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Author Topic: Westworld  (Read 889 times)

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Westworld
« on: 22 Jan 2017, 13:36 »

Finally got around to seeing Westworld. I expected a gorgeous but over-produced and ultimately underwhelming show but, having seen it from start to finish in two nights, I can say without reservation that it was exceptional. I imagine it's what you might get if someone created an AI based on John Milton and then let that AI collaborate with Tad Williams on a sequel/prequel to Otherland.

Excellent casting with stellar performances by most of the main cast as well as solid performances from all but one of the secondary cast. Tightly plotted but primarily character-driven. I was glad they mostly resisted the temptation to dwell too long on overt philosophical discussions that are best saved for actual books about philosophy of mind.

The show was little too focused on the central tragedy that holds all the characters in its grip, and a little too keen on playing up the world's griminess for effect, but rarely to the point of being distracting. Wrt writing and direction my only complaint is that the show's frequently dreamlike atmosphere leads to a sometimes frustrating lack of variation in tension in some episodes.

The first three episodes were cool but made me think my initially low expectations were appropriate. Gorgeous but kinda hollow. But from episode 4 onwards each episode was better than the one prior.

Due to a mistake, I saw the first ten or so minutes of the final episode before starting the series, and, rather than spoiling everything I think it increased my enjoyment tenfold.

There are many "NO WAI! He didn't...!!!" moments but also a few "No wai, I'm not buying it" moments, esp. in Maeve's arc. For the most part the latter serve the story well so I wasn't too bothered by them.

While watching the show I couldn't shake the feeling that there was something incredibly familiar about the show's style and feel. Turns out it was the touch of Jonathan Nolan and Ramin Djawadi I'd recognized, from Person of Interest. This discovery made me squee :o Everything I loved about Jonathan Nolan's work on Person of Interest has been carried over, developed and refined in this show. I can't get the Sweetwater theme out of my head.

Anyway, fantastic show, warmly recommended. Many will hate the ending. I loved it and am anxiously waiting for the next season.
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