CeCe Hampton ’24
Have you ever wished you could do whatever you wanted, good or bad, without facing any consequences? Perhaps you have wanted to try living another person’s life, or living in another place and time period, like the wild west? If you answered yes to any of those questions, there is a TV show for you that you may not have heard about before: welcome to Westworld. Available on streaming services like Amazon Prime and HBO, the first episode of the show was released in October of 2016; since then, three more seasons have been released.
Based on a 1973 film by the same name, the TV show Westworld takes place in a futuristic time when robots have been engineered to be fully conscious. Their outward appearance is indistinguishable from humans, even though their bodies and minds have been fully fabricated. The only characteristic they lack is true agency. This eerie technology was developed by two entrepreneurs in the show who started a realistic theme-park for wealthy visitors to vacation in in order for them to live out their wild west fantasies. Incapable of being injured or killed in the park, visitors are able to participate in classic western heists like robberies and saloon shoot-outs. The robots in the world are referred to as “hosts,” while visitors are called “guests.” Hosts are barely distinguishable from visitors, which becomes dangerous for guests as the show progresses through the first season.
All the hosts have their own storylines that guests can interact with and join in on at any point. The hosts are supposed to stick to their storyline as they are programmed to, with improvised scripts and behavior according to guests’ behavior; however, the hosts’ programming proves to be faulty, as hosts begin acting off-script and becoming more aware of themselves and their surroundings. This turns into a significant part of the show’s plot, as hosts begin to stray from their storylines. Since guests cannot be hurt or killed in the park, they have free range to do whatever they want to whomever they want. Not only does this lead to rifts between guests and hosts, but it also stirs up conflicts between guests who embarked on the trip together. Between defective robots and psycho guests, the character dynamics of Westworld are sure to reel you in. Furthermore, the show takes place in the American west and is filmed in Utah. From desert to canyon, the natural topography featured in Westworld is sure to take your breath away
With hour-long episodes that leave you on the edge of your seat, Westworld is worth adding to your list of shows to watch. It could also be interesting to watch the original 1973 film Westworld and compare it to the adapted TV show. Despite some confusing plot lines, each episode of the series will have you itching to keep watching. This could be your next binge show! Although HBO has not officially announced it yet, fans of Westworld are hopeful of a fifth season of the show being released in the near future.