Take The Next Train In To Westworld

Note: This article originally published on PureFandom.com

HBO may very well have its next blockbuster hit.

It’s a fascinating, twisting, edge-of-your-seat sci-fi thriller called Westworld. The cast is solid, and the story is intriguing. Go check out the first episode.

The trailers for Westworld may have been enough to get a bunch of people watching. I actually thought they were a bit confusing and all over the place. However, I’m happy to report the show makes the plot clear quickly.

We follow the lives of Teddy Flood (James Marsden) and Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood), which are intentionally intertwined. They are, in fact, AI characters in a Western theme park where people choose the story they want to live out.

Essentially, park-goers can live out any fantasy they want, with no exceptions, and the town of AIs are incapable of hurting living things. The problem? Some of those park-goers are like The Man In Black (Ed Harris), who like to live out violent and violating crimes without consequence. Teddy, Dolores, and company wake up the next day fresh and none-the-wiser anyway.

But this wouldn’t be an HBO show (or a Michael Crichton novel) if we didn’t have trouble on the horizon. That lies within Dr. Robert Ford’s distinguishing flaw, which is excellence to the point of perfection. Ford (Anthony Hopkins) is the Westworld and AI bot creator, always tinkering with his children to make them more life-like. In his latest update, however, the Westbots are melting, shorting out, and lashing out like never before. The fear of Ford’s apprentice Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright) is that his boss triggered something in the AI brain this time around that will cause them to be a bit too human.

But we’re fine. We interviewed Dolores and she passed with flying colors! Plus, any AI that fails we can just throw in a giant reject storage basement with the others — who are even lined up like soldiers, just standing there idle. That won’t come back to bite us at all! The point is, Dolores definitely didn’t fool us in her interview, and none of these AIs could ever hurt a living thing because we programmed them that way.

Wait. Is that a fly crawling around on Dolores’ neck? Aren’t flies living things?


Get on the Westworld Bandwagon

A lot of people are comparing Westworld to Game of Thrones, and some of that is warranted. But that’s lazy in the way that comparing Jordy Nelson to Julian Edelman in the NFL is lazy, because you know why. So let’s do better.

I’ll give you two movies, which are great on their own but look to be even better when they’re meshed together. The first is Edge of Tomorrow, starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. You’re going to get a lot of living the same day over and over with Westworld, but with subtle differences to pick up on. It feels like that’s going to be important in plot and character development. Admittedly, I love this kind of stuff.

The second film I would cross is obvious, and that is Ex Machina. Much like that Alicia Vikander and Oscar Issac sci-fi, Westworld  is going to blur the lines of human and artificial intelligence to the point of no return. I wouldn’t be surprised if we follow a character we think is human that turns out to be AI, or vice versa. It’s certainly a social statement on the dangers of technology, but it’s also intriguing and entertaining.

Long story short, go get your ticket to Westworld. The train is leaving, and you don’t want to miss it.

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About Steve Richards

First and foremost, I love anything Philly sports; that includes the Phillies, Sixers, Eagles, Flyers and Union (that’s a soccer team). I’m also a fan of the English Premier League squad Manchester City. In the college ranks, I follow the football, basketball, and baseball teams of both Penn State and the University of Texas. I work for SportsNetworker.com, where I am the COO. I also cover a variety of high school sports for The Reporter and PaPrepLive.com as a freelance writer. On the broadcast journalism side of things I'm a co-host of the Prime Time Fantasy Football and Showcast podcasts on Next Level Radio. You can check that out right here. You'll also find me on Twitter discussing a multitude of things. Feel free to give me a follow over there.
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