If you enjoy a good rollercoaster of emotions courtesy of great storytelling, then you need to watch Westworld…like…today! On the surface, this series seems like a Sci-Fi drama about robot rights and human rights, and for the most part it is. Travel to a distant future and visit Westworld – a park romanticizing the distant past. The series is a spin-off of a 1973 movie with the same name. There’s a lot to be said about the various characters and what motivates them but this article will focus on the surprising lessons. So buckle-up and enjoy the ride.
- Illusion of Choice
The show uses parallels of the host (the robots in the park) and the guests (the humans who visit this amusement park) to show that no matter what you choose to do, the decision is always up to someone else. The hosts are forced to live and relive each day over and over and over again and no matter how much William tries to help, their actions are reset the next day, just like nothing had happened. William, on the other hand, while trying to fit in, goes through a series of events that always seem to take him back right where he started, like nothing he did ever mattered in the first place. Will he ever figure this park out?
- Choice vs Consequences
If given a choice, will you live life as a good person or give into your primal urges and turn into a mass murdering rapist? The guests are allowed to be whomever they want under the guise of “it’s just a game”. The hosts bleed and feel pain but the guests are not punished for it. There’s no lesson after a quest and the hosts just “forget” and do everything over again. That is, until they start developing artificial consciousness (but that’s a story for another day). While William’s brother-in-law decides to be the bad guy in the park, William is the good guy but he soon realises, there’s actually no point because no matter the choice they make, the park has no consequences so, nothing matters.
- Good vs Evil
What is good and evil anyway? We’ve always been told good and bad is subjective and a function of your personal surroundings. The show takes this thought and pumps steroids into it until even you can’t decide what’s good or evil anymore. On one hand, there are advanced artificial intelligent beings with bodies who are evolving to be more ‘human’ and on the other hand we have humans who, for the most part, become the worst version of themselves while enjoying the wild-west experience. At the same time, the hosts are still just robots…right? Right? When you figure this one out, let’s discuss because I still don’t know how to feel about this.
- The Moral of Westworld
The moral of the story is that it has no morals. Good and bad exist only in theory and nothing you do in the park matters (until it does. Season 2 will tell us more). The show offers no overarching theme and leaves you to decide for yourself what story you see. Are you okay with humans playing God? Are robots capable of being human, and if they are, do they deserve rights? What is human anyway? These and more questions will arise when you watch this amazing show and as luck would have it, you can find the whole of season 1 right here on Showmax, and if you’re team Safaricom, you just need to dial *400*3# and get a 30-day free trial. So, what are you waiting for? Check it out and tell me what you think. What other lessons came out for you in season 1?