The internet is a fantastic tool invented for publishing our responses to the HBO series, Westworld, as quickly as possible.
That's a joke.
But the internet was indeed invented so geeks could rapidly exchange rocket science data across several timezones. Nowadays, it's still used for exchanging data. Uh, I'm not sure rocket science is its priority though.
Rapidity is still a priority though. We still look to the internet for outside minds to supplement our own quick thoughts. It's far less painful than arriving at our own determinations. Thinking hurts!
I posit this: give yourself time enough to judge Westworld, and shows like it. Here's why.
\\\ Thinking on your own, slowly, makes you a more focused and valuable individual.
What's the rush? Worried your truest instinct, along with your best judgment, is failing you? One does not notice the firey brain juice when responding to primal inclination, ignited like so much boiled whale oil. Thinking your way down that river is straightforward, rapid, and painless.
When you watch a show like Westworld, soaked in mystery, little lights go off in your mind. This is the creators' intent. They want you thinking just enough to keep your brain beginning exciting conversations.
This is why HBO shows bother to include artful intro credits sequences. Opening credits don't exist very often in TV anymore because shows have to get squeeze an arbietrary episode count into a network television schedule sheet. HBO shows are not beholden to these rules. They ought to be encouraged to include a complex show intro.
Because it's a ritual for viewers. It's a theme song for you to hum on your way to work. And it's another place to hide mysteries and clues for those who choose to seek them.
Look how slowly the credits move. The show invites you to contemplate your answers on your own before rushing off to message boards. When you observe the credits 10 times per season, you'll notice the thematic consistencies. A casual viewer wouldn't compulsively sit and watch them over and over. They aren't meant to be absorbed that way.
\\ Give Westworld time to run its course
Venture onto the internet, where everything is an obsession for somebody, and you'll discover condemnation and indifference toward Westworld's fanbase. You'll see argument and counter-argument for discussions around the show's themes.
I observed these things four episodes into a known ten-episode season.
Viewers are in such a rush to declare something a waste of time. Look, you aren't splitting the atom, alright? Guessing the plot for the season's remaining six episodes, calling theorizing moronic, and then continuing to watch the remainder of the season, is criticism on the internet in a nutshell. All sides argued for with a sixth-grader's narrative comprehension.
Westworld isn't great. It isn't challenging. While it's interesting science fiction on a topic that fascinates me, it isn't once-in-a-generation storytelling.
Westworld is, however, run by writers Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan. You may recognize Nolan as a very capable storyteller responsible for The Dark Knight. Did you write the morally-complex, groundbreaking superhero movie-myth of the decade, humming like an intricate clockwork machine-spider? No.
To venture a guess, 99.99% of Westworld's audience has never been paid for putting words on a page. I'd say we can give the Joy and Nolan the benefit of the doubt to lead us somewhere. We're living in a post-Lost entertainment landscape. They don't give carte-blanche to mystery shows anymore. You must have a plan.
\ Over-sharing can lead to over-thinking Westworld's plot
Westworld will fill your brain with smoke if you allow it. Considering all its meandering pathways and escape-chimneys will give you a hangover. Don't sit and overcook your thoughts with all the other internet's denizens. It doesn't deserve that.
Westworld's story is book-club viewing, it isn't a industry-shaking graduate-thesis. You don't need to go wide.
Keep it local.