There's a lot of interest in HBO's new series Westworld, created by Jonathan Nolan (Christopher's brother) and Lisa Joy. The ratings for the premiere were quite good. But is it worth watching?
It's a decent concept, if not a great movie. The TV show follows along the same lines, though (as far as we can tell) the only attraction is Westworld--a large area (apparently) that includes an old western town and lots of surrounding land. There are technicians who work underground making sure the park runs smoothly for the high-paying customers, or newcomers, as they're called. The androids, or hosts, as they're called, are fairly advanced, but sure enough, seem to be having some problems with their programming.
Meanwhile, there's a Man in Black (Ed Harris) who rides around causing mayhem. He's a guest who wants to understand how things work. Well, he seems to be a guest, though who knows what he really is. He's the most mysterious and least interesting character on the show so far.
HBO has spent a lot of time (they've been retooling the show for about a year) and money (reportedly $100 million) to get this on the air. It looks pretty good, but that's what money can buy--the question is does the story work.
So far, it's hard to say. The pilot wasn't boring, and the story that movie offers has a clear progression--here's the park, here are the signs of rebellion, here's the response. But how do you keep that going over a number of seasons? Okay, the androids may be approaching sentience, and may fight back over their plight, but is that it? Are they just going to keep malfunctioning, while technicians and humans try to deal with it, over and over. Seems pointless. (But then, I still don't get how they can keep running from zombies each week on The Walking Dead.)
With the story just starting, there are plenty of questions to answer. One reason to keep watching is to see how successfully they answer them. Certainly worth further study.