My Recent TV Obsession(s): Westworld

This semester is so busy I haven’t had much chance to write about my biggest passion, TV. So, ahead of the season finale, here are the thoughts on Westworld I’ve jotted down week to week (and a few on another recent favorite, The Last Ship). Here be spoilers.

Did I fall asleep?
  • Reminds me of a combination of Dollhouse, Alice in Wonderland (to which there are nods), a bit of A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and Battlestar Galactica (who’s “real” and the humanity of the non-human). There’s also a video game logic to the scripts and recurrences.
  • The show hits many of my buttons thematically, including women’s agency, consent, trauma and PTSD (the one-on-one sessions between hosts and creators feel like therapy sessions).
  • I appreciate the inclusion of different races, cultures, and sexes “playing,” though the only guests whose play we see in detail are white men’s.
  • I adore the use of popular music translated into score, and the score generally. So far I’ve recognized Radiohead, U2, The Rolling Stones, and Amy Winehouse.
  • Ford creating Bernard after Arnold: so in addition to making new “people,” real ones can be replaced. YOU are replaceable, changeable; your identity isn’t real or is fluid. Memory and identity are inextricable.
  • It’s no coincidence that women are the hosts who are awakening and developing agency.
  • The show asks who the real villain is, but also muddles the idea that there are heroes at all.
  • Time is fluid for awakened (“malfunctioning”) hosts.
There’s something wrong with this world.

I also just finished both seasons of The Last Ship on Hulu and can’t wait for me. It initially struck me as a show that is not typical for me, but I really got into the action and post-pandemic worldbuilding. I like the characters, too.

My Recent TV Obsession(s): Westworld

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