Jump to content
Werthead

Richard Morgan + Netflix = ALTERED CARBON TV series

Recommended Posts

I liked the season, and would absolutely watched another season, but if it gets canceled I won't mind either. I haven't read the books, but I read a summary of book 2 and 3 and I can't say I'd be very interested if the show adapted that material.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/2/2018 at 9:35 PM, Ran said:

(Also, yeah, Joel Kinnaman hit the gym HARD. Jesus.)

The first thing that came to my mind when I saw him was this segment about anabolic steroids use in hollywood from Joe Rogan's interview of Dorian Yates.

I liked the first episode. Some infodump bits in the beginning were a bit silly (the exchange about the 6-8 year old in an old woman's body) and I didn't like the actors playing the Bancroft couple, both characters seemed a bit cliche. Poe was probably the best thing about the episode. I'm not that eager to continue watching but I'll watch the second episode when I feel like it.

I know people already watched the ten episodes so I don't want to read spoilers. Did Kovacs have a sister in the book?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Hello World said:

I know people already watched the ten episodes so I don't want to read spoilers. Did Kovacs have a sister in the book?

Two in fact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Up to episode 6,

Spoiler

I've liked the series so far, the action scenes and the music aren't good mind you, and I'm not sure if I've been following close enough because I don't know how they connected the Ryker case and Bancroft's death, but when his sister came in at the end of episode 6 with the ninja moves and the terrible song I couldn't help but think "what the fuck?" I heard from someone that the second half of the series isn't as good as the first and I can already feel that this is the point where it goes downhill.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Finally finished (moving flat and didn't want to watch episodes before I had my TV set up again).

The show was ok - looked great but with some weird alterations that really changed the characters. The last couple of episodes had me thinking maybe the creators were a bit too attached to their version of the book and the characters - like they were so close to their vision that they didn't realise the rest of us couldn't see it? For example

 

the tragic romance between Kovacs and Quell at the end with the fairy tale thing. I just didn't buy it. Along with the parallel feelings between Kovacs and Ortega. For me that relationship worked best as a purely physical thing and not between their minds (both bodies remembered each other - that was it). Kovacs quest at the end? Didn't make any sense - if he really wanted to find her then he'd have kept his sister alive. But why would he want to find her? I thought her whole purpose for being was to make death real again? Would she approve of being resurrected? Or maybe she's fine with second chances as long as they don't add up to more than 100 years

Generally it just seemed to have a lot of moments where it thought it was being profound and I wasn't in on it.

But it was pretty good fun - I liked Poe, I think the Meths as Gods was explored moreso than it was in the books (although Morgan's fantasy series potentially explored that too). The two actors who played characters in different skins were anlot of fun (first there was the skinhead guy playing a grandma and a gangster - then there was the computer hacker). Purefoy was good as Bancroft but on the whole a bit underused - his final scenes were quite interesting in that he seemed to genuinely believe he was a decent man.

I grew so fucking tired of that robot arm though - felt like it became a character in itself it was palyed so often.

I also felt like they needed to make their mind up about Kovacs - was he manipulating and using people to his own end all the time or did he genuinely strike up empathy and feelings for those around him? It's pretty clear which one book Kovacs was and it may be that that's what's clouding my judgement here but it felt more like a juxtaposition between TV kovacs and elements from the book than intentional ambiguity.

I'd like there to be a season 2 mainly because it would prove this type of show has a market and that we'd get other shows appearing (allowing Amazon seems to be catering for that anyway with their in development list). I'm just not sure what they'd do. In a way I'm pleased they don't appear to be following the book sequels  and maybe a season that's entirely from the show and has no material from the book will have a more cohesive feel.

.Spoiler tag fail but can't undo it. Better for too much to be behind spoiler tags than not enough though.

Edited by red snow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I didn't buy the romance between Kovacs and Quell at all and the fact that they made a big deal of it in the final episode was more disappointing. Some negative points:

  • The actress playing Reileen was terrible in the final episode. The way she spoke every word slowly and stressed everything was just... I don't know, was that supposed to be good acting because I'm not an expert?
  • I don't think they made clear what was so special about the envoys. They were just a bunch of guys and girls training in a forest and the protectorate easily wiped them. Did they even do anything of import on the show? Because it's weird that they would even have a reputation.
  • If Rei was a meth herself why couldn't she just have taken Kovacs out herself instead of having Bancroft do it?
  • Someone said upthread that they liked the empowerment of Lizzie Elliot. You mean taking a broken prostitute and inexplicably turning her into an ass kicking ninja in BDSM outfit? Cool.
  • I find it hard to believe that Bancroft could be brought down by killing a random person.
  • The whole police department seemed like carbon copies of any cop show characters.

Poe was great and Kovacs and the Elliot couple. I would watch another season because I liked the setting very much and it would be a shame to see go to waste like this. If they do make another season I hope they replace the showrunner and the entire writing staff if that's possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Hello World said:

Yeah, I didn't buy the romance between Kovacs and Quell at all and the fact that they made a big deal of it in the final episode was more disappointing. Some negative points:

 

  • I don't think they made clear what was so special about the envoys. They were just a bunch of guys and girls training in a forest and the protectorate easily wiped them. Did they even do anything of import on the show? Because it's weird that they would even have a reputation.
  • I find it hard to believe that Bancroft could be brought down by killing a random person.

It did feel like we were missing some examples of the envoys earning their reputation. Again, I suspect it's a case of the adaptation keeping some aspects from the books eg envoy reputation while totally changing what they were in the show. The soldiers with LED head gear were more "book envoy" than the TV envoys.

Hopefully they are holding some more flashbacks for another season - I'd like to see the other Kovacs actor pop up again.

Otherwise it did seem like the main skill of the envoys was to be good at being tortured.

The second point you make is an interesting one. Given how the rich can literally get away with murder in today's (And yesterday's) world why would murder be such an issue in this future? I guess in a world where you can be immortal - death is much more serious? For us death is inevitable - you are robbing someone of at the best a century by killing them. If you weigh that against potentially millennia then maybe people would be more outraged/scared. A bit like how we view the death of a child as more tragic than a pensioner based on the amount of unlived life of the child.

On the other hand I think that would only be outrageous to the meths being killed. I think they'd view the non-meths as little more than ants (I loved the use of the term "fireflies"in the show) which in general was how the show portrayed things. Poor people were but the playthings of the mega-rich "gods" - until it got in the way of neatly wrapping up a season.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The robot arm was like, well why wouldn’t everyone just have a robot arm? Especially those in the ass kicking business. Ortega kills about a dozen of the envoy trained, combat conditioned Reileen clones just thanks to her bionic limb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone know what the deal was with the black guy who spoke to Tanaka and Takeshi in VR? Was he being set up for a future season?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Hello World said:

Anyone know what the deal was with the black guy who spoke to Tanaka and Takeshi in VR? Was he being set up for a future season?

Spoiler

That was just one of Reileen's sleeves wasn't it. Kovac's sees it when he finds the other sleeves she's been using to monitor him.

 

Edited by GallowKnight

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, john said:

The robot arm was like, well why wouldn’t everyone just have a robot arm? Especially those in the ass kicking business. Ortega kills about a dozen of the envoy trained, combat conditioned Reileen clones just thanks to her bionic limb.

You'd think all sleeves would have them, arms legs- the works. She fully embraces it, I'll give her that. By the last episode it was "I wonder how the arm wins this fight". Never has an arm felt like a character since evil dead and the Adams family.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I finally finished it. If I wasn't a fan of the source material, I'm not sure I would have watched all of it.

Spoiler all episodes:

Spoiler

I hated Ortega's character -- almost every scene she was in, her dialogue, her character. I thought it was bad acting but then she had a pretty good scene when it was Rei in Ortega's body so I'll chalk it up to bad writing. I pretty much didn't like any of the secondary characters -- not Vernon, not Tanaka, not the AI hotel, not the CSI guy, not the crazy VR girl.. Not sure how crazy VR girl transformed out of the white girl at the end either. And I don't buy her knife-throwing practice turning her into a super ninja.

Reileen's motives were also bizarre -- not sure executing Ortega's whole family was going to get Takeshi back. Her plan in general didn't make sense. She probably could have had him resleeved outside of this whole murder plot. And then she could have had a family reunion without being a crazy psychopath. There were also some plot holes in there, I think. For example, there was one scene where Rei doesn't remember her last moments with Quell because she had been backed up beforehand. Seconds later, she tells Takeshi Quell's last words before dying. 

I thought a lot of the overall scenes and dialogue were Iron Fist bad but the show as a whole was..... okay I guess.

Edited by WarGalley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally finished it, I've been watching it slowly rather than bingeing. I really liked it! Thought Kinnaman was great as Takeshi (I hadn't seen him anything else before) and I've never seen Dichen Lachmann in anything before and holy hell she is so beautiful it was literally distracting. It's been long enough since I read the book that I wasn't bothered by most of the changes (although the Envoys were...puzzling, at best? I definitely got confused and thought Takeshi-as-CTAC was him being an envoy). I actually liked the Rei-as-sister idea and I admit I straight up bawled during that last scene.

Agreed with someone upthread who complained about the mumbling though. I had to watch most of it with captions, which I really prefer not to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally finished this and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. As did my wife who generally has no time for science fiction. In fact she is actively recommending it to people.

It's my mission in life to put on my jacket like Kovac does!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finished watched the series yesterday. Overall I liked it, although it does have some flaws and while it does a good job of capturing some aspects of the book I think there are some mistakes in the adaptation.

I think the visuals and production design and how they portray the world worked very well for the Earth scenes. I was a bit less impressed with its portrayal of Harlan's World which wasn't very distinctive, it reminded me a bit of the way almost every planet in Stargate looked like a North American forest.

I thought the acting was generally good. I felt Kinnaman did bring the right sort of intensity to the role of Kovacs, and Will Yun Lee also did a fine job with the role. The Hendrix hotel is one of the more iconic parts of the book, but I thought they made the enforced change to Poe work, Chris Conner was good in the role and they added some interesting character development. James Purefoy was perfect casting. I thought Kovacs' sidekicks were also interesting characters, I liked the Elliots and I liked Ortega even if I didn't really buy the Kovacs/Ortega romance.

I think they did a decent job with the murder investigation plotline, it is a bit stop-start but I think to some extent that was probably inevitable. I was less keen with the changes made to Kovacs' backstory. I don't necessarily mind making him a bit more sympathetic and sentimental than he is in the books because I don't think the books necessarily have to be 100% accurate, but I didn't feel that merging the Envoys and the Quellists really worked. I can see why they might have wanted to simplify the backstory a bit by combining some elements but they failed to show why the Envoys were so feared. We were told about their fearsome abilities but since they mostly seemed to hang around their forest lair we barely saw them in action. It would have almost as well if they'd just made Kovacs a former elite special forces soldier and dropped the Envoy plotline entirely. While I Iiked Goldsberry in the role, I don't think including Quell at this stage of the story added much to the show.

I don't necessarily mind the idea of replacing Virginia Vidaura's role in the story with Reileen Kawahara and making her into Kovacs' sister, but for something that had apparently built up such a big criminal empire her plan seemed pretty stupid at times. She did genuinely seem to want to get Kovacs to join her, but given how well she should know him I can't see why she thought things like victimising his friends or killing Ortega's family would do anything other than drive him away. I can see how she might be jealous of them taking up some of his attention, but since she keeps going on about playing the long game she could just have waited for them to drift away or eventually die - it's not as if Kovacs and Ortega seem destined for a long lasting relationship.

I guess we're meant to assume that Reileen doesn't have the connections to get Kovacs resleeved and has to rely on Bancroft, but getting him to investigate Bancroft's murder seems a bit risky. I'm also not clear why she didn't just send him a message to meet up with her rather than sending her idiot henchmen in to the hotel to apprehend him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×