‘Westworld’ Premiere: Can HBO Move Past ‘Game Of Thrones’?

Evan Rachel Wood stars in HBO's Westworld

The Westworld premiere finally aired on October 2, and many are asking whether this new world will be able to bring HBO the same glory it enjoyed with Game of Thrones.

In a report, Forbes noted the increasingly lacking drama slate that HBO has lined up prior to the return of Game of Thrones in 2017, which consist of shows that seem to be not juicy enough to renew for new seasons.

Because of this, the outlet believes that the newly introduced HBO series titled Westworld is basically the entertainment company’s last hope, especially now that they have announced the inevitable end of the epic TV series based on George R.R. Martin’s unfinished saga, A Song of Ice and Fire.

'Westworld' Season 1

According to the Hollywood Reporter, HBO’s Westworldhas earned plenty of great expectations from critics and fans, especially after it was given a massive budget of $100 million.

Sources told the outlet that the season-opener alone cost HBO a hefty $25 million for the 90-minute episode, something close to that of a movie price tag.

Apparently, these numbers are close to what HBO spent to bring to life the exciting world of Game of Thrones, which reportedly cost the cable channel some $20 million for a scraped first episode.

With all these numbers in mind, it goes without saying that HBO is hoping that Westworld would be their next big break after Game of Thrones.

“I’m sure it’s among the more expensive ones but I can’t tell you that it is the most expensive one we’ve ever done; I would imagine it is [among them],” HBO programming president Casey Bloys revealed, adding that he will be the happiest when the show makes its way to the top.

According to Deadline, Westworld is a TV series that is “drenched in blood, sex, and violence” and is not bordering on the gray area of morality as the show emits a “straight evil” feel in the series’ pilot episode.

Meanwhile, Entertainment Weekly described the Westworld premiere titled “The Original” as one of the densest first episodes in a TV show since Game of Thrones.

While Westworld is repeatedly compared to the epic TV series set in Westeros, there is much difference between the two in terms of plot twists.

A major proof to that is Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood), the show’s immortal heroine. EW notes that while Game of Thrones boasts dragons, Westworld has Dolores.

“Dolores is this Wild West theme park’s veteran Disney princess; a rancher’s daughter forever waking up with the morning sun, all hopeful, awaiting the return of her cowboy prince.”

HBO's 'Westworld'

The Westworld premiere begins with what could probably be described as Dolores’ regular day where she greets her father and rides into the Western town of Sweetwater.

Of course, there is the fact that she reunited with her long lost lover, Teddy Flood (James Marsden), and returns home an outlaw after a gang decided to kill her entire family.

As mentioned earlier, it is nothing like Game of Thrones, though there may be some similarities in terms of the love for gore and nudity.

According to Forbes, Westworld may seem to be quite a long shot for HBO to regain its market share considering how its competitors have been upping their game, noting that the franchise is not really that well-known to be able to provide a built-in fanbase.

Of course, there is still a matter of cautious optimism on the critics’ minds with Westworld mashing up sci-fi and Wild West, though one episode definitely won’t be enough to predict whether the show would have a long reign in HBO’s playlist.

HBO’s Westworld premiere aired on October 2, with regular weekly airing at 9 p.m. EST every Sunday.

[Featured Image by HBO]