Odds are good that you’ve heard of Westworld. But have you watched it?
Despite Westworld's critical acclaim and popularity -- and stirring storytelling and high production values on par with Game of Thrones -- many people have opted out of viewing the second season of HBO's robot series. The primary reason: It’s just too confusing.
That concern is justified, given the show’s reputation for mysteries and twists, but it’s a shame that it might've kept viewers away.
Westworld season 2 isn’t just a good season of Westworld; it’s a great season of television that shouldn’t be missed.
If you have access to HBO apps or VOD, you should binge season 2.
I wouldn't ordinarily suggest you binge a TV show with a complicated timeline and puzzling plot points. But here, watching each episode back-to-back may make it easier to keep everything straight.
Yes, most of the episodes this season raise many questions, but most mysteries are often resolved the next episode or two. Plotlines set in the past are still woven through each episode, but now they’re not as disguised. Season 2 does have three time periods to follow, but the show works hard to make the transitions crystal clear through scenery, characters and creative editing. Even aspect ratios are tweaked in a couple episodes to make a particular connection.
Another strong reason to binge Westworld is so you can enjoy its rich variety in storytelling. Get through the first three episodes and there's rich payback in the remaining ones: sci-fi horror scenes, samurai showdowns, a war raid, vivid family drama and an epic love story. They’re high-quality episodes on their own, but they'll also flow from one to the next seamlessly.
And while you do need to pay attention (put the phone down!), don’t fret if you start to feel disoriented. The greater story transcends the details, focusing on themes of love and survival you don't need explained. As interesting as the mysteries are, they’re not the heart of Westworld.
Whether you watch Sunday's finale in real time or you catch up on the entire season on a lazy weekend, it's worth the about-10 hours of time. Refresh yourself on season 1 here, or watch it for the first time and lean on some recaps. Then grab the remote and dive in to the futuristic, fatalistic Westworld.