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HBO programming boss will not apologize for ‘Westworld’ being confusing



Westworld Season 2HBO

  • HBO president of programming Casey Bloys doesn’t care
    about the “Westworld” season two backlash.
  • At the TCA conference in Los Angeles, Bloys said that
    the show is “not for casual viewers.”
  • He also said that he trusted creators Jonathan Nolan
    and Lisa Joy, who like to challenge the audience.

Critics, fans, and
this very website
criticized season two of “Westworld.” It
got off to a good start, but didn’t live up to what the first
half of the season promised. By the end of the season, many
people had no idea what they had just watched — even people
like me who watched the episodes multiple times.

But HBO’s programming boss doesn’t seem concerned, even though
the show’s ratings
dropped throughout the second season

At the Television Critics Association conference in Los Angeles,
HBO president of programming Casey Bloys
responded to questions
about the season two backlash. Bloys
was also asked whether the writers would take criticism of the
show’s confusing storytelling into account for season three.

“I wouldn’t agree that the backlash was widespread,” Bloys said.
“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 it, and debate. And for a show to arouse
that kind of feeling, that’s what we want.”

Bloys also said the show is “not for casual viewers, it requires
your attention.” He added that creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa
Joy “like to challenge their viewers and many feel rewarded by
that. It’s a unique show, and that’s what we’re looking for.”

Reactions to season two of “Westworld”
(including my
) were gushing at first. The first five episodes, which
HBO made available to the press, promised an expanded world
without relying on confusing the audience (or so we thought). But
it quickly turned to the same devices it relied on in season one,
and only used the new worlds to show them off — none of them had
any tangible impact on the story. And just like season one,
“Westworld” didn’t allow the audience to know when things were
happening, or to whom, or how, or why. 

Considering what Bloys said at TCA this week, it looks like
season three will be more of the same. But he’s right: we’ll
probably talk about it anyway.

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