ByElle McFarlane, writer at
'There's always someone younger and hungrier coming down the stairs after you.'
Elle McFarlane

Since Westworld premiered just over a week ago, the world has celebrated the discovery that their new favorite TV show is a complex blend of Jurassic Park, Blade Runner and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly — who knew? Based on the 1973 movie of the same name and with each episode costing between eight and ten million dollars to produce, Westworld had a lot of pressure riding on its strapping leather shoulders, and oh did it deliver.

Currently slamming the ratings over at IMDB, racking up a colossal nine point two out of ten which puts it in the top twelve IMDB TV shows of all time, if you haven’t already started watching it, you better get yourself lassoed up with a HBO subscription before you’re left with a mouthful of dust and regret.

However, if these reasons alone aren't enough for you to get fired up for the Evan Rachel Wood, Anthony Hopkins robotic western thriller, hold on to yours hats because we have photographic evidence which makes Westworld simply unmissable.

How 'Arrested Development' Took A Trip To 'Westworld'

Arrested Development
Arrested Development

Cast your mind back, if you can, to Season two, Episode three of Arrested Development. Upon receiving news that the family staircar has been discovered in Mexico, Michael, his son George Michael, twin sister Lindsay and niece Maebe head south of the border to try to find awol family patriarch, George Snr. But take a good hard look at the set, does it look familiar?

How about now?

Westworld / Arrested Development
Westworld / Arrested Development

Flagged up by redditor 'seeshores,' an architectural conservator by trade, it would seem that George Snr. was not hiding in Mexico at all, but instead, had decided to elude his endearing family of incompetents by taking a trip to Westworld. However, at $40,000 a day, that can't have been a particularly wise choice given the Bluth's much publicized bankruptcy.

Arrested Development
Arrested Development

Why Do These Universes Overlap?

Aside from the enticing idea that George Bluth Snr. is hiding out in Westworld, it's been discovered that these two universes actually share the same reconstructed western set. Belonging to the Melody Ranch Studio in Newhall California, a recreated wild west town lovingly crafted by two brothers, Renaud and Andre Veluzat, both Westworld and Arrested Development have rented the studio which has been in service since 1915.

Other notable movies and TV shows which have used the Melody Ranch Studio are:

  • Django Unchained
  • The Last Stand
  • Magnificent Seven
  • Deadwood
  • The Lone Ranger
  • Last Man Standing

How Melody Ranch Features In 'Westworld'

Entrance to the Westworld Town Centre

Melody Ranch Studio / Westworld
Melody Ranch Studio / Westworld

Westworld Town Centre

Melody Ranch Studio / Westworld
Melody Ranch Studio / Westworld

How 'Westworld' Isn't Set In The Wild West At All

Melody Ranch Studio
Melody Ranch Studio

Funnily enough, Melody Ranch Studio offers many different type of reconstructed set, including a "junk yard," a "mid-American Main Street" and a"Mexican/Spanish/European/Middle Eastern City." It is the latter of these which both Arrested Development and Westworld share, taking the iconic church of the this pan-cultural set and making it at once Mexican in Arrested Development and wild west style American in Westworld. I guess God isn't too fussy about his ethnicity.


Who would you rather be in Westworld with?


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