After Game of Thrones and True Detectives, Westworld became my new obsession from HBO. Driving around Los Angeles, you see Westworld‘s poster every other streets with its eye catching circle with a human like robot in the middle. Well, you cant really tell is it a human and a robot, not until you watch the trailer and the actual show.
It’s very interesting that seeing this poster so many times, yet I JUST found out the left leg of the robot is a skeleton and on the right with muscles. The design of the poster is smart because it implicates the details, and we see the details lies under the show itself and also the representation of the technicality of how the company Westworld make their product: from the inside of the bones to the creation of muscle into a human-like robot.
This HBO series is inspired by the 1973 film Westworld that introduce Andriod manmade worlds that fullfill human’s desire to do anything you want and explore the park by following different Andriods to discover and enjoy the fantasy world. Westworld HBO adopted the same concept, yet after a few episodes in you realize there are much more elements the show contains. It is undeniable that HBO Westworld is truly a form of art that takes television shows in to a whole other level. I want to focus on three strong characteristics of this show that really stood out for me: Characters, storytelling, and the mysteries.
We get introduce to different robots (they are called hosts in the shows) that carry specific stories lines that are built into their programming, yet they are able to improvise depending on the situations. They are trigger by certain words to do analysis, and they can be shut off by a particular sentence. Since the hosts need to do whatever the customers want them to do, at the end of the day their memories would be wipe out and their bodies are restart and repair by the company. However, if some of the hosts wake up during the process of repair or some employees forgot to wipe out the hosts memories, the programmers actually input the conscious of “dreaming”. It is such a complex yet beautiful things to thought through of how to make these robots MORE human but at the same time REMAIN robots.
Even though the scriptwriting is precise and careful with details, but great actings is how the show became dramatized and create even more tensions. It is amazing to see such a strong actors and actresses in this series, and everyone is so amazing by being an Android in which you really need to hide your emotions or cry in seconds if they need to be. I really have to give a round of applause for the actor Louis Herthum as Dolore’s father Peter Abernathy, even if he only acted in the first episode. It was THAT scene, that particular scene when Abernathy took to the analysis room to talk to the creator Ford, that sets the tone for the show. Actor Louis Herthum turns from calm to panic to steady and to threaten in just two minutes.
We also see Anthony Hopkins as the co-founder of the park, Thandie Newton as one of the main character Maeve, James Marsden as Teddy, and Ed Harris as the man in black. The strong cast brings the characters to life, and they just add magical touches that make the show even better.
Westworld is brilliant of its storytelling. The director Jonathan Nolan (YES! Christopher Nolan’s brother! 🙂 ) created Androids that are human-like, and the writers and the directors also put in some scenes that applies to almost every host to tell their story in order to make audience care about them even though they are just Androids. The timeline of every story is somewhat cut into pieces, but audience can gradually understands it is a whole new day when the piano starts playing.
Foreshadowing is also prominent feature in this show. We can see the flies that represents the rotten world, and when Dolores killed it it also makes you realize that she just disobey the basic laws that created her to not to kill any living things.
The story and the setting also are influenced by one of my favorite video gam Bioshock, and we can see a easter egg of the famous villain Sander Cohen as one of the head in Ford’s office.
It also have various interesting dialogue that talks about what set us with human like Android apart? What is the limit and possibility and outcome of the Turing test?
After my long post without trying so hard to step on any spoilers, right now I am just really excited every Sunday when the new episode came out . The writers of the show create even more foreshadowing and dropping small clues that make us guess and developing of our own theories of what will happen next. Because every time I think I was right, the new episode proved me wrong again. All we know for sure right now is that the robots are acting weird and have been running out of their loop , but we still do not know why. And we still do not know the mysteries behind the man in black. While the story unfolds HBO Westworld is definitely a show you would not want to miss this year!