HBO Orders a New ‘Westworld’ Season

Published on April 22, 2020

The new season of Westworld has got the show back on track. Following the mixed reaction to season two’s muddled but mostly entertaining second season, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy crafted a more propulsive, action-packed, and clean third season. There was a dip in ratings, but the ratings remain high enough for HBO to renew the extremely expensive series. Nine million people watched the premiere alone. 

Westworld A New Season

Nolan and Joy will continue as showrunners and writers. Don’t expect to see season four another two years or so. The show takes a long time to write, shoot, and edit. It’s such a massive production that often goes over-budget, but it’s now HBO’s big pop culture show. Nolan and Joy have six seasons in mind overall. 

In a statement, the president of HBO’s Programming, Casey Bloys, said: 

“From the Western theme park to the technocratic metropolis of the near future, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed every twist and turn from the minds of master storytellers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. We can’t wait to see where their inspired vision takes us next.”

The New Vision

Season two spun its wheels a little too much. There was a real lack of forward momentum and too much reliance on questions. The new season of Westworld, however, moves fast and is clearly building towards a new future. There’s less mystery and more action taken by characters. It’s a refreshing change of pace and, of course, setting. The show, now set in a futuristic Los Angeles, has a real Michael Mann vibe sometimes crossed with Tron. The show doesn’t need the park to survive. All of the moral and ethical questions raised by the park have been posed and answered; its purpose has been served. It was time for Westworld to move on, and it has. Mostly well. 

One Problem 

If there’s one problem with the new season of Westworld, it’s Aaron Paul’s character. Dolores’ sidekick just isn’t that interesting. He’s kind of along for the ride, which is probably a part of the point, but he is such a dull character standing next to such a fierce one. The character holds Dolores’ scenes back. He’s just not an entertaining presence, unlike the great Maeve or an array of Westworld characters. Thandie Newton continues to light up the show, being its ultimate MVP. Maeve’s charisma is probably the main source of fun entertainment on Westworld, which is typically very, very serious. Maeve has been a blast to watch in the latest season. Plus, all her scenes with a welcomed new addition, Vincent Cassel, are excellent. What an imposing new villain. 

What’s Next for Westworld?

Who knows? Obviously, Dolores is working towards a world where hosts can live among people or maybe completely takeover. She’ll have another season to carryout her plan now. Nolan and Joy keep their cards close to the chest, so they’ve never described their future plans for the show. Plus, apparently plans change for this show often. Season two originally had an entirely different ending that was cut and replaced. No major piece of television is easy to produce, but Westworld is harder to produce than the average large-scale TV show. 

Hopefully, Westworld continues to look towards the future, though. Season two felt like a repeat of season one in some ways, like it was trying to recapture the magic of the mysteries and the park all over again. Now, Joy and Nolan are comfortable forgetting the past and what people initially loved. They’re now doing what’s best for the show by almost completely changing the formula. Their soft reboot of the series has worked exceptionally well as season three of Westworld is serving up equally cool and thought-provoking science-fiction. 

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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