a minority and HBO itself has seen fit to renew the series for a third season.
Westworld was created by the husband and wife writing team of Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy and is loosely based on the 1973 film of the same name by author Michael Crichton, who also wrote Jurassic Park, Rising Sun and Sphere among many, many others.
HBO doesn’t mention when the third season might premiere, but given the gap between the first and second season, its likely fans will be in for another long wait for the third.
The first season saw the principle characters trying to figure out “the maze” and now that plot has been unconvincingly modified, the unofficial chapter of this series is “the door”. We had hoped that season two would be an improvement on the first, but so far there’s no evidence of that…so to be perfectly honest, the prospect of a third one provokes little more than a “meh”.
Right now, we care infinitely more about what happens to the Robinson family then we do about anyone at Delos, host or human.
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