“Westworld” made its debut on HBO on Sunday to a whopping 3.3 million viewers, making it the network’s most successful premiere since “True Detective,” according to Variety.
HBO has a lot to thank executive producers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy for, since the husband-and-wife duo really worked hard to drum up interest and curiosity for the series.
A lot of controversies have surrounded “Westworld” even before it aired, especially since the show is about a Western theme park where high-paying guests get away with whatever they want to do - murder, pillage, theft, rape, and other atrocious things.
Nolan told Slash Film that their portrayal of this evil side of humanity actually has a purpose. “We abhor violence in the real world, but we almost overwhelmingly enjoy it in drama. Storytelling is an odd phenomena. I’ve never done anything else,” he said.
Through “Westworld,” they hope audiences would sit back and ask themselves: “Well, if it’s entertainment, why is there so many common themes? Why there are so many things that people come back to again and again and again? Why is violence and transgression such a big part of that?”
But before they film any violent scenes, Joy told Wired that they spend a lot of time talking about its importance and how it will affect the characters. The showrunner said they don’t write in these horrible scenes just for the sake of it.
“With every scene, we ask ourselves: Is it integral to the story? Are we doing it in a fair way, not a gratuitous way? Of course, questions like that are subjective. Especially with a theme park in which humans are encouraged to let their id run free, to indulge in whatever their heart desires, it felt like these were topics that we did have to touch on in order to fully explore human nature,” she said.
“Westworld” premiered on HBO on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 9 p.m. ET.