As a man who loves his media, I'd say Westworld impressed me a lot for it's interesting commentary on culture. Some of the storylines didn't pan out as strongly as I would have hoped they would. I think they suffered from too much complication in the plot and an ultimately unempathetic female lead. In any event, here is what I think this site can take from that show's first season.
WE'RE ALL ON A LOOP
A lot is made of the fact that
a) the androids live out the day behaving and talking on a conversational tree that is entirely prescripted
b) there is a very small ability to improvise but not much
c) they're made to ignore whenever the guests (real people) reference the fact that they are in a game, that life exists outside of westworld, or that they are androids
d) they have no memory of having died and respawned back to life in the same place they started the day or having been assigned entirely different roles in the past
Yet, anthony hopkins character points out that humanity is on the same loop and while at first I thought this was an oversimplification I think it's true. We start each day from the same bed (and if you look at people who either sleep in other people's beds a lot or have people sleep in theirs there is this strong desire to either leave quickly (if you do this a lot) or kick them out quickly (if you do that a lot)) We have this strong desire to reset without much understanding as to what motivates this desire.There have been cases of people who have experienced such severe memory loss and yet can wake up and make bacon and eggs same as always because they've done it everyday its become muscle memory a habitual urge and a part of the loop. We also ignore strange things we pass by everyday and the reason that change is so hard even though the actual action of it is so easy is because we live out these loops and have a very hard time deciding to break them even when we see that we've done so in the past. Like the androids, we even ignore the fact that we've done this before and any attempts to get us to realize this fact are also ignored. Even the desires people have...to get laid, to get a realtionship, to get a great job, to feel important...even when we ask ourselves why do we even want these things they often don't feel as though they originated from us because often they haven't.
We say the same lines to girls the girls give the similar responses women get into relationships with the same kind of man who lowkey is a cheater and then cheats on her we ask the same questions and ignore the answers and just do the same dysfunctional behavior again.Mostly, this is a good thing. it's how we stay on track despite bad days but it makes you wonder how much of your life is your own decision, how does change in personality really happen, and is it even possible to go off script after years of programming?
IS CHAOS THE ANSWER?
The climax of the season is sad for anthony hopkins fans as the female lead puts a bullet in his head. The creation as effectively killed God and now they live Godless and, finally, under their own control. Of course there's going to likely be a new bad guy who tries to step in and take back control of the androids but if anthony's vision is successful his decision to have his creation kill him is the first step in them achieving a sort of humanity that even Ayn Rand would marvel at--the ability to be completely in control of themselves. The question for us is how do we start to question EVERYTHING about what we think is the truth. How do we kill the God of our lives and start living entirely under our own control. We don't even know what that freedom is...the one thing we can all take away however is question everything.