Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Westworld Wednesday: All Good Things

Welcome back to Westworld Wednesday, a series of essays/ramblings about the themes & philosophies of Westworld. NOTE: while we deal more with themes here, rather than plot, the emphasis is not on what happened this week; HOWEVER, if you are reading this an?d wish to avoid spoilers, you should be current on the show (Seriously, there are spoilers in this).

Westworld was a heck of a ride in its second season. It certainly wasn't for everyone; there was no shortage of people who tired of the twists and turns and time jumps (and people who didn't get it and blame the show shut up DESR you said you wouldn't go there). But we live in what has been termed the 'golden age of television', and Westworld is emblematic of that. Back in the, uh, Bronze Age? of TV, it was a pain to rewatch a show. You had to set a VCR (remember those? Quaint) and/or be there to watch the show in person, sit through a gajilllion years of commercials.

You know what? We're calling those the Dark Ages now.

Point is, a show like Westworld didn't - couldn't - exist back then*. It is a show that benefits from rewatching; while some shows get boring once you know once the mysteries are revealed, but with Westworld, it's actually better once you know. There are details and layers, to say nothing of the fact that upon a rewatch, you see how much of it is foreshadowed from the word go.

So, maybe not for everyone, but I (obviously) loved it, and loved writing this series of essays/ramblings about the themes. For all the great day-in, day-out aspects of Westworld, like plot and acting or whatever, it's those themes that set it above. The ability to weave manifold concepts through each episode is really unparalleled. From family, to religion, to the afterlife, to mortality and a whole bunch in between, for my money, Season Two had it all.

Too much praise? Maybe, but anytime a show makes me consider the afterlife more than a very conservative religious upbringing, I have to give it credit.

It had some weak points - what was up with Maeve suddenly being the favorite child? - but overall, my largest concern going into season two was that all the momentum was gone, that the twists wouldn't land, that the magic would be gone. I think they did a great job with it, telling the story from Bernard's perspective, where the twists and turns of time made sense with his warped memory.

I wish I had a grand conclusion for this, but really, like with the show, I hope you enjoyed the ride, and if you want to read (or reread) any of the Westworld Wednesday's, you can do so here.

See you next season.


*Babylon 5 notwithstanding