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#1 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7535 posts) -

Altered Carbon (Netflix) First episode date: February 2, 2018

I am a huge fan of Richard K. Morgan’s novels. He is a very good author for sci-fi noir, at least from my point of view. Altered Carbon from Morgans own intro is as follows:

"...Four hundred years from now mankind is strung out across a region of interstellar space inherited from an ancient civilization discovered on Mars. The colonies are linked together by the occasional sub-light colony ship voyages and hyperspatial data-casting. Human consciousness is digitally freighted between the stars and downloaded into bodies as a matter of course.

But some things never change. So when ex-envoy, now-convict Takeshi Kovacs has his consciousness and skills downloaded into the body of a nicotine-addicted ex-thug and presented with a catch-22 offer, he really shouldn’t be surprised. Contracted by a billionaire to discover who murdered his last body, Kovacs is drawn into a terrifying conspiracy that stretches across known space and to the very top of society."

The Netflix show seems to be following the Altered Carbon book closely, which is not a bad thing if you like what is sdescribed above. If you read the book you know the mystery I guess, but this book is so much more about the seeing taht world as much as it is solving the mystery. I think one scene I would LOVE to see is one where Kovacs (our protagonist) negotiates with a 'seedy' hotel's AI manager for protection and armament for a hostile group of thugs. I don't think it reveals too much to say - chaos ensues.

This is the sort of science fiction I want on television - modern scifi taht is socially relevant. It will be interesting to see what they cut out, like if the show will be set on a colony world or just earth. Will they show the more weird stuff or will they keep it PG-13?


NOTE: So, I hope after the first airing we can discuss the show here with spoiler tag covers. I know with teh books being a 15 years old it hard to see this show as something that could be spoiled, but I woudl rather side on allowing all to come poke around this threat and use the spoiler blocks to make ist safe for people who might want to watch along. So, if you read the books and want to comment before teh show starts, just use the /spoiler function form the menu. Thanks!

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#2 Edited by MundaneSoul (74 posts) -

Whaaaaat I had no idea this was happening! What a wonderful surprise! I will definitely be checking this out. (I'm also a huge fan of Morgan...his fantasy novels are interesting as well.)

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#3 Edited by Justin258 (15641 posts) -

Cool! We need more hardboiled Netflix.

EDIT:Hardboiled cyberpunk. Oops.

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#4 Edited by Maxszy (2377 posts) -

Wow!! I had no idea what so ever. This is great!

I'm also a huge fan of Richard K. Morgan. The Sci-Fi anyway (i'm not a huge Fantasy novel fan myself but that's personal preference, not Morgan's writing). The Takeshi Kovacs novels were fantastic and to see them coming to the screen is great. I will be checking this out on day one for sure. I'll tune back into this thread then to discuss.

This is really exciting!

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#5 Posted by Cerberus3Dog (1025 posts) -

I will watch this because of Joel Kinnaman. Dude was awesome in The Killing and House of Cards.

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#6 Edited by MonkeyKing1969 (7535 posts) -

If you know the books, try to hold off looking at some of the publicity artphotos...be surprised. If you enjoyed the books, it sure looks like that pull out all the stops to show that world. I have my fingers crossed.

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#7 Posted by Humanity (18710 posts) -

I could not get into that book at all - it felt incredibly juvenile at times - but I’m willing the give this Netflix thing a chance.

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#8 Edited by HeathHuston (55 posts) -

I'm really excited for this show but I'm torn about whether or not I should read the book first. I'm leaning towards just enjoying it as a show and then checking out the book for an expanded/alternate version if I like the show.

But man what a great time to be a cyberpunk fan. This show coming in a few weeks, Electric Dreams on Amazon, Blade Runner 2049 on blu-ray and even recent signs of life from Cyberpunk 2077, it's almost too good to be true.

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#9 Posted by Bollard (8163 posts) -

This is the sort of science fiction I want on television - modern scifi taht is socially relevant. It will be interesting to see what they cut out, like if the show will be set on a colony world or just earth. Will they show the more weird stuff or will they keep it PG-13?

FWIW, the trailer is listed as an 18 here in the UK.

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#10 Posted by MundaneSoul (74 posts) -

Dammit, I didn't know about Electric Dreams either. You people are killing me!

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#11 Edited by Maxszy (2377 posts) -

@heathhuston: Always a hard decision. If you *know* you want to read the book, then I'm always a book first type of person. If you're wishy-washy on the book to start, then probably just the show. If you like the show (I'm hoping its good!) then perhaps reading the book for what details were left out and not included would be interesting as well.

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#12 Posted by sammo21 (5968 posts) -

Such a great book. I wish the follow up books were good :/

@humanity What parts made you think it felt “juvenile”?

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#13 Posted by Humanity (18710 posts) -

@sammo21: most of it really although the explicit sex scenes didn’t help. In a way it felt like a book written by Dan - like it was trying to be cool instead of just being cool, but I’m a huge William Gibson / Neuromancer guy so I dunno.

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#14 Posted by sammo21 (5968 posts) -

@humanity: i almost feel like we read different books based on that description lol.

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#15 Posted by Justin258 (15641 posts) -

@sammo21 said:

@humanity: i almost feel like we read different books based on that description lol.

It has been a long time but, from what I recall of the book, Takeshi Kovacs is basically a terminator with a sex drive. I was certainly entertained, this TV show is something I'm looking forward to, but I seriously doubt it will be much more mature than your average 80's action movie.

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#16 Posted by Humanity (18710 posts) -

@sammo21: I never finished it so maybe I’ll try again but I remember being really turned off by it. Who knows maybe if I approach it as light action reading it will go down smoother.

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#17 Posted by HellBrendy (1306 posts) -

Sounds like something that can play wuth my Expanse needs!

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#18 Posted by owack6 (346 posts) -

Is it ever explained why a human would want to transfer their memory to another body when logic dictates that is not you anymore. as in you can't transfer consciousness from body to body, it doesn't work like that.

This is where any story based on this premise falls apart for me. I think SOMA handled it quite well.

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#19 Posted by Veektarius (6409 posts) -

Ditto. The second one was just okay and the third left a bad taste in my mouth.

@sammo21 said:

Such a great book. I wish the follow up books were good :/

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#20 Posted by Justin258 (15641 posts) -

@owack6 said:

Is it ever explained why a human would want to transfer their memory to another body when logic dictates that is not you anymore. as in you can't transfer consciousness from body to body, it doesn't work like that.

This is where any story based on this premise falls apart for me. I think SOMA handled it quite well.

Why? As a form of immortality, essentially. Seems like no one in this world can be killed unless you severely injure the back of their neck, and that's assuming their mind isn't backed up on a computer somewhere.

As far as how everything that makes up your mind gets moved from one body to another, I don't think Richard Morgan ever went into detail. There's some device implanted in the back of your neck and everything gets downloaded onto some kind of storage device that can be removed and put into a different body? Yep, that's some science fiction nonsense!

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#21 Posted by pyrodactyl (4221 posts) -

@owack6: Seems like the nitpickyest of nitpicks. In any story you have to go in buying into the premise unless it makes zero sense. The premise is that, in this sci fi universe, tech was developed that can be used to transfer your consciousness into another body. That's not too much of a stretch as far as sci fi premises go. It's basically the same as all the sci fi that's based on faster than light travel, which might be even more impossible, as far as we know.

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#22 Posted by owack6 (346 posts) -

@pyrodactyl: It seems like this is the main plot point driving such a story so it's quite important.

But i'm not gonna go on about this too much. sounds like an interesting show which ill probably check out.

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#23 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7535 posts) -

@owack6 said:

Is it ever explained why a human would want to transfer their memory to another body when logic dictates that is not you anymore. as in you can't transfer consciousness from body to body, it doesn't work like that.

This is where any story based on this premise falls apart for me. I think SOMA handled it quite well.



Things to know: (Everything about why people transfer consciousness is explained very well in the books; the main plot is about it and a dozen subplots in the story pivot on how, why, when people deliberately or against their will change into different bodies.)

1) In this world, many people the rich and upper middle class clone new bodies so they transfer into their own "improved" body. For the very rich, assassination is not easily possible, often what happens is know what they only know their lives/thoughts from the last "update" of their memories...that is the crux of this story in fact.
2) In this world, the poor they cannot afford a clone in most cases like poor today cannot afford a car. At best the poor if they get an an accident, their mind is stored until their families scrape up enough money to have a clone made. Or, typically at worst the poor never upload it so they are truely dead.
3) In this world, working for the military mean sending your mind to a clone that is not yourself....shipping meat across the galaxy is NO WAY to fight a war. Sending the original body of a spy to a place is less advantageous and being put in a clone that blends in OR is a better cover while spying. If someone is in the military, or in this world an Envoy, they switch bodys for the job - it id part of the job.
4) If a person commit a crime their body goes on ice and their civil rights to THAT body are curtailed. Yes, people CAN/DO lose their body because that meat & bones is NOT theirs until the incarceration time is served.

A Note on "Body Dysphoria": Even in our world of today...just five seconds ago... people CAN/DO look in the mirror to not see themselves? A burn victim of today does not see their old body, they must adjust to a new body with burns and new features. Someone who has a life saving surgery might not always come out seeing their own body or face after that lifesaving care. The idea that "body dysphoria" is so crippling that nobody could cope is a little over blown; countless accounts of modern lives show we don't have to be happy to keep living or that people do not adjust.

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#24 Posted by sparky_buzzsaw (8861 posts) -

I loved the Takeshi Kovacs novels. Thirteen and Market Forces were also pretty great. Thirteen is especially pertinent in this day and age given the political atmosphere, and Market Forces is a fun take on the dog-eat-dog business world, done with a little sci-fi flair.

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#25 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7535 posts) -

@sparky_buzzsaw: I felt that Martket Forces was morel like aligorical fantsy, but it was a decent story. A think aside from the Takeshi Kovacs novels I like the "Land Fit for Heros" series because it has a tinge of science fiction 'fallen advanced tech society' mixed in flavor, so you get the Sword And Sorcerer story with just a dusting of scifi.

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#26 Posted by sparky_buzzsaw (8861 posts) -

@monkeyking1969: Land Fit for Heroes irritated me. I can only deal with so many unlikable characters a novel, and it often seemed like he was shooting for shock value simply for the sake of going against the grain. At no point did the plot actually really matter to me either. Grimdark fantasy can be done well - hi, Joe Abercrombie - but Land missed the mark by a mile.

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#27 Posted by DrBroel (206 posts) -

This book was so bad. One of the worst sex scenes I have ever read. The whole tone of the entire book felt incredibly juvenile to me. Like if Ready Player One was trying to be a 90s Cinemax movie.

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#28 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7535 posts) -

I am going to watch the first three episodes this weekend. Well, tonight....

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#29 Posted by Jesus_Phish (3844 posts) -

Watched one episode last night. I like the idea of this story and I think show looks great. The actors all kind of suck though. None of Their characters could be anymore stereotyped if they tried and the actors themselves seem to be doing a bad job at getting me invested.

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#30 Posted by atomic_dumpling (2579 posts) -

After watching two episodes, I think I am already done. This is just too shlocky for my taste -- the acting is pretty much on soft-porn level as well.

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#31 Posted by Slasktotten (90 posts) -

@jesus_phish: I kinda agree with this take! Curious to watch more though especially since the scene at The Raven Hotel was fucking great and that Allan Poe guy killed it.

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#32 Edited by Jixashauser (280 posts) -

@the_atomic_dumpling: I feel the same way. Got through half the first episode before giving up. Kinnaman is usually pretty good but the writing in this is just awful.

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#33 Posted by Jesus_Phish (3844 posts) -

@slasktotten: That scene was about the only good scene in the episode.

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#34 Posted by aktivity (461 posts) -

I liked it, though I wish they showed a more varied take on the downsides of immortality besides creepy sex. Also they had me the moment Wei Shen showed up.

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#35 Edited by pyrodactyl (4221 posts) -

I'm 1.5 episodes in and this seems real bad. I don't give a damn about any of these characters. The ''badass'' protagonist, the generic angry latina cop lady, the boring rich guy. They're all so bland and uninteresting. The central mystery, while initially interesting, doesn't progress following any rhyme or reason. The world design is about 25% good 75% tacky garbage. Like these incredibly evil looking cops/swat/military suits with 6 glowing red eyes. From what I understand this is suppose to be some sort of gritty grounded setting. So why does 3/4 of the stuff look straight out of a bad sci-fi original show with maybe 1/50 the budget of Altered Carbon? Maybe they should've put less money on the CG and these varied elaborate sets and hired a good art designer instead. Also why do they keep shoving boobs and dicks in my face all the time? I guess if you can't make a realistic world and an interesting plot make up for it with maximum nudity? People don't like Game of Thrones because it's got boobs and dicks, they like it because they like the characters and the surprising grounded story.

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#36 Edited by BabyChooChoo (7092 posts) -

I'm on episode 7 and I'm really enjoying it. Listen...I'm not gonna sit here and claim this is amazing television lol. I'm having a good time though and that's enough for me.

Among my few complaints are this: 1. Just...don't even film action if you're do that shit all zoomed in, cutting every 2 seconds. Most of the action in the show is cool in concept, but aggravating to watch in practice 2. Maybe it's because I just watched Punisher not too long ago, and it had a character who was frighteningly similar, but I'm fucking sick and tired of loose cannon cops who have to lose someone close to them in a situation that could have been prevented only for them to become even more unhinged which winds up helping them solve the case ultimately vindicating their previous behavior 3. why do rich people have to so comically evil and decadent in dystopian futures? Surely one could properly drive home the class divide without making the entirety of one side completely irredeemable?

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#37 Edited by ToTheNines (1672 posts) -

I really dig this show, the atmosphere and the acting varies from great to passable. My only complaint is the pacing can be a bit too hectic at times.

And the action is a bit too.. unbelievable at times. But I reckon many people like that. I just have a hard time swallowing acrobatic stuff when it comes to universes like this. Also if you have a metal arm it’s not going to make you any stronger if you’re a 115 lbs female, it’s still connected to your fucking small frame lol.

Oh and I see that someone has already raised questions as to why someone would upload their consciousness as it’s essentially just a copy of you and you’re still dead.

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#38 Edited by BisonHero (11575 posts) -

Up front, I've finished watching the show, but I've never read the book.

The visuals were very good, I'll at least give it that. I thought the actual murder plot turned out kinda interesting when all is said and done. Poe, in particular, is both a really cool character idea and was acted very well. I continue to be super unclear on whether his IRL appearance was a hologram or some kind of super quickly reforming cloud of nanites that had actual physical form, but whatever. Also I liked Carnage because he was basically just Jim Carrey's The Mask, in villain form.

Nitpicks on overall tone/style:

I'm less than enthusiastic on the other characters and the overall tone. I see two super broad categories of cyberpunk: the kind where the main characters are kinda just normalish people that do stuff in the future, and the kind where the main characters are superhumans that do a bunch of cool action scenes in the future with guns and katanas because LOL why not. The former encompasses stuff like Blade Runner and Neuromancer, the latter encompasses stuff like Snow Crash, Altered Carbon, and most cyberpunk video games and tabletop roleplaying systems. I'd say I usually prefer the former category. Altered Carbon felt as over the top and excessive as Snow Crash, but without the knowing wink and nod where it acknowledges how ridiculous and badass it is being. It just unironically does a bunch of Cool Guy Action Stuff all the time. Put another way, I think Dan Ryckert would enjoy Altered Carbon. The whole thing seemed very shounen anime. Takeshi Kovacs feels like a character I would make in a cyberpunk roleplaying game if I wasn't being very creative and I just put all of my stats into combat skills and the 'Will' attribute. Also, for whatever reason, I think I liked Kinnaman the least out of all the actors that portray Kovacs; he always just seems really stiff, but the Asian actors who portray him earlier in his life seemed better to me.

Nitpicks on plot details I didn't really understand:

As I said, I like the overall plot, but there are some details I'm not clear on. I'm sure it's more clear in the book. Like, I thought Ryker got framed and put away weeks or months ago by the sounds of things because he was close to figuring out what Rei's snuff whorehouse was doing (this was also weeks or months before Bancroft's stack gets blown out). Then the infamous night where Bancroft fucks some girl to death and causes Mary Lou Henchy to jump and Bancroft shoots himself. But in an early episode, Henchy's mom is tearful and wants the body of her daughter, and they make Ortega deal with it and imply it was originally Ryker's case but now it falls on her to deal with it. How could it be Ryker's case if he was put away weeks ago, but Bancroft's murder (and Henchy jumping to her death) happened a couple days ago? Also the mom made it sound like she'd been given the runaround for weeks about getting the body back, but I thought the Bancroft and Henchy deaths both happened very, very recently. I'm probably making some incorrect assumption about the timeline, but in my defence the show doesn't explain the timing very well.

Also when they first showed Henchy falling into the water, I thought for like, the next several episodes that it was a clone/sleeve of Miriam Bancroft, because both Miriam and Mary Lou were wearing flowy, white, yo-check-out-my-nipples dresses, and it seemed more reasonable to assume it was Miriam that fell into the water than some completely unnamed, unintroduced sex worker character. I dunno, somebody should've talked to wardrobe about that one or something.

Also it seems like a wildly convenient coincidence that Kovacs tracked down Elliott only because his video death threat was stupid enough to contain his gun's serial number, then they become allies and Kovacs learns that Bancroft goes to whorehouses, but Lizzie's death is basically not followed up on until the very end and ultimately has absolutely nothing do with why Bancroft shot himself, but they manage to figure it out to nail Miriam. But like, what if out of the thousands of death threats Bancroft received, the one guy who left a serial number in the video wasn't Elliott and was just some random guy with no useful information? Kovacs just happening to find Elliott who provided both a Bancroft lead and the super-little-actual-investigation-time Lizzie mystery felt really unearned to me, though I guess you could always handwave the whole thing with "envoy intuition."

Also, where the fuck do they get the spare sleeves to give to people, like the little 7-year-old girl that died in a hit-and-run, and they resleeve her into a 40-year-old woman? I assume prison doesn't exist and if you commit any crime you basically lose the right to your original body and it gets rented out to the next person who needs it, but surely you'd run out of spare bodies unless every prison sentence is like 100 years long? Also why were these parents surprised that their daughter got put in an adult body, other than for the sake of the viewer? If most of the spare sleeves are confiscated from criminals, wouldn't it be extraordinarily uncommon for a child to be put on ice, so the number of available child sleeves would be pretty much zero?

Some stuff I more or less actually liked:

I really liked the scenes with Quell. Well, I liked most of her conversations with Kovacs and her speeches to the group, but I thought her ability to dodge bullets and catch knives she wasn't even looking at was a little much. I liked that they showed what the resistance movement was about. On the one hand, it was interesting that they explain that envoys need to find local (expendable) allies in their fight against the Protectorate because you're stronger as a group than as an individual; on the other hand, you never see them actually put this philosophy into use as all you see in the show is the resistance members working with each other and going on cool commando raids and returning home to their stronghold, and then planning to do one final, Death-Star-style suicide mission that they never get to attempt because their stronghold gets wiped out. It seemed like the envoys were being trained to be (permanently) sent out individually to different worlds and spread the resistance, and start up new pockets of resistance and be missionaries/emissaries for the message and movement, but then all you see of the envoys is a squad of like 6 commandos doing some missions or whatever. It seemed like Quell was training them all to be commanders, to influence and inspire people, but they never seem to go off and do that, and are under the command of Quell right up until they're all wiped out. Cool idea in theory, though.

Also this one is probably on me, but at about the halfway point in the show, I kept waiting for them to pull some kind of Mission Impossible 2 twist where one or more characters were not who they appeared to be the whole time, but the author and/or scriptwriters all showed surprising restraint. They explore the idea with Bancroft's kids using both their parents' bodies, but other than that the only time it is really done is when Rei disguises herself in Ortega's sleeve and it's immediately (and intentionally?) super obvious. At one point or another I briefly entertained the idea that someone else had somehow permanently taken over Bancroft's appearance/sleeve following his shooting to gain control of his empire. Or when Rei found Kovacs, I considered that maybe it wasn't REALLY Rei but someone who had cloned her sleeve to manipulate Kovacs, but I was proven wrong every step of the way and the story is better for it that characters are mostly who they appear to be and there isn't "Let me reveal who I REALLY am" fuckery happening all the time.

I'd say I found it entertaining to watch, but it didn't leave a lasting impression on me.

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#39 Posted by Jesus_Phish (3844 posts) -

People don't like Game of Thrones because it's got boobs and dicks, they like it because they like the characters and the surprising grounded story.

While you're mostly right - I know people who get way too upset (ie any amount at all) when there's a GoT episode where someone hasn't got their clothes off. These people exist and this is a way to get their attention.

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#40 Posted by ToTheNines (1672 posts) -

@bisonhero: I thought he was a holo until that one dude dropped his daughters stack into his waiting hands and I right away went that’s bullcrap! But I’ll accept your reforming nanite explanation.

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#41 Posted by soulcake (2745 posts) -

Is it just me, or is the acting in this thing bad especially future cop lady . Only James Purfoy seems to stand out and feels like a legit rich asshole. Maybe it's just badly written.

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#42 Edited by BisonHero (11575 posts) -

@soulcake: I found Ortega's acting to be sufficient, it was more that the part was very stereotypical so there's only so much you can do with it. I will say I thought Ortega's home life (discussions with her family about faith, etc.) was interesting at times, but the other 90% of her screen time is pretty boilerplate hotheaded-loose-cannon-cop-out-to-avenge-her-fallen-partner kinda stuff.

fwiw, I think Purefoy's part of 'fabulously rich cyberpunk lord who has more money and power than God and is overall pretty uncaring about the common man' is a kinda standard cyberpunk/sci-fi trope as well, but agreed that he played it well.

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#43 Edited by Humanity (18710 posts) -

@soulcake said:

Is it just me, or is the acting in this thing bad especially future cop lady . Only James Purfoy seems to stand out and feels like a legit rich asshole. Maybe it's just badly written.

No it's not you. While I'm not a huge fan of the book, I decided to re-read it before this show aired to see if maybe I just wasn't in the right mindset for it or something. I've come around on parts of it but I still think a LOT of Altered Carbon is centered around tough-guy posturing left and right that it seems corny more often than not.

The show though WOW.. They dial that aspect of the book right up there to 11 and none of the actors involved have the talent or charisma to pull it off. Cop lady is terrible and the choice to cast an actress with such a thick accent seems weird as I would assume in the far flung future the whole body swapping and cultural melting pot effect would make accents a thing of the past. They all speak some weird form of english in the book anyway. The lead here is as wooden as he was in Suicide Squad except there it seemed appropriate but here it's just bad. The sex and nudity feels as weird as it did in the book, although props for full frontal male nudity, even if that dood was just wearing a prosthetic dong, because hey you don't see that everyday. Miriam Bancroft also seems incredibly miscast as she's supposed to be this incredibly young, sexy body with the eyes of a near ancient woman. The actress just seems a bit too mature for what the end result was supposed to be.

On the plus side the production values are great. The world looks pretty amazing most of the time and there wasn't any CGI thus far that screamed "THIS IS A TV SHOW" which is commendable. I don't really like what they did with the hotel but I guess they needed some Deus Ex machina backdoor for plot jumps and maybe they couldn't legally have a "Hendrix" hotel in a show or something? I would love for more shows to look like Altered Carbon, just have better writing and MUCH better actors. It's an A+ looking show with C level acting.

EDIT: Also huge lol for that zero gravity fight in the air. I'm not sure how these things somehow transpire from paper to film without a dozen people saying "hey wait this seems ridiculous in stupid were not actually going to film this right?" Cheese beyond belief.

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#44 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7535 posts) -

Detective Noir stories are inherently pulpy. That is the first thing I will say. They second thing I will say is Dectrive Noir character are character in the shadows existing in teh space between law and archay, morality and impartity, self serving and serving others. And like all 'noir' character that does not make them any less colorful and over the top, the world is Altered Carbon is not full of 'real people' nor is it full of mere 2-dimensional caricatures.

The flaws:
- Depictions of women in the present are troublesome (saint or sinner being the two choices); this troublesome nature is not to be fully reversed by teh depictions of women in Takeshi Kovacs experiences from the Envoys...who all seem to kick ass and stay clothed line normal soldiers...mostly (so far).
- If you are embarrassed by nudity, both male and female, you will be squirming during every episode.
- There are convenient coincidence that sloev plot issues too often, but purhapes no worse than most stories on TV.
- The show is somewhat forgiving in it depiction of police brutality and breaking the law...but again no worse than any police procedural on TV.
- It might be a bit too bloody and brutal for its own good...it is somewhat torture porn if you subscribe that such a thing exists.

The Good...that I see:
- Like like ho, people who speak their own language in dialogue as you would realistically expect they would.
- I like that Detective Ortega and Dectrive Abboud speak their native languages to each other and both understand each other! However, the reason is not said to be technology...they show allows you to assume those two just KNOW each other language well enough because they are partners.
- Dichen Lachman, Takeshi's fellow soldier from the past, shines in here role and plays her character well. She has had a dozens roles on science fictions shows for fifteen years, but this is some of the best she has done.
- Modern sci fi by way of Trek is too shy in my opinion in tackling tough subjects, so world of Altered Carbon is so much fun as in introduces ideas seen in the last 20 years of sciences fiction books to tv - FINNALY.
- A great blend of noir/sci-fi...again the show is often funny and fun with characters like Poe.
- If you did enjoy the book, I think you will like the show. They leave very little trimmed out, they don't even shy away from the 'lingo' from the stories world.


I would set Altered Carbon up again any tvs shows dialogue, and not worry a bit of AC losing in a fair comparison. Sorry, but tv and movie dialogue stinks....this is not worse at all. So teh fact that Altered Carbon blows the doors off most science fiction on TV is what matters more. After watching the first three episode of AC I felt a little embarrassed for the writers on other science fiction movies and shows seen this year and last.

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#45 Edited by pyrodactyl (4221 posts) -

@monkeyking1969 said:

Detective Noir stories are inherently pulpy. That is the first thing I will say. They second thing I will say is Dectrive Noir character are character in the shadows existing in teh space between law and archay, morality and impartity, self serving and serving others. And like all 'noir' character that does not make them any less colorful and over the top, the world is Altered Carbon is not full of 'real people' nor is it full of mere 2-dimensional caricatures.

The flaws:

- Depictions of women in the present are troublesome (saint or sinner being the two choices); this troublesome nature is not to be fully reversed by teh depictions of women in Takeshi Kovacs experiences from the Envoys...who all seem to kick ass and stay clothed line normal soldiers...mostly (so far).

- If you are embarrassed by nudity, both male and female, you will be squirming during every episode.

- There are convenient coincidence that sloev plot issues too often, but purhapes no worse than most stories on TV.

- The show is somewhat forgiving in it depiction of police brutality and breaking the law...but again no worse than any police procedural on TV.

- It might be a bit too bloody and brutal for its own good...it is somewhat torture porn if you subscribe that such a thing exists.

Those sound like worthless nitpicks when you put it like that. Unfortunately, the show's flaws run way deeper. Maybe you can relate to these characters because you know what their deal is from reading the book or something. For me, all the scenes that try to characterize them falls completely flat. Cliches and lazy writing all over the place. It's like the main character and the latina cop lady were written from a premade template. Both only act like assholes. Not funny or relatable assholes, just assholes. That isn't interesting to watch especially when it's acted so mediocrely.

About the pulpiness: sci-fi shows can much better in that regard. The Expanse for example, does much better with probably 1/10 of the budget. Multilayered believabele characters with alright acting and set design that looks grounded instead of edgy and tacky.

As for your sneering ''If you are embarrassed by nudity, both male and female, you will be squirming during every episode'': I don't care if your show has boobs and dicks all the time. I love Game of Thrones and Westworld (watch that if you want actually good sci-fi that ISN'T tacky trash). The thing is, you can't fill your show with nudity and call it gritty and mature. Altered Carbon substitutes a grounded story with interesting human characters for boobs and dicks.

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#46 Edited by BisonHero (11575 posts) -

@pyrodactyl: I wanted to assume the constant nudity was meant to impress upon the audience that people in this world are less precious about their bodies and nudity, since nothing is sacred and bodies are just expensive vehicles now, but that's giving the show a lot of credit. That reasoning makes sense, say, for the scene where Bancroft resleeves into his personal clone vault and just strolls out in the buff and greets Kovacs, but all the bedroom scenes are just like "yo, check out these rockin' tits!" I feel like by the end of the season I saw the tits and bush of pretty much every female character I can think of other than Ortega's mother.

Fine, whatever, but it really seems like they had a specific idea of what demographic is likely to watch a gritty, violent sci-fi Netflix show, and happily pandered to them.

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#47 Posted by aktivity (461 posts) -

@pyrodactyl: Seems a tad hyperbolic to call them assholes. The show does a decent job of showing Kovacs background for why he acts cold and distant. An act he doesn't even keep through the entire show. And the cop also has a good reason for why she's very antagonistic towards Kovacs at first, but otherwise she's your typical zealous cop who refuses to let go of her case. I do agree with you on the nudity though.

The quality of the acting is obviously subjective, I found it to be decent. With the only standouts being Poe and Will Yun Lee.

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#48 Posted by pyrodactyl (4221 posts) -

@pyrodactyl: I wanted to assume the constant nudity was meant to impress upon the audience that people in this world are less precious about their bodies and nudity, since nothing is sacred and bodies are just expensive vehicles now, but that's giving the show a lot of credit. That reasoning makes sense, say, for the scene where Bancroft resleeves into his personal clone vault and just strolls out in the buff and greets Kovacs, but all the bedroom scenes are just like "yo, check out these rockin' tits!" I feel like by the end of the season I saw the tits and bush of pretty much every female character I can think of other than Ortega's mother.

Fine, whatever, but it really seems like they had a specific idea of what demographic is likely to watch a gritty, violent sci-fi Netflix show, and happily pandered to them.

They just thought they could fool people into thinking this was HBO quality by having every character strip naked. Don't hire a good screenwriter, a good director, good actors or a good art designer, just shove more boobs in there. As an aside, I wonder if they could've had better actors without what had to be a full nudity clause in everyone's contract.

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#49 Posted by Jesus_Phish (3844 posts) -

After the second episode I feel like giving up on it.

Kristin just gets worse. Her mother is an elderly Latino lady is from a TV show set during our time period. She ticks every single stereotype box on the form. Doesn't speak English. Is incredibly religious. Shows up for the first time in the show unpacking groceries for her daughter because her daughter is too busy to buy proper food and cook meals.

This show is set nearly 500 years from now. They've developed new languages (shown in the first episode) and people can live forever. But somehow everything about this woman is right out of an episode of mid 2000's Law and Order.

The at the end of the episode, the most obvious thing Miriam Bancroft was going to do the second she walked onto the screen wearing a future toga, she goes and does by having sex with the main character. And for good measure, she's essentially a sex bot that radiates sex drugs.

How many more episodes until Abboud get's killed before he gets some crucial information to Kristin? I feel like I'm watching The Punisher again.

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#50 Posted by soulcake (2745 posts) -

@jesus_phish: That Accent of future cop lady drives me nuts ! and this is coming from a non native english speaker. It's like if you put Bulgarian Polish and Russian with some Spanish and some Mexican in there mix it with a bit of Romanian and you would come out on her fucking dumb accent it drives me up the wall :D. And then here dumb spectre status that she is just allowed to go every were is beyond my believe, look i am in this mega exclusive party, look i am at this super exclusive gene clinic / sleeve clinic ! It sadnesses me that this high budget thing is just badly written all over. At least the décor and stage people did a awesome job.