I didn’t want to bump my own book post to write about anything else right now, “Don’t bury the lead”, but I’m going to repost all that when the paperback is available, and then again when the poetry book comes out so it’ll be right there, and the premiere of HBO’s “Westworld” was that amazing.
The first novella that I wrote was a western, one that I’ve since decided to rewrite because I saw the potential for something else in it, but, what that western looked like in my head, is “Westworld.” The colors, the mood, the vibe, something isn’t quite right, oh, but it could be. It could be so right, maybe it will be? The people visiting Westworld sure hope so, whatever their idea of that is.
This show has levels upon layers upon tiers and zones. The premise, a fantasy world where the super wealthy can go to play cowboy, act out their wild west fantasies, good or bad, and of course, they aren’t all good, an idea originally brought to us in 1973 by Michael Crichton, make no mistake, this isn’t that Westworld. Advances in technology and ideas about artificial intelligence have given this idea a power boost that really, it kind of freaked me out. This show is violent. Creating a contrast of the sometimes inhuman desires of humans, the basic gist being that who is more monstrous, what is more monstrous than man? How monstrous the idea of how many times have those things happened there? Themes that are a commentary on society.
The first episode delivers the questions, who is really in charge of Westworld? Is the bad guy, the man in black, played by Ed Harris, possibly something else? We know going in, if we know about Westworld, that things are going to go wrong with the robots, what exactly though? Evan Rachel Wood is amazing as Dolores, and that is what is selling this show, the acting. Everyone is so good that I was completely enthralled withing the first five minutes. With the built in premise of, at least at first, not knowing who is a human, and who is a robot, and that premise layers right on up the food chain to Anthony Hopkins and Sidse Babett Knudsen, as Dr. Robert Ford, and Theresa Cullen, as they’re playing with elements of ideas about the creation of a world, Westworld, that naturally gives way to themes of good and evil, the classic “God complex”, ( something at work in several of my stories, including The Slick Furies), and who is Dr. Robert Ford really? Because once they start playing with that, maybe Westworld is something out of Dante’s Inferno, with all of those layers?
I also love what they did with the music, “Black Hole Sun” on a player piano, “Paint It Black” sounding very un-Rolling Stones-like, only added to the wonky feeling of Westworld as a pinball machine gone “Tilt.”
I’m going to be looking to re-watch the original soon. I think there’s something to be said for the resurgence of the western in recent years, something that people are perhaps seeing in the world and/or maybe longing for in some way? Though I’m not quite sure exactly what that is yet, whether it’s a reflection or a direction. Either way, fantastic first episode, I hope it stays this good. I’m watching this one.