HBO Boss on ‘Westworld’ Season 2 Criticisms: “It’s Not for Casual Viewers”

     July 25, 2018


Today at the Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles, HBO President Casey Bloys answered questions about everything from the Deadwood movie to Game of Thronespremiere date, and of course, Westworld. Regarding the latter, the questions were specifically about some of the fan and critical backlash about the plotting and pacing of Season 2, and whether or not that might be taken into consideration by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy going into the third season.

“Most of the reviews felt that the story had been clarified,” Bloys said of the many layered plots and puzzle box aspects, which is certainly true for most of the season as it raised questions but then answered them quickly. That of course changed quite a bit with the finale. Still, Westworld went on to garner 21 Emmy nominations, so Bloys continued, “I wouldn’t agree that the backlash was widespread. The people who love it (the series) really love it, even the people who dislike it feel the need to discuss it and talk about it, and let you know they dislike it, and debate. And for a show to arouse that kind of feeling, that’s what we want.”


Image via HBO

All press is good press! But Bloys is right — if you’re watching Westworld, love or hate it, it’s something you want to talk about. And as he also said, that level of engagement is rare and valuable these days. “It’s not for casual viewers,” he continued. “It requires your attention. Jonah and Lisa like to challenge their viewers and many feel rewarded by that. It’s a unique show and that’s what we’re looking for.”

A question was also raised about the violence on the series, especially the gun use in Season 2. “[Westworld] is an old west setting. Our shows have a level of violence and nudity and air at 9PM. It was never an overriding concern,” Bloys said.

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