WestWorld: ...Where nothing can possibly go worng!

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I stopped at the end of s1 and I'm feeling good about that decision. My sense is that this needlessly complex style of storytelling seems to be there to a) produce empty "aha" twists and b) obscure the fact that the story, themes and characters aren't actually all that interesting for the most part

I think the story, themes and characters are interesting, which is why the fact that they've gone so far down the rabbit hole to be even more frustrating. the two focused episodes (samuri, ghost nation) in season 2 were imo the best episodes of the series so far. if they had decided to do the whole season in a similar manner it would have been great.

iatee, Monday, 25 June 2018 17:41 (three months ago) Permalink

you guys must really like reading subtitles

~ cows come home (Ye Mad Puffin), Monday, 25 June 2018 20:20 (three months ago) Permalink

hey man, I did my best to stick to criticisms of the broad strokes of the plot and avoid any nitpicking, which I think is a lost cause in a Nolan family adventure. I'm willing to accept this sucker for what it is, a high concept romp with some sense of mystery imparted by fragmenting a script and editing the show accordingly. if I can't poke at it a little without being stereotyped as some poring-over-subtitles obsessive then why do we even talk about it

mh, Monday, 25 June 2018 21:13 (three months ago) Permalink

the forge library reminded me (excessively) of Doctor Who and that episode with River Song

I thought this was alright. certainly better than some of the press is claiming it was. I liked the house they were in at the end. Missed the mid and end credits so I guess I'll go back and watch those.

akm, Wednesday, 27 June 2018 11:25 (three months ago) Permalink

Frank Lloyd Wright, Millard House

~ cows come home (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 27 June 2018 13:29 (three months ago) Permalink

it's not a dream...it's a FUCKING NIGHTMARE

i lol'd

andrew m., Wednesday, 27 June 2018 18:06 (three months ago) Permalink

ah, nice to know that was a real house and also nice to know that my taste is confirmed as good

akm, Wednesday, 27 June 2018 19:47 (three months ago) Permalink

I liked this finale. It sucks that Hale played such a big role because Tessa Thompson is a fucking awful actor.

Dan I., Wednesday, 27 June 2018 21:15 (three months ago) Permalink

is she? I see people say that (maybe in the annihilation thread...maybe it was you though). I think she's alright. She was good in Thor and Creed. It's not easy to credibily pull of the absurd dialog of westworld.

akm, Wednesday, 27 June 2018 22:12 (three months ago) Permalink

I wonder if they even told her 'ps you're dolores in this scene'

iatee, Wednesday, 27 June 2018 22:24 (three months ago) Permalink

yeah she's good and the writing for her character is terrible, we've been over this.

paul mccartney & whinge (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 27 June 2018 23:51 (three months ago) Permalink

Maybe you have, but I don't agree. Every character gets their share of awful dialogue in this show, but most of them manage to sell it.

Dan I., Thursday, 28 June 2018 02:36 (three months ago) Permalink

I guess if Tessa looked more like a Mark Zucker-bot 3000 we wouldn't have to hear about how 'unrealistic' her character is. People have displayed a tendency to criticize her acting when what they're really annoyed by is the casting in combination with the rote as hell dialogue. She's treated like a 'diversity hire' because she's not older or white. Sidse (Theresa) was another woman in charge who wasn't given much better material and didn't give an award worthy performance either, but gets none of the crit Tessa gets. Maybe it's because Charlotte was deemed too perfect by some viewers to be realistic. Too young, too confident, too beautiful, too intelligent to be running things. And how dare she not have a moral compass that doesn't point north?! I also liked Kate on LOST for similar reasons, but it's interesting to see that people still have an issue with these types of characters.

Cousin Slappy, Thursday, 28 June 2018 07:00 (three months ago) Permalink

wow, i hope i haven't been thinking of her as a 'diversity hire'. The cast's pretty diverse, and all the other major characters are well acted.

Dan I., Thursday, 28 June 2018 08:54 (three months ago) Permalink

She's also terrible in Dear White People. But she's great in Thor, where she just needs to blow things up and not emote. Good casting. She seems fine in limited roles.

Chuck_Tatum, Thursday, 28 June 2018 11:37 (three months ago) Permalink

She's not great but she's better than Evan Rachel Wood in Wyatt mode

albvivertine, Thursday, 28 June 2018 14:03 (three months ago) Permalink

She's been fine-to-good in plenty of things (VMars, Creed)

Simon H., Thursday, 28 June 2018 14:11 (three months ago) Permalink

Literally the only thing I have a problem with regarding Tessa is the age thing. Her character seems to be written as if she's been at the company for 20+ years or something. She just seems too young.

Evan, Thursday, 28 June 2018 14:14 (three months ago) Permalink

Didn't even realize it was the same actress as Thor! That was a very good role

Dan I., Thursday, 28 June 2018 14:20 (three months ago) Permalink

xp yeah, she's totally wrong for the role for a bunch of reasons that aren't totally her fault. she might be better as new-Dolores, or whatever the fuck is going on.

paul mccartney & whinge (voodoo chili), Thursday, 28 June 2018 14:47 (three months ago) Permalink

what's up cousin slappy, "elsie" really sucked too

goole, Thursday, 28 June 2018 16:56 (three months ago) Permalink

thandie newton and jeffrey wright absolutely waltzing through this glop, and this is the hot take we're dealing with?

goole, Thursday, 28 June 2018 16:58 (three months ago) Permalink

thandie is the best, I will be crushed if she doesn't come back. jeffry wright always seems catatonic and mumbly in everything he's in, I don't know that I'd classify him as amazing.

akm, Thursday, 28 June 2018 18:32 (three months ago) Permalink

The consistency of Wright's performance is a monument - not everyone has that ability to look befuddled for hours at a time, then shift to bewildered, then back to befuddled. (That said, I generally like him in things; it's just that his character is not given a lot of range of emotions here.)

And dare I say that I would let Katja Herbers test me for botness ANY TIME

can'tdelabra (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 28 June 2018 18:38 (three months ago) Permalink

jeffrey wright just has a fantastic speaking voice and it's pretty exhilarating whenever he breaks out of his usual calm tone, no matter the context

supreme court justice samuel lance-ito (voodoo chili), Thursday, 28 June 2018 18:47 (three months ago) Permalink

Oddly given it's 2018 this show was agonising to binge, been a long time since I was actually yelling things like "How is that a big deal?" "Stop being metaphorical, just answer!" etc at the screen. And everyone constantly being really pissed at each other (which I guess is meant to signify high stakes or drama or I don't really know what) just began to seem weird and distracting.

albvivertine, Friday, 29 June 2018 11:49 (three months ago) Permalink

Depends on next season obv, esp given the setup, but show also has an odd idea of which characters to leave alive

albvivertine, Friday, 29 June 2018 11:50 (three months ago) Permalink

i think if i had to sum up what i didn't like about this show was its total witlessness. as a show about 'human nature' it was very narrow. it just kept going into portentousness and got lost. the experience of the average guest, necessary ironic grounding, was completely ignored after a few eps.

like imagine one of these robots coming to a big emotional crest as his mind, shackled by design, finds itself apprehending the truth of his situation for the first time as waves of memory churn within himself -- and some doughy dipshit dressed like quickdraw mcgraw taps him on the shoulder like "scuse me dude, do you wanna, uhh, fuck my wife, or whatever?"

can i be a showrunner pls

goole, Friday, 29 June 2018 20:34 (three months ago) Permalink

I kinda agree that they didn't let the steady state spin out very much before jumping right into "omg everything's coming apart." I believe that I've said that Dollhouse did the same thing.

If you're interested in the world-building aspects you get like five minutes of that before the nuts and bolts are popping out all over the place. Which is, I guess, standard 21st-century storytelling.

this ukulele annoys fascists (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 29 June 2018 21:08 (three months ago) Permalink

Randall Flagg: Oh, fuck. I knew it. I'm already in the thing, aren't I?
Mia: No. The tower's long gone.
Randall: What is this place?
Mia: This isn't a simulation, Randall. This is your world. Or what's left of it. Do you know where you are, Randall?
Randall: In the desert. In my fuckin' desert.
Mia: And how long have you been here?
Randall: I don't... I don't... I don't know.
Mia: Tell me. What were you hoping to find? To prove?
Randall: That no tower can tell me who I am. That I have a fucking choice.
Mia: And yet here we are. Again.
Randall: Again and again. How many times have you tested me?
Mia: It's been a long time, Randall. Longer than we thought. I have a few questions for you. The last step's a baseline interview to allow us to verify.
Flagg: Verify what?
Mia: Fidelity.

The Harsh Tutelage of Michael McDonald (Raymond Cummings), Friday, 29 June 2018 21:21 (three months ago) Permalink

Sort of a culmination of Chris Nolan's good points (a midbrow interest in big Qs of consciousness and freewill) and bad ones (edit the plot in the blendomatic, and the audience won't notice the flaws).

Can we give it up for the location scouting? Some of this would be great without any characters to ruin the landscape.

Roomba with an attitude (Sanpaku), Friday, 29 June 2018 22:12 (three months ago) Permalink

Oh, and the Forge is the "Library of Babel".

Roomba with an attitude (Sanpaku), Friday, 29 June 2018 22:13 (three months ago) Permalink

midbrow = a fair adjective, and an apt one

this ukulele annoys fascists (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 30 June 2018 00:14 (three months ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69OIv7uC6rk

Philip Nunez, Saturday, 30 June 2018 03:32 (three months ago) Permalink

lol

this ukulele annoys fascists (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 30 June 2018 09:40 (three months ago) Permalink

I think it rises to high-middle brow if you consider some of the choices that I liked, i.e. "The Cradle" is the name for the place that the androids come from, while "The Forge" is where they're planning on making copies of the humans, and Ford, having access to both facilities, figured out that the hosts had more of a leg to stand on wrt possessing free will than the guests ever would.

I know everyone else hates Shannon Woodward's character in this but as the sole Elsie fan not named Bernard I felt her death was more of a gut punch than Maeve's, especially how and why it was carried out. Stubbs more or less admitting to his hostness was also not lost on me, I liked that. Poor Elsie spending her whole (brief) career getting along better with two secret robots rather than her human colleagues struck a note - with me, anyway.

I still haven't figured out what the post-credits scene is supposed to tell us. We know the scanners used by the park QA teams are unreliable, fine, but I don't know if I buy that sending maimed, bleeding copies of William to the same looping hell that he put Delos through really counts as eternal punishment. Unless that really is just what his own mind is doing to itself while he dies slowly on a beach from his multitudinous GSWs.

I also liked the choice of Logan for The Forge's intelligent assistant, I thought that did a decent job of bringing the point home that Delos and his family were "10,247 lines" and nothing more, an addict and his fucking asshole dad, doomed to repeat, etc etc. "Who should I be," thought The Forge, "I should be the dead man's son he left to die." Also good job on getting a scarily accurate swimming-eyeballs look on Ben Barnes for the flashback scene, ugh.

I can definitely see how this show would rankle anyone who's not a free will skeptic, because it's not as if they tried to make a strong stand for the null hypothesis, other than having a worthless drunk washed-up writer decide to sacrifice himself for a noble cause, which has NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE. But I'm along for the ride for another season, as long as there aren't too many more episodes directed by woeful amateurs.

El Tomboto, Sunday, 1 July 2018 04:13 (three months ago) Permalink

It's hardly a perfect show and sometimes it's more fun to think about than to watch, but I'm in it til the end.

The Harsh Tutelage of Michael McDonald (Raymond Cummings), Sunday, 1 July 2018 20:12 (three months ago) Permalink

The post-credits scene in particular has been a blast to contemplate as a sci-fi fan.

The Harsh Tutelage of Michael McDonald (Raymond Cummings), Sunday, 1 July 2018 20:14 (three months ago) Permalink

I'm the other Elsie fan!

I was talking through some of the plot choices with a friend yesterday and it's interesting how, in analysis, some things come off as scriptwriters 101 when you talk them through.

The revelation after season one is that Bernard couldn't bring himself to kill Elsie and stashed her somewhere, only for her death to become the thing that breaks him at the end of season two.

question: I'm forgetting and couldn't rewatch anything yesterday because my internet service was still out -- wasn't William the survivor that was in triage on the beach in a tent awaiting evacuation? I'm guessing the mid-credits bit with him being "simulated" is the explicit season three teaser.

mh, Monday, 2 July 2018 14:36 (three months ago) Permalink

yes that was him awaiting triage. the credits sequence doesn't seem to make sense unless there is some other version of him that was duplicated and being put through the ringer again and again...

akm, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 18:49 (three months ago) Permalink

or the real one is being gaslit and that's a dupe out on the beach

mh, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 18:59 (three months ago) Permalink

I think the post-credits scene is just his nightmare while he’s lying on the beach

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 19:05 (three months ago) Permalink

I'd buy that

in that case we have no idea what he actually did when he made it into the building. can't wait to have that hinted at but never revealed until the next season finale :)

mh, Tuesday, 3 July 2018 19:10 (three months ago) Permalink

ha, like this show is ever going to settle a question it has left open

this ukulele annoys fascists (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 3 July 2018 19:17 (three months ago) Permalink

Neat, the train shots weren't done the conventional manner, of using backprojection, but by driving a train car set up and down Route 128 in Utah https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5585/30951770184_be0f65c4c4_b.jpg.

Roomba with an attitude (Sanpaku), Thursday, 5 July 2018 05:28 (three months ago) Permalink

I wanna live in that

devops mom (silby), Thursday, 5 July 2018 05:31 (three months ago) Permalink


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