Westworld Aims to Triumph Over Controversy

By  · Published on September 30th, 2016

The final trailer before the premiere looks excellent.

HBO’s newest show, Westworld, has so much hype surrounding it. The network is hoping that it will fill the fantasy void that Game of Thrones has left while introducing a new sci-fi twist with artificial intelligence. It has a great ensemble cast featuring Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, James Marsden, Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Tessa Thompson, and more. But, before Westworld, premieres this Sunday, let us not forget the uphill battle it has fought to get here. Our own Max Covill chronicled those difficulties in a previous article, but the newest trailer for the show looks to address one of those issues head on: the treatment of its women.

At the TCA press tour a few months ago, the new HBO programming chief, Casey Bloys, struggled to eloquently answer questions about the network’s and show’s violence against women. Bloys said that, “I think the point is there is a lot of violence in Westworld and in Game of Thrones, yes. But I don’t necessarily think that it’s specifically or isolated to women.” Executive producer and co-creator Lisa Joy handled the questions a little better saying that the inclusion is actually important to the show. Joy said that “[Westworld] is about the best parts of human nature, but also the basest parts of human nature and that includes violence and sexual violence.”

The Internet promptly exploded and I even wrote about how the network handles it. Now, in what seems like an attempt to soothe that issue, HBO has released a new teaser for the show that puts it’s women in the forefront just before the show’s premiere on Sunday. The teaser is a tantalizing 30 seconds long, but packs a whole lot of girl power in it. Viewers are introduced to Maeve (Newton) and Dolores (Wood), beginning to show signs of self-actualization and defiance beyond their constraints of artificial intelligence. They are aware that they are in a dreamworld, they are fighting against the patriarchy, and fighting for the reality that they want. They do not seem like the type of women who would just accept their fate. Dolores is seen gaining consciousness and firing a pistol on horseback, while Maeve even says that it’s “time to write [her] own story.” They seem like exactly the type of female characters this show will need to overcome any female character related controversy.

This teaser has me so much more excited for the show than I already was. I would love nothing more than Westworld turning out to be an all-star showcase for the ladies. From the way that HBO has been advertising it, it seems like it will be. Plus, Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton are actors that are so good at bringing a complex depth to their characters. Their talents will elevate the characters even beyond what the show has planned for them. Watch the teaser below and get pumped for Westworld premiering on HBO at 9PM on Sunday night.

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