Altered Carbon

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Altered Carbon

Postby freezeblade » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:17 am UTC

New show out on NetFlix: Altered Carbon.

I've made it through the first two episodes and so far I like it...with caveats.

Based off a 2000's novel by Richard K. Morgan, the story takes place in a sci-fi nior setting in far-flung cyber-punk future San Fransisco (now called "Bay City"). Visually it is stunning, taking more than a few clues from Ridely Scott, and a few nods to similarly-set sci-fi nior films and shows (Black Mirror comes to mind here as well). The world building is fantastic, and as with all good sci-fi, it uses advanced technology's advent as the tool with which we examine bigger questions in society and ethics. Bonus points for a diverse cast that doesn't shy away from cultural differences and how culture/religion affects society. A nice cast of writers and directors were used for different episodes, including people who worked on such shows as Doctor Who, Fargo, and Sherlock.

The caveats: Netflix took this 'R' rating seriously. Expect more sex and full frontal nudity (and did I mention sex?) than Game of Thrones (Dare I say that it's even more explicit). Violence and gore abound, and (I hear, haven't gone far enough in yet to see it) even some pretty graphic torture. I don't know if many of these scenes had to be quite that explicit (or long) to advance the storyline or explain characters, but that is a stylistic choice. Just don't watch it with children or your folks (Even more so than GoT).

Anyone else watching?
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Re: Altered Carbon

Postby Zohar » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:33 pm UTC

I watched perhaps 20 minutes of the first episode and felt like it was so much all over the place that I couldn't actually concentrate on it. I'm not interested in a series of 30-second scenes, each one introducing new characters and concepts that I have no idea if I should care about. Also it kind of looks like the show immediately takes an Asian character and replaces them with a white character? Of course I haven't seen enough of it to know yet, they might have a deep statement about whitewashing, but I have my doubts.

Perhaps I was in the wrong mood for it, I was really unimpressed.
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Re: Altered Carbon

Postby EdgarJPublius » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:13 pm UTC

Eh, Altered Carbon was by far my least favorite of the Takeshi Kovacs books.

They toned down or avoided the most gratuitously violent parts of the book for the show. I don't think It's as graphic as the earlier seasons of GoT.

I'm fine with it being toned down from the book though, I almost put the book down during a part that got cut from the show. But they also removed most of the actually interesting and unique parts of the book too. And it looks like if there's a second season, it's gonna go completely off the rails, and not in a good way.

@Zohar: Putting Takeshi in a white 'sleeve' is done in the books too. The specific body has plot significance that's revealed later (IIRC it was revealed a lot sooner in the book than the show). The show gives his original Asian body a lot of screen time through flashbacks though. On the other hand, the show puts multiple minority female characters into white male sleeves later on and I don't remember that happening as much in the books. I guess you could find a statement about whitewashing in there if you were looking for one hard enough.
It's been a while since I read the book, but I believe Takeshi spends the other two in the series in a non-biological synthetic sleeve, and a bio-engineered Maori sleeve.

I was a big fan of Dichen Lachman in Dollhouse and I hoped the Altered Carbon universe would give her a chance to do something similar. Unfortunately, they kind of ruined her character in the translation from book to show, and didn't really use her to the full potential she showed in Dollhouse. I feel that's kind of emblematic of the series. There was a lot of potential in the source material that was squandered, not through poor execution, but through shitty creative decisions.

The show wasn't bad, it just wasn't good either.
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Re: Altered Carbon

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:34 pm UTC

It gets a little heavy handed, and falls prey to the classic 'people don't communicate like adults and that drives the plot' issues that you see in some TV, but frankly, it deals with a lot of great sci fi concepts pretty well, and makes for an interesting whodunit even if the ultimate reveal is a little lackluster. I thoroughly enjoyed it, for all it's flaws.

Also, like, ALL the boobies.
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Re: Altered Carbon

Postby nicholasbrooks » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:39 pm UTC

I thought it started out super strong but ended kinda slow. There were too many plot connections that didn't quite seem realistic.

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Re: Altered Carbon

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:59 am UTC

I liked Poe. A lot.
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Re: Altered Carbon

Postby freezeblade » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:57 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:I liked Poe. A lot.

Easily my favorite character.
Belial wrote:I am not even in the same country code as "the mood for this shit."

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