Westworld is kinda a boring slog...

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nutter

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I didn’t know this show was back until my wife mentioned it today. I fell asleep a couple of times this episode and think I’ve had my fill.

Am I alone in finding this show to be a digital sleeping pill?

I normally don’t take issue with long or pensive shows/films. David Lynch, all in. Sergio Leone, all in. Nicolas Winding Refn, all in.

Westworld, though...I think I fell asleep in each episode following the pilot. There are things I like about it, but I’m not sure it’s interesting enough for its pace.

Curious if folks here have an opinion.

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EJN

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I'm with you. I tapped out of the show on the penultimate episode of the last season. I don't even think it has anything to do with the show's pacing as I think it moves fairly fast. My main problem with the show was that all the topics it tackled was the most tired thing ever. The slow revelation that "A.I.'s are people too" has been done to death in sci-fi and it's just boring to have to go through it all over again without it saying anything new.

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ichthy

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It's a pretty slow moving show. I don't think I was fully invested until about half way through or so.

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MiniPato

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#4  Edited By MiniPato

Haven’t watched the newest episode yet, but Westworld season 1 suffers from playing the long con on a twist that wasn’t worth the wait. The show’s pacing and narrative structure suffered from trying to mask the twist nonsense with certain key characters never interacting with or acknowleding other key characters to preserve the twist. So once you realize that twist early on, you realize there is not all that much to the show that other science fiction hasn’t covered better. The show paces in circles a lot with repeating flashbacks that are supposed to be purposefully disorienting, but end up being repetitive and tedious. Dumb characters get away with doing highly dangerous and illegal things in heavily surveiled environments. The first season of Westworld takes a longwinded 10 episode step to get to the bloodbath we really wanted to see all along and then they blue ball us to wait for a season 2 for it. The action in the finale was also very very poor. The pilot was good, but it really does go downhill after that.

I hope the new season isn’t hinging itself on some kind of narrative trick to get by.

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aktivity

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It's definitely a slow burn, but for me it paid off by the end. I only really got into it around the half way point, if not for the prodding from friends I would've probably dropped it.

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poobumbutt

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#6  Edited By poobumbutt

@minipato: Edit: sorry, please bear with me and my terrible tablet which hates doing anything involving changing how replies are arranged. Only the last paragraph is directly addressed to you, minipato.

Huh, weird. Less due to the OP and more the amount of similar opinions. Did not expect that.

Not that I'm blaming anyone. WW definitely seems like its a show that isn't going to hit everyone, not even close. For me, I guess it was sort of a perfect storm of factors: I love sci-fi; I had just started playing Nier Automata and it makes for pretty good companion content for this lemme tell ya; I generally find really well done dialogue-driven drama better than its action counterpart and Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris and Jimmi Simpson (Breakout Kings shoutout) in one show?! Sign me up. I was pretty much sold from minute 0. So, honestly if WW is in fact boring, I don't know if I could have noticed. Which is why I can't really argue.

Yeah, there is a LOT of farting around and if you're into that like me, you'd probably consider it world or character-building. If not, you'd probably think the show was 85% filler.

@minipato: A good example of my strange disagree-yet-understanding mindset is this. This might be a weird comparison, but the same thing happened with me and Bioshock Infinite. I had that game's big twist (the one at the VERY end) figured out at about the 40% mark. And boy, if that doesn't make that story seem so far up its own ass its unbelievable. At least for me. So, I get it, believe me. I guess all I can say is that in WW that... didn't happen to me...? I fell for the twist, what can I say? Also, as I said, I enjoy dialogue drama. I was not "waiting" for the bloodbath as others seem to be, so it felt less like a blue-balling and more like a logical stopping point due to the evidential shift in focus the narrative would be taking. I do, however, agree that S2 should try to get by on more, uh... "fair" (is that the right term?) plot devices. Whether you think it's awesome or a wet fart, I think everyone agrees you probably only get one of those for a good long while.

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Evilsbane

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I loved the show from the word go even if season 2 ends up being terrible I think season 1 stands as an amazing piece of TV.

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frytup

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@ejn said:

My main problem with the show was that all the topics it tackled was the most tired thing ever.

This. I stuck it out through the first season because I hate giving up on a story, but I'm probably done. I've been down this particular road a dozen times across three different mediums, and I don't think i want to dedicate an hour a week to doing it again.

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The_Greg

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I've never watched it but something about that jaw-clenching, Viking-looking woman thrusting away on a horse whilst wielding a shotgun really turns me on.

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TheHT

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Yeah, that's kinda how it is. Sometimes it pays off, but all the same getting to that point can be a bit trying, depending on the storyline. Hopefully with this first episode out of the way and everyone's quests begun, things'll pick up.

Though to be honest the only storyline I'm really interested in right now is the Man in Black's. The retreading of worn territory thematically isn't an issue for me, I just want things to fuckin move, early Game of Thrones style.

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MiniPato

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#11  Edited By MiniPato

@poobumbutt: Yeah, it's hard to say how much more I would have enjoyed it if I didn't know of those theories beforehand. But I only knew of the theory halfway through the season and even before then I felt very unsatisfied with how little crossover there is of the storylines and how none of the other characters even referenced William's adventure in the park. Not knowing of the twist, the constant editing shenanigans during Dolores' journey started to wear thin and feel like filler. Same with Robert Ford's constant philosophizing, other host flashbacks, and those two numbskull engineers who keep getting away with stuff they shouldn't. The Man in Black's journey was getting tiresome once he joined up with Teddy and for some reason seemed to treat the hosts like real threats when he was supposed to be a character who's above all the roleplay shenanigans of the park. William was the only one I could relate to who was having an interesting arc, but there was so little of him because they wanted to conceal the twist and they kind of fast tracked his story at the end. So I think I still wouldn't have enjoyed the twist even if it came as a complete surprise.

I hope Season 2 is better because I honestly believe the first season was seriously hampered by structuring itself entirely around the twist.

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Humanity

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#12 Humanity  Online

@nutter: if you can sit through Only God Forgives then I think you can sit through anything.

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TheFridgeGC

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I feel like it is a show that needs a week to breathe. It isn’t a binge type show that you can bounce in to the next episode with and be hyped for. It really requires the pace of a week to week because I burnt out so fast watching back to back episodes.

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nutter

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@frytup: @ejn:

After last night’s premiere, I mentioned to my wife that Blade Runner was much more succinct and got across the same message. I also think Altered Carbon said more in its first season. Westword has its own twist, for sure...and it’s a worthwhile twist. There are touches I love, it’s just so slow to move along sometimes.

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nutter

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@humanity: I enjoyed Only God Forgives, but I woldn’t ever call it a fun movie. I thought it had messages and subtext that you had to think about as you watched, which kept me engaged. It was just abstract enough that I was chewing on each scene.

Westworld hasn’t engaged me on that level. Maybe it’s me, but it feels like it’s pretty straightforward about its messaging. It’s a more direct piece of storytelling. Maybe I’m missing some subtext.

It’s also worth noting that the last show I watched was Twin Peaks: The Return, which is straightforward for Lynch, but still left me connecting 1,000 dots as I watched.

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Anthony

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It's slow. Just watch Jurassic Park.

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nutter

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@theht: Ed Harris has an interesting story, I agree. I think most of the threads are interesting, but the Ed Harris thread is interesting enough that his scenes are worth the time investment.

I’m not sure I feel that way about any one else’s thread at this point, though.

I think this first episode kinda felt like an unneeded sequel, too, in a way. I thought that first season could have ended where it did and that would have been a complete enough story.

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Humanity

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#18 Humanity  Online

@nutter: it’s just a matter of taste. I personally dont think Only God Forgives has a lot of deep messaging or subtext - it’s art for the sake of being art, and in the worst possible way. I say that as a person that enjoys a deeper moviegoing experience as well, but one that actually does actually have a point or at least direction.

I don’t think Westworld is that thought provoking as it’s well tread territory at this point, but I do think it’s made well and carries a story from beginning to end which is sometimes better than ethereal artistic abstraction.

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MentalAsPants

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@nutter said:

I didn’t know this show was back until my wife mentioned it today. I fell asleep a couple of times this episode and think I’ve had my fill.

Am I alone in finding this show to be a digital sleeping pill?

I normally don’t take issue with long or pensive shows/films. David Lynch, all in. Sergio Leone, all in. Nicolas Winding Refn, all in.

Westworld, though...I think I fell asleep in each episode following the pilot. There are things I like about it, but I’m not sure it’s interesting enough for its pace.

Curious if folks here have an opinion.

Nah honestly, even the first "mysterious" parts I called it, and its just going to end up bad version of Galatica...

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schnoo

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#20  Edited By schnoo

I liked West World but it has terrible pacing. For long periods of time nothing happens, there is no character development, no world building and the plot goes nowhere. I haven't watched it in a while but I think there are one or two episodes that could have just been cut and the show would have been a lot better.

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nutter

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@humanity: Yeah, it’s all well put together, but so damned slow. For some reason, I can get down with some popcorn and Marvel Netflix stuff, even though those shows are at least 30% insulting, waste-my-time bloat.

We all have our tastes, right? I guess one season of Westworld was enough for me.

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MentalAsPants

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@schnoo said:

I liked West World but it has terrible pacing. For long periods of time nothing happens, there is no character development, no world building and the plot goes nowhere. I haven't watched it in a while but I think there are one or two episodes that could have just been cut and the show would have been a lot better.

Yeah but schnoo, they show a heap of desert... See its massive, but it seems after what 12 years no one has ever tried just riding N/S/E/W....

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Cheetoman

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I forced myself through the entire first season wondering the whole time why everyone was going crazy about it. No way am I giving it another shot.

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fatalbanana

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As someone who likes and has a real appreciation for languid atmospheric sci-fi WW just doesn't do it for me. Granted I only made a few episodes into the first season, however, despite the great cast, the show was never able to deliver anything of substance for me. The whole thing had an air of taking itself too seriously and thinking way too highly of its trite concepts. Not a fan.

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nnickers

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#26  Edited By nnickers

@mentalaspants: This probably isn’t the right forum for awkward sexism, racism, or whatever is going on in this post. Also, WestWorld is not presenting itself as historical.

Back to the subject though: I also watched WestWorld recently with my girlfriend after we both heard so many people freaking out over how good it supposedly was. What we found was a plodding narrative with cardboard cutouts for characters and an entirely unoriginal plot with equally unoriginal twists to boot. I kept waiting for something new or surprising and nothing ever showed up.

It has made me think about making my third trip through Battlestar Galactica though. That show covered the same subject and did so much more effectively, in my opinion.

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wjb

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This is a show where pretty much everyone sucks and it isn't written well enough from a character stand-point to care about the main characters (not like The Sopranos or Mad Men; Don Draper is an asshole, but I understand why he's an asshole). I suppose I liked Dolores for most of season one purely out of sympathy, but not too much lately.

It's okay if the intrigue and mystery was worth the wait but it wasn't. The Man in Black was the most fascinating character, but once I found out he was just Nice Guy William, I could not have cared less. Other than that I just didn't care about the hosts taking over. It's been done. Besides I'm not huge in revenge plots like Dan very much seems to be.

I'm still interested and will continue watching it, but I hope the revelations are more worth it this time around. It's cool if movies are sometimes anti-climatic, but not so much when it's 10 hours through 10 weeks of TV with 16 months in-between seasons.

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soulcake

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I am getting lost vibes of this.

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uhtaree

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@soulcake said:

I am getting lost vibes of this.

That show broke me on all this stuff. Because of that show I shake my head every time a show like this is discussed. I'm pretty sure I haven't watched a scripted drama, especially anything sci-fi related since 2007. I walked out of my friends apartment once when they were all amped up to fired up the latest episode of Battlestar. They are just gonna keep stringing you along and even they don't know where they are going with it.

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JPPT1974

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Yeah as really it is about knowing where they are taking it. Either good or bad. But give it a chance.

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nutter

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@soulcake: I don’t watch much TV. Lost had all sorts of hype and I bought into watching it. I settled in, got ready to go, and some nonsense happened that distracted me from watching it at about the 2-3 minute mark of the first episode.

As I understand it, bullet dodged.

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nutter

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@uhtaree: That’s why I don’t watch a ton of television. You get brilliant shows that stop due to behind-the-scenes issues, like Deadwood. You sometimes get a godsend like The Shield. Game of Thrones has an ending planned. Breaking Bad was an amazing show.

But other times, shows just crawl along until the ratings die...Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy, etc.

I heard Jeff going on about The Blacklist...James Spader is dope as hell in that show, but it’s 85% garbage filler. I thought I was at least in season three on Netflix, but it was episode 20-something of the first season. Shows just go on, and on, and on...

I like BBC stuff for that reason: reasonable seasons. Tell your story. Peaky Blinders, Taboo (kinda...LOVE that show though), Frankenstein Chronicles....respect my time!

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frytup

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@nutter said:

@uhtaree: That’s why I don’t watch a ton of television.

To be fair, creatively dead shark jumping is mainly a problem with US network TV. Premium cable and streaming services are much better at ending shows when they have nothing left to say.

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Atwa

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I dropped the first season about halfway through, it was just boring and I actually kind of hated all the characters. They all just felt like the most awful caricature shitty tech people imaginable.

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boysef

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@nutter: I got through episode 4 and was still waiting for myself to care.

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caska

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I would gladly trade in every episode of Westworld for a full season of Almost Human

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Marcsman

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I liked season one. But man did season 2 lose me quickly. I think I'm done with it. I'm moving on to Lost in Space

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Ravelle

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@marcsman said:

I liked season one. But man did season 2 lose me quickly. I think I'm done with it. I'm moving on to Lost in Space

There has only been one episode..

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pyrodactyl

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There are guys emptying P90s into a robot bull in slow motion and there’s a whole separate park with godamn samurais. You guys are all souless husks.

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Marcsman

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#41  Edited By Marcsman

@ravelle: Yeah only one episode, but it completely bored me. I don't care about these characters at all. I'm out............................

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Deathstriker

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I watched all of season 1. It's a good show, but definitely slow and often overrated. The Leftovers was a much better HBO show and wish it got people's attention like WW did. HBO needs another flagship show after GoT ends because I don't see WW being very mainstream.

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Bezerker85

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Elsie will save the day!

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nutter

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@marcsman: @ravelle:

That’s where I was coming from in starting this thread. I liked season 1, but just one episode of season 2 was enough for me to realize that I don’t like it enough, nor enough of the time, to give 8-12 hours to another season of this.

I mean, that first episode should end with the viewer hungry for more. I left wondering if I ever cared about a single character.

I’ll always have the piano playing 90s rock tunes. That thing is great.

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Marcsman

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@nutter: You hit right on the head. Instead of wanting more, I just wanted it to be over.

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Whitestripes09

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You can definitely tell that Season 1 had production and pacing issues. That being said though, I felt like after halfway through season 1, I started to really enjoy the show. To the point, that I considered it a nice departure from Game of Thrones. It's not exactly sci-fi we haven't seen before, but for that matter the same comparison could be made with GoT and the Fantasy genre.

I don't think that these shows are hard hitting in the theme department and the plot can be irritating to watch unravel at a snails pace, but the character growth and progression is what makes it interesting. I still think that this is better than probably 90% of other shows out there with an awesome production value, soundtrack, and cinematography. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in season 2 and seeing how they incorporate the other parks.

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colourful_hippie

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#47  Edited By colourful_hippie

@humanity said:

@nutter: it’s just a matter of taste. I personally dont think Only God Forgives has a lot of deep messaging or subtext - it’s art for the sake of being art, and in the worst possible way. I say that as a person that enjoys a deeper moviegoing experience as well, but one that actually does actually have a point or at least direction.

I don’t think Westworld is that thought provoking as it’s well tread territory at this point, but I do think it’s made well and carries a story from beginning to end which is sometimes better than ethereal artistic abstraction.

My thoughts exactly on Only God Forgives, see Mother! if you want another one of those lol

As for Westworld I want to give it a chance but it treading well worn ground already put me to sleep as I tried to watch the pilot.

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LittleWask

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@ejn said:

I'm with you. I tapped out of the show on the penultimate episode of the last season. I don't even think it has anything to do with the show's pacing as I think it moves fairly fast. My main problem with the show was that all the topics it tackled was the most tired thing ever. The slow revelation that "A.I.'s are people too" has been done to death in sci-fi and it's just boring to have to go through it all over again without it saying anything new.

I think this is the best take. I was fully expecting the first season to be a slow build of A.I.'s slowing developing self-awareness, and the tension of what would go down if that were to ever happen. Instead, they open with that development, then try hard to push for a meaningful twist that just isn't there. The man in black revelation was genuinely surprising to me, but nearly everything else was predictable and dull.

Also, I know they are different in composition and music, but does anyone else feel like the intro is just ripping off True Detective? That might just be me, I just feel like they were going for something similar. Hot take of the day, be warned.

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TheHT

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@littlewask: It feels like 70% of every intro these days is ripping off True Detective.

About the development of season one, I dunno. I enjoyed the interactions of the hosts with others, even if it was text book fostering self-awareness stuff. Pulling back though I liked seeing how Maeve becomes the most human (becomes self-aware and improves herself consciously but is still drawn towards memory and emotion) and how the Man in Black became the least human. Dolores from the start of season two is clearly on her own path to being something different. Bernard as well is on track to be something different. And sure, stories of artificial intelligence aren't necessarily far-out in terms of originality, but in this context (wild west themepark) it's enjoyable, when not overly slow.

I also really loved how Ford tried to carry on the legacy of Arnold in his own way, but his own way basically poisoned the well between humans and hosts. He didn't liberate them to be themselves so much as impart his own bias and present it as the way of the world, setting the narrative for what would be their revolution. Many character I reckon are still being jostled by his machinations, with few (Bernard and the Man in Black, I'd say) being less bound by them.

So there's some neat stuff here imo, it's just... quite slow moving.

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LittleWask

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#50  Edited By LittleWask

@theht: Definitely. It's not a bad show by any means. Just doesn't get the character development quite right, which becomes a bigger issue when the plot development is not so exciting. Hopkins is outstanding, though, and the best part of the show IMO.