Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld


Consider us officially invested. 

HBO just debuted its new drama, Westworld, about a theme park designed to allow guests to pretend they're living in the old west, and it already feels like something that could replace the giant hole that exists in our hearts during Game of Thrones' off season. It's not Game of Thrones at all, of course, but it is a great big show we could happily obsess over in the same kind of way.

The ambitious sci-fi series is based on the 1973 Michael Crichton movie, and tells the story of the programmers who created the park, the wealthy guests who visit the park, and the artificial Dollhouse-esque people created to inhabit the park and entertain the guests.

Those guests pay exorbitant amounts of money to be able to do literally whatever they want with no consequences, whether they just want to take a nice vacation to the old west with their family, hire a prostitute or two, or rape and murder fake people. 

Of course, there's some sort of bug in the latest update of the artificial people, and the programmers/Hunger Games gamemakers are worried about them realizing their world is actually not nearly as big as they keep trying to convince them it is. The solution to that problem is to recall all the updated "hosts" by staging a massacre, delighting the guests without them realizing there was any sort of problem. 

Meanwhile, the guests get to participate in an interesting and terrifying experiment in human behavior that of course includes lots of violence, but specifically sexual violence against women. That aspect of the show is not very much fun to watch, but it will be interesting to see if the whole "no consequences" thing sticks, or if we're supposed to watch Evan Rachel Wood's Dolores get abused by that milk-toting guest in black on a regular basis with no justice in sight. 

In more pleasant news, can we talk about the selection on the saloon's piano? We never knew we needed western orchestral versions of Paint it Black and Black Hole Sun, but we're so very happy to have them.

We're also happy to have a new sci-fi show that's not about time travel. As much as we really do love time travel, sometimes you just really need to take a break with some gorgeous scenery and some discomforting questions about whether robots are people or not.

What did you think of the premiere? Sound off in the comments!

Westworld airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO. 

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