Admittedly, it does have a stark approach in it's story telling texture. Such is Johnathan Nolan. He is a guru on story structure and plot, but does struggle on the character front and especially dialogue at times.
There are a lot of themes that some might argue say dilute the whole story due to the number of them.
And as far as preferences go, Sgt. Largent, you mentioned shows that are extremely character heavy over plot. It's in the details and doesn't attack you as an audience members with large societal and universal messages. Those shows put you in their shoes and make you feel what they do. Thus what you referred to as visceral. It makes a lot of sense the way you explain it. All that being said, Westworld is a theme and concept heavy show. Much more so then the majority of television series in my opinion.
I enjoy the messages that were said and nuances identified in the storytelling. I value and respect Jonah Nolan a ton for his writing. His directing is mediocre, however. He directed the first and last episode. Writing wise, the last episode was the superior of them all, but by a hair compared to episode 9. The director of episode 9 is much more capable and I valued that episode as the best from top to bottom in weighing all aspects. I think the finale suffered from Nolan's directing. He definitely isn't his brother. Jonah is the superior writer, but by no means a very capable director.
I'll be waiting for season 2 very restlessly.
Oh, and Thandie Newton's only performance I was ever a fan of before this series was Rock'n'Rolla.