Wednesday, December 7, 2016

TV for the fake news generation: why Westworld is the defining show of 2016; Guardian, 12/7/16

Paul MacInnes, Guardian; TV for the fake news generation: why Westworld is the defining show of 2016:
"Westworld is a hit. Viewing figures released this week confirmed that the first season of HBO’s sci-fi western drama received a bigger audience than any other debut in the channel’s history...
The producers deliberately reached out to an audience that enjoys obsessing. They knew some fans would watch the show again and again on their laptops. They knew they would freeze-frame the screen and zoom in on details that would pass the casual viewer by. From there the fans would try to make connections, to unravel the mysteries, to find deeper meaning. Things were left uncertain enough that people could believe what they wanted. Whether a theory was “true” was less important than the fact that someone believed in it. Sound familiar?
I’m not calling HBO a purveyor of fake news, and neither am I suggesting that Westworld has been captured by the alt-right like Pepe the Frog. But the drama has certainly tapped into an audience of young people who love video games and cracking codes, and understands both technology and identity politics."

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