Culture Crash 18-16: HBO’s Westworld

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Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture.  What’s new and old in books, film, and entertainment.

When Westworld first premiered on HBO in October of 2016, we knew very little about the show. All we knew was that it was somewhat based on the 1973 film of the same name and it was created by Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, the younger brother and frequent collaborator of director Christopher Nolan.

What followed was an intensely analyzed mystery of a show, constantly flipping what audiences think they knew on their head.

Immediately, Westworld proved to be one of the buzziest shows of all time. Each week, fans on Reddit were painstakingly sorting through the clues of the week and predicting the end game. Some theories were wildly off-base, but ultimately, the consensus was proved to be correct… which served as something of a dilemma for plugged-in audiences. Was it better to be constantly unsure of what you were watching, or to read the online analysis and watch it be proven correct week after week?

Regardless, the show was a hit. Deadline Hollywood reported that the show gave HBO its most-watched debut season of all time, and the creators announced a second season was being made… but that the program would take all of 2017 off and not return until 2018.

Well, 2018 is here and tonight marks the premiere of Westworld season 2. Details of what will unfold this year are fuzzy- samurais are coming, maybe? The robots are stronger than ever, maybe?

We’ll just have to tune in to find out. But if you’re confused and tempted to read theories online, just remember, they might just ruin all the fun. Or maybe this year, no one will guess what is coming. That’s just one more mystery Westworld fans will have to solve for themselves.

Season one of Westworld is available on HBO Go and HBO Now. Season two premieres on HBO tonight.

I’m Evan Rook.

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Culture Crash: HBO’s Westworld

Westworld, the show that mystified audience when it stormed onto the scene in 2016, is back tonight. We discuss the show and take a look at the perils of reading fan theories  online.