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16 October 2016
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Westworld: the show of the moment marks HBO’s comeback

Westworld, the new HBO’s sci-fi series, has just started but already is one of the most talked-about shows of the last five years. The debut episode has counted more than 3.3 million viewers and reached the amazing score of 2.7 million at the second; an audience like this has totally wasted Vinyl’s numbers (1,4 million) and matches True Detective first season’s popularity.

It’s not simple to introduce Westworld in four words: inspired by a Michael Crichton’s 1973 sci-fi movie, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy created this HBO show that is about to become, as many critics are already predicting, the Game of Thrones’ successor.

The first two episode dived us into this theme park, where rich men and women are allowed to do whatever they want, leaving any concern or worry about rules, moral, ethic or good behavior. Westworld is in fact populated by robots (the “hosts”) that look and react exactly like humans, but that follow a storyline; they can’t to hurt the visitors and will satisfy any of their desires, including sexual abuse, violence or insult.

Obviously that’s not enough, but somehow even too much. This show isn’t easy to be described, not just because of the complexity of the plot, but overall because of the many questions it keeps putting in front of the public: are we more human when we are totally free or when we have rules to follow? What is the difference between a robotic life and a human life? Will robots evolve so much to acquire a true consciousness like us?

Westworld producers played with the concept of humanity and of artificial intelligence to make us think about how we interact with it, which role and impact it has on our morality.

And if you don’t feel in the mood to be so philosophic, don’t worry: even just the storyline makes fantasy work more than ever, like proved by the many fan’s theories about the next episodes.

HBO’s Westworld cast also is just breathtaking: Anthony Hopkins, Academy Award winner, interpret the role of creative director of the park, but with a dark side that will make you think about the weirdest possibilities; but other characters aren’t less intriguing and they’ll have the faces of Ed Harris, James Marsden, Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright and Rodrigo Santoro among the others.

Fun fact about the soundtrack: in the first episode it’s possible to hear instrumental versions of “Black Hole Sun” and “Paint It Black”, but in the next ones look like there’s going to be a lot of Radiohead, most of all from “Ok Computer”, since Jonathan Nolan is a huge fan.

So, take this advice: keep an eye on Westworld if you don’t want to miss a possible masterpiece, and also the chance to ask yourself: am I really human or am I just… an host?

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