Westworld, has become HBO’s new breakout hit series, and for good reason. The show possesses cinematography that outshines most feature film releases of the last decade; the characters are portrayed by an outstanding cast, bringing unparalleled depth to an already complex character roster; and the story is a maze of mystery, suspense, and multi-layered spectacle of awesomeness. What’s triggered the largest response from audiences is our need to speculate storylines, and this seems the year for it. From The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, to the more recent American Horror Story buildup, we love to guess what twist hides in the corridors of our favorite shows.
Westworld is especially curious in this aspect. Viewers have taken to social media with unending theories concerning the show’s inevitable storyline 180. The only downside for fans is that we’re dealing with the Edward E. Nigma of cinematic storytelling, Jonathan Nolan. Remember Momento, the Chris Nolan film from back in 2000? Well, for sake of time and short attention spans, Google it. The film was a cult hit and puzzle that viewers still debate, 16 years later. Well, Chris Nolan borrowed that story from his brother Jonathan, who also co-wrote The Prestige, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, and Interstellar. Yeah, that’s one hell of a resume.
So, I wouldn’t take much stock in fan theories, even mine, which will be coming soon. However, the speculation does shed light on our ever evolving dependence on stories, and how they define us. More importantly, the show shows just how important true fiction is to us. Much as I despise reality television, it does serve its purpose, so I’m not hailing HBO’s efforts as a death to unscripted television. However, its important to take note of the multilayered storyline of Westworld and how that adds to its appeal; how its future setting and tech theme, do more than make us question our own human nature, it shows us that we conscious beings aren’t in control of our own narratives. We want to know the twists and turns of our favorite shows, because it hints to where things are going, and we have to idea where things are going in our own lives.
Perhaps I’m taking the whole thing too far, or too serious. We all know that stories, though constructed to tell us something of the human condition, are of course an escape from the mundane of our own lives. Still, Westworld does bring an important fact of our modern world to light: our creation of Artificial Intelligence. When men become gods, and their need and belief of their gods finally melts away, what happens? An important question, posited by writers of science fiction for decades, but still an important question we will be face with. So, until real Ai emerges, I digress and await Sunday for football, The Walking Dead, and Westworld Ep. 4.
P.S. Bernard is not a robot.