We’re living in the golden age of television.
In terms of quality and variety, audiences have so much to choose from nowadays. Go to any inuman with your friends and you guys will probably talk to each other about the latest TV series you guys just binge-watched. For most groups, the talk will probably center around Game of Thrones. Then it will shift to some Netflix shows like Stranger Things and Narcos. Then it might shift to Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead on AMC. Pag medyo lasing na, aamin na rin yung nanunuod ng Till I Met You ng JaDine.
Well, during your next inuman session with your barkada, Westworld, the newest show from HBO is absolutely what you and your friends should talk about. The pilot episode aired just recently and it’s the biggest premiere for HBO in the last three years with 3.3 million viewers tuning in across all platforms. (Hindi pa kasama yung mga nag torrent, siyempre) Still a far cry from Game of Thrones which averaged at 23.3 million viewers last season. But if the pilot episode of Westworld is any indication, it may very well be the next big hit from HBO. But what is it about exactly? Here’s everything you need to know about it.
1. A remake of a classic sc-fi movie from 1973, Westworld is a show about androids.
The original Westworld was actually a movie that was written and directed by Michael Crichton all the way back in 1973. That name might sound familiar to some of you but to those who don’t know him, you’re probably asking yourselves “Anong pakialam ko kay Michael Crichton?!” Well, Crichton just happens to be the novelist turned filmmaker who came up with the idea of that certain movie about dinosaurs that most of you grew up watching: Jurassic Park.
Similar to Jurassic Park, the story of Westworld also revolves around the concept of a theme park. In the Jurassic Park series, tourists experience close encounters with creatures that have been extinct for millions of years. While in Westworld, high-paying customers are able to immerse themselves in the American wild west. Instead of living and breathing dinosaurs, people get to interact with highly intelligent robots who are convinced that they are real people. Each robot has his/her own backstory and motivations and they interact with each other freely just like how people in the real world would.
2. Westworld allows you to live out the Sims, Grand Theft Auto, or Red Dead Redemption in real-life.
Do you have a childhood fantasy of riding horses like a cowboy? Well, you can do that in Westworld. Have you ever wondered how it would be like to chase down bandits in the wilderness? Come on down to Westworld! Anything you’ve seen Clint Eastwood do in his spaghetti westerns, you can do in Westworld. It plays out like most of the open-world games we’ve come to know in recent years.
The only rule in Westworld really is that robots can’t harm humans. But other than that, you’re free to do anything you want to. And that’s where it becomes interesting (and scary). You can spend all the day at a whorehouse and screw all the prostitutes there if that’s your cup of tea. You can rob a bank and massacre everyone inside it if that’s more your speed. You can actually terrorize the “inhabitants” of Westworld any way you can think of. And that’s what some patrons actually do when they go there. So not only is Westworld a theme park for the rich, it’s also a place to explore the depravities of your person.
3. Sounds fun right? Sure! Until it isn’t.
Westworld sounds like the perfect playground to live out a person’s fantasies, depraved or otherwise. The great thing about these robots is that they get rebooted every day. Think of her as Lucy in the Adam Sandler movie 50 First Dates who suffers from short-term memory loss. The robots’ (or “livestock” as they are called in the show) memories only last for one day. They won’t remember anything the following day. So even if you blow off the head of the bartender at the local tavern, you’ll be able to see him again the following day smiling at you as if nothing happened. And the best thing about is that they can never hurt real humans.
Of course, the people behind the theme park are always out to improve on their attractions. They are always out to upgrade the software of these robots to make them seem more human. But what happens when these updates encounter a glitch? What if one day they woke up and start to remember the things that happened the day before? How you raped her and made her parents watch before you murdered them. More importantly, what happens when they are finally able to fight back?
4. Westworld has a tremendous cast and crew.
Westworld has a tremendous cast and crew from top to bottom. The show is produced and partially-directed by Jonathan Nolan, the brother of acclaimed director Christopher Nolan from the Batman movies. He actually co-wrote The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, and Interstellar with his brother. Star Trek and Star Wars director J.J. Abrams also serves as an executive producer for the show. With those guys at the helm, you know the show is in good hands.
The show also boasts of a great cast led by Anthony Hopkins. He plays Dr. Robert Ford, the genius behind everything you see in Westworld but whose agenda remains dubious. He is helped by technician and programmer Bernard played by Jeffrey Wright. But the story’s real focus is on the android inhabitants of the theme park. Evan Rachel Wood plays Dolores, a farmer’s daughter robot whose programmed role is to fall in love with gunslinger Teddy (James Marsden). But their’s is a love story destined to go nowhere since they get rebooted at the end of every day. Ed Harris plays the mysterious “Man in Black”, a patron of the park who in the pilot episode has shown that he has sadistic tendencies. It’s too early to tell how his role plays out but it would seem like he’s the villain of the series.
5. Is it the next Game of Thrones?!
With Game of Thrones inevitably ending soon, audiences and critics alike have been searching for its heir apparent. There are a lot of worthy candidates in terms of quality, but none of them comes close in terms of scale and cultural relevance. Could Westworld be the one to take over?