Dec 06 2016
This is going to be very, very brief: Watch it!
There were a few exceptional TV series, or seasons of TV series, this year. Sometimes it’s even a stretch to call these things TV shows or series, because it does not describe what they really are. Westworld was a ten hours long movie, stretched over ten episodes. You can say the same about The Expanse or even the last season of The Strain. (I admit that The Strain is only a feast for fans, but I absolutely love it.) These seasons are just long movies, and they break with the traditional concept of TV series.
The Expanse already pushed everything to new heights when I watched it in the end of 2015. This “show” (which is a stupid, unfitting word in this context) really redefined the concept of Science-Fiction series. It had great characters, a great environment/universe and a great story to tell, along with good acting and, for TV, great cinematography, great directing and very, very good special effects.
Westworld, in direct comparison, which is allowed since they share the genre, blows this entirely out of proportion. Westworld features a cast and acting out of Academy Award winning Hollywood blockbusters. The cinematography also has the smell of Oscar-winning movies. It doesn’t need pure Science-Fiction-style special effects like The Expanse or, let’s say, The Martian, thanks to its simpler setting. But Westworld knows how to tell a great story, it knows how to respectfully pay homage to other great representatives of the genre; it even knows to respectfully bow to the original Michael Crichton movie. Remember the blurry “Yul Brynner”-lookalike gunslinger in the background? Or the unbelievable shooting in the first episode with the symphony orchestra cover of Paint It Black in the background? And, to top it all off, it also has a story with a deeply human message, slowly but thoroughly developed in a mysterious, intriguing plot.
Westworld isn’t TV. It’s the best of classic cinema that somehow got lost on its way to the big screen and accidentally appeared on TV.
This is the one release of 2016 that you need to watch.
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