Westworld And Race
Recently, I was scrolling through Westworld ratings and I read an interesting article on the racial demographics of Westworld. It explained that the VAST majority of the audience were white white men between the age of 18 and 49. I was not as surprised by that as I was by the less than 2% viewership that were Hispanic or black. This should not been as shocking as I myself know no one of color who watches this show.
As an African American woman I found myself wondering if this targeted audience has anything to do with the 30% drop off in ratings this year as this article were the demographics after the season2 finale. Sure, we have the usual suspects of confusing timelines and convoluted plot, and the odd way Bernard and Dolores whisper to each other in monologue (seriously!)) that some people just want simplified so they can divorce themselves from reality lazily.
But it could possibly be that one: the the storylines for the two STRONG female LEADS have been wretchedly underdeveloped to the point that most of the audience have forgotten the great traction in season one that truly led to their big moments in the season 2 finale.
Or two: All the of characters of color were regulated to the peripheral of the overarching plot.
Kinda like tokens.
Kiksuya was a masterpiece of television but overall Akechete was a standalone event happening the in the darkness which is beautiful but also sad because he’s a character that was a protagonist everyone could root for but now, he’s in the sublime with Kohanna only to be a footnote in Westworld history. How convienent, she says sarcastically.
The same could be said about Shogun World. It was first hinted as this way into a different culture but also badass but ultimately developed much of nothing yet still the best episode amongst casual viewers and podcasters I’ve heard (the show took a serious 3 episode dip after it)
Nevermind Hector ( he gained no development), Hanaryo and Armistice( just there), and Maeve who were reduced to self reflection which is great if it was a beat that hit another beat that led to an awesome showdown that transcended some serious new goals but no. Just a gurney, a retcon Ford relationship and the best thing ever spoiled in a Superbowl ad to entice that demographic in the first place.
And don’t even get me started on the sheer waste of the best developing friendship between host and human. I will still wish you back into season 3 Lee!
Yes, there’s Bernard but for the most part he’s been nothing but a bumbling slave to his masters Ford and Dolores with a none too pleased attitude in the battle to come. Sorry. let me reign back in cynical me.
I think its important that shows and series now a days that want these big ratings lure audiences in with representation, and not just a part of a bigger story but a focal part. Just wanted to hear your thoughts on this.
P.S. While I disagree Maeve’s death scene wasn’t emotional ass hell I will agree the editing was all around shoddy. I would have preferred as soon as Clementine started the virus o see Maeve run to her daughter, hosts temporarily freezing around her to show her using the mesh network until she got to her daughter, had her little goodbye, then turned and froze everyone. I overall liked the dressing of the scene and how she was shot and the hand gesture. That wasn’t the issue, it was the disorientating effect of how it was put together in the end that made you question too many things instead of falling into the moment.
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