westworld behind the scenes

In this edition of Westworld Bits:

  • A new video clearly and cleanly lays out the multiple timelines of the show.
  • Evan Rachel Wood answers your tough Westworld questions.
  • HBO encourages viewers to look a little closer at the Westworld logo.
  • Someone has put together an incomplete (but still exhaustive) Westworld timeline.
  • Is Westworld missing an opportunity to explore female sexuality?
  • Someone may have discovered where Westworld’s park ops are located.
  • “Dissonance Theory” director Vincenzo Natali shares storyboards from a vital scene.
  • How actual theme park designers got a cameo on Westworld.
  • Westworld‘s composer discusses the use of modern songs.
  • Yes, everyone answers questions about that orgy scene.

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that the first season of Westworld is taking place on two separate timelines, following one group of characters in the past and another group in the future. And while you can disappear down a few Reddit rabbit holes and go really nuts with the details, this video from The Outline does an excellent job of explaining the basic shape of this theory and how everything fits into place. Until someone inevitably cuts together a chronological version of this season, this will have to do.

HBO sent out that tweet before the first episode of Westworld even premiered and as that video above showed us, the changing logos of Westworld do tell an interesting story, acting as markers for where we are in the timeline. In other words, you have HBO’s permission to really dig into this. Go nuts.

westworld park timeline

And Redditor machine_made has, indeed, gone nuts. That is a tentative timeline for the events of Westworld (done in the established Delos house style, no less), attempting to wrangle together 30 years of park history based on what we already know. There are huge gaps and certain aspects of it may have to change as we learn more, but this is an excellent start.

westworld dissonance theory thandie newton angela sarafyan

Genevieve Burgess at Pajiba has written an interesting look at how Westworld hasn’t taken advantage of its setting to explore female sexuality. While characters like Logan are seen sleeping with every robot prostitute they come across, the show has yet to really explore how a woman would engage with the Hosts in a consequence-free environment. Here’s an excerpt:

It’s been made clear that there are male hosts whose job is to sexually service guests. Except that the only guest we’ve seen them service is Logan. While I appreciate including non-hetero sex in the show, it seems somewhat conspicuous that female guests availing themselves of male hosts has not been shown. We overheard a conversation between two female guests on the train in the first episode about hooking up with hot cowboys and bandits, but nothing came of it. We’ve seen a lady guest getting to be a big damn hero and taking a prostitute to bed afterwards, but it was Clementine. Why not have her request her “reward” from Teddy? On the spectrum of sexuality, most women are primarily attracted to men. But so far we’ve only seen sexually tinged interactions between two women whether unsuccessful (Maeve) or successful (Clementine). The story of how men express their sexuality when the chains come off has been dealt with time and time again, often in ways I’d find insulting if I were a man. The only barrier to push there is with how distasteful can they make it. But there has NEVER been a time or place in history when having sex as a woman was free of consequences and Westworld could have taken things there.

The whole thing is worth a read and it reaches a fascinating (and saddening) conclusion. For men, the fantasy of Westworld would be the chance to screw as many women (albeit, robotic women) as possible. For women, the fantasy would be a world where every possibly sexual partner would be part of a carefully maintained safe space.

westworld soundtrack

Yesterday, the first official tracks from the Westworld soundtrack arrived on iTunes and I pondered whether or not the song choices were a reflection of the show’s themes or  simply pop hits selected by park. Vulture also wondered this and spoke to composer Ramin Djawadi about the use of The Cure’s “A Forest” as one of the show’s anachronistic player piano tunes. And yes, we are supposed to wonder about the use of each song:

Without giving too much away, Djawadi agreed that there are various possibilities as to why this song would be played in this situation. “One, it could be somebody going, ‘I really want to listen to this song, even if the guests don’t recognize it.’ Selfish programming,” he said. “Or is there a deeper meaning, with the title, the lyrics?”

Another possibility suggested in that article – what if the songs are part of the Host’s programming, with the unheard lyrics keeping them in line or feeding them subliminal instructions?

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