Westworld is back, but it’s still just HBO’s cash cow. The try-hard series has been riding on the coattails of Game of Thrones since day one.
I’ll make this clear from the very beginning. I don’t get Westworld. I never have, and I never will. It’s not that I don’t understand the premise. It’s a dystopian thriller that pits humans against andorids they’ve abused for decades. It’s like something out of a Margaret Atwood novel, only with fewer women in red and more cows.
HBO has pushed the show as its Game of Thrones mark II since it first reared its ugly animatronic head in 2016. No matter how many times I try to get into the story, or try to build some sort of viewer’s rapport with doe-eyed Dolores, I can never get past one glaringly obvious fact: this is a show created purely to fill the gap that Game of Thrones was well on its way to leaving.
Mostly, it’s the manufactured boy band of TV land, designed only to secure the cash flow to an already greedy studio behemoth. The quality of the content is unfortunate, but fans continue to buy into it anyway.
From the moment we stepped foot into that weird, sadistic western, it had all the makings of a TV show that was trying exceptionally hard to be complicated. It orders audiences to sit up and pay attention – but not in the same way that Game of Thrones did.
Miss a minute and you’ve lost the plot entirely. While the battle for the Iron Throne was enthralling enough to evoke this response naturally in viewers, Westworld feels like the younger try-hard sibling that you instinctively want to throat punch.
One of the biggest pitfalls of the entire series is Dolores. For a person as outspoken about female rights as actress Evan Rachel Wood is, the character screams stereotypical hypocrisy. Although the idea behind her arc is semi-interesting, the delivery is poor. As a result, the character is just a dull echo of all the genuinely great females that came before her. Someone call the wizard because this tin girl needs some substance.
You could argue that Danerys has one up on Dolores because she is a fully-fledged human, but let’s not forget that both characters live in entirely fictional worlds. The possibilities are endless here.
As the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys brought Game of Thrones to a new level. As a conscious AI robot, Dolores brings little but the fantasies of bored middle-aged men to life, on and off the screen.
Instead of pooling their resources into a flailing mess of a drama series that panders to egocentric critics, HBO should’ve directed their resources elsewhere. Like on giving fans the last season of Game of Thrones that we deserved – and not the one we got.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.