In a previous journal entry I expressed my misgivings about how the new HBO "West World" cable series might develop. Some of these were realized while others were ameliorated a bit. Who would have thought that deep dark secret of the inner maze was a plot device that had been previously used in John Boorman's 1974 SF film "Zardoz". In "Zardoz" a future race of immortals secretly longs for death. This subconscious death wish causes one of the immortals to sew seeds in the human genome that would take centuries to create a mortal outlander who would destroy the dystopia that he would otherwise have been doomed to endure forever. In "West World" the Anthony Hopkins character inserts lines of code that eventually cascade to the point that a cybernetic "host" would learn the truth behind her existence. She then brings the whole thing down around her creator's ears in the manner that Sampson pulls down the Philistine temple in the Bible.
"West World" is still ultra violent and sexually explicit. It is hard to distinguish between condemnation and exploitation of what amounts to a real world first person shooter game. "WW" may be considered a cautionary tale about playing God by some. Misogynistic perverts will still love this show and wish that there were a real theme park where one can rape and murder the animatronic actors with impunity. Those with a political point of view will see the robot revolt as a modern retelling of ancient history when Spartacus led a slave rebellion against the masters of Rome. It is interesting that 2016 also saw the release of a film about the Nat Turner Rebellion in antebellum America.
My principal complaint about the series is that the plot is as thick as a whale omelet. It takes either very close scrutiny of each episode or a second viewing of the entire series to realize that what at first blush appears to be two subplots running concurrently is instead a constant back and forth cutting between flashbacks and flash forwards. The writers and editors of this production were deliberately abstruse in order to camouflage the "surprise" ending.
The story has finality, yet it leaves open enough plot holes to create a second season.
Before any one else takes credit for this observation, I anticipate that cosplay at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con will look like a rodeo.
Listening to: Tchaikovsky
Reading: The Mote in God's Eye by Niven & Pournell
Watching: West World (again)
Playing: no first person shooters for me
Drinking: Coke Zero