The downside to Westside
By ANNMARIE LI
Is Westside the show that will sound like music in people’s hearts, or will it crumble into dust?
On Friday, Nov. 9, the Netflix original Westside premiered. The reality show presents the lives of nine musicians, each having dreams of producing music or songwriting. Upon the first impression, Westside seems to deliver positive messages to aspiring musicians, but is it really what it’s cut out to be?
The musicians are gaining more exposure and noticeability by the public, but in the end, the reality show might just be an act to end all acts of the sign of reality.
Westside is full of potential, but it has the feeling of being wasted. In the first episode, the nine musicians are introduced individually, but in the midst of the catchy music and peace, some drama stirs within the group. The drama is trying to be portrayed as a real event, except certain aspects of it seems acted out instead of a reality. The situations feel fake, as well as how the scenes are shown.. From the viewer’s perspective, the cast seems to be making a big deal out of something small just to create drama for the sake of having another event happen in the episode. For instance, when the group does an exercise to train them in the art of music, some unnecessary drama occurs between the group, turning it into useless pestering between each other. This, however, is hindering the quality of the show itself, making it difficult to watch the show without cringing.
Moreover, it is unlikely for the rookie group of nine to actually succeed, despite the constant attention from the viewers because of their outstanding talent. This is due to the constant feeling of the cast overreacting to the circumstances by putting more feeling and actions that are not needed in the first place.
Furthermore, the music videos that are shown throughout the season are like videos meant for their individual debuts, not for the show itself. The way the music videos are set out to be for debuts are not necessarily bad, but the fact that the videos are vastly overused may be detrimental to the artists’ future careers. The various types of music within the episodes show an appearance when one of the musicians start to write or sing a song of sorts. The songs themselves are quite catchy, but it lacks the element of being able to enjoy the song just by listening to it.
Although the cast gets enough publicity and attention just from being on the show, Westside’s audience engagement is rare to see. Aside from the mixed reviews of the whole first season from various articles, there is little engagement from the viewers. This could be because of the dull events and situations that appear in the show every now and then, making it harder to go through a single episode without getting too bored of everything that goes on within the season.
However, as for other aspects of the reality show, the camerawork and cinematics work well together. The sets are scenic, along with the visuals being quite pleasing to the eye.
In spite of the satisfactory visuals and cinematics, it does not make the reality show any better to watch. The plotline is boring and uninteresting enough to outweigh the amazing scenery. The disinterest in Westside can be from the fake drama or the boring storyline throughout the episodes.
Despite the growth with the musicians throughout the season, Westside is just like a reality act with the cutthroat attitudes and without the bonds.