Westworld

HBO, Sundays at 9 PM

Oct 02, 2016 Web Exclusive
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Welcome to Westworld, a playground that transports the super wealthy to a Wild West where they can make their wildest dreams come true. Supported by a cast of thousands of host androids playing out intricate storylines, the semblance of reality is uncanny—the ultimate escape for guests. It's an experienced designed and maintained by a corporation to have no consequences, but when several hosts suddenly gain memory, ostensibly from a glitchy software update, ethics begin to get muddled. The questions of culpability and technological morality keep coming as the narrative arcs forward. With a capable hand, showrunners Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight, Person of Interest) and Lisa Joy unfurl a multi-dimensional web of events within and beyond the confines of the park that raise the stakes with every turn.

With a star-studded cast (notably featuring Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, Anthony Hopkins, James Marsden, and Jeffrey Wright), lush production design, epically sprawling story, and astonishingly huge budget, HBO is banking on the J.J. Abrams-produced Westworld to become a tentpole series. In a rare case, the network's investment pays off. Sure, Westworld's origins lie in uber-'70s sci-fi territory, but this iteration riffs on the basic scenario of Michael Crichton's prescient vision to impressive results, expanding the experience to fully embrace the grey areas of modernity. (www.hbo.com/westworld

Author rating: 9/10

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