What makes a being sentient? These are the kinds of questions one asks oneself when watching a show like Westworld. There’s just a little over a month until season 2 premieres on HBO, and we here at Reelgood could not be more excited. (April 22nd! Mark your calendars!) In fact, we are so excited that we are pretty sure we can’t wait another minute to dive back into that world.
But unless you’ve got a time machine, or you happen to be one of the #blessed ones who were able to experience the Sweetwater recreation at SXSW (Austen’s annual film and music festival), then I guess you’re fresh out of luck.
That being said, here are a few things you can watch that will at least give you something to chew on while Westworld is away.
Battlestar Galactica (2002) — Amazon Prime/Hulu/DirecTV Now
When the human race is nearly completely wiped out by Cylon forces, the remaining fleet is forced to flee. Their destination? A mythical planet called Earth. When they learn that the cylons have humanoid models and may be infiltrating their ranks, things get a little dicey.
A.I.: Artificial Intelligence — DirectTV Now
This film was originally slated to be directed by Stanley Kubrick, but with his passing, Steven Spielberg was left to take over. The result is a beautiful film that honors Kubrick, but still is very much a Spielberg machine. There is a similar loneliness to both Westworld and A.I., as these creations begin to understand and come to terms with the reality of their very nature.
The Sarah Connor Chronicles — Rent or buy from $1.99/episode.
Come with me if you want to live. In this small-screen take on the Terminator series, set during John Connor’s teenage years, Schwarzenegger is replaced by an always-ethereal Summer Glau, and Linda Hamilton is replaced by non-other than Queen Badass: Cersei Lannister herself, Lena Headey.
Dollhouse — Hulu
This Joss Whedon vehicle was not his biggest hit, but it is definitely worth the watch. You’ll find that this show deals with some of the same existential questions that is not only typical of Whedon, but is also touched upon in Westworld.
Ex Machina — Rent or buy from $1.99 and up.
A futuristic Turing test is the premise of this gorgeous film by first-time director Alex Garland. Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac star as the human characters, but the android, played by Alicia Vikander, unquestionably steals the show.
Moon — Netflix/Crackle
With a smattering of clues, you might be able to figure out what’s going on here before it is actually revealed. I will keep the spoilers to myself, but I will say that you will not regret watching this movie.
Blade Runner — Rent or buy from $2.99 and up.
Blade Runner is arguably the birth of our modern fascination with androids, and it is most definitely the inspiration behind TV shows like Battlestar Galactica and Westworld. PS: Don’t forget to check out Blade Runner 2049 for an update on this tale.