HBO boss defends Westworld after backlash: 'Not for casual viewers'
Westworld (TV series)
Westworld season 2 garnered plenty of critical praise and six Emmy nominations (including a nod for best drama) earlier this month, yet there was also an undeniable degree of fandom backlash to drama’s complex storytelling (and the ratings were down a bit from its high-flying debut season as well).
HBO programming chief Casey Bloys was asked at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills on Wednesday about the “widespread backlash” to the prestige sci-fi drama.
“I’m not sure I would agree that the backlash was ‘widespread,'” Bloys said. “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.”
As for whether the season was too confusing, Bloys pushed back on that. “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.”
No word yet on when Westworld season 3 will return.
Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy's ambitious sci-fi thriller is based on the 1973 Michael Crichton film of the same name.