Westworld Culturally Trumps Boring Game Of Thrones
With Game of Thrones heading into another season, it occurred to me after watching the excellent first season of Westworld that Game of Thrones is boring and culturally irrelevant.
I won't spoil anything for those of you who haven't watched either show, and I certainly won't celebrate the rampant degeneracy present in each show either.
In Game of Thrones, we are conditioned to accept the actions of the noble class of families all vying for control of the throne. This noble class is anything but noble. The show is replete with nudity, gore and sleep-inducing references to things like, "I am X, daughter/son of Y and my blood runs thick with a powerful claim on that seat over there. Kill all who oppose me! Now, bring me some sex."
As Americans, we fought a war partly to overthrow the idea of being subjects under cruel rulers, which is why it disappoints me to observe so many people captivated by a message of submitting oneself to a "higher" born group of people who are all just articulate, psychotic killers. Or worse, people can watch this show and fantasize about being one these "noble" characters.
I like period dramas too. Big fan. They at least teach us about human nature and our ancestry with an anchoring in history.
In Westworld, we are faced with our humanity in a disturbingly different way. It's a world we can imagine and can easily see ourselves hurtling toward. Most importantly to me, Westworld did such a good job of crystalizing what it is to find meaning in life. No show will reveal the literal meaning of life because that's impossible and different for everyone, but it will likely awaken a fight in you to be more alive, more human. This was so brilliantly demonstrated by Westworld's cast. Placing robots with humans in the context of a recreational theme park knocks something loose in the human visitors, and by extension viewers like me and you, about what it's like to be human in a near future where some of the fun and danger in life has been taken care of outside of the theme park.
Westworld also forces us to confront existential issues of the day in ways that Game of Thrones can't. Game of Thrones could never touch on artificial intelligence. And yet, the inevitable march of A.I. has the power to remake all natural life on this planet and beyond. That makes Westworld, and shows/films with a focus on the future (e.g. Alex Garland's Ex Machina), culturally relevant.
By comparison, Games of Thrones looks like soapy pageantry porn meets actual porn meets buckets of blood porn; it leaves you feeling sullied.
Therefore, Westworld trumps Game of Thrones, just find a way to watch it without enriching the Hollywood jerks who hate half the country.
P.S. I witnessed Jimmi Simpson, star of Westworld, filming himself hassling a woman outside CNN's Sunset Blvd studio in hopes of making her look dumb for backing Donald Trump. Jimmi's a jerk in real life.