Westworld Episode #1
I have been waiting for Westworld to premiere since I first heard HBO had given the show-runners the green light about a year ago. Though I had never read the book or seen the original movie, the concept alone captivated me. A theme park full of androids set in the wild west so visitors could live out their cowboy fantasies? Yup, that sounded like my type of show.
Episode #1: The Original did not disappoint. The acting, the imagery, the music, the tone... all of it was a victory for television and showed what can happen when Hollywood can move out of its own way to try something new and original (like HBO is so often able to do.) I could go on and on about the wonders of these facets of the first episode, but I think what amazed me most was how subtle and detailed the show was.
From the outlaw Hector's touch of the prostitute Clementine's lips as a mention to a "revelry" introduced earlier in the show, to Teddy's slight brush of his chest as he restarted his day after being shot there only yesterday (shout out to my friend for catching that), to the reoccurring appearance of the fly buzzing about Dolores... the episode was dripping with references and nuances showing that all is not right with the robots of Westworld and showing how much love and care was put in to the show. And these are the types of shows I live for. Shows with layers. Shows that need dissecting. Shows that ask the viewer to engage with it in ways that it will make that hour spent memorable rather than forgettable. We need more shows like this.
Yes, I know it's only episode one and I am still far from ready to put it on the pantheon of the best shows on television with the likes of Game of Thrones and The Leftovers (perhaps I am a little bias to HBO), but this is a damn good start and I can't wait to see what happens next.
You've got my business, Westworld. Don't let me down!
Ps. Just found out if you don't have HBO you can still watch the episode for free here.