A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Thoughtful things are said about humanity's foibles through the course of the show; however, female characters are treated in sexist ways.
Positive Role Models
Characters such as Dolores and Teddy seem to be honest and have good intentions; evil is not glamorized, though violence appears to be in "all for fun" Western shoot-outs (ultimately subverted when we see that the victims of the violence aren't human).
Violence & Scariness
Graphic violence: shootings, stabbings, a throat slit, torture. Usually violence involves robots, but since they bleed and seem to be in pain and look just like "real" humans, this distinction is mostly unimportant. A robot's face is blown off by gunshot in one gory scene; characters are shot point-blank and scream and groan piteously while "dying." An implied rape takes place offscreen after a robot is dragged shrieking by the hair; a prostitute has sex in a scene where it's unclear if she's consented. Robots are "operated on" in gory scenes that may frighten sensitive viewers.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A prostitute has sex in a scene in which it's unclear if she's consented. Both male and female robots are shown nude from the rear and front, with breasts and genitals visible. An orgy is depicted.
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Infrequent cursing, but what's said often comes in moments of violence and fear: "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "hell." A female robot is called a "little bitch."
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Products & Purchases
Anti-consumerist messages: Unappealing tourists boast about how much they spent before taking pleasure in dominating robots.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink brown liquor and smoke in frequent saloon scenes. Characters on a work break smoke cigarettes together.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Westworld is a grim sci-fi drama that revolves around a theme park staffed with realistically human robots. Most guests are primarily interested in killing or having sex with these robots, both of which are encouraged by the park. Violence is often present in gory scenes in which robots are stabbed, shot point-blank, have their faces shot off in a blast of blood, have their throats slit, and so on. Other disturbing scenes involve an implied offscreen rape that a female robot is dragged to by her hair, screaming, and a sex scene with a prostitute (no private parts are seen). Female and male robots are shown fully nude; backsides and breasts are shown at length. Cursing is infrequent but unbleeped and includes "f--k," "s--t," "hell," "ass," and "damn." A female robot is called a "little bitch." Characters drink liquor and smoke at a saloon.
Is It Any Good?
Thoughtful, twisty, and disturbing, this grim series digs into just what it means to be human and presents viewers with more questions than answers. The 1973 movie was creepy and effective but a lark -- this is darker and even more troubling. The villains aren't as easy to spot in this new version. Ed Harris' Man in Black is the most obvious one, a guest taking vile jollies in his freedom to mess with Hosts like Evan Rachel Wood's doe-eyed Southern belle Dolores and James Marsden's square-jawed gunslinger Teddy.
As we watch the sympathetic Hosts take physical and emotional abuse from both Newcomers and the scientists who created them, it becomes clear that no one's a hero here -- not the thoughtless humans, not the helpless robots, and most definitely not the cynical people who write the park's scripts and steer the Host/Newcomer interactions. Are the makers of Westworld actually asking us to sympathize with robots rising up against humans? They sure are -- and they're doing a bang-up job of it, too. This is the best kind of sci-fi: It entertains you and makes you think.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.