Westworld is a really good show
Most of my spare time this week (and some of my, uhhm… non-spare time as well) has been spent on Westworld — watching the show, and then obsessing over fan theories. What follows is a spoiler-free plug for the show.
It’s a really good show. If you make me talk about it, I’ll end up spoiling it for you. Please just watch it.
That’s all there is to really say about it, but if you’re still reading, then I feel obliged to write. The show is set in the future, and is centered around a theme park — Westworld — where wealthy patrons can live out their fantasies of living in the Wild Wild West of 19th century USA. It’s essentially a “live” RPG with artificially intelligent humanoid robots. It’s kinda hard to go into too much detail without spoiling anything, but some of the themes that the show explores (and explores really well) are the nature of consciousness, free will, the clash of eastern (Vedic/Buddhist) and western (Abrahamic) philosophies, the relativity of morality.
The production is absolutely top tier, the actors are amazing and the writing is the best I’ve seen for a (serious) TV show. It’s what GoT would’ve been like, if D&D had been really really good instead of just good. Westworld is based on a novel by Michael Crichton, and the script for this show has been adapted by Jonathon Nolan (brother of Christopher Nolan who also wrote most of his movies) and his wife Lisa Joy. If you liked The Prestige, I guarantee you, you will love this show.
On a related note, a paper I wrote with Prof. Sudha Shastri and Ravi Bhoraskar at IITB about non-linear narratives in three of Nolan’s movies seems to have been published finally, although it doesn’t appear to be accessible to the public as yet. It’s titled — ‘Are you watching closely?’ A study of Christopher Nolan’s engagement with structure, chronology and motif. If you’re interested in reading about the cool technical things Chris/Jon Nolan do in Following, The Prestige and Memento, let me know and I’ll send you a copy.