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R.I.P. Westworld


HBO has canceled Westworld. This surprised me in that the fourth season seemed pretty “final” to me; I didn’t know the creators wanted to do any more.


I don’t want to kick folks when they’re down, but the postmortem from Entertainment Weekly seemed to sum up a lot of my thoughts.


I’ll say this: it was truly one of the most spectacular productions of all time. From the cast to the production design to the VFX, it was epic and immense and meticulous and gorgeous.


But it seemed to fetishize confusion that would inevitably alienate the audience.


I remember now that when it began, it was meant to be HBO’s replacement for Game of Thrones. But it just wasn’t—what’s that word that writers hate to hear from development execs?—“grounded.”


In a way, the fundamental flaw might go as far back as Crichton’s concept: we’ve created lifelike androids, completely indistinguishably from human beings...and we use them for a theme park?


No way! We’d use them for slave labor all over the world. It would be Blade Runner. Who cares about a theme park?


The concept is just so ridiculous that it could work in a feature, where it’s two-hours-and-out. But in a series, especially as you leave the park and explore the world posited by the technology...? It just makes no sense.


The show was really fantasy, not sci-fi. But it didn’t have nearly enough of a personal touch to be fantasy—it was so abstract.


With my luck, I’ll try to get a job from the producers one day and an intern will find this blog post and blow the whistle and they’ll cancel the meeting.


Intern, don’t do it! I’ll take you out to lunch!

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Robert Knaus
Robert Knaus
Nov 07, 2022

Why would you waste the ability to recreate a living being from DNA and waste it on a theme park full of dinosaurs? Wouldn't Dr Hammond have made a LOT more money being able to clone dead human beings and beloved household pets?

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Sean Nethery
Sean Nethery
Nov 07, 2022

Yes, indeed. Which is why this life-long Sci Fi and Crichton fan skipped this.


I saw a couple extended clips on YT early on, and even there was both mightily impressed with the look and feel, and utterly unconvinced by the pompousness of a truly silly idea turned into something SO IMPORTANT.

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Scott McIntyre
Scott McIntyre
Nov 07, 2022

Oh that Crichton and his use of theme parks as the outlet for major scientific miracles....

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