Westworld season 2 takes cues from The Strolling Dead

The sequence’ first season scrabbled around looking for a point for too long, earlier than zeroing in on some ideas concerning the nature of consciousness. I really loved the primary season finale, nevertheless it additionally laid naked a lot of the collection’ problems. This was a show that reset its protagonist’s consciousness each few episodes, one which appeared more involved in structural gimmicks than in making a story or characters value getting invested in. It’s telling that the closest thing the show had to a breakout character — Thandie Newton’s Maeve — is the one character with a readily defined set of needs and goals.

And yet … there’s something about Westworld I can never shake. It lives with me throughout the week, even regardless of its flaws, like a slightly stiff feeling in the legs the morning after that big workout. I’m all the time aware of how a lot the show desires me to buy its bullshit, but I’m additionally incredibly prone to bullshit salesmen.

And in season two, the series is emulating one of many least possible shows imaginable: AMC’s faded zombie drama The Walking Dead. And it’s sort of working?

A lot of the frustrations I had with Westworld’s first season involved how thoroughly the sequence devoted itself to sticking viewers inside the point of view of its robotic Hosts, synthetic close to-intelligences designed to populate a theme park for the ultrarich. Very fundamental concepts concerning the sequence’ world or time interval were left deliberately obscured, and the show’s story was self-consciously constructed as an elaborate nesting thriller, owing to how the nature of the Hosts’ consciousness allowed them to revisit events from their own pasts as if they were really occurring in the present. (I’ve by no means fully understood how this capabilities, however hey, I’ll go along with it.)

In season , however, the sequence has freed its Hosts from their mental bondage, the self-awareness that seemingly started with Dolores (Evan Rachel Wooden) and Maeve rippling by means of the rest of the park, leading them to fight back towards those that hold them there. Gun battles erupt continuously, the characters race all over on quite a lot of missions, and both Dolores and Maeve are chasing phantoms they may not find. Westworld, in brief, feels rather a lot more like a TV show than it does an prolonged lecture on the character of consciousness.

This is a good thing. Although of the 5 episodes HBO sent out (out of a total 10 within the season) had been round 70 minutes lengthy, and no episodes were below 55 minutes long, Westworld Quotes – https://plus.google.com/ – has a propulsiveness it usually lacked in season one. Understanding even probably the most basic info concerning the world at massive, as well as the sister parks to Westworld (which include the Shogun World teased in season one and one other I daren’t spoil), helps situate the show’s chaos in something real.

But what’s most notable is the way that Westworld is telling tales this season, which is to say that it’s largely abandoned the gigantic patchworks of season one in favor of telling smaller chunks of the identical bits of the story from different perspectives.

These first 5 episodes don’t cowl a really massive chunk of time, however because we preserve looping back to see what was occurring to completely different characters (who had been often in different locations) within that chunk of time, they end up feeling more momentous. And that’s before we get to the way the series can hop, skip, and soar about within the Hosts’ consciousnesses, to fill in very important bits of backstory.

There’s one other TV show that tells stories in this fashion: The Strolling Dead. And where that show’s tendency toward decompression — the storytelling time period for taking a plot and inspecting it in nearly microscopic detail — ultimately led it down a deep, deep hole, it had a few really good seasons when it found a option to inform compelling character tales within the framework of reiterating the identical series of events from slightly different perspectives. (At its most decompressed, the show spent eight episodes masking about 16 hours of story time from a myriad of perspectives.)

Westworld hasn’t quite gone that far down the rabbit gap, nevertheless it does preserve discovering methods to maneuver the story forward but a couple of inches with each episode by focusing on different character pairings in each hour, thus permitting it to keep things transferring but additionally allow them to stand still while eachbody gets a chance to catch up. One episode would possibly observe the diptych of Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) and the Man in Black (Ed Harris), linked in methods they don’t quite perceive, while the next lays out what happens as Maeve heads into Shogun World and Dolores chases her personal ambitions into an ever-tightening, probably self-harmful spiral.

23 May 2018


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