Around here we’re Westworld fanatics, digging all the way into the theory (crack)pot, creating virtual yarn walls, and for the most part, enjoying the fantastical world Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy created from Michael Crichton’s original vision. Expanding on a fairly simple premise was a smart way to turn events from a two-hour film into a multi-season television series. That said, I do hope we won’t be sent down dead-ended paths in an ever-complicated maze for every plot point the showrunners eventually concede. Now, that might be just a personal fear about network greed, driven by all the Big Little Lies discussions purportedly ongoing after that limited series did so well. Even though both the book and that show have very clear and appropriate endings, BLL‘s success apparently has some people contemplating dragging things out for a second season. Without going too far down that rabbit hole, let me just say that the series was very well done, the actors were phenomenal, and the storytelling, compelling. Big Little Lies is the perfect capsule project, and that’s exactly what it should stay. While wanting to capitalize on that success may be a natural reaction, creating a new project with that excellent group of actors and producers would be a much better way to go, than to try to draw out a story already well told.
Likewise, Nolan and Joy’s recent comments about Westworld‘s second outing do leave me slightly concerned. Putting together their very few comments about what we’ll return to doesn’t give a very clear picture, but it does give us an idea of what they’re up to.
Via EW, the showrunners do say we’ll get back to the finale massacre, but it won’t be immediately:
You’re definitely going to see the aftermath and the effects of what happened.” [Lisa Joy]
“We are definitely not picking up right where we left off. ” [Jonathan Nolan]
[We] will spend a little bit more time next season shining a light on those aspects of the park — what does it feel like to come to it as a guest? — just a little bit before the mayhem starts …
… We talked a lot about how the experience would feel for a contemporary guest going into the park. We laid out a lot of that logic in the writers’ room …”
Okay, so this is a very television thing to do, understandable (to ease us back in) and titillate the audience a bit; tease us before getting back to the stuff we really want to get back to (What will Maeve do? Is Ford really dead? [no way] Can William/MiB survive the impending robopocclypse?). If, in fact, it’s just a lead in, and their being coy about whether or not we’ll see more of Samurai World is only secrecy — not that they’re holding that back until Season 3 — it’s all good. It’s fair to stretch things out a little bit as a lead in. Just, please don’t drag out the second season with non-events or different perspectives of things we’ve already seen (those Host replays and loops did get very old). Audiences these days aren’t inclined to sit around for much water-treading. There are already too many shows to keep up with, and as even Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead have found with their slow forward movement, you can push viewers away.