Review: ‘Westworld’ has entered the new, better frontier of Sci-Fi | MarketingwithAnoy

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When it premiered six years ago, Westworld the epitome of prestige sci-fi at its highest. An expensive HBO series with one old-school Michael Crichton pedigree, it featured an excellent cast and a mind-trippy premise: What if all the sentient robots or “hosts” in a western amusement park decided they had had enough of being kicked and dragged around? Subsequent seasons revealed the influence of artificial intelligence and reached far beyond the boundaries of the Westworld attraction, a global mess of money, corruption and consciousness manipulation that was nightmare fuel for viewers watching at home as they scrolled through Twitter. It was a hit – even if it was modest.

But like many popular shows do when sailing past their second season, it went a bit off track. By season 3, Westworld had become exhausting – a show with evt also many good ideas and not enough places to place them. When host Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) came out of Westworld and tried to destroy and / or save humanity that enslaved her, she inspired a revolution that led to the destruction of the reality-manipulating AI known as Rehoboam. The man in black was revealed to be William, son-in-law of the founder of Delos, who built Westworld. Everyone had a role to play, lots of people (and androids) died, and eventually it felt like a task to keep track of all or any of them.

For the first two episodes of season 4, which launched on June 26, things have changed – and for the better. Caleb (Aaron Paul), once a soldier in opposition to the machines, now has a family and a steady job, and although he also has PTSD, he is not as prone to histrionics as before. He is once again called upon to join Maeve (Thandie Newton) as they are both again chased by shadowy hosts, but now their quest has the feel of a thinking character drama rather than a third act scene in a Terminator movie. Maybe Westworld goes to a slow burn in the first half of its current season. Either way, it seems that creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan got the hint that with modern sci-fi is less sometimes more.

The best shows and movies are often character dramas at heart; even though Westworld was in its first season. But as we enter what a new golden age for television this is, the more focused direction of the series signals a shift that has thankfully been taking place for a long time. Instead of science fiction with some interesting characters, the best programs are now thrillers or political dramas with a science fiction backdrop. It is For all mankind plays out as Crazy Men in space. Or After Yang‘s family drama about memory persistence wrapped in a story about a disused droid.

Or, perhaps in its best present incarnation, Resignation. Apple TV +’s breakout hit primarily acts as a workplace thriller about dealing with losses, but it’s built around genre premises such as “Shall we share our brains?” and “What if you lived in a business city where the business was extremely shady and maybe a cult?” Futuristic sci-fi can often appear cold, which works when you sow a dystopian mood, but it can also be a kind of defeat. What shows like Resignation and Westworld do, is to bury philosophical dilemmas under the slender veneer. The inner world structure is as strong as the outer. It is an ideal that has been at the center of sci-fi for decades, but which may be lost in the hunt for ratings and razzle glare.

To Westworld, the move has paid off. In the weeks since the series’ new season premiered, Vanity Fair wrote that the latest rates were “an upgraded model“Daily Beast said it was”worth seeing again. “This also feels right. Genre franchises are often lost and then course-correct. WestworldThe latest season is the restart it needed.

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