Like many others, I’ve gone totally negative on Westworld over the last three or four episodes. The HBO miniseries finally ended last night, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a major revolt going on. I hate this series with a passion for just layering on the layers, for plotzing, diddly-fucking, detouring, belly-stabbing, meandering and puzzleboxing to its heart’s content.
You know Westworld is just going to be keep being Westworld for God knows how many damn seasons until the beleagured audience, like the hosts, stands up and says “Enough, Jonathan Nolan…you and your never-ending longform sprawl, your endless teasings and knife-stabbings and shallow sex scenes, your slowly-germinating metaphysical character arcs and parallel timelines…you’re just spreading your winding narrative double-back bullshit to see how long you can keep it going…two, three, four seasons. If it weren’t for the nudity we probably would have revolted four or five episodes ago.”
If the show itself isn’t reason enough, people need to say “no” to Westworld in order to reject the mindless opportunistic stoogery of Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara. “I am really, really excited about the opportunity that we potentially have with Westworld,” Tsujihara said last Tuesday at the Credit Suisse Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in Phoenix. “If you look at the viewer data on Westworld, its first year viewing on all platforms is greater than Game of Thrones.”
Tsujihara acknowledged that Westworld‘s tally of 3 million-plus viewers is well short of HBO’s Game of Thrones audience, which has averaged 8 million watchers per show. “I am not saying [Westworld] is Game of Thrones,” Tsujihara said. “I am not saying it’s going to be Game of Thrones. But if gives you a context of where it sits this first year that just finished this week.”
Guys like Tsujihara aren’t paid to show depth and insight. If he doesn’t grow the Warner Bros. portfolio by expanding its power and influence, he’ll be fired. It follows that he doesn’t give a shit about how you, the betrayed and angry viewer, may feel about Westworld. He doesn’t give a hoot about the sense of a slowly building narrative enervation that has been creeping into this handsomely produced miniseries since early November or thereabouts. He probably doesn’t even know what people are talking about when they say that Westworld has simultaneously turned rancid and flaccid.