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Battlestar Galactica goes to Deadwood

We just gobbled up the first season of Westworld. This is a show I’ve been reluctant to watch, simply because I figured that Yul Brenner flick from the early 70s did the job, and I’m not generally a big fan of do-overs. There is also the fact that we haven’t subscribed to a service we could stream it on. However, having pretty much cherry-picked all the Netflix gems from the huge swamp of crapola, we decided to try a free month trial of Crave to see if it might be worth it to us switch over for a while.

The first show we watched on Crave was McMillions. It was quite an interesting story, and nicely put together too, but really there was about 3 seasons of good content floating in 6 seasons of space. It seems that’s often the case these days.

We thoroughly enjoyed Season 1 of Westworld, even if the melodrama occasionally descended to soap opera level. It was very clever, had lots of acting firepower and was loads of fun, amid all the bullets and blood. Some of the characters, in particular Maeve, were wonderful.

At some point along the way, it occurred to us that Westworld was a lot like Battlestar Galactica visiting Deadwood and I think there is a case to be made for a comparison between “hosts” and “cylons”. Both shows deal with questions of identity and the nature of humanity in a story setting. As well, the control room sequences in Westworld look kind of like a space ship.

Had they decided to end the show after the 1st season, I think they might have come up with a better ending, but one weakness in the renaissance of television is Hollywood’s inability to know when to stop. For instance, did we need the Deadwood movie? I think not. Sure it was fun to see the characters we loved and hated and here the incessant cursing again, but it didn’t add anything and I found it to be forgettable. And no, I don’t want a Led Zeppelin reunion either.

Last night we watched the first episode of the 2nd season. It was OK but not great, but I recognize that season openers have a lot of housekeeping and direction setting to deal with, so we’re cutting it some slack and later, we’ll soldier on. I’m a little worried that with all the good surprises revealed there won’t be enough content for a 2nd season, but people tell me it’s good, and they’ve sallied forth already into a 3rd season.

I hope the show continues to shine but if it doesn’t, we won’t hesitate to abandon ship. After all, we only made it through a single season of Game of Thrones and 2 of Breaking Bad before deciding we didn’t need to know anything else about the characters and didn’t care about the plot.

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