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on January 5, 2017
Remember when we first hear of the Battlestar Galactica remake? We said -"really? That Star-Wars wannabe cheesy sci-fi show?" And then we got an amazing ride with every kind of emotion and situation that was deep, and interesting. So here we are with Westworld, a remake of a Michael Crichton movie. And we got a wild ride where we literally discuss the ability of mankind to "play God" and create a race of self-aware robots for the explicit purpose of being playthings for rich people. FIrst of all this is just great storytelling, with numerous interwoven plots that jump not just between characters but (you'll figure it out). There is a lot of great acting and the production values are in line with feature films. I recommend this series as one of the best things I've seen ever on television. Well done.
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on January 26, 2017
I saw the original West World with Yul Brenner some years back. I did enjoy that movie and thought it was ahead of its time. This new West World is absolutely a mind blowing experience. In the original Yul Brenner was the primary "bad host; wherein this series everyone is primary at one point or another. Expanding the story to include so many characters and personalities, plus the talents of J.J. Abrams, Jonathan Nolan, Joy and a host of other excellent writers and producers from other quality shows such as Lost, Person of Interest, Grimm and a few more, means more of top notch programming that I like. I am watching it a second time because I believe shows such as this are a second see because of the many nuances and sublties that are not readily apparent in the first watch. I am constantly searching for quality programming, which is hard to find, even on cable channels. There are award winning actors in this series. I hope they get the recognition they deserve.
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on March 5, 2017
I was unsure at first, I was afraid the violence and nudity was taking away from the story. I realized along the way that it served a few purposes. The acting is above board, writing is good, over all story was retold well. The story itself is my no means a new idea but a well written modern take on a very old one. Will watch season two and for those considering watching it keep in mind it is rated MA for good reasons.
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on February 2, 2017
When I first started watching Westworld, I was skeptical, as the initial story line describes a recreational fantasy park that creates and utilizes AI "humans" to fulfill the "fantasies of successful men who pay plenty of $$ to "play" in Westworld. The usual storyline is about how men's fantasies seem to always revolve around violence (killing and raping). But Westworld delivers much more than it initially leads on. The complexity of the real human characters become rivaled by the AI humans "working" in the park and their own experiences as unwitting participants in this recreational fantasy land. The question eventually emerges as to whether "consciousness" can evolve in AI humans, what really constitutes being "human" and what are the ethical aspects of using AI humans as "slaves" in human wish fulfillment.
Central to the story is how one of the "rogue" developers of the AI humans (robots/machines, etc.) wanted to ascertain how "consciousness" could be developed by AI humans - or in essence - how did consciousness develop within real humans and can that knowledge be utilized with AI humans? Since the main purpose of the AI humans is to fulfill the "fantasies" of the recreational park users, this would throw a monkey wrench into this business plan, as each AI human is programmed to "please" the paying customers, and their experiences and suffering is erased, so that they retain no "memory," and they are back at the park doing their "job." Does retaining information (memory) become the precursor to the development of consciousness? The concept is that memories provide a sense of continuum - a historical sense of existing, of time passing, of being part of the world, of how we connect to others and most importantly, how we change, react and evolve based on continuous knowledge, information, experience and interaction with our environment. We see this in modern development of AI. In Westworld, since the AI humans have much greater capacity than real humans for intelligence and physical strength and power, if they were to achieve control over their own "destiny" by deciding to expand their innate intelligence and capabilities and retaining their memories - would they be the next evolution of what it means to be "human."
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on January 18, 2017
Westworld raises interesting questions about consciousness, free will, and the necessary and sufficient mental structures to be "like a human." There is a lot of discussion about the first two items in academic literature and by computer scientists, but very little about the last element, which I think is equally important. Scientists will probably ultimately find some kinds of answers to these questions, but dramatizations raise them in a different, perhaps more graspable way.

Another interesting aspect of Westworld it the questions it raises regarding real human - artificial human relations. Would humans really enjoy torturing and killing artificial humans if they could be remade the next day? What if they were unable to take aggressive actions to protect themselves? Wouldn't that be like dismembering live rabbits?

And would society/governance allow this kind of thing to be a profitable business? What would that do to us?
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on July 13, 2017
This was everything I had hoped for when I first heard HBO was making a series based on Crichton's Westworld film. It was always one of my favorite movies, and it was very far ahead of its time. It was made in 1973, yet it used an idea that a piece of code could act like a virus and spread from one computer to another. I found that fascinating on a later viewing of the film; a computer virus. However, this is about the series, not the film. The series is amazingly good. The cinematography is better than most feature films made today. The acting is wonderful. The story, though unfinished, is very deep, with many cognitive levels for the viewer to explore, and a lot of entertaining dissonance to feel. I hope the artists involved in the series continue at this fantastic level of achievement. I feel this is a new level of television that surpasses the ability of film in storytelling. But, what do I know, heh. I hope people watch this first season with an open mind and enjoy it as much as I did.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon July 27, 2017
"Every hero has a code" - Westward tag line.

(HBO via Amazon Channels)
Four and a half FASCINATING Stars. Based on the novel and screen play by Michael Crichton, the 1973 “Westworld” was an entertaining movie decades ago starring Yul Brynner as the ’man in black’ in a family-oriented western park populated by androids. The new HBO TV series “Westworld” greatly expands the plot and narrows the clientele, adding in overwhelming adult themes and inundating the scenes with ‘host’ nudity. And this park is HUGE in physical area. Ed Harris is the new ‘man in black’ but much of the plot is centered around Sir Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, and Jeffrey Wright. The park is now a no-holds-barred playground for rich ‘adult-only’ clients who are allowed to interact with life-like ’hosts’ and indulge their fantasies. Paradoxes and illusions abound as somewhat complex plots overlap in a fascinating way that pull the viewer into the storyline all the way to the last second of the last episode. Season 2 of “Westworld” is delayed until sometime in 2018 as the writers are fine-tuning the scripts. Highly Recommended. Four and a half VIOLENT Stars. (HBO via Amazon Channels. Rated TV-MA. Color. HD. CC. 10 episodes of about 1 hour each.)
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on January 5, 2017
Fantastic adaptation of Westworld. The actors are excellent in their roles (especially Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris), and the character development is rich, nuanced, complex. The cinamatography is a visual feast with the beautiful backdrop of the Western USA. The storyline is fascinating, and explores things like artificial intelligence, emergent consciousness, and the drives that motivate humans to do the really odd, sometimes horrible, things they do for "enjoyment". There are many storylines, but the larger arc has only been hinted at in the first season. What really ARE the parts of the park that are of interest to the secretive group that monitors and funds it. It's not just a theme park - something, not the hosts, nor their storylines, is of critical interest to some very powerful people. What is the park actually doing? What is their long-term goal? Hopefully season 2 will give us some more hints. Looking forward to seeing Ed Harris and Anthony Hopkins again when the series resumes in 2018!
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on January 9, 2017
This is an amazing show. So many layers of complexity that the characters are remarkably different by the end of the show from the beginning. Watching it a second time through you can see the foundation that is being laid in each episode to eventually explain everything that is going on. Masterfully done series that is definitely worth watching.

Also just as a shout out, don't miss Johnathon Nolans other excellent series, Person of Interest, that just ended its 5 years run. The Nolan brothers are amazing in the work they've been putting out lately
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on November 25, 2017
This is an unbelievably creative series. I saw the original Westworld starring Yul Brenner & remember the 'controversy' surrounding the film. However this series does not contain simply one black hat, one white, but a myriad of all positive & negative emotions human beings emit, as well as the 'hosts' as they achieve consciousness. Am looking forward to binge-watching Season 2 when it's completed & on Amazon. All the actors were fantastic, the writing was 'tight' & the moral views posed leads to the question of how we, as human beings, value each other singularly & as a society. Suggest you watch Season 1 at least 2x to catch all the nuances. Loved It!
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