Lacking focus, WESTWORLD struggles to captivate

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HBO, 2016.

At the end of the first episode of Westworld, I was enthralled, and so ready to jump onto this adventure. Robot narratives that question the nature of sentience and humanity are hard for me not to enjoy. But when the 90-minute finale concluded on Sunday, it was to a faint and jumbled echo of the thrill I had felt ten weeks prior. In terms of sheer entertainment, Westworld failed to escalate far beyond the excitement that its first episode promised; but more importantly, a story that purported to explore questions of identity suffered its own identity crisis. The show never grounded itself in a moral or intellectual core, instead leaning heavily on the ideas of these things. And when the ideas deflated under their own weight, the story fell flat. Continue reading