The titular Westworld in HBO’s new show takes a fundamentally dim view of humanity in both how it sees life as disposable and doesn’t believe beings that can think and feel deserve to have rights.
It also sees people favour tailored experiences over real ones, particularly in the latest episode (spoilers in that link), something we’ve definitely started to do in the real world already.
“I think there’s a connection to make to the hand wringing in this moment in the world, particularly around the election, and have people silo’d themselves with social media,” co-creator Jonathan Nolan told Variety this week. “Has everybody basically created their own echo chamber composed of people who are like-minded?”
In light of the US having just elected a man with a history of alleged sexual assault and a prejudiced view of vast demographics, Nolan was asked whether he thought Westworld had just become more timely. He still sees it as escapist, but can definitely see the parallels.
“I know at various moments, everyone across all sides of the political spectrum tried to draw inferences and ideas out of The Dark Knight,” he recalled. "Everybody tried to claim it for its own. There was article after article about how it was an apologia for George Bush.”
He continued: “It’s all nonsense. For me, at least, one of the beauties of writing in genre is the ability to escape from the world a little bit. Right now escape is extremely attractive.
“I think working on a series that regards humanity from the perspective of someone who is not human and has some dark observations about what is wrong with us does feel like a timely thing to be working on right now.”
Westworld - Michael Crichton's 1973 original
The makers of hosts of TV shows have been reacting to Trump’s election this week including Black Mirror, South Park and The Simpsons - the latter two even working in references to him in new episodes.