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  • I haven't read the novel upon which this show is based, so I can't comment on whether or not this is a faithful adaptation; I am, however, a huge fan of the sci-fi subgenre commonly known as "cyberpunk" (in case you're not familiar with the term, think of films/stories set in an urban, dystopian high-tech future like 'Blade Runner', 'Akira', 'Ghost In The Shell', 'Strange Days' or 'The Matrix' and you get the idea), and as such I can absolutely testify to the fact that 'Altered Carbon' is one impressive looking example of that particular brand of science fiction.

    What stands out right from the start is the worldbuilding. Many of the characters have complicated backstories that are crucial to the plot, and the rich history of their world is equally important, but what this series does remarkably well is show rather than tell. Instead of relying on lengthy monologues for exposition which have a tendency to weigh a story down and make the narrative lose momentum, we get the clues we need via flashbacks or just by seeing and learning about this world through the eyes of the protagonists. And what a world it is: the production values are insane, especially considering this is a TV show. There is so much eye candy for a sci-fi nerd like me; nearly every shot is packed with such an abundance of visual information that I had to hit pause several times to take it all in.

    But the world of 'Altered Carbon' isn't just "decorated" with visual effects and future tech to make it look cool (though it DOES look very cool); everything we see has a function and is there for a reason. It feels real and has that "lived-in" look that even big-budget Hollywood productions rarely get right. What I should probably also mention is that this is a hard R-rated show (if this were a feature film, it would actually perhaps be closer to a NC-17 than an R) which doesn't hold back in terms of sex and violence. Also, if you're not familiar with the genre or used to a more straight forward narrative where everything is explained to you, 'Altered Carbon' may initially feel a bit confusing or even overwhelming, because you're being thrown head first into a strange new world where you - like the protagonist - have to process an overload of information in order to get a sense of orientation. Stick with it though, and things will start to become clearer.

    As for the plot itself, I won't give anything away here; it's enough to know that it starts with the protagonist being brought back from "retirement" to solve a murder mystery. But unlike the grand daddy of all cyberpunk films, 'Blade Runner', this has less of a brooding, "noir" vibe to it; instead it's an action-heavy, at times pulpy but very densely plotted story with lots of colorful characters and so much going on that it doesn't drag for a second.

    To sum it all up: for sci-fi and cyberpunk fans this show is a must; for all other carbon-based life-forms, well, it may not be an "altering" experience, and it certainly isn't perfect, but if you don't give up after the first couple of episodes you could be in for a nice surprise. 8 stars out of 10 from me.

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  • Every bad review I have read on this the reviewer admits that they didn't watch the whole season. Well if a professional reviewer admits they didn't bother to watch the whole thing that means they are lying and saying they watched twice as many episodes as they actually saw, and they didn't pay attention to the episodes they watched. This show is a blockbuster. The best Sci Fi I have seen since the original Blade Runner. It deals in real science and real possibility not immortal zombies suffering from a magical virus that raises the dead. The fiction here is not unelievable science, but a reasonable extrapolation of the moral consequences of this kind of technology and an extension of our current obsession with giving godlike wealth to a bunch of idiots and then allowing them to rape pillage and destroy the rest of humanity just for fun.
  • This series is one of the best I have ever watched. I hope Netflix will make more episodes and TV series like that. The actors are acting beautifully, there was no (actor)character I didn't like. Some of them even playing multiple roles in a very convincing way. There is a lot of nudity in this series, but if you can see violence I don't think that nudity should matter. But it definitely not for children. The TV-series brings up a lot of ethics and moral about humanity, in the end, I don't think we are very far from this future.

    If the cast and the staff reading this I want to thank you for this series and also to Netflix.
  • Altered Carbon, funny name for a TV-series, i know. I never read the book, i just stumbled across this series when Netflix so kindly, and rightly recommended it to me.

    I was spellbound form the first minute. I watched all 10 episodes in a row and oh, i was overwhelmed with emotion, happiness, tears (i haven't shed a tear for televised entertainment since i saw "the little mermaid" when i was 6).

    The story is beautifully done, you are sucked into a world so real, so vibrant, you believe every concept they throw at you. The fighting (of which there is plenty) is well done, believable, crisp. The special effects, grand and overwhelming.

    I never review anything, but this series, you are really missing out, please watch it 10/10
  • drael6413 February 2018
    This is a great show. The acting isn't incredible, but its competent. The writing isn't Shakespeare but its emotionally compelling enough. The plotting isn't quite westworld - but the plotting is compelling woven.

    It's sexy, noir, atmospheric, cyberpunk, a little disturbing. The characters are enjoyable.

    I gave it an 8, because its a great show, that you will happily binge watch and tell your friends about, and it even has a philosophical point. I might have given a 9 if the dialogue and acting where a little better - but this is holding the show to a high standard - it beats the heck out of star trek discovery and a large chunk of everything on TV.

    Props to production team, the writers, great stuff.
  • As a Blade Runner and Battlestar Galatica(remake) fan, I am picky with futurist sci-fi. Am pleased to say, Altered Carbon exceded my expectation.

    Wasn't aware of the book version, but the adaption certainly feel sufficient for such a convoluted technology universe. Relatively seamless exposition of the hyper complex world, and nicely written, nicely edited backstories. Nothing jarring. I hate jumpy frequent flash backs, especially nested flash backs, and I know how hard it is to convey "past lives" type concepts. The efficiency of how the crucial info are delivered, the fluidity, very, very rare, and very appreciated.

    Violence is graphic, but a necessity, not GOT/ Vikings gratuitous. Lots of sex scenes and nudity. Strong cast. The underrared Joel Kinnaman's Kovac exhibited form, substance, and great emotional range. (Watch out for his pink anime backpack, sure to be a deadly serious fun meme). Nice touch guys.

    If I had to nitpick, it is the same issue I have with 90% of sci-fi = the 21st century America guns and porn babes visual - overly rugged clunky weapons, overly dirty back alleys and overly coquettish elite class women who dress and behave more like high end Vegas escorts.

    Stylisitc beauty no doubt. Eventhough I am so sick of cold wet gritty dystopia referencing Blade Runner again, but honestly, Altered Carbon version felt more homage to Ridley Scott, rather than imaginative laziness. Visual details as meticulously executed as my two other current top TV sci-fi series The Expanse and Electric Dreams.

    This is a well thought out, respectfully produced and sincere work. I am into the 5th episode, I want more seasons. I rate this series higher than Westworld and Black Mirror 3rd season. HIGHLY recommended.
  • The cast, acting, music, cgi we're spot on. The ambiance and give it a really unique feel almost like blade runner. I read the book a few months ago and i'm really glad they didn't sell out and followed the book so closely, the small details are what really makes it. I can't speak highly enough of this show great book adaptation easy. I like the series in general. 8/10
  • Altered Carbon, in short, is set in the future where your inner-self, your awareness, everything that makes you, you, is digitized, stored and given a new body for the right price.

    Prisoner Takeshi Kovacs (a ripped Joel Kinnaman), is serving an indefinite sentence for a capital crime he claims he did not commit. Lying in a state of complete inertia for 250 years, he is awakened and purchased by wealthy businessman Laurens Bancroft (an awesomely creepy James Purefoy). Kovacs is promised a new lease on life, with a complete pardon for his crimes, if he can catch a killer. Bancroft's killer, in fact. Sound trippy? It is. In this future, one never really dies if one can afford to buy a new "sleeve", as it's called, or a body. One's consciousness, memories and all, can be stored and moved to a new sleeve should they face an expected and/or premature death. So in this world, one can be sixty-seven years old and look like a teenager, or they can have their mindfulness put into a body of their choosing - an enemy, perhaps, or even someone of a different gender or race. However, this "live, die, repeat" foolishness is under threat of being destroyed by a group who will undoubtedly surprise you.

    Each episode is packed with valuable information that will slowly unravel the complex story. It's told through present tense and by Kovacs's flashbacks; it's as layered as an over-sized onion. There is mind-bending plot twists and mind-blowing CGI worthy of a $200 million blockbuster. It's well written, well directed, swell shot. Netflix's first sortie into an original Sci-Fi series will leave you wanting more. I binge-raced through this one, because I had to. Altered Carbon is another addictive show and well worth the 3:00am wake up call to be among the first to see it on day one.

    Two things you'll LIKE about Altered Carbon: 1) The action and fight choreography is awesome. 2) It's got a great eerie soundtrack and includes an excellent version of a Rob Zombie song. Can you guess which one before you hear it?

    Two things you'll DISLIKE: 1) You may feel like you have to take a break after the 5th episode because there is so much information to absorb. 2) You'll have to wait at least a year for Season 2.
  • So this show has: Very good visuals.Very good Cinematics, Good acting considering how bad the Story and script are.

    But lets get to the meat of things, Altered Carbon is interesting because it shows exactly what is wrong with today's shows when everything else about the show is near perfect: The Writing. And we see this kind of writing in many of today's successful shows that centre around a dark moody theme to make things "real"

    So let me attempt to analyse the writing elements here:

    -Monologues about experiences that are meant to reveal irrefutable truth of life , end up being cheap philosophy devoid of true wisdom. -Plot twists and reversals to make us turn the page despite the fact that there is no real meaning or reason to the story. -endless violence to shock us into an emotional reaction to make us believe that what we are seeing is "real" , despite the fact that again, the story is not that interesting. -And when the above stops working they fill in the gap with some Sex and melodrama.

    I gave it 5 stars because I think the real story here is about what modern storytelling has become. How instead of finding the real story, writers present a baffe of violence, sex and plot twists regardless of any meaning behind it,

    This is not the first time we see this in a TV show, although its one of these times where the story is in a way about the aforementioned writing-elements , This says something about the modern audience, the modern writing and production.
  • ralstonmatthew2 February 2018
    I read the book a few months ago and i'm really glad they didn't sell out like Shannara or other book to show adaptations. I really love how they followed the book so closely too, the small details that you notice are what really make it. The atmosphere, cast, and cgi are top tier also and really made it easy to get into. If you read the book or just like futuristic cyberpunk this is definitely worth a watch.
  • I haven't read the source material and was attracted by the movie-grade special effects of the show. Unfortunately, once you get past the visuals and the actions scenes there isn't much left to give you value. The characters seem undeveloped, dialogue is rather weak, story is generic crime giving you nothing new, way behind classic cyberpunks and it unfolds rather slowly. Nothing though proviking even for a second. I read another user's review that he couldn'tmake it past the the second episode but to be fair it was hard to make it through it. I keep thinking that if I were a teen I would probably like it very much but it is not the case.
  • The trailer got me hooked, a futuristic setting where consciousness is transferable. Joel Kinnaman plays the main character which at first glance looked both interesting and deeply developed. However, as the show progresses the characters starts to feel dull. There is no depth in the main character, even though they try really hard to make it seem that way.

    Apparently the book holds a first person perspective, and the tv show closely follows it. I believe this is the big mistake for the show as the main character simply has no depth. Unsure if it's a lackluster performance by Kinnaman or they just written the character poorly.

    The story feels really dull, which is crazy considering where and how it takes place. I have no idea how they managed to make an intriguing story like the one in the show to come out so flat.

    The good parts about the show is the scenery and the interesting concept. Other than that, the show doesn't offer anything new or interesting.
  • *Spoilers*

    Well, sort of spoilers.

    This show started out pretty great; visuals, acting, dialogue were all top notch. The first 6 episodes were great, but it was all downhill from there. I've never read the book, so I've no frame of reference for how well it wrapped up the story line, but the climax was just so boring! And predictable! It really didn't leave me looking forward to another season.

    All in all, a pretty forgettable show. Not bad by any means, and worth a watch I suppose, but nothing to get excited about.
  • Altered Carbon was a recommendation and something I honestly had no intention of watching. I'm simply not much of a sci-fi guy, so this seemed doomed to fail in my eyes (For me personally).

    From the opening credits it was like watching a AAA Hollywood movie and this astonished me, but this changed nothing in my eyes and I still expected not to like it.

    By the end of the first episode I thought it was better than I expected it to be but still nothing special and it took a little while for that opinion to change.

    The concept of body switching opens a lot of doors but for me personally I simply don't like premises like that, it does nothing for me and really turned me off.

    Thankfully the show is in very good hands, both those in front of and behind the camera are really on form and it shows in each and every frame. So despite my not liking the concept it was handled so well I could actually get past that and found myself enjoying it.

    Don't get me wrong I was never exactly gripped, episodes were generally rated 6-7 but it exceeded my expectations and had a lot of qualities that I simply didn't expect it to have.

    I can see the appeal and hope the show continues for many more seasons though I fear it won't. Despite the guns, sword fights and big breasted women every other scene the show is quite smart and smart shows don't last. More people will tune into Love Island (2015) than Altered Carbon, and that heartbreaking fact is why such an expensive show is doomed not to last.

    The Good:

    Fantastically put together

    Looks like a million dollars (And likely cost more per episode)

    Original stuff

    Some great cast additions

    The Bad:

    Still not a sci-fi guy

    The body switching thing is as detrimental as it is interesting

    Things I Learnt From This Show:

    An alarming number of men would rather stick a knife in a woman than their penis

    Tall buff man, gets naked a lot. Stunning petite big boobed girl, get's naked a lot. Why has nobody thought of this ingenious formula earlier?
  • If you're thinking of watching it, then do. Emotionally compelling. The plotting isn't quite westworld - but the plotting is compelling woven.
  • Read through about a dozen reviews before posting this, and there is a lot of really picky hate going on. In a world full of really mediocre TV and film, I really don't understand this. This is a good show. Is it going to transcend your understanding of scifi? Depends on your diet so far, and what you expect a dramatisation to do, this is not a documentary, it likely won't blow your mind. However, this series entertained me. Probably as well as a matrix sequel, certainly more than a star trek movie. I would put this way above Cloverfield Paradox, on a par with Into the Badlands, above Star Trek Discovery, and under Westworld. Great setting and gorgeous cinematography, twisty enough gumshoe plot, believable protagonists, some worthy supporting characters (Chris Connor as Poe certainly stands out), and a decent if predictable conclusion. Worth 10 hours of your life? I don't feel cheated out of mine.
  • Many scifi Tv show appear on screen each year, without taste, full of "déjà vue" lacking of inspiration and ultra flat. The kind of show you can watch when you cook your meal "it's just here" you don't really care. If you miss some episodes it's not really important. Copy of copy of copy of each other ... ... ...

    A good tv show is something very rare who hook you, and you want to watch more, it gives you a feeling of addiction and when it's over you want a lot more. For example V in 1984 was an event to watch because it was totally new and the story was amazing long time ago. Only some Tv show can gives you the will to watch them again 20 years later. This one, is one of them.

    ALTERED CARBON is a master piece of entertainment! I am amazed by the quality of this Tv show. The special effects are here to serve the story not to sell it. Acting, story, visual, context are just perfect. I will not spoil everything, i will just say that: don't miss this one.

    I never read the book but i definitely will after. One of the best scifi Tv show on air since 25 years.
  • I was so hyped after the first episode, and the second was cool too, then it just started to go down. Bad writing, at times HORRIBLE acting and huge plotholes.

    This series is very overhyped.
  • I had high hopes for this series, but it turned out to be quite a disappointment. Looks like a pretty expensive production, visually rather entertaining, but undermined by confusing script and bad acting. Not worth spending time on this. Such a waste of resources! Shame!
  • I just loved this Series i binged it trough and i will binge it again tomorrow. This series is rly a honest adaptation of the book, so if you like the book you will love this series.

    Alot of people write that the Dialogue is Flat or that the Story is copied, but thats is rly just a critic of the book, because this series is rly good in the adaptation of its material.

    So saying it just "copying other series" is not fair when its a good adaptation of a 2002 book.

    I give it the first 10/10 of the Year.
  • adnjoo2 February 2018
    Just watching the pilot, but damn its cool.

    production quality is quite high for Netflix - some of the times I was like 'damn that looks nice'

    Blade Runner 2049 meets ... Ghost in the Shell meets Matrix :]
  • The story was a fresh re-interpretation of the personal and social cost of living forever. The interweaving of the characters relationships, the moral flexibility of perpetual purgatory, and the inequality of angels walking among the lesser beings. The pace of revelations in a serial format was well handled too; it strikes a good balance between too little context and information and too much.

    Some have complained about the excess violence and sex, but I, like many others, believe that this is almost certainly what would happen if people could be resurrected. Drastically changing the social costs would drastically change the social mores and behaviour.

    All in all a stylish and very watchable series that raises many good existential questions.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I wanted to like this show. The actors are two of my favorite. I enjoy SciFi shows as well. This was some of the worst writing I have ever seen. It was so cliched. This is supposed to be hundreds of years in the future but there is still Latinos speaking Spanglish? If we are intergallactic I think we would be a bit more blended by then. Of course, she is a spunky Latina quoting her Abuela and crashing a "limo" and low and behold, she is the Captain of the police. She is concerned he is a terrorist and takes him out for drinks to a strip club the first night? The dialogue is horrible and the acting is stiff. I know it is not the actors, they are great in other things. It is just so cartoonish. I didn't even finish the pilot episode. I was getting too annoyed to waste my time.
  • Talk about a terribly overdone Blade Runner clone without even a hint of substance. This easily and sadly joins the pantheon of other deliriously overrated shows on here with similar and similarly baffling ratings (looking at you, The Walking Dead, Suits, Entourage, and Sons of Anarchy).
  • This is my first ever review written for a tv show. Definitely recommended to cyberpunk fans out there. Everything is beautifully executed. Well done. Absolutely I regard it as one of my fave tv shows
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