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April 22, 2018

The Brainerd Dispatch - Today's Entertainment Magazine

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2 • April 22 - 28, 2018 • Brainerd Dispatch By K.A. Taylor TV Media T he concept of androids has per- meated social consciousness since the 1800s, but it wasn't until 1984's sci-fi hit "The Terminator" graced the screen that people genuinely feared the prospect of "the singularity," and a world where humans would be- come ruled by machines. While most films and novels have suggested that the robot rebellion will be brought in with a bang, "Westworld" proved that a whimper was equally, if not more, effective. This soft realization leads to some formidable action, however, with the hosts ready to venture out and dis- cover the many layers of the park when season 2 begins Sunday, April 22, on HBO. The premise of "Westworld" is somewhat familiar, due to the popu- larity of the android sentience trope in science fiction. The series origins stem from the 1973 Michael Crichton film of the same name, upon which it is loosely based. Season 1 introduced viewers to Westworld, a theme park in the not- too-distant future that allows soci- ety's wealthiest to indulge in the ulti- mate immersive experience. Though other locations are alluded to, the bulk of the show's first season takes place in Sweetwater, a frontier town complete with saloons, gunslingers and an eerily recognizable piano score. Given the choice of black or white hat, humans can either experi- ence a kinder, gentler version of the Wild West, or delve deeper into a grit- ty world of vengeance and violence, allowing themselves to express all manner of taboo, morally question- able acts. This experience is only a success due to the plethora of android hosts that populate the parks. The fresh- man season introduced us to the sa- loon's madam, Maeve Millay (Thand- ie Newton, "ER"), whose recurring dreams about a daughter from a past storyline (pre-madam) gradually led to her becoming self-aware. Teddy Flood (James Marsden, "X-Men," 2000) isn't quite that cognizant, with the heroic gunslinger propelled more by love than self-realization to assist another host on her quest. That host is the enigmatic Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood, "True Blood"). No host still operating has endured the life Dolores has, seen what she's seen, or would be a more likely candi- date for becoming fully sentient. In fact, the rebellion so impeccably orchestrated in promotional material for season 2 of "Westworld" seems largely to fall within the hands of Do- lores and Maeve, both of whom are now ready to help their kind rise above and usurp the technological throne from their creators. Although season 1 gave us the first step in this direction, season 2 promises even bolder and more confident hosts, no longer willing to play nice and be trampled upon by the guiltless whims of humanity. Each of the main an- droids is forging his or her own path along the outskirts of the frontier, venturing into the park's other "worlds" in search of greater free- dom and a deeper truth. As season 1 established, leaving the park entirely won't be easy. It will, in fact, require the help of humans. Dolores and the hosts must therefore decide: stake their claim over the park itself, or find a way to move be- yond its borders, to map out a life for all of their kind in a brave new world. Although "Westworld" isn't the first big series about androids to cap- tivate audiences around the globe, no other series has managed — so far — to explore the prospect of the sin- gularity in such a thoughtful and lay- ered way. In drawing out the self- awareness of Dolores and her fellow hosts, series creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan were able to human- ize these androids, giving them a softer voice. Viewers understand and support their motivations, because they're able to see themselves in the struggles and hardships endured by the hosts at the hands of their own decadent, careless species. Newton opened up about this in a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight. When presented with the script for season 2, Newton admits that she was "completely shell- shocked" by the direction in which Joy and Nolan were taking the series. "It was absolutely not what I thought was going to happen," she said. Newton was quite tight-lipped re- garding what would or would not be occurring during the second season, whether on the macro level regard- ing the entire world of the series, or at a micro level when discussing her character Maeve and her own moti- vations: "As far as I know — because I really don't know — as far as Maeve knows, she has a degree of command over what she's doing." She admits that, whether being in- structed to or otherwise, holding back information is essential to the viewer experience, though, because "it's delayed gratification" that al- lows us to "enjoy discovering" what will happen next with the series. If the first season of "Westworld" left audiences with one primary les- son, it's this: truth is entirely abstract. Hosts we believed to be self-motivat- ed were long manipulated, those we thought to be human only acting so. A creator's relationship with his own creation is often multifaceted and seldom one-dimensional. Everything that Dolores, Maeve and the other self-aware hosts believe they know about humanity will be tested as they try to forge their own paths in what may simply be yet another maze they're being coaxed to run by their master's hand. Discover the new worlds that await the beloved hosts of "West- world" when season 2 premieres Sunday, April 22, on HBO. Strange new frontiers: Sentient hosts stake their claim over 'Westworld' Cover Story this week Thandie Newton as seen in "Westworld" Conan The 2020 Census is asking a new question that many say is invasive and inappropriate. The question is: "Are you Gryffindor or Hufflepuff?" A new report says that President Trump has been hiring people for his administration based on how they perform on television. So congratulations to our new secretary of housing and urban development, Mr. Andy Richter. The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon Engineers have created a futuristic jetpack that lets you fly up to 10,000 feet in the air. It even has a cool name: It's called, "YOU Try It First." I read about a man in Ohio who just ended his streak of eating Chipotle for 500 straight days. When asked why he decided to stop, his family said, "Oh, he died." The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Beyoncé's biter remains at large, and it's extremely important to me we figure this out, because America needs to know: what does Beyoncé taste like? Last week, Trump called Putin to congratulate him on winning a shady election in which he was the only real candidate, despite the fact that his advisers gave him notes in all capital letters stating "DO NOT CONGRATULATE." Come on guys, if you want him to read a note, put it on something he pays attention to, like a cheeseburger, or Ivanka. The Late Late Show With James Corden We all know Trump's type is: whoever he's not married to at the time. A sculpture depicting President Trump completely naked from head to toe is set to go up for auction in May. I'd like to start the bidding at no dollars. Nothing. I'll actually pay you to take it away. Late Night With Seth Meyers According to reports, adult film star Stormy Daniels took a polygraph test in 2011 about her relationship with President Trump, and the examiner found there was a more than 99 percent probability she told the truth about their affair. And we know Trump is lying, because we can hear him. Former FBI director James Comey's memoir has already topped Amazon's list of bestsellers, almost a month ahead of its release due to pre-orders. Or, you can find it in your local bookstore, blocking Hillary Clinton's book. Late Laughs COMPLETE AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR ALL MAKES, ALL MODELS 501 W Washington St., Brainerd, MN | 218-828-1823 | SAVE $ 10 OFF THE REGULAR PRICE OF ANY FULL SERVICE VALVOLINE OIL CHANGE CHOOSE FROM SEMI- SYNTHETIC, HIGH MILEAGE OR FULL SYNTHETIC OILS. INCLUDES A WRITTEN MULTI POINT INSPECTION. Valid thru April 30 th 2018. SAVE ON A GDI FUEL SYSTEM SERVICE. HELPS IMPROVE PERFORMANCE, INCREASE MILEAGE, PREVENT LONG TERM SYSTEM FAILURE. 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