These violent delights. Post-Season-1 Westworld Discussion [Spoilers through end of ep10]


#1

Oh man, I just need to discuss that season of Westworld!

Here’s a plot synopsis to keep spoilers out of the thread preview:

A series inspired by the 1973 film of the same title written by Michael Crichton about a futuristic theme park populated by artificial beings. Westworld isn’t your typical amusement park. Intended for rich vacationers, the futuristic park – which is looked after by robotic “hosts” – allows its visitors to live out their fantasies through artificial consciousness. No matter how illicit the fantasy may be, there are no consequences for the park’s guests, allowing for any wish to be indulged.

My love list:

  • The Music. (Especially the Paint it Black suite)
  • Ed Harris
  • Armistice and Hector’s joy using modern submachine guns.
  • That Samurai World is just as exploitative in design as Westworld (continuing the colonialism/slavery metaphor)
  • “You mean a lie?”
  • None of the twists were non-sequiturs. And yet, they were all satisfying (save one).

My “needs improvement” list:

  • The transformation of William into the MiB. I mean, it made sense overall, but the particulars went by a little fast and was mostly exposition.
  • The “evil gay man” and “evil bisexual” tropes.
  • Samurai World is kinda lame.
  • Why was cold storage melting? (Not important to the story, but I was interested in anything showing off how the mesa worked.)

DISCUSS


#2

The bicameral modality is interesting. A self composed of memory, expressed non-linearly and influencing the ‘vehicle’ persona state. It’s a neat solution to the bicameral issues that came with the IP, a way of integrating the notion with more modern theories of mind. And the way in which this structural component was revealed to be mirrored in the structure of the narrative we’ve been unwittingly participating in. The post-factual ‘un-knitting’ was very cool.

The notions of agency they’re toying with look very promising and I think I also detect the Satanic themes, after Milton, the rebellion and the fall.


ETA: I must be confusing the bicameral stuff with another work from around the same period. Going to have to watch the original again, as I don’t think it’s mentioned at all in the film. Which leaves me wondering where the hell I substituted it in from.

Any ideas? It wasn’t ILLUMINATUS! was it? That would be weird, what with that RAW article just appearing.


#3

I have a suspicion that the sword-carrying bots might really be there to provide a convenient means of escape for snake-tattoo-lady (forget her name) after her arm was caught in the security door.

Me, I can’t wait to see Pirate World.


#4

PIRATE WORLD…

I’m trying desperately to top that…

Mad Max World? Dungeons and Dragons World? Suburbia World?

Nope… no good.


#5

In a way that was the real-life inspiration for Westworld; Crichton’s script about “animatronic characters at amusement park go wrong” was penned five years after Disneyland debuted the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride.

There was even an in-joke of sorts in another one of his movies.


#6

I enjoyed it. Somebody got the memo of “If you need to do remakes, try things which weren’t great the first time.” The ideas were better than the execution, as writing and pacing go. I loved that it dealt with the cracks which show in maintaining a self-aware persona, which is always a theme of mine. How identity is a construct. Allegory of how people are programmed/conditioned by the process of socialization. While I do think it was quite good, it was flawed and disjointed. Having read that there was a production shutdown and massive rewrites, I can easily believe it, because I get that feeling. I would be curious to know about how it was rewritten and why.

Much of what I am reading about it only praises or faults it in terms of “mystery” of some perceived twists or reveals. I don’t enjoy that kind of theorizing very much. I try to evaluate stories as they come without any expectations. I don’t presume that what I wonder about or place significance in will be what others or the creators do.

Being pansexual, I am surprised that I didn’t pick up on this myself. What examples are you thinking of?


#7

Logan and that tech in episode 10 that gets wrecked by Hector. It’s the only male on male action that gets shown (despite the overabundance of penis adorning the background scenes).


#8

I almost disregarded that those were male-on-male because they showed so little. IIRC in Logan’s orgy there was a guy or two just hanging out on the periphery. And with the tech in 10 they left what he was doing mostly up to the imagination. There was also little if any discernible same-sex action in the poorly-shot big orgy in Pariah.

I suppose I take it for granted to the extent that I assume that there is obviously this sort of thing going on everywhere, while being aware that they were not showing much of this. But I didn’t make the connection of it being a trope of “evil”.


#9

Yeah, but the fact that there was NO consensual male-male pairings still bugged me, and I’m a straight white cis-dude.

There was ONE consensual woman-woman pairing, but it happened off-screen as well. So I guess homosexuality/queerness in general wasn’t really given a chance to even be in the background. In a show so intensely plotted, it makes me wonder if this was intentional to say something about the world outside of the park. (But I acknowledge that it probably wasn’t meant to signify anything, it’s just how the writers wrote the story with input from producers and the show runners).


#10

I just finished watching Westworld.

Now I finally know what happened to Rob Ford!


#11

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