Westworld review Do we love HBOs newcomer

first_imgStay on target With the end of Game of Thrones less than two years away, HBO is hoping to keep as much of its geeky subscriber base around as possible by getting us hooked on a new genre series. This time, instead of a medieval-style fantasy world, the series takes us into the future. A theme park filled with androids caters to rich patrons, allowing them to star in their own wild west adventure, whether they want to be the hero, the villain or the guy who hangs around the brothel all day.To those following Westworld’s production, things didn’t look too promising. The set was plagued with problems forcing production to completely shut down for a little bit. Fortunately for us, whatever they did to fix it worked. We caught an early look at the first two episodes and so far, Westworld is a well-written, complex sci-fi world that has all the markings of becoming our next premium TV genre obsession.Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Robert Ford, director of Westworld. (Credit: John P. Johnson (HBO))The story follows multiple groups of people who make up Westworld. There are the “Hosts,” artificial beings that create stories and often become targets for the park’s “guests.” And then there are the directors, the people who actually run Westworld, watching the park via a 3D holographic display. When the first episode begins, Dr. Robert Ford, the park’s creative director (played by Anthony Hopkins), has begun rolling out an update that adds more “human” gestures to the Hosts.The problem is the gestures work by accessing old memories that are usually deleted each night so the Hosts can forget the awful things guests do to them. It turns out the process is closer to moving those memories into the Recycle Bin and Ford found a way to access them to create these sympathetic gestures. By now you can probably see where this might cause some issues. It’s not long before at least one of the Hosts, Delores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) begins to question the world around her.Luke Hemsworth as Stubbs, Westworld’s head of security, and Jeffrey Wright as Bernard Lowe, creator of Westworld’s androids. (Credit: John P. Johnson (HBO))We’re also treated to some futuristic workplace drama that’s not too far off from modern-day workplace drama. A young narrative director named Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) desperately wants to move up and doesn’t care who he gets fired to do it butts heads with Dr. Ford, who wants a deeper, more personal experience for the guests than the bloody action movies Sizemore creates. There’s also a hint at the park serving a larger purpose. “Corporate” appears to have different aims for Westworld beyond making it a playground for the rich.Finally, there’s The Man in Black, played terrifyingly by Ed Harris. He has been coming to Westworld for so long; he’s gotten bored with it. Looking for a fight in every aspect of his life there, he searches for a deeper, more challenging game hidden in the park, sadistically torturing any Host in his way. He is essentially Westworld’s version of the genocide path in the game Undertale. He’s done everything else; now he’s just killing and torturing guests to make sure he sees everything Westworld has to offer.Evan Rachel Wood as western girl Delores Abernathy and Ed Harris as The Man in Black. (Credit: John P. Johnson (HBO))All of this adds up to an engrossing, complicated and unnerving tale that seems sure to become my new Sunday night obsession. The cast is superb; the story is intriguing, and of course, there’s all the violence and nudity we’ve come to expect from HBO. If you’re into that sort of thing….It’s setting up the big questions that android fiction is known for. When you give artificial beings feelings and memories, do they become human? What happens when they decide they don’t like how they’re being treated? Those questions mixed with intriguing human drama and some genuinely disturbing imagery are sure to make Westworld one of this fall’s most talked-about shows. If you’re a sci-fi fan of any kind, it’s absolutely worth checking out.Westworld premieres Sunday, October 2, at 9 p.m. on HBO. Evan Rachel Wood Just As Disturbed by Humanoid Sophia As Everyone ElseTop Movie and TV Trailers to Watch From SDCC 2019 last_img read more