The new HBO series Westworld is now currently our new TV obsession, and for good reason. This isn’t simply “the next Game of Thrones.” It’s a sci-fi Western series with some serious meat on its bones—the plot and narrative are unendingly engaging, but the show’s thematic resonance is just as (if not moreso) satisfying, offering up a full meal with each of its first two episodes. One of the areas in which Westworld excels is using this future-set premise revolving around Artificial Intelligence to turn the focus on humanity itself and the darker aspects of human nature. If a human guest in the Westworld park takes pleasure in violently murdering extremely humanlike robot “hosts”, doesn’t that say something about said human’s true nature?
In a new behind-the-scenes featurette for the buzzworthy HBO series, showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy and executive producer J.J. Abrams discuss the issues of A.I. that the show tackles, and the fact that the problems and tech the film is addressing aren’t part of some far-off sci-fi future world—they’re already happening.
Nolan also dips a bit into the aspects of gaming that Westworld tackles, and indeed one of the many levels of the show is its willingness to unpack and address gaming culture and its future. If these games continue to get more and more real, are gamers themselves responsible for acknowledging the increasingly lifelike characters, or does the fact that it’s still a game give them an “out”?
There is so much to discuss with this show and it’s only two episodes in, so I can’t wait see what the series offers up next week. In the meantime, watch the featurette below and click here for Kayti’s full recap of the show’s second episode, which aired last night.