Werthead

Richard Morgan + Netflix = ALTERED CARBON TV series

263 posts in this topic

6 hours ago, Kalbear said:

This has to be up there with the largest amount of boobs in any show in history. Just...so many boobs. I guess the casting department did good, because the boobs were diverse and multi-ethnic. 

It's up there with Westworld, both from the actresses with named parts and the extras/one-off minor characters. I think literally every named female character with more than a handful of lines does a full frontal nude scene except for two of them (Ortega's mom and the attorney lady). 

I wonder if we'll ever get a SF series that just straight up has toplessness as the norm for men and women in that society, thus giving them a reason for the characters to be perpetually topless (maybe if they ever do a R-rated remake TV series for John Carter of Mars . . . ). It's not like that's never happened in history before. 

1 hour ago, Bran the Voyeur said:

Presumably they will keep Kinnaman around as Kovacs, which undercuts the whole expendability and replacement notion of sleeves going forward in the following books. You lose much of the universe's versimilitude if you keep Kinnaman around.

I don't think they're keeping him. It's supposed to be an anthology series, and given Kovac's sleeve-jumping it means they can cast whoever they want in the lead role for him (including women as well as men theoretically). 

I'd heard that the series was really expensive for Netflix, but Wert did a blog post where it supposedly was only about $7 million/episode. That's still expensive, but it's less than what Netflix paid for Marco Polo per episode, and way less than what they're paying per episode for The Crown

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3 minutes ago, briantw said:

That's certainly the way I'd do it if I were making the show.  We've already established in season one that Kovacs as a character is not restricted to any one actor, so why not carry that into season two?  Provided the show gets renewed, of course.

Apparently it's already been amberlit for s2. 

I think one of the most disappointing things for me on this is the ending. 

Spoiler

In particular, Ortega. I did not buy that Ortega would just be okay after what she went through, or if she'd even care that much about Kovacs. I especially despised that she didn't hate Kovacs for all that she lost. She lost her entire extended family, RDed, her partner, and her major concern is about this asshole Kovacs? I wish they had made it so she was terrified that she'd never be able to look at Ryker again, knowing how much anger and blame she lays on him as Kovacs. 

But no, it's all 'thanks for the fuck, peace'. 

 

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52 minutes ago, Fall Bass said:

It's up there with Westworld, both from the actresses with named parts and the extras/one-off minor characters. I think literally every named female character with more than a handful of lines does a full frontal nude scene except for two of them (Ortega's mom and the attorney lady). 

To be honest, I think that Westworld comparison is truly to the point, even narrative-wise. If the whole idea is that body is an empty shell then it kinda makes sense to treat it that way (much like the robots were nude in Westworld). In the world so obsessed with the physique, one can argue that this approach can be seen as some sort of criticism/antithesis of the world we live in.

I finished it. It was enjoyable, had its problems and I wouldn't call the story the most coherent one. The ending was not as satisfactory as one would hope it, but the show overall leaves pleasant taste in the mouth. I liked it. Much more than I originally thought I would.

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The other problem I have is that Altered Carbon was never that good at exploring the actual effects of something like copying stacks and what that really means to a world. Pretty much all the things that AC does, Black Mirror has done a lot better and with more interesting side effects. 

What ends up happening is a pretty standard Buffy ninja fight sequence instead. And that's cool, and the added nudity is nice and all, but it's not particularly engaging to me on many levels. 

Also, in both the book and show:

Spoiler

It is really, really weird that the Bancrofts could be in any way in trouble because of, ya know, laws. That even a major scandal would bring them down. These are people who routinely multi-sleeve, who do a whole lot of random crime because they can, who imported a fucking SONGSPIRE TREE to their house and show it off. The idea that something so banal as killing a prostitute would bring them down in any way - or they wouldn't legalese sleaze their way out of it - is galling given how much power they showed. 

Heck, in the show it's much worse, as Kovacs is literally the most demonized human in the system, and they have the power to get him out of storage and have him run amok. 

 

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OK, I'm coming to this series as someone who read and LOVED the book, but this time I opted for not obsessing over detail and just see if it catches the spirit of what the book was saying to me originally. I'm gonna list a few things I liked and a few I disliked:

Likes:

*The fleshing out of the Hendrix/Poe and Vernon Elliott -characters.

*Laurens "Look at my clone dick and despair" Bancroft! Purefoy is an even better Bancroft than the leering tower dweller degenerate I had in my mind from the book!

*Wei-Clinic. They did the scene from the book justice,  I dont mind the missing Sharyan interrogators since they dropped that backstory anyway.

*Quell. Even though she seems a little like her storyline is an abortion from one of the Matrix-movies, I think it was a smart thing to combine her and Virginia Vidaura into one, and make her the "Sarah" of season 2? Are they going Mimints or Martians?

*Mohawked Cops.

*The bridge being a shanty town slum. Gibson, anyone?

Dislikes:

*Too many flashy fight scenes. I miss the brutal explosion of violence Morgan managed in the books, the "skip a page and everybody is dead"-thing.

*No mf:ing Trepp

*Fu Manchu the zealot Assassin. Boring Bond Villain with a crazy weapon.

*Reileen being Kovacs sister. She wasn't scary for even one second, whereas Kawahara had the air of a true stone cold Meth bitch. Also not being the water carrier in Fission City.

*Still no MF:ing Trepp-?!

*Ortegas family. I get that they needed them as catholics opposed to Ortegas views, but they felt kind of useless and stereotypical.

*Wei Clinic Aftermath: So Kovacs Kills a whole house full of doctors and guards and there is no form of repercussions? I liked that Kristin in the books was taken aback at Kovacs' savagery, since Kovacs is a "real life" action hero, in a world where if you kill "the Bad Guys" it is still called murder.

I might return with more ramblings after a rewatch.

I give it a solid "Pretty cool but the book is WAAAY better"-stamp of approval.

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Per Kinnaman, this is not the case, and he expects the show to be more of an anthology of sorts.

Kinnaman says he doesn't think so, but also that he doesnt know for sure. I would bet they're going to bring him back.

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I don't see how they'd be keeping him on as Kovacs. Even if he's still in Bay City the sleeve will be inhabited by Ryker again and Kovacs would be someone new.

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15 hours ago, Bran the Voyeur said:

I'm not quite as enthused about a second season going forward. Presumably they will keep Kinnaman around as Kovacs, which undercuts the whole expendability and replacement notion of sleeves going forward in the following books. You lose much of the universe's versimilitude if you keep Kinnaman around. He was good enough, but not good enough that I'd care if we got different actors for Kovacs each season. Honestly, the asian actor in this series played a better Kovacs.

The end made it clear Ryker was coming back from ice and Kovacs would give him his sleeve back. Takeshi has enough funds now (I think, unless all he got was his freedom) that he could maybe redo his original sleeve, if such a way exist ?

15 hours ago, Hello World said:

Hmm. I was just thinking about watching this on my phone until I replace my laptop. 

I thinks it's the most gorgeous show I've seen on my OLED tv. 

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2 hours ago, karaddin said:

I don't see how they'd be keeping him on as Kovacs. Even if he's still in Bay City the sleeve will be inhabited by Ryker again and Kovacs would be someone new.

Seems a good compromise to keep kinnaman around as ryker and Kovacs as someone new.

 

1 hour ago, The Unborn said:

The end made it clear Ryker was coming back from ice and Kovacs would give him his sleeve back. Takeshi has enough funds now (I think, unless all he got was his freedom) that he could maybe redo his original sleeve, if such a way exist ?

I thinks it's the most gorgeous show I've seen on my OLED tv. 

Didn't Kovacs see a clone of his original self in one of the early episodes? Or was that a dream sequence?

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Kovacs is seen in 3 sleeves in the season

1. his original sleeve, as seen in flashback  

2. another sleeve used at the start of the season, when Jeager kills him in the apartment

3. The third one being Elias Ryker.

 

the clone we see is the second one, and Dimi is transported into that sleeve in the Fightdrome scene.

Edited by The Unborn

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3 episodes in, and I don't know where the bad acting stuff comes from, but there's certainly some wooden dialog which is hard for any actor to sell. There's a certain level of too much exposition, and attempts at witty banter that feels like it's just hanging there rather than having any juice. I don't know how much dialog is verbatim from the book -- for those who've re-read it more recently, how much of Kovacs' narration is drawn from the novel? -- but in any case some of what they have isn't quite gelling.

All in all, though, we've been enjoying it. Still amazed at how spectacular it looks, as well, and I don't even have 4K.

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I think I'll join the others in that Poe stands out as one of the more interesting characters. I think the change from Hendrix to Poe works well and tbh the scene with him playing poker with the other AI has probably being more intriguing than the main material going on there. I like how they've struck a balance with the sense that the AI are incredibly power but have an almost godlike distance from humanity. Although the owner of "Jack it" had some of the show's most sinister lines with his "I like to use real humans sometimes - the sounds are more authentic". Although I'm still not sure as to whether Poe is a hologram or not. Some scenes he seems intangible (while he had a shotgun it was the wall mounted turrets doing the actual shooting) and in others he clearly isn't (seems to hard Kovacs clothes all the time).

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Really liking this so far, up to episode 8. I don't remember a whole lot of the book, but can sense there have been drastic changes.

Wasn't Kovacs in an African American sleeve in Broken Angels, or am I mistaking that with Thirteen? 

They've established enough information to carry this into several seasons. As I felt the trilogy went downhill with each book, I hope they branch out and do other things, perhaps cribbing a few of the better ideas from book 2 and 3 on the way.

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3 hours ago, Ran said:

3 episodes in, and I don't know where the bad acting stuff comes from, but there's certainly some wooden dialog which is hard for any actor to sell.

I think that Kinnaman's role was very difficult given that the role demanded for him to be somewhat detached from the body he is occupying. Most of the time he is doing rather solid work, but occasionally he just go into "senseless robot" mode. The more I think about the role, the more difficult it becomes which certainly gives more and more credit to Kinnaman. 

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2 minutes ago, Risto said:

I think that Kinnaman's role was very difficult given that the role demanded for him to be somewhat detached from the body he is occupying. Most of the time he is doing rather solid work, but occasionally he just go into "senseless robot" mode. The more I think about the role, the more difficult it becomes which certainly gives more and more credit to Kinnaman. 

I think it was made even more difficult with the background changes they made to the character. There was a line this past episode, when talking to Bancroft, where he basically spouts religious Quellist stuff about it not being for man to give or withhold death, something like that... and that's like no Takesi Kovacs I ever imagined, and it doesn't even fit the Kovacs we've seen who admits he's killed plenty of people and proceeds to casually kill someone in that very episode (admittedly, to be nice to them, but anyways).

It's kind of jarring, and I'm going to guess one of the less successful aspects of the adaptations will be how they remixed things because it muddies the waters with Kovacs' character.

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2 hours ago, kuenjato said:

 

Wasn't Kovacs in an African American sleeve in Broken Angels, or am I mistaking that with Thirteen? 

 

I think the sleeve was Maori or polynesian? I vaguely recall some line about that ethnic group being more tolerant of radiation??? It's a long time, so i'm maybe misrembering too

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I finished it last night. Pretty good overall. Some issues...

Spoiler

The sister twist plot was a bit off. We don't really know at what point she became this obsessed maniac, that drove her to betray Quell and the others. I did like how manipulative she had become, and how sick and twisted the rich & powerful are portrayed.

Also, I thought the scene when the Bancfrofts gets arrested was way too melodramatic, felt like I was watching a soap opera.

The Ghostwalker guy was meh. He seemed interesting at first, until it was revealed what his beliefs really are. Then they fail to play on that when Kovacs essentially ends his sister's immortality, and Ghostwalker guy just falls to the character that had the most reason to kill him.

I agree with everyone that Poe was the most interesting character. I thought there was something there with AIs, it certainly made you think they were behind the whole thing.

I also didn't like the choice of actress who played Quell, or how the writing, and even the makeup did not make this character seem larger than life. I didn't read the book, but given how much the character was elevated from others' perspective, I did not find her to be awesome. You would think that someone like that could show menace, power, and general awesomeness simply by standing still.

 

Edited by Corvinus

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17 hours ago, kuenjato said:

Wasn't Kovacs in an African American sleeve in Broken Angels, or am I mistaking that with Thirteen?

I never finished the second book so I don't know if he resleeves at some point during it but the sleeve he's in at the beginning is described as 'Afro-Caribbean'. 

Question for those who've read the books recently or just remember it better than I do: 

Weren't the Envoys anti-Qeullists in the book? I know in the book Quell is like this borderline mythical figure who died long before Kovacs was born and they combined her with another character, but the Envoys were part of the Protectorate not rebels right? Seems like a really odd change.

Edited by KiDisaster

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1 hour ago, KiDisaster said:

I never finished the second book so I don't know if he resleeves at some point during it but the sleeve he's in at the beginning is described as 'Afro-Caribbean'. 

Question for those who've read the books recently or just remember it better than I do: 

 

  Hide contents

Weren't the Envoys anti-Qeullists in the book? I know in the book Quell is like this borderline mythical figure who died long before Kovacs was born and they combined her with another character, but the Envoys were part of the Protectorate not rebels right? Seems like a really odd change.

 

Spoiler

Yeah the Envoys were the Protectorate super soldiers. Quell died before Takeshi was even born. I wasn't a fan of them combining the Quellists and Envoys into the white hat rebels. Or Quell's combination with Vidaura. I found Takeshi more interesting in the books because he was an evil Envoy and hated. But I suppose the writers of the series wanted to hit a certain narrative theme and lay the groundwork for future seasons.

I enjoyed the series but felt there were many unnecessary changes from the novel. So a bit of criticism . . .

I wasn't a fan of Reileen as Takeshi's sister. The brother sister conflict really dragged for me those last three episodes. I was just waiting for them to wrap that up. Takeshi's internal struggle with his bat shit crazy sister was frustrating me. And how convenient was it that we didn't see Takeshi blow out her stack, but only heard the gunshot. I preferred book Kawahura.

No Trepp? WTF! Leung was a terrible villain even if he may have been based on Trepp. He even had his own unique weapon, which distractingly reminded me of the Beasts weapon in Kung Fu Hustle. I think another poster stated it best when referring to him as a Bond villain.

I liked Ortega but the writers must have hated her. They sure abused the hell out that character. And they introduced her loving family just so Leung could butcher them. I never really bought her love for Takeshi, or his for her.

The increased roles for rather minor characters only confused the narrative at points for me. The only increased role that worked for me was Poe, but it would have been nice for the AI to remain Hendrix like in the novel. I can't remember how large of a role Lizzy had in the novels, if any, but Vernon didn't add much to the series for me. I can't remember Isaac Bancroft from the novel either. I really need to at least a plot summary to refresh my memory of the novel.

The Bancroft murder investigation really got lost half way through the series. I almost completely forgot about it once Lizzy was brought in. And 653 was mentioned briefly in the first episode only to reemerge as important at the end.

 

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Only at episode 3 so far, it is fine so far. Slightly weird that this is the 3rd series where Michael Eklund shows up with basically the same hairstyle/acting tics (Wynonna Earp, Dirk Gently, and now this).

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