Binge Watch of the Month: Westworld

By Derek Reimherr

We haven’t done one of these in awhile because life is busy and stuff. But this one was worth the wait.

WESTWORLD, Y’ALL.

All my conspiracy theorists out there, can I get an AMEN??

As you’ll read in the coming months, I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan. I’ve been reading (and re-reading) the books since 2010, back before it was mainstream.

But when this season ended, there was a void. What the heck are we going to watch on Sunday evenings now? This is when God reminds me how beautiful of a medium Twitter is.

It might have been Buzzfeed, or it could’ve been IGN. Either way, I saw a tweet about this show “Westworld” that was driving people crazy. Lo and behold, it comes on at 9pm on Sundays on HBO.

So we checked it out. The 3rd episode was already out, so we had a mini-binge.

Y’all, this show totally wrecks ya brain.

The premise is this: In the near future, artificial intelligence has advanced considerably and been applied not to the improvement of the human race, but to the pleasure of the wealthy elite. A man named Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) opened a park called Westworld that was essentially a western themed amusement park.

All of the park’s inhabitants are called hosts and are advanced AI robots. All of the humans are referred to as guests. Hosts are there to entertain guests in fun and interesting (and less savory) ways, called storylines. Remember how I mentioned it was only for the wealthy elite? The park’s admission costs $40k per day.

The show follows a development in the AI programming where the hosts start seeing things, experiencing cognition, and acting in ways they shouldn’t. The park operators and parent company have to figure out how to react to this development. And that’s just the first episode. I can’t say anymore without giving away spoilers, but I hope it has your interest.

Season 1 finale was just this past weekend and I can guarantee the show is worth your time. Now, for disclaimers:

There is nudity, heavy violence, and lots of swearing. If you’re not comfortable with that, please pass on Westworld. But if you can tolerate these things that are almost standard on an HBO show (and less intense than Game of Thrones, I would assert), you’re in for a real treat.

Westworld is a thought-provoking, suspenseful, well-directed and written sci-fi thriller. The show’s main cast features some absolute stand out performances, in particular from the first four:

  • Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores Abernathy (Across the Universe, The Ides of March)
  • Thandie Newton as Maeve Millay (Pursuit of Happyness, Mission Impossible 2)
  • Anthony Hopkins as Robert Ford (Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal)
  • Jeffrey Wright as Bernard Lowe (Casino Royale, Hunger Games)
  • Ed Harris as the Man in Black (A Beautiful Mind, The Rock)
  • James Marsden as Teddy Flood (X-Men)
  • Jimmi Simpson as William (House of Cards, Date Night)
  • Luke Hemsworth as Ashley Stubbs (yes, there’s a 3rd one)

Are you a fan like us? Let us know your thoughts on the show in the comments or on social.

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