Violence and empathy in “Westworld”: “That’s not the point we want to make, that it’s OK if they’re a …

Only two episodes of HBO’s “Westworld” have aired, and already it has harnessed audience fascination and become one of the season’s most talked-about shows. While it has yet to earn an official renewal, the premiere attracted a healthy 3.3 million viewers in its first two airings and via streaming, with 2.7 million tuning in for the second episode. That’s promising news for series creators Jonathan Nolan, who created and executive produced CBS’ “Person of Interest,” and Lisa Joy, who has previously served as a producer for “Burn Notice” and “Pushing Daisies.” The husband-and-wife team has only begun to explore a number of heady themes within the confines of the show’s Western-styled park. But the topmost one is existential, as the series asks the audience to consider what exactly it means to be human.…


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