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The Westworld Thread - Full of Spoilers! - Season 2!


#1663

Well, it will be for us at least.
I’m with this as well.


#1664

Y’know who would have loved this show? Billy Pilgrim. Yeah!

Unstuck in time
Like a bug in a jar
No matter where you go
There you are!


#1665

I lost momentum with this series around episode 6 and caught up with it all this weekend.

It really disappeared up its own arse, didn’t it?

There’s some interesting topical stuff (in theory at least) with making copies of the human guests from the user experiences, in a privacy, marketing sort of way. But the show was far too ponderous in actually dealing with it. The best episode of the second half was by far the one focused on Akecheta (sp?). Everything else just converged and collapsed. I’m not convinced any of this series was plotted before the end of the previous one. It feels like they got to the end of that and then drove off in a different direction here.

I won’t be back for series 3.


#1666

Oh I’ll probably come back for season 3… I mean, production is still top-notch, and even though I’m not really interested in the story, at this point it’s like watching a car crash in slow motion =P


#1667

I just posted this in the ‘watching’ thread, but maybe it belongs here too.


I just finished watching season two of Westworld. I really liked it, and thought it was a great continuation of the story begun in the first season, which took things in unexpected directions but used these to really thoroughly explore the big ideas that are at the heart of the show.

Reading some of the online reactions to this year’s batch of episodes (and catching up with this thread) it’s interesting to see so much disappointment with the second season.

I wonder if part of the reason it worked well for me was that I watched all ten episodes in quick succession (within the space of around two weeks), so the mysteries and long-running plots weren’t as drawn-out as they would have been if I had watched it on a weekly basis. The show has a novelistic structure that I’m not sure is best served by an episodic, weekly format.

I also wonder whether there’s a hint of Star Wars syndrome here - a lot of the complaints people seem to have about season two seem to stem from disappointment that it didn’t provide what their preferred version of the show was, or that it didn’t end up where they thought it was heading based on earlier episodes.

Divorced from all the weekly speculation and discussion, I was happy to sit back and let the show tell me the story it wanted to tell, and I thought it worked very well on its own terms.

I’m really looking forward to seeing where season three goes now.


In particular, getting into slightly more spoilery territory, I thought there were some very affecting moments throughout the series - particularly those dealing with Dolores and her father, William’s backstory, and Maeve and her quest.

There were some incredibly strong individual scenes that had quite a powerful emotional effect, which then made you question why you were getting emotionally invested in ‘fake’ humans, which then of course ties into why you would get emotionally invested in a TV show at all, which then comes back around to this season’s preoccupation with levels of reality and the value of what is ‘real’.

I also thought the ideas about free will (in both humans and hosts) were turned on their head very effectively by the end of the season, and I like that we have a clearer idea of Ford’s intentions by the end of that final episode.

I also didn’t think the timelines were particularly confusing this season, but again maybe that’s helped by watching it all in such quick succession.


#1668

I’ll cop to a bit of that, but it’s also just that a lot of where it did just wasn’t depicted well in a way that made for a sense of entertaining television. And since this isn’t a batch of streaming shows that all drop at once - it’s something that should work week to week. Sort of like in the LEGION thread, no one gives that slack for not being very watchable but it still was able to pull of some incredible things despite the individual drags. With Westworld Season 2…there’s just episodes that seem purposefully meandering.


#1669

Which is an ad hominem argument that doesn’t really address the show.

Some of the complaints were about personal theories, but not most, and certainly not most here.


#1670

It’s not meant as an ad hominem at all and it’s not directed at anyone in particular. It’s just an observation that a fair bit of the conversation as I’ve skimmed the thread seems to be voicing disappointment that the show didn’t take the story in a certain direction or explore certain ideas.


#1671

Ad hominem hardly ever is “meant” in the sense that it’s deliberately chosen as a strategy, it’s just how we deal with people who don’t like something that we did (or vice versa); we make it about them.

Expectation is an issue, as it is with any things (“I expected A and got B”), but speaking personally (and I commented on this back when the show was broadcasting) I think the plot was fine.

I think it was very badly presented though. The show’s actors and crew did a fine job. I think the show runners screwed up the way they told the story.


#1672

Ok, but I think you think I’m trying to attack the views of people who didn’t like the show; I’m not.

I’m trying to explain possibilities for why my reaction was different to the general impression of the rest of the group.

It isn’t meant as an attack on anyone’s views or to diminish their viewpoint in any way, so please don’t take it as such.


#1673

As a general rule, I don’t watch TV series with any expectations behind “be entertaining”. I don’t care where a show takes me as long as I enjoy the ride.

With Westworld Season 2, I I didn’t enjoy the ride. Yes, it had great performances and fantastic production values. But when writing and story completely fail, acting and style aren’t enough to save it. The writing was so bad that it snapped me out of the story. The emotions I felt weren’t generated by brilliant performances but by the creative decisions of the show’s producers and writers.

As whether watching the show on a binge versus weekly, let me say this: If it had been dropped all at once, I would have stopped watching early on. A weekly hit was easier to deal with that the thought of binging through. I know I wouldn’t have made it through a binge.

Ultimately, Season 2 was a hollow and frustrating experience that completely turned me off wanting to watch Season 3.


#1674

I think the main problem with the show is none of the remaining robots are remotely sympathetic protagonists. Delores is a psycho and Bernard a confused mess. Who know who else they saved, but they all feel like they found their end in the second season.

Add on the unnecessary time jumps, the deliberate confusion in the story and ultimately a boring plot that told 2 hours worth of story in 10 hours and you have a very unsatisfying show. On top of all that there’s the mess of the MiB story.


#1675

Add me to the pile of people who had no real expectations… particularly since I didn’t even like S1’s plot… but yeah S2 had A LOT of issues… it was better than S1 in some regards, but worse in others.

But hey, at least we get to come here and discuss it, so it’s not all worthless :smile:


#1676

“I wouldn’t agree that the backlash was widespread” defended Bloys, “The people who love it (the series) really love it, even the people who dislike it feel the need to discuss it and talk about it, and let you know they dislike it, and debate. And for a show to arouse that kind of feeling, that’s what we want.”

After HBO dropped the first five episodes to critics, Bloys says, “Most of the reviews felt that the story had been clarified. It’s not for casual viewers (the show), it requires your attention. Jonah and Lisa like to challenge their viewers and many feel rewarded by that. It’s a unique show and that’s what we’re looking for.”


#1677

Ah, well, that’s good then.
For a second there I was worried.


#1678

I’m not massively bent out of shape by any of that. Some people want their shows to be unusual on all levels, and Westworld 2 went out of it’s way to present it’s ideas in a nonlinear way.

That didn’t work for me, I didn’t feel they earned it, it felt false and fake, but there are a lot of shows that have come along in the last few years that I’m comfortable walking away from. Half the Marvel/Netflix shows have been things I think don’t work. Big deal. Netflix are still making more and Disney will no doubt continue when they get their own streaming service into gear.

They don’t need me watching, or millions of others. They need enough, but enough isn’t going to be the same for every show.

If HBO have enough viewers for season 3 then good luck to them. I haven’t written the show off yet, but I might not stick with another year if things go the way they seem to be going.


#1679

So I finally dragged myself through season 2. I’d actually stockpiled the whole season and was looking forward to a binge watch.
It took months for me to watch it.
I agree with almost everything said here. The writers were far too impressed with themselves and their story telling. The time jumps became confusing (but fair play for tying them all up at the end).

All the characters were dull. Delores from the outset, Bernard by about ep 5. Was bored of Maeve pretty quickly too.

Hated the Native American ep, so, so much exposition, in fact I think the last 20 minutes of the show was exposition, and if you have to use that to tie up your show, you’ve failed massively as a story writer.

It’s so disheartening that the creator of Person of Interest came up with this.

Someone one further said it, this show isn’t the new GoT, The Expanse is, but no one seems to be watching it.


#1680

The Expanse would have been better served on HBO or Showtime than SyFy. Nobody really seems to watch SyFy any more; it’s just another one of those random cable channels that shows movies, old tv series, and reality shows. It might as well be TNT or Spike.


#1681

I mean, after they cancelled Eureka there wasn’t any point in the channel anymore.


#1682

Not to go off topic but Eureka was the most frustrating thing I have ever watched start to finish. No character growth, no stakes and all the pay offs were just plot hand waves. They didn’t even bother answering the first mystery they set up in the first ep!

I still watched it all though :confused: