Aaron Paul addition is a huge W for HBO’s Westworld

“Yeah, bitch!” This is how I like to imagine Breaking Bad superstar Aaron Paul reacting when he was asked to headline the third season of HBO’s Westworld. HBO made a smart decision by releasing the trailer in front of just over 13 million live viewers right before the Game of Thrones series finale.

HBO knew they had to deliver some optimism back to their subscribers after the horror show that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss put us through. Their lackluster writing skills were exposed when working without an outline of the book series to go off of.

But now it’s time to move on from all that. After a nail-biting, exhilarating second season of Westworld, I was glad to see that season 3 looks like a completely reinvented version of the show.

Season 1 was a slow-burning development of the Parks storyline and hosts like Maeve eventually becoming smart and self-aware enough to overthrow Delos.

All the season’s big, oh sh*t moments were very well-placed and added necessary substance to the characters. Perfect example: finding out Bernard was Robert Ford’s host at season 1’s end, despite being Delos’ head of Programming and creator of the artificial people.

Although season 2 had its share of memorable moments, those big reveals that elevated the show in season 1 didn’t nearly have quite the same flair. It felt as if most of the season’s twists were more out of place and done simply for shock value.

But if the trailer is any indication, this new season looks to be a breath of fresh air. The 100-second preview shows Aaron Paul walking through a futuristic city at night, set to Pink Floyd’s song, “Brain Damage”. At the clip’s conclusion Paul’s character says, “I think if I’m going to get on with my life I’m going to need to find something… someone… real.” He then approaches a woman in a dark tunnel and yells “you need some help?!” The short haired woman turns to him with a empty, deathly stare as the trailer cuts away.

The trailer also featured screenwriter, producer, and actress Lena Waithe, former NFL running back “Beast Mode” Marshawn Lynch, and rapper, singer, and humming extraordinaire Kid Cudi. These unexpected new casting choices reflect the show’s unpredictable nature.

But there’s no greater addition to this third installment of Westworld than Aaron Paul. We’re talking about a guy who quite possibly did the best acting job in the cast of AMC’s Breaking Bad, which aired from 2008 to 2013.

That was no small feat considering Breaking Bad is widely regarded as one of the greatest TV shows of all time. It’s certainly the best show I’ve ever seen. With a fantastic build-up and great closure by the series’ finale, David Benioff and D.B Weiss could learn a thing or two from Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan.

Now we get to see Aaron Paul in a mega role where he’s not playing not the druggie, high school dropout turned five-star meth cook Jesse Pinkman. I can’t promise the season itself will live up, but you can guarantee that Paul’s performance will deliver. The only problem is we have to wait until 2020 to see it.

-Simon Brady


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