March 16, 2020 4:41:24 pm
For me, the high point of HBO’s Westworld was season 1. Sure, it had its flaws, and I saw some of its biggest twists from a mile away. Also, the writers appeared more interested in creating a puzzle box than crafting a solid story.
At its best (which was often), it was riveting television with remarkable production value, visual effects (that oodles of gore looked ridiculously realistic) and acting.
Created by couple Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, Westworld was initially the tale of a theme park built in the style of Old West or Wild West and populated by life-like androids called “hosts.” The “guests” pay hefty money to enjoy the setting and do what they want with the hosts, including rape, mutilation and murder. The story is largely told through the eyes of hosts.
At the end of the first season, the hosts turned on the humans due to hosts, or at least some of the hosts, gaining consciousness about their world.
The second season saw the show getting bigger, though it did lose the presence of Sir Anthony Hopkins apart from a few flashes. But it wasn’t the cast that was the problem. The thing was, by the second season the novelty factor of the setting was largely gone. And the writing was not strong enough to offset it.
Still, I continued watching Westworld despite how frustrating it had become. Because it was still great to look at and I wished to know what would become of characters like Dolores and Maeve.
The third season of the show takes it to a whole new tangent (the season is subtitled The New World). Dolores, thanks to her experiences, believes that all humans are like the Man in Black. Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul’s Caleb rescues her from a firefight in the premiere. Caleb is a man lost in the modern world with its robots and its prevalence of self-driving cars. This world is inundated by technology and artificial intelligence.
Dolores appears to be developing a relationship with Caleb and will perhaps get to witness the good side of humanity, however elusive it may be. Though it is not certain that Dolores will cease her quest of vengeance, especially now that she has the knowledge, which she gained in the finale of the last season.
Westworld season 3, thus far, appears fresh and its setting allows the story to move beyond the one-note host vs human binary it has suffered since the beginning.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.