Current Obsession: Westworld

When the days get shorter and it's already dark by the time I get up from my desk, or by time I return home from a day of work, I can easily get hooked on a TV series. (I kind of wish they'd come up with a new name for the long-arching complex video story narratives that they're making these days — they're not just "TV shows," I think, anymore.) I love complex plots and many characters, and the magic of videography can make amazing worlds. It mesmerizes me.

Lately, I'm hooked on Westworld. A friend described the first episode to me, and we binge-watched four. It's the first show in years that I've been watching in real time — the finale just aired this week. It's been a complex puzzle, with multiple timelines, overlapping characters, plot twists, all set in a world beyond ours (some fans posit that it's about year 2052 in the show). A writing teacher of mine once said that studying movies and TV is a great way to study plot — how a complex narrative is broken down into parts, and told piece by piece, focusing on the parts that are relevant and important. That's always stuck with me. (Of course it would, because now I can justify getting into a TV series as "research" for writing.)

The opening sequence of Westworld is glorious, such a work of art. This Vulture article breaks it down beautifully. If you watch through this and aren't at least a little tempted to call all your friends to see who has an HBO account you can borrow in order to watch the first season, I'd be surprised.

It's been largely influencing my dreams lately. Between the dystopian future and the real fears of the current political climate in the US, my dreamtime has been wildly vivid and sometimes confusing. But I still like to feed my unconscious all sorts of expansive ideas, like those in Westworld.

As we enter into the sleepy, hybernating part of the year (at least, in the northern hemisphere), I'm curious about dreams, setting intentions for dreaming, and letting my dreams come more. Who knows what kinds of new plots will emerge.

— Zed

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