***WARNING: HERE BE SPOILERS FOR EPISODE 1 OF HBO’S WESTWORLD***
***also, I swear a little bit because holy crap this show is a mindfuck***
It’s possible you’re looking at the title for this post and going, “But Maggie – there’s only been one episode, why are you writing about Westworld now?” Well, the answer is easy. 1) I have a headache, and the post I had planned was going to involve too much thinking about how to put pieces together, 2) The Boy and I watched this show last night and were floored. I came out of it thinking, “WHO ELSE IS WATCHING??? I NEED TO TALK”.
And yes – it felt that shouty in my head. Not great with a headache.
So let’s talk about it. First off, the show is is gorgeously shot. I can’t count the times you could hear swooning at scenery from our sofa. It was not just me. I mean – this landscape is epicly beautiful.
But then you get into what’s happening here. In this scene specifically. This character in the hat played by Ed Harris is CREEPY AS FUCK. I mean, potentially raping the same android for 30 years, and being upset about the fact that she doesn’t remember you and love you? Actually dissecting two different androids to find secrets of this twisted Wild West lifestyle theme park? Potentially being the one reprogramming/corrupting the androids to be messed up by their memories of lives past?
Or is this update truly one that has just awakened their consciousnesses? What does it mean to be conscious? Does it make it ok to violate these beings in every single way just because they were not born the same way that we were? What the actual fuck is going to happen?
The Washington Post says it’s a bit of a mind-bender, on the scale that would require you to do homework. But maybe that’s ok. Maybe we, like star Evan Rachel Wood (pictured above several times) should do some homework on singularity and consciousness in general. I’m fascinated to see where this will go. There are so many interesting possibilities for what can happen in a robot-theme-park-on-the-fritz. It doesn’t hurt when you’ve got heavyweights like ERW, Ed Harris, SIR ANTHONY HOPKINS, and Jeffrey Wright (aka that guy you know from that other movie).
So – who else is watching? Are you as gripped as the Boy and I are? Have you seen the original movie from the 1970s starring Yul Brynner (I haven’t, but the Boy has)? Does the idea of truly sentient AI freak you out? Do you have the same ethical quandries as I do regarding how these androids are used and abused? Lots to talk about here. I need a friend to chat this over with…
Details: Westworld. Sundays at 9pm on HBO, streaming on HBO GO and HBO Now, and On Demand.