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HBO's Westworld. Yee-Haww Co/w,bo.Y@@@ [FATAL ERROR]

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On 03/07/2018 at 15:05, Alan Stock said:

I thought the finale was decent but not very excited about where the show is heading. Still, I suppose I should have faith - there were rays of light in a few excellent scenes in Season 2, but I question whether they can ever reach the heights of season 1 again.

 

(massive Season 2 spoilers)

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The next season will be focussed more on the outside world. Tbh I don't really care about the outside world in this universe. The whole premise of being trapped in the park and the host/guest dynamic and conflict is what made Season 1 so good. That isolated setting has a bunch of benefits in what it allows in terms of Ford's shenanigans, being cut off from the world at large, and the hosts able to rampage as they face off against the remaining Delos staff. I'm just not interested in whatever schemes and politics will happen in the "real world".

 

At least they've said they will revisit the park (probably with Maeve). But to me the most compelling scene was the final one after the credits - but the creators have already said that's a glimpse of the far future that won't be explored yet. Bah.

 

Did anyone think the Hale as Delores twist wasn't very impactful? I thought it was quite cool but it didn't blow my mind at all. The timejumping in season 2 was so fragmented that I think they lost a lot of the impact that twist could have had. Hale in the "final timeline" was hardly shown anyway, it wasn't like season 1 where you see loads of William before you find out the twist. Plotwise the Hale switcharoo works as it's a ruse to get A: the hosts dreamworld uploaded by Delos, and B: Delores out of the park. But it's all a bit convoluted and the way it was presented made it more confusing and less impactful than it could have been.

 

Another problem with this season is that there's hardly any threat. With so few human players in the plot (and even their humanity brought into question) - there is little sense of danger. Most hosts that are killed you know can just have their brainbox removed, uploaded to the cloud, or whatever. Even the human deaths didn't have as much impact as season 1, aside from Emily which was an effective shocker. Take Teddy for example. Him shooting himself was pretty great. But then you're thinking after the shock... wait, he's not necessarily dead. And sure enough next episode Delores just yanks out his headbox and uploads him to the cloud. We need more consequence. At least they've destroyed all the host backups I suppose.
 

 

3

 

Good post. The twisting, turning bits to hide the plot:

Spoiler

 

There's a server with a lot of data on, one part preserving stolen human's minds (bad), one part preserving the hosts who have attained sentience (good)

Dolores is Malcolm X and wants separation. Maeve is MLK and wants integration. Conflict ensues.

 

 

... is just techno fluff, which I like but shouldn't be the focus of the storytelling. That should be focusing on character. It's no coincidence the best episodes of S2 were about characters: Jim Delos, Akecheta, Maeve and her daughter, Musashi and Akane. 

 

There was a strong theory/rumour from Joanna Robinson that:

Spoiler

 

The Nolan team have been told the budget's way too high, i.e. shape up or shit out. Hence the action relocating to the real world (fewer sets, less isolation, less SFX and VFX needed) and the expensive actors' stories being either ambiguous or completely put to bed.

 

She suspects the show will finish in S3 too, either as a regular length with a cut down budget, or a shorter season to assist with budget.

 

 

Either way, i'm ambivalent about S3. The main story's definitely closed-off and I'm not that fussed about what happens next in the scenario they set up. I'm grateful for an amazing season one and an ok season two, though. The Nolans should really reign themselves in when creating tortuous contrivances to tell their tells, mind you. It speaks volumes that the linear Akecheta was the standout episode, with The Riddle of the Sphinx a close second, and Akane no Mai another standout.

 

Finally, if one more person calls Dolores 'Delores', I'm gonna have to clean some muthafuckin timepieces!

 

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It would be pretty sad if they had to finish things up in season 3 - the show still has a lot of potential as proved by the episodes you mentioned. I did think they were on a contract for like 5 seasons or something though?

 

It sounds like the budget threats may have damaged season 2 quite a bit (assuming they were aware of it pre-shooting). Suddenly they have to curtail a lot of the expensive actor's stories and wrap up a lot of loose threads. They said at the start of Westworld's development they had quite a good idea of the various plotlines going through all the seasons.

 

It could be that these budget worries have messed that all up. If you look at what Lisa Joy and co have been saying about the next season, they sound a lot more unsure of where it's all heading than I would have expected.

 

I wonder what cuts they have had to make actor-wise and how that will affect season 3?

  • Ford is pretty much done and although Hopkins is amazing the Ford bits weren't even necessary in season 2. It's his legacy/master plan that's interesting.
  • The loss of old William would be a big blow as he's my probably my favourite character. But I imagine Ed Harris is super expensive.
  • Dolores is meh now, but Rachel Wood is a superb actress. From what we've heard, her and Maive will be getting plenty of time in next season. Tbh although Thandie Newton is a legend I found her story to be really saccharine this season, her best moments to shine were in Shogun World. 
  • It's a shame we won't see more of the Ghost Tribe boss probably, he was ace. Same for Delos Sr although I assume that actor is also pricey.
  • Bernard currently is my co-fave with old William and surely he will feature heavily. Hale's actress is good, although of course now she won't be Hale. Serious value for money with this Head Orb concept. Just kill off characters you don't need any more (bye-bye expensive actor) and then upload their consciousness into another host (i.e. contracted actor) you are keeping on!
  • I hope the blonde QA boss who lets Hale/Dolores out of the park becomes a bigger player in future. If he's a host as is strongly implied then his character becomes a lot more interesting, plus I think he's an actor who hasn't been given much to work with as "generic military dude"

 

They haven't killed off many major characters - but the minor ones have been slaughtered in season 2. We also saw some new, well-known actors in Season 2, but they only appeared in a few episodes.

 

I'm guessing that budget-wise it's super expensive to have so many extras and these huge park "town" sets too. So in the carnage of the park falling apart, I wonder the writer's knowing they'd have to reduce the budget meant that events were written even more bloodthirsty and apocalyptic than they were originally planning.

 

I mean look at the concept of the host dreamworld - the writers essentially get to kill off 90% of the hosts of the Westworld park in one fell swoop. You can see in hindsight how the rumour could be true about reigning it all in - at the end of the season we're left with a skeleton crew of hosts out in the world, with only a few key humans and hosts left in the park that we know to continue the story there (Maeve, Delos staff, team Shogun world). 

 

But although a budget cut could really hurt the epic feel to the show, Westworld's biggest strength has always been in its character moments. As long as they keep some of the best actors and give them good stories to work with, it could still be ok. Still, I don't envy the writers on this show if they've had to completely re-jig the story and move it away from what they originally planned. Season 2 was still good, but if the quality continues to drop then maybe it is better to let it fizzle out in Season 3.

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Was there any point to introducing Shogun World? It lasted one episode and then was forgotten about. 

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It showed an interesting other side to the park and introduced some cool characters... who were pretty much then ignored for the rest of the season. So although I enjoyed the breath of fresh air it gave the season, I gotta agree that in hindsight it felt more like fan service than very meaningful to the plot. If you look at the overall story and character arcs, hardly anything came out of the escapade. I'm hoping they use it to build off in the future. It feels like a wasted opportunity for sure. Like the writer's were saying "hey cool lets have this in!" but then couldn't find a way to tie it properly into the story at large.

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So can we assume that whatever is happening in the remaining four worlds (that we don't know about) is never going to be known? Budget cuts pretty much bugger any exploration in that direction.

 

The way S2 ended it looks like it's going to just turn into a robot version of V. Meh.

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Im not sure. I think theyll look at what was popular and do more of that. I can see more of the shogun world characters we saw easily returning.

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3 hours ago, Alan Stock said:

It would be pretty sad if they had to finish things up in season 3 - the show still has a lot of potential as proved by the episodes you mentioned. I did think they were on a contract for like 5 seasons or something though?

 

 

I think they said they had a five season arc planned out, which I suppose doesn't necessarily mean the studio had guaranteed they'd fund all of it.

 

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I couldn't make it through episode 8 (about the Native American-bot) without falling asleep and I've been putting it off ever since. Is it worth going back to or should I just skip it entirely? 

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1 hour ago, VN1X said:

Bollocks. Is it really? It felt like filler to me. :/

 

It is, mostly. A very "human" story.

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I loved that episode, I still think about it sometimes. It's such a beautiful story and it looks stunning, this show just looks incredible at times. 

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I've watched that episode multiple times. It's possibly the best episode of anything ever. It's even better on the 2nd watch too. 

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I think that ep hinges a lot on whether you can see the native american characters as people, and not just high end NPCs in an elaborate RPG. I saw them as NPCs and the whole thing felt like a boring cut scene I wanted to skip. 

 

In fact that applies to most of the second season.

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hmmmmm. loved season one - as it felt like it had places to go - and wanted to lead you through some big ideas.

 

Season 2 however felt like five good episodes stretched out to ten. Some great character moments - but very meandering and directless in general.

 

And the actress playing Deloris, really cant pull of the role she has been given imo. My suspension of disbelief evaporates every time she is on screen. She is just someone saying words that sound important.

 

As others have said, cant say I really care where the series goes next. Which is sad because I'd been looking forward to series 2 for the last 18 months. 

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It would have been better if Delores was played the exact same way as season one but a ruthless killer at the same time.

 

"Why on earth would you ever be frightened of me?" then snaps a few necks.

 

I think she did it once is the season when she set a few party survivors up to hang and said "Have you ever seen anything so full of splendor?"

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Seems like it finally crushed his spirits: it's taken him a month, he hasn't bothered with Ep 9 at all and he says he now needs a break! Poor sod.

He wants suggestions for his next series. Vote for The Expanse.

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I just finished this, mixed thoughts but I enjoyed it more than most it seems.

 

Biggest 'problem' for me is that it has undone something I thought was established at the end of the first series (note that I did not take part in any of the internet discussion about what was happening so my conclusions were my own, and probably wrong):

 

 

They misdirected us throughout season one to be thinking that Maeve was the one gaining consciousness, but pulled a switcheroo towards the end to reveal she had only been following a script the whole time - she was just a game piece in Ford's new narrative, and it was only Dolores that was the unique one (and Akecheta, but that wasn't relevant then).

From the beginning here they seemed to be proceeding as if Maeve *was* showing free will. Was it just because of the drive to be reunited with her daughter? She broke from her narrative when she didn't board the train?

Her bad-guy-boyfriend was similar - in following Maeve it appeared to us he was conscious, but English-sweary guy finished his sentences which surely means he was still just scripted?
 

 

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Managed it in one go without falling asleep, wahey!

 

Anyway this last episode sort of rekindled the hope that the next season might be back on track again but otherwise season 2 was all sorts of contrived nonsense. It didn't adhere to any rules and the arbitrary way of cutting up the narrative just made for frustrating viewing. Every scene felt like the writers were spinning the wheel to see what random convenience they could come up with; "oh this character is now a host - now we are 2 weeks back in the past - no actually this was in the future - ha gotcha actually it's a simulation - oh this character has been resurrected - this one is dead - nope can't resurrect this one - ipads can do anything - it's all science-magic, just shut off your brain" etc. I didn't feel like there was any cohesion and as such it lacked any tension or intrigue for me. Meh.

 

Here's hoping the third season lives up to the first as I just can't be arsed otherwise. 

 

EDIT: This quote from RT pretty much sums it up:

Quote

[The writers] hoped that you'd be so busy trying to figure out if events are happening in the past, present, or future that you'd neglect to notice that there's really not much happening at all.

 

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On 17/07/2018 at 11:08, Dirty Harry Potter said:

And the actress playing Deloris, really cant pull of the role she has been given imo. My suspension of disbelief evaporates every time she is on screen. She is just someone saying words that sound important.

Exactly. 

 

She's great in pretty much everything else but playing a baddie? Not so much. 

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