Westworld started life as a Michael Crichton movie. Luke Cage first burst on the scene as a comics character decades ago. This past weekend, both of those stories made their television debuts—and both are better suited for the small screen. At least, that’s what we think here at The Monitor.


Luke Cage’s story, you see, is about one hero trying to help his community in Harlem. That’s a tale much better told in a series of episodes on Netflix than it is in a massive Avengers-vs.-everybody summer blockbuster. (Though we would really like to see Cage join the Avengers in a movie rumble sometime.) Meanwhile, Westworld, which premiered Sunday on HBO, is about what happens if a bunch of artificially intelligent “hosts” at twisted theme park get a virus and start acting out. AI technologies have advanced a lot since Crichton’s movie came out in 1973. Now HBO’s series can dig deep into the big questions of AI every week—instead of trying to tackle them all in one movie.

Do you agree? Think we’re full of it? Check out this week’s WIRED Culture podcast to see if we’re on to something. Also, we’re not just talking about Westworld and Luke Cage. We also have writers and editors Peter Rubin, K.M. McFarland, and Angela Watercutter riffing on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live and editor at large Jason Tanz talking with Cage’s showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker. Tune in!

A few helpful links for things we talk about in the podcast:

-K.M. McFarland’s review of the Luke Cage pilot
-Jason Tanz’s feature on Luke Cage
-Charlie Jane Anders’ story examining whether Westworld can do for sci-fi what Game of Thrones did for fantasy
-K.M. McFarland’s review of the Westworld pilot


Trust Us: Luke Cage and Westworld Are Better Off on TV