Unlike ‘Game of Thrones,’ the popular show’s nudity serves not so much to desensitize nudity, but to desexualize it.
On last week’s episode of Westworld, the two timelines theory was basically confirmed—the Man in Black (Ed Harris) and William (Jimmi Simpson) are the same guy, just 30 years apart. Neither of them—nor any other human character—has been naked on the show, which is sort of odd, since nudity in HBO shows is nothing new. Maybe this Sunday will reveal some human dong, but I doubt it, so let’s assume that episodes one through nine are indicative of how HBO is playing coy with its audience and using nudity in an entirely different way than any other show they’ve run.
Think pieces galore have already been written about Westworld nakedness, from Kevin Fallon over at the Daily Beast calling the single orgy scene “a waste” to the very legit criticism about the offensive sexualization of host Bart by Kathryn VanArendonk in Vulture. However, both those scenes—the orgy and the unfortunate focus on Bart’s large penis, both in episode five—still follow the very, very careful trend of nudity that has been present throughout the show.