Critic’s Corner: A Review Of “Westworld”

Westworld is a new HBO series that some say could rival Game of Thrones. I may not be one of those “some,” but this show is undeniably awesome. The series is a mystery, drama and sci- fi all wrapped up and presented in a technology-driven, vaguely dystopian society. Westworld is a series that was inspired by the 1973 film created by Michael Crichton about a futuristic theme park inhabited by artificial beings. The HBO series first aired on Oct. 2 this year and released its fourth episode on Monday.

VIA GOOGLE IMAGES
VIA GOOGLE IMAGES

The show follows a mysterious program that allows wealthy people to vacation with no limits in the Wild West. The twist is that the inhabitants of this park are artificial robots, who are programmed to follow specific story lines and make this fabricated world as real and satisfying to the guests as possible. The plot thickens when the artificial humans start glitching and acting out in disturbing and violent ways. The chilling aspect of this show is that the artificial humans look exactly like human beings, so how do we know who is real and who isn’t?

Dolores Abernathy, played by Evan Rachel Wood, is a crucial character in the series. Dolores struggles to find herself and be “free”. She is different from the rest of the artificial beings because she is figuring out that she is not “real.” Dolores is a dynamic character who sets the season up for a number of possible outcomes and story lines. There are other interesting characters as well. There are no boring characters because every single person (or robot) is a complete mystery. There is the crazy doctor, the eager assistant, the hardcore security boss and the lovesick hero. There are also completely perplexing characters who clearly have an important role in the story, but there’s no guessing what that role might be.

When I first started watching the series, I was honestly a little lost. I didn’t watch many trailers and the writers don’t spell everything out in the first episode like most shows do. This creates a true sense of mystery and total curiosity.

There is no guessing what will happen in the next episode because the concept is so unique, and the characters so unpredictable. In a time of spoilers in every corner of the internet, it is incredibly refreshing to be completely taken by surprise at each turn of events or new revelations. Westworld is a show that takes thought, and, like a puzzle, is full of moments where you finally get it and everything clicks, which has to be just about the most satisfying feeling ever.

This show also does a great job at mixing genres without making the different layers seem forced or unnatural. Westworld is like a classic western movie mixed with science fiction and mystery. There are some pretty gory moments too, (which the Game of Thrones fan inside me squeals for).

It also has a strong female lead, which is much appreciated. Dolores is chilling and badass. Wood does a fantastic job of turning on and off her emotions instantly to really create a robotic tone for the character. The writers throw crucial information into the script casually, so it’s not a show you can multi-task with.

Westworld is an awesome addition to the impressive number of amazing shows HBO already has. This show could be the best new series this year. If you’re looking for a show to look forward to watching (and re- watching) every week, all you need is an HBO account!

Tess may be reached at
towen@su-spectator.com

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