Now that ‘Westworld’ Season 2 is in the rearview mirror, we can look back with a little bit more clarity on the season and how it really did with the fans and critics. On the one hand there has been a lot of critical praise, 6 Emmy nominations including one for Best Drama, but it seems a lot of fans were disappointed by the second season, falling off after the thrilling first season and complaining about confusing plot points, lack of action, or just general malaise when it came to the show (none of which I agree with, but all things I heard over the course of the season). And the ratings proved it, as the show dropped a bit in that department after its first season, enough so that people noticed.
When HBO Programming Chief Casey Bloys was asked this past Wednesday at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills his thoughts on the “widespread backlash” to ‘Westworld’ Season 2, his answer surprised some of the press who thought he might be a bit more worried about the expensive show:
“I’m not sure I would agree that the backlash was ‘widespread. We’re thrilled about the Emmy nominations. What I love about Westworld is that the people who love it really love it. Even the people who dislike it feel the need to discuss it and talk about it and let you know they dislike and debate it. And for a show to arouse that kind of feeling, that’s what we want.”
When asked whether the show was still too confusing, Bloys pushed back, claiming that they actually made the show LESS confusing in Season 2, a sentiment I personally agree with:
“We sent out the first five episodes [to critics] and most of the reviews felt the storytelling had been clarified. Look, it’s not for casual viewers. It requires your attention. [Showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy] like to challenge their viewers and many feel they are rewarded by that. It’s a unique show and that’s what we look for.”
It is very nice to see the show get such support from Bloys and HBO in general, though one does wonder how far that support will carry them if they continue to lose viewers. While I love ‘Westworld’ I know it is not as universally loved as ‘Game of Thrones,’ and it might get even harder to become enamored of the series the further into its twisty storyline each season gets. It will have a hard road ahead of it in the coming years if it does not find a way to appeal to more audience members, but maybe that is ok, being a niche show gives it a little more freedom. What are your thoughts on ‘Westworld’ Season 2? Did you enjoy it? Or did you dislike it? Feel free to share your opinions in the comments below!