Westworld (TV Series 2016– ) Poster

(2016– )

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Outstanding dialog, acting and story line
letshaveagoodtm29 October 2016
Pay attention, this series explores some very subtle story lines. I was extremely impressed when they introduced the bicameral mind concept when considering consciousness. That is one of the more important concepts when considering the origins of consciousness. I hope they explore this idea in greater detail and especially its implications related to physics. It is rare indeed to have a fictional work undertake such a complex topic without trivializing it. I definitely have to compliment the writers for undertaking such a complex topic and I hope they continue to explore the implications.

Again, IMDb thinks I should add additional lines to my review which is ridiculous. I have offered a clear and concise review and they want an arbitrary number of lines, what kind of idiot makes this a requirement?
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How do we define "human"?
gogoschka-13 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
* May contain slight spoilers * As many sci-fi fans will know, the show 'Westworld' is based on the 1973 feature film of the same name (written and directed by Michael Crichton), and the premise is basically the same as it was then: In a future where technological possibilities are seemingly endless, a highly sophisticated theme park offers rich clients the chance to visit the long gone era of the Old West (Crichton later explored a variation of that theme in a certain well known novel - which was then adapted by a certain Mr. Spielberg - albeit with slightly different creatures than cowboys populating a slightly more "jurassic" environment).

The show does a great job pulling the viewer immediately into Westworld. Within 10 minutes of the first episode, the basic rules of the theme park are established: paying guests called "newcomers" get to interact with androids called "hosts" (which to the naked eye are indiscernible from the guests) in a world dressed up like the Old West - and in this world, the guest truly is king. The rules are brutally simple: the visitors get to do whatever they like with - or to - the androids. They can have a friendly chat with them, flirt with them or embark on a spontaneous (or scripted) adventure with them - but they can also shoot them, rape them, torture them and kill them at will. Imagine a real-life version of the game 'Grand Theft Auto' (in a slightly different setting) and you'll get the idea.

The androids, on the other hand, are constructed and programmed in a way that is supposed to inhibit them from physically harming "living" creatures. At the beginning of the show - thanks to an interesting choice of storytelling - we get to experience Westworld from the perspective of the androids, which reveals a cruel detail about their nature: they apparently experience emotions. Artificial or not, they do feel pain and fear - as well as affection and anger, and they have no idea that they don't count as "real" people (at least not to those who call themselves real people). And while that detail certainly makes the "game" even more thrilling and more realistic for the visitors, it means that the shocking abuse some of the androids have to suffer is harrowingly real to them.

The way the show is constructed - so far - it immediately confronts the viewer with very uncomfortable questions. How do we as humans behave towards creatures we consider non-human? How excessive do we become and how thin does our layer of morality turn out to be if we're allowed to live out all our fantasies without having to fear any consequences for our actions? And at what point should a creature have rights similar to those we demand for ourselves? How do we define "sentient"? How do we define "human"? And how well do we actually understand - and how well are we able to control - the amazing technology our species seems to have acquired so suddenly?

As an avid film fan, I found 'Westworld' immediately intriguing; not only because it dares to challenge the viewer with fascinating philosophical questions and scientific concepts, but also because its premise offers the chance to explore a wide range of film genres: sci- fi, western, drama, horror - to name but a few. In the first few episodes alone, there are hints of many of my favorite films and stories such as (obviously) 'Frankenstein', 'Blade Runner', 'A.I.', 'Ex Machina', 'Jurassic Park', 'The Truman Show' and 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' (and I suspect somewhere down the road there will be a strong 'Spartacus' vibe). As for the non plot related aspects of the show: production design, music and effects are fantastic - as we've come to expect from HBO's high concept productions - and, with very few exceptions, the impressive ensemble of high caliber actors do a great job at bringing their respective characters to life (artificial and otherwise).

A special mention needs to go to Ed Harris and Anthony Hopkins: their charismatic screen presence is once more just impossible to ignore and they simply own every scene they're in. Generally speaking, there really isn't much to complain about in 'Westworld' (so far), and I'm pretty sure HBO have another winner. Given the amount of talent involved, anything else actually would have been surprising. Produced by J.J. Abrams, created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy Nolan based on a concept by the late - great - Michael Crichton; directed by Neil Marshall and Vincenzo Natali (among others), and with a cast most shows would kill for, the stars really seem to have aligned for 'Westworld'.

My overall verdict so far: 'Westworld' is intelligent science fiction for adults (some scenes are very graphic) which offers more than just eye candy and is full of mysteries for the patient viewer to uncover. The show's main themes may not be new, but I found the way they are presented never less than compelling. It succeeds in creating a powerful metaphor for oppression, and by showing how quickly humans tend to deem "un-humane" treatment of other beings acceptable - once they've managed to convince themselves they're "less" human than they are - the show drove a point home that resonated strongly with me. 9 stars out of 10.

P.S. (for new IMDb users): If you want to get a better reference whether this review might be valid for you or not, just click on my user name and you'll see what kind of films I like.
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timoverend8315 October 2016
This show is so far perfect. The story is intriguing, the visuals are beautiful and the acting is incredible.

The previous reviewer who said the violence is unnecessary has missed the point in my opinion. The violence is very much needed. It is there to make you feel uncomfortable, because it is that inner dark side and battle between good and evil (and more often than not the middle ground between) that is at the very epicenter of the human condition.This is what the show is often commenting on and this is what makes this show so interesting, thought provoking and ultimately entertaining.

If it carries on in the same vein we will have a modern day classic on our hands.
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A delightful change from cheap flicks
Movie Tracker3 November 2016
First of all, it is very clear that the production mindset behind Westworld is far from creating a cheap product with generic high bursts of tension/love/horror/excitement. It is full of deep human conflicts, that is if you are open to watch it with a clear mind.

Hopkins' quote from the end of episode 2 when he says "No" to "Odyssey on Red River" and explanation of his refusal feels like a statement of the production mindset. "Odyssey on Red River" pretty much summarizes everything wrong with entertainment media nowadays, and Westworld is a real delight that shines as a great production.

I don't know how to tell its greatness without spoiling the show, but unless you want a cheap ride you will glimpse at screen in between your texting; you can not not enjoy this show!
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Absolutely spectacular
lesley_givens18 October 2016
Wow, where to begin...

First of all, the score by Ramin Djawadi is absolutely majestic!

The actors, well, whatever I say just won't be enough. It's a total pleasure watching every second of their stellar performances.

The plot - being a huge fan of sci-fi, it simply doesn't get better than that!

The scenery is gorgeous, it really takes you in the past. That constant mix of past and future is brilliant.

Overall, I am amazed ( obviously ), mesmerized and absolutely loving every single thing about this show!

Already a classic in my book <3
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A Spectacular Philosophical/Sci-Fi TV Show
greyfire3 December 2016
Westworld has quickly and unexpectedly become one of my favorite shows of all time. It's a show that manages to make the viewer ask questions about human existence and human morality.

I was really excited to watch this show because of the premise alone: There's a theme park filled with robots called 'hosts' that are made to resemble humans in almost every way; visitors to the theme park enter a western themed world where they can do whatever they want, including raping and murdering the hosts. At the beginning, I wasn't sure where the show was headed, but it intrigued me. After a few episodes, some questions were answered and as I began to see the direction the show was taking, I fell in love with it.

The show presents the perspective of many different characters who each have their own opinion on what is right and wrong regarding the use of the hosts. And there's always mystery in the plot that'll keep you wondering about the people, their motives and whether or not they should be considered an immoral person based on their actions.

Westworld challenges us to think about what makes someone a conscious human being and what exactly makes us real and separates us from the hosts.
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Television at its finest
theruralfox30 October 2016
If you've watched the original film, you will approach watching Westworld with an understanding of the basic premise and a moderate expectation of entertainment. That is how I approached it, and my expectations were taken to another level. Westworld is, put simply, a contemporary screenplay masterpiece. It has taken the original premise and intelligently added layers of complexity to its plot that resonate with where humanity finds itself in the 21st century. What is consciousness? What is humanity? Where is the line? And how does this related to creating artificial consciousness? The original film failed to explain how 'what happened' happened. But the TV show eludes to the faultline between corporate sponsorship (The Board) and scientific enquiry. I will avoid spoilers for anyone who has not seen this yet, but in setting the seen the writers/producers have created Westworld not only as a TV show, but as a series of questions for humanity to ponder. And the acting is sublime, in particular Evan Rachel Wood & Thandie Newton's characters evoke empathy in my very core.
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A beautifully layered story on the dawn of AI
Ayan Sarkar29 November 2016
It's a beautifully layered story about the dawn of Artificial Intelligence, where the androids are becoming more & more emotional as they gain consciousness, and humans are becoming more homicidal as they lose their humanity. In a theme park world, where human actions are devoid of any consequences, as machines evolve by self-learning, they are becoming more enlightened than their creators. Bringing together huge names like Michael Crichton, Jonathan Nolan and Anthony Hopkins, along with a multi-million dollar budget, this show, just after a 9 episode run, looks promising enough to be the best TV show ever. Could it break the record-breaking following achieved by Game of Thrones, could it keep blowing away our mind even after a 5 season run like Breaking Bad...I can't wait to find out.
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Intensely disturbing dance of sociopathic humans and emotional robots
michiel moore17 October 2016
No spoilers... I haven't watched the original movie. I won't watch it either, because I want to be guided by this series.

The theme song and intro are brilliant. Warm piano music contrast the robot-esque fabrication and programming of man made perfection.

The story does not seem to be everlasting in length but almost infinite in width. Imagine what kind of people would pay to go to a place where no laws affect you, where paying customers can murder, rape, live their fantasies without scrupulous. The man made actors and actresses in a real fictional world often seem more human then the paying clients who visit Westworld to create their personal Sodom and Gomorrah. Its a dance of empathy and apathy on every level. The depth is breathtaking, the viewer is treated on a painfully confronting view of what man is capable off.
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A wasted opportunity - a plot so thin you could use it as a window
Corben D'alasse15 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
> Assets : cinematography, well-performing A-list actors, beautiful scenery and an interesting starting idea

> Shortcomings : bad storytelling (which is ironic, since the whole "Westworld" fictional universe relies on immersive storytelling), incoherent characters with ever-changing motivations, unnecessary plot twists, ... the list goes on.

Even though the series got a lot of hype, I started watching it without too many expectations. And I happily admit being immediately hooked after the first episode : the setting of the show revealed itself to be very intriguing, triggering a lot of questions and the desire to discover the full extent of it. The scenery is magnificent and well- shot, the opening credits are gorgeous and the actors are doing a fine job making everything come to life.

The problem is that the series appears to be unable to keep its promise. After episode three or four, I started wondering whether this show was worth watching after all. I'd say that the main issue is the thinness of the plot : it is simply too flimsy to retain the viewer's interest over time. What it all boils down to is this : the bots (or so-called "hosts") are slowly gaining conscience and, after realizing that the gods (i.e. the management of the park) controlling them aren't as divine and powerful as they appear, they try to take control being helped by the park's creator. This is certainly not a bad storyline, but it is hardly enough to carry alone 10 hours of showtime. And instead of adding interesting backstories and side-plots to keep the slow unraveling of this central plot line entertaining, the writers simply stretched everything out and repeated the same things over and over again. For instance, I don't need - as a viewer - to see Dolores having 4 or 5 existential crises before getting what is going on. This endless repeating of the same messages made me feel as if the writers suffered from a severe lack of imagination. Don't get me wrong : I don't dislike the central backstory, I simply feel it should have been a real *back*story, instead of an overstretched "front"story repeated under four different story lines.

Now let's get to WestWorld's infamous "plot twists". Every show has them (or at least tries to) : these "wow"- moments, when the plots catches you off-guard and truly surprises you by giving the show a whole new dimension. WestWorld has them too, but most of them completely miss their point. They don't add anything to the plot, on the contrary : they slow things down instead of allowing progress. Most of the time these twists revealed themselves to be mere smokescreens for the plot's lack of depth, adding no new dimensions at all. Despite all the twists, the central back-story never changed course. From the first episode on, we knew that the hosts were getting sapient and in the end, well... they got sapient. In other words : no real twist at all, simply cheap techniques used to make the show appear deeper and smarter than it really is.

Another thing that really bothered me are the show's inconsistencies. For instance : why would the man in black kill Maeve and his daughter to test his ethical sensitivity ? According to the story's timeline, Billy had been roaming WestWorld for more than 15 years before this event, slaughtering dozens and dozens of hosts. There was no need for his little "ethical test", besides clumsily connecting the Billy/man in black storyline with Maeve's. Time for a bit of speculation: the Maeve-man in black story will probably (and sadly) become a major thing in WestWorld's next season... By the way, Maeve's decision to stay in the park was another big inconsistency and let-down : this behavior proved that she still was bot, as she clearly wasn't capable of truly emancipating herself from her code.

But the worst thing among all WestWorld's shortcomings is the endless list of implausible events. Movie writing priority number 1 should be the conservation of the viewer's suspension of disbelief. That does not entail that a show has to be realistic : it means that it should be coherent and believable. The fact that visitors can not be hit by bullets is an example of implausibility : how this is possible should have been explained, otherwise it looks like pure wizardry. But there are stronger examples : Maeve's escape is implausible from start to finish. Glass walls everywhere in the facility and nobody notices what is happening until it is too late ? Moreover, that facility is always buzzing with activity and people running around, but as soon as Maeve starts acting rogue everyone vanishes. The way Sylvester (Felix's lab buddy) reacts to Maeve's plotting is also laughable : after being stabbed in the throat, he meekly continues to collaborate instead of warning his management. It seems that the fear of losing his job outweighs his fear of losing his life. As implausible as all the rest is Dolores' escape from the Confederados: she shoots an officer in the middle of a soldiers' camp and manages to run away without trouble. And what to say about the season's finale : how could Ford predict that the man in black was going to stab Dolores ? The stabbing was paramount : without it, Teddy couldn't tenderly kiss Dolores' dead body on the beach in front of the board. And the list of implausibilities goes on...

All in all, I believe that the 10-hours lasting series should have been reduced to a decent 2-hour movie. The starting idea was pretty good, but the writers didn't bring it home.
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visually stunning, slow-paced, illogical, pseudo-intellectual
summerloud28 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
While Westworld ist not a bad show, I feel like it's still a waste of excellent actors and outstanding amounts of resources on a plot that could be told much better in any normal-length movie.

The visual beauty and great acting was the only thing that made it at least halfway worth my time to finish episode 1. There is no buildup of suspense, no really likable characters to root for, and way too many plot holes apart from the illogical premise itself to suspend disbelief for long enough to really get immersed in this world.

Even the show's central philosophical themes - what is consciousness? what makes us human? etc., have been tackled better by a large number of movies and books - and even if they were done better it would have been hardly enough to provide and interesting backdrop to 50 hours of senseless violence, unnecessary nudity and cowboys shooting each other. (i hear they are planning 5 seasons of this? WTF?)

Much of the discussion is pseudo-intellectual at best. The whole idea of playing in an - albeit very real - computer game revealing a person' true self is silly and lends credibility to all those idiotic "first person shooters turn people into mass murderers" arguments. For example, I felt that the whole William / Logan substory was hypocritical and pseudo-moralistic. We are supposed to see William as the good guy, because he refuses to have fun in a virtual world, and see Logan as the bad guy because he kills robots whom he attributes no consciousness to? Doesn't this mean we are bad people if we enjoy watching a show that mainly consists of violence? I really disliked William's character for that reason, and the eventual revelation that he is the Man in Black - who was pretty much the only interesting character apart from Ford - was very disappointing.

The pace of the show is creeping slow. I felt like the first four episodes consist mainly of naked robots being asked the same questions all over again, interspersed with boring and pointless gunfights between robots - nothing to care for, nothing of interest, no buildup of any suspense, since the basic "the robots will eventually rise against their masters" theme can be concluded from the show's premise without even watching it.

The later seasons branch into a couple of uninteresting sub-plots, with barely enough happening each episode to move the plot along at a creeping pace - at one point so little was happening that I felt like I wouldn't even have noticed if I skipped an episode or two.

The only thing that made me continue watching was the attempt to figure out the many inevitable plot twists in advance - something made rather hard by the numerous plot holes in the story, and the lack of clues or foreshadowing, which also makes the eventual revelation of the twists rather anti-climatic (oh, so Bernard is the one guy of the main cast who is a robot even though he thinks he's a human - well I guess it would have worked all the same if it was any other character...). Also, many of the most interesting riddles (who is the man in black? what is the maze?) lead to very unsatisfying conclusions or no conclusions at all.

I'm definitely not going to watch another episode of this, I felt like I wasted a lot of time that could be better spent on better shows or movies.

6/10, but mainly for visual beauty and great acting.
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So dire that I struggle to understand the outstanding ratings it apparently gets from so many people.
martinlucas-469-2079681 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Let me warn you first that I am no fan of this series. It's so dire that I struggle to understand the outstanding ratings it apparently gets from so many people. I imagine they are swept away by the outstanding photography and expensive sets and thrilled by the gratuitous violence and plentiful nudity, also gratuitous.

Fair enough, but be honest, that's about all there is. To struggle for any other kind of impact it uses a whole range of outworn cliché conventions. The assumption that most people are really horrid if given the chance implies we're watching some kind of weary worldly film noir, which always feels grown up, but when you actually listen to what characters say, it's not. They airily discuss mumbo jumbo philosophical sounding concepts every so often, especially the Boss, but the ruminations ultimately add up to nothing.There is the usual (yawn) suggestion of wicked corporate goings on and and executive back stabbing ( literally if necessary), there's the inevitable and unlikely back story puzzle to be solved , promising to lead back to some mysterious resolution which will pull all this nonsense together, pursued by a thoroughly nasty bad guy in black and, guess what, unlikely characters fall in love, transcending all.

However, leaving all that aside the real problem is that there is huge hole in the initial proposition. All this killing and agonizing. Do we really care? Half the cast (may be all of them) are robots who can have every element of their feelings and memories reprogrammed, so really, does it matter if they develop so called feelings or memories ? They can all be rebuilt anyway. Come to that,what does it matter if they're shot and killed? They can healed and put back together anytime. Of course we all know that the poor things have become such close approximations to human beings that its really unkind to treat them like iPhones, but the wicked executives and customers don't. Is this supposed too reflect some existential despair about the human condition? It doesn't.

The story line is full of absurdities. Just a couple: You can think of many more I'm sure. Why do the robots go on acting out story lines when there's no human customers around to participate in them? If a robot gains the power ( handed over by nervous technicians without much argument) to control other robots surely that needs them to be reprogrammed, not the controlling robot with a magic voice...

It was fun for a while to watch and marvel at the sheer outrageous inadequacy of it all but even that is wearing thin. Is there anyone else out there with the common sense to see through this over-hyped set of Emperor's clothes? Speak to me!!
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Westworld - Don't forget to clear your cache
smithp-1227729 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I haven't reviewed before, but as this series is approaching a 'masterpiece' score of 10, the kind of show I'd give anything to wipe from my memory (ironically appropriate) to enjoy again, I thought I'd contribute for a bit of balance. I'm not sure why it's garnering such scores, whether it's meta thing or because Nolan+HBO+huge budget=10, but I found 'Westworld' sadly lacking and a disappointment. I am a fan of the original 'Westworld', the memory of the calmly unrelenting and menacing Yul Brynner reminds me now of an early T500.

The overriding problem I have is the writing. Over the course of the season the plot distils down to a bit of industrial espionage and a couple of robots being able to access old memories. That's it. There's a somewhat force fed narrative of 'achieved consciousness' but existential this ain't. It's so slow too. Where 'Mr Robot' toyed with us and drew things out with a certain arrogant knowing this is just lack of substance. One plot line even lacks credulity. A board member with free access to the park can only get the data from her hand-held device out by downloading it to a host's brain. The data is too large you see, and the best way to get a host's brain out is not by cutting its head off and throwing it in your luggage, it's by programming in an escape plan.

Then there's the character development, or lack of it. Are we supposed to identify and humanise any of the robot characters to feel some sort of empathy as they are sliced and shot to bits? The human characters were unlikable corporate schemers for the most part. In fact, I would have quite happily watched them all sliced and shot up repeatedly on loop. The robot character 'Mauve' seems important to the plot line, but I'm at a loss as to the motivations of the two lab technicians who help her. She coerces one because she guesses he may get up to mischief with offline robots and that's it, jeopardise everything rather than reprogram, wipe her or throw her in the incinerator while switched off. Laughable. 'Bladerunner' tries to ask the question as to what it is to be human. In two hours. Remember how interesting and desperate the renegade replicant's characters were? Remember Roy at the end? Exactly.

Then there's the tech issues. Nothing is explained why guns don't kill humans. They hit them with an impact like a rubber bullet but destroy everything around them including tree's/wood/walls and piecing metal. Can they get hit in the eye with one? In one scene, thousands of bullets spray out of a Gatling Gun, ricocheting off rocks and shredding tree's. Are all bullets and splinters trajectories calculated in real time? Do the bullets transform into soft rubber on contact with human DNA!!? The black hat character need permission to blow a jail lock early on, later there's TNT blowing up ad hoc all over the place. The hosts can't kill humans, but they can beat them unconscious and cause an aneurysm! Hosts are cut up, dismembered and even eaten and there's no sign of machinery one minute, but exposed for plot later.

The show does look good, but in a way also disappointing. It reminds me of a cheap Sci-fi B Movie or TV series in a way. The ones where an alien world conveniently mirror's earth with similar architecture down to the brick size. The aliens are humanoid too, but maybe sprayed green. This is a TV series set in the future but shot on a western set, with lifelike robots played by humans. Any hard Sci-fi is glossed over really. Same old story I suppose.

So, my advice is don't waste your time. 'Westworld' is high budget low quality, 'Westworld' the movie is Low budget high quality. If you want Sci-Fi western watch 'Firefly' If you want Sci-Fi that looks/sounds better and deals with the same issues, watch 'Bladerunner'. If you want recent good Sci-fi see 'The Expanse' Unless the first season was a giant stretched pilot, avoid. With the success and appetite for 'The Martian' 'Gravity' and 'Interstellar' and others, there is momentum gaining where the viewer isn't treated like an idiot and with such disdain in this genre.

Avoid. I'll probably change score to a 3 when people realise that this show hasn't changed their life and is neither seminal nor entertaining. I mean, once all the script buying, quoting, t-shirt buying, conventions, spin offs, stage shows, movies, re- enactments, cosplay, dissertations, books, art, music, homages, philosophical debate a score of 10 should spur.
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Didn't do it for me
roney998 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I had really big hopes for this show. In some aspects it delivered e.g. it looks good.

As it dragged on I found my self being less and less interested in the characters and what the story did to them. I also have problem in believing in the Westworld-park idea. So very, very rich persons go there to have sex with robot-prostitutes and kill robots? Since the robots are almost impossible to separate from real humans by their looks it has to be quite disturbed guests that pay insane amounts of money to come there to live out their sick fantasies of murder and sex...

One other aspect that bugged me was the use of time in the episodes. It often felt like one story line used days but another just used hours. But somehow they still happened parallel to each other.

I just couldn't get excited...
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Not for me...
MasterHoover24 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
So I get told to watch this show, that it's very good and "you'll see".

After a few episodes, I still didn't get what the plot was about, or even liked any characters. I could get that they were trying to be philosophical and keep some kind of suspense or something.

But, when I got to a bit more than half of the show, it never got better. For every characters, I had about no real clue of what their purpose was. What do they want? What are they even doing? Why are they doing this? Not only that, they never surprised me with anything, and trust me, I know how to give credits even to shows I don't like. I didn't even know where this show was taking me. If there was even a destination. And then it finished without any of those things.

About the philosophical part... well, to me at least, it was BS. You hear them talk, and you never understand why they say this, do that, and what it could mean. It's like they try to be real serious, and voluntarily throws up random plot points and sentences to pretend to hold some very complicated meaning when, in reality, it just doesn't mean anything. It's easy pretending to be clever and intriguing, it's harder to do exactly that, but with a real meaning.

I saw a bunch of reviews saying it asks you the question of "What it is to be human". If you did ask yourself this question, give credit to yourself, not this show, because never once they dive into that territory. Not even in all the talk they did for a whole 10 episodes.

+1 for the music, it was very good. Yeah, the music.
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Too many cooks- not enough quality ingredients.
James Quirke18 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
To begin with I'll admit that one of the reasons I started watching Westworld was its positive IMDb rating (yes I'm one of those people) but having watched just the first few episodes I must unfortunately conclude that it has been rather over hyped. While the futuristic premise is interesting and it is something I usually love as with the likes of Humans, Black Mirror, The Matrix, Inception etc it's delivery here is quite poor. When dealing with technology and future worlds attention to detail is IMO THE most important thing to get right- I can take poor individual character development as long the big picture is made clear-that's why I'd actually rate Surrogates (the movie 2009- with Bruce Willis) on a par with this series because where it lacked character depth it didn't over complicate the story or bring in too many elements and it at least gave us some idea of how and why people and society became how they were through the evolution of the surrogate technology involved and showed how this in turn had real world effects that were both good and bad for society and the individual people in it. Unfortunately Westword doesn't really do this.

As I see it this series has two main problems. First of all the cast is way too big, too many characters and not enough depth mean its very difficult to really care about or get to know any of them. There's a full medium sized cast inside the western themed fictional world- some 'real' some not and this is fine but the most annoying and at times confusingly aspect is that outside of this in the 'real' world of the operations/ command center there's also a medium sized cast and they too have their stories going on and overlapping (although only on a superficial level as I mention below).

We see two sets of characters but half of them supposedly aren't even real, yet the unreal characters seem to have more life and emotion in them than the other half who supposedly are real but walk around half the time acting like robots repeating the same scenes with one another over and over while never really being developed in terms of their background or motivations or personality beyond the usual self- interested and ego driven superficial plotting, scheming and double crossing aimed at some unnamed, unknown, unexplained and what seems like pointless end within what is essentially a tiny sphere of influence within what is actually a huge complex of a command/ operations center where they work, live and plot against one another. With so many big name actors involved in this show I feel they've tried to throw too cooks at this but left them with very little in terms of quality ingredients with regards to individual character development needed early on to draw people in and make them care enough to continue to pay attention to and follow their story arc. IMO the characters, even the major ones, all sort of seem to over ride and confuse one another to a point where your not really sure why they're doing/ saying the things they are and frankly you start to not really care. IMO they need to both cut minor characters and focus on developing major secondary characters while I feel Anthony Hopkins character should have had more of a central role in shaping and developing the backstory of Westworld- which leads me on to my other problem with this show. So far there's been no real explanation of how or why this world exists as it does. How did it come to be developed in the fist place and why? How about having some expansion on the technology involved and it's theoretical and practical wider implications and consequences for the world and society. Aside from creating a fantasy western themed play world for the rich deep under ground in some strange Hunger Games type zone, what else has or could have been done with this technology to help humanity? And what are the consequences of this? Equally how is this underground world maintained and sustained, how is/was it financed (apart from the money from visitors)? In fictional futuristic worlds its the details that are most important in determining how believable the story is- here they're sadly lacking and to add insult to injury none of the many many characters are developed enough to make them all that very likable.
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Flow and Scientific quality
AKay24 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Great show with great visuals. Anyone would say that because it is, however there are so many things wrong with it and so many flow breaks and just irritating scenes. Anyone with a scientific background can see how literally no research has gone into this series. The whole arc with the bar woman forcing the two guys to remove her restrictions is awful. Both had no reason to do it but still did it to continue the story. Their acting is meh and how it still carried on after 2/3 episodes is puzzling. Knife wounds how are they stopped, physical damage? The ONLY thing in this series that is interesting is the Ford/Arnold/Man In Black stories because of the acting and the seriousness that surrounds them. Those stories have purpose and is actually good writing the rest is just straight garbage for sci-fi fan service. There's my vent ignore it or whatever but that's what I think. This show is so generic and overrated, even EX-MACHINA had a serious story which worked well (This being a knockoff attempt at copying them, "Cool let's use some sliders to make the host more clever"...tragic)
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garza-322-71100029 May 2017
It's a beautifully layered story about the dawn of Artificial Intelligence, where the androids are becoming more & more emotional as they gain consciousness, and humans are becoming more homicidal as they lose their humanity. In a theme park world, where human actions are devoid of any consequences, as machines evolve by self-learning, they are becoming more enlightened than their creators. Bringing together huge names like Michael Crichton, Jonathan Nolan and Anthony Hopkins, along with a multi-million dollar budget, this show, just after a 9 episode run, looks promising enough to be the best TV show ever. Could it break the record-breaking following achieved by Game of Thrones, could it keep blowing away our mind even after a 5 season run like Breaking Bad...I can't wait to find out.
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Lazy Writing
James Smith14 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
It just doesn't make sense. I've persevered to episode 7 of Series 1 in the hope it will get better, but it just becomes even more ridiculous.

It seems the original premise makes a great movie, but doesn't transfer well to a series.

Firstly there is no effort made in explaining how the guests can't shoot other guests, or even how they can tell the difference between a host and a human.

With a bit of thought, the hosts could have had a holographic display above their heads showing their status aka The Sims. This way the guests and techs could instantly see the status of a host, and whether it was resting or offline.

Then further on into the series we discover that guests can be shot - it hurts - but only hosts can be killed. However, there is no differation in the weapons - it just works that way. Surely no matter how far into the future the weapons would not be lethal, and would only affect Hosts?

Then further on, we discover that the hosts can actually hurt the guest by punching them - which goes against the entire premise that the guests can't be hurt. BUT it gets worse. It seems that the guests can be just at risk to dynamite or explosions as well as the hosts.

Again, with a little thought, the guests could be assigned a minder Host who's sole job is to protect the guest from other humans and dangerous situations - eg. Guest steps in front of horse and cart, Host pulls them out of the way.

The park is huge, yet the staff have some amazing but not shown way of being able to pop up in the park at any location. This is especially so of the creator. Again, this problem could be solved as easily as having helicopter type transport which the hosts are programmed to ignore.

One of the biggest plot holes is when two technicians are dominated by the Madam host. They could simply switch her off, but instead, do what she tells them to do. One of them is actually fine tuning her parameters so supposedly could make her instantly dumb.

There are lots of weak subplots going on everywhere, with a new one being introduced around the middle of the series. It is like the writers are struggling to try and find their way or are just plain lazy. They have probably been encouraged to stay so by all the ridiculously high reviews posted here for the show.

I've been waiting for it to get better, but sadly it just gets worse.

Not recommended.
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kushtrimdautaga7 November 2016
In order to understand and enjoy this incredible TV show you must understand some basic technical terms like: loop, analysis, updates, bugs, logs etc. Personal Review 11/10. There is a maze there which everyone is talking about, the music intro is perfect. The image tone is carefully chosen, while i am starting to like Jonathan Nolan more than his brother Chris. The playable character of Ford and Lowe are purely excellent executed. The hosts and guest concepts really make you think about real world humans design and our evolution in much deeper level than i thought before, like Elon Musk explains that we humans maybe live in a virtual environment of someone else.
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Huge budget, tired tropes with a few good ideas, F- writing TV porn
Michael Maggiano8 December 2016
A few opinions on how to think about big budget film/TV.

Here's what a huge budget can get you: 1) Production value: Great work on design, camera/lighting, editing, FX, VFX, sound and music; competent-to-good acting, writers who know story structure, and who can make a plotboiler. "What's gonna happen next?!?" I have deep respect for the filmmakers in these fields, but with talented people, these results are generally reproducible at will. The budget for Westworld is $100M before advertising for 10 hours of content (with plenty of repetition of locations and even shots). 1a) Good looking people naked, some of them famous. 1b) A bunch of squibs and muzzle flashes and bashed-in heads and so on. 2) All of the above plus marketing/PR which will give you an instant fan base. I doubt it will give a long-lasting one.

Here's what a huge budget will not get you: 1) a sci-fi trope newer than "are these things people?" which traces back to the 1930's at least, and has been done in too many movies/TV to count, and could use a rest for a decade or more. 2) new ideas, new points of view on thoughts, emotions, insights; wisdom. Westworld has a few, but not enough, and it's mostly done in dialogue and nowhere else. 3) audience engagement that goes beyond plotboiling. Plotboiling gives you a buncha surprises (no spoilerz!!!) and no lasting value. 4) any of the above well-expressed through picture, design, sound, etc.

Most of the actual scene-by-scene writing is on a level with an afterschool special from back in the day: moralizing without complexity, and with a bunch of fan service to go with it. Although there are not many people vocally disagreeing with the show, those who are complain about pretension and shallowness. I agree. Since I'm loathe to accuse shows of being pretentious, let me specify: here we have sophomoric and hackneyed philosophizing about human nature/personhood coupled with quotations from classic literature and music (plus sex, violence, plotboiling and moralizing). If you can't come close to Blade Runner or work a new angle that works, don't do it.

I will disagree on complaints about the acting: I think any imagined problems here are results of the ultimate shallowness of the show, plus the fact that those who play host bots are required to play a person/thing that is sometimes rigidly following their programming, and sometimes not. I think they are doing quite well there, and the deficits are inherent to the show.

If only the show disobediently, willfully and intelligently went away from the 'program' the way those hosts do.
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What a disappointment
Fedgirl25 November 2016
I had really been looking forward to the start of this much-hyped series and even managed to stay awake during the first 3 or 4 episodes, telling myself that things were bound to get better. Well guess what? I'm still waiting. At first I felt like I was watching 'Groundhog Day'...without the laughs, but was still hanging in there hoping things would improve. But they didn't and I finally deleted all the 'unwatched' episodes. I really can't understand all the gushing plaudits from some of the reviewers on here (although I sometimes feel people are just taken in by all the hype and don't know a crap series when they see one!). The characters are unsympathetic, the script is poor and the whole thing is so totally devoid of any humour. The only thing I hope for is that there will not be a 2nd season.
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Total rubbish
thomasshahbaz14 October 2016
An incredible number of star-actors have been roped into this massive, bloated turkey. This has the highest possible production values, with shots that seem both professional and glossy, and amateur and obvious, almost like it's been made by the most recent graduates of the elitest of film schools. The show delights in slowly drip-feeding the plot through devicey lines of dialogue, without the remotest iota of characterisation. This dialogue is clunky, un-engaging, and embarrassingly full-of- itself. Every line is delivered with a knowing, stoic expression, as if the creators believe every single line to be surprising, clever and layered, whereas in reality it's laughably ridiculous. MANY eye-rolling moments occur, though it the irony is lost on the makers and the actors. Like Fortitude, this is a sad example of what even the best actors will do for the right fee.
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