Is 'Westworld' a pretentious show?
via HBO

Is 'Westworld' a pretentious show?

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While many sci-fi fans might love the HBO remake of the 1973 movie "Westworld," some critics have blasted the thriller for being too pretentious. "Westworld" has been called out for drawing similarities to other thrillers like "Jurassic Park" and "Lost." But the sci-fi western's second season already holds a 91 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. So, it's doing something right. What do you think? 🌵📺

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Below is the synopsis of the second season of "Westworld," per Rotten Tomatoes.

A sci-fi drama set in an Old West theme park where guests interact with automatons in scenarios that are developed, overseen and scripted by the park's creative, security and quality assurance departments. Based on the 1973 feature film directorial debut by Michael Crichton.

Watch the trailer for the new season below. Season two premiered on Sunday, April 22. 

Jezebel's Brendan O'Connor writes the show isn't that deep, but it's entertaining, and that's okay too.

The show, littered as it is with red herrings and MacGuffins, offers a few obvious stand-ins for the viewer: William and Logan as thesis and antithesis, and the Man in Black as their synthesis. Westworld’s (a)moral center is to be found in none of these characters, however, but rather in Maeve, who upon discovering the truth of her nature embraces the meaninglessness of it all, fighting and fucking and freeing her fellow robot-slaves to her heart’s content. She embraces the chaos with pleasure and playfulness, and if that ends up coming across as somewhat melodramatic—well, that’s fine. This is a science-fiction Western thriller we are watching, after all. It should be fun! Melodrama is fun. And what’s more: It’s not that deep.

According to Hollywood Reporter, even an anonymous member of the TV Academy has called the series pretentious.

I really tried with Westworld, but while I was watching it — which I did because my wife loves it and I’m a good husband — I kept thinking to myself, “This is pretentious bullshit.”

WhatCulture's staff writes that "overdone, self-indulgent, overly slow and nowhere near as smart as it thinks it is." The site also called the series bloated and pretentious.

It's just a load of twists and puzzles that only lead to either nothing, or more twists and puzzles. Westworld insists on telling its audience ideas about AI and man playing god that they've heard many times before in the slowest and most convoluted way possible. Worst of all, the observations Westworld makes aren't even particularly deep or interesting. The observations about how being in the park can bring out the worst in people and the Hosts finding consciousness feel ideologically one-note and thematically predictable.

But the show's initial premiere holds a 100 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and the thriller developed a strong fanbase from day one that loves to tout the series' deeper themes, twists, and turns. "Westworld" may follow a formula set by previous sci-fi thrillers and its precursor film, but that doesn't make the series any less deep or worthy of watching.

IndieWire's Liz Shannon Miller wrote about the first episode of the series, giving it an A-minus grade:

One of “The Original’s” more fascinating touches is a subtle one — when the original Peter Abernathy is retired to cold storage, his replacement in the final scene is the bartender from the Mariposa saloon, subbed in for Dolores’s beloved father with no preamble. It’s something you might even miss on first viewing, but it speaks to how this world is an artificial one, where the basic nature of identity is one that can be completely overwritten — because this world puts a premium on control.
It’s just the first episode, and already that control seems in flux as more questions arise. Can’t wait to get a few more answers.

SEASON ONE SPOILERS AHEAD!

NJ.com's Vicki Hyman wrote praises about the season one finale too. The finale answered many burning fan questions while introducing new ones, and a new narrative for fans. Let the fan theories, twists and turns continue. She writes:

True, there was a lot of ponderous exposition, with Ford revealing himself to be the true mastermind behind the mass consciousness-raising (yes, Maeve, even you) and why, but the episode was masterfully constructed, with pieces perfectly falling into place for the uninitiated while never letting up on the action and new reveals for those already on board.
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