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(Forbes)   Well known hive of socialist scum and villainy gives Netflix's new dystopian series Altered Carbon two enthusiastic thumbs up as a way to stick it to The Man   ( forbes.com) divider line
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1718 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 05 Feb 2018 at 1:36 AM (23 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2018-02-05 12:12:58 AM  
I have to agree that I'm amazed by the critics' reactions so far, because the series was fairly spot on with Morgan's work. It's a diverse cast, it's got a strong female cast, it deals with multiple and hard issues, and the stunt work for a TV series is incredible. Just jaw droppingly good, and the rest of the effects work is brilliant, as well as the editing, music and themes. I'm a HUGE fan of Richard K. Morgan, and while they definitely altered the work for the series, and merged characters and sort of recast the ENTIRE Envoy Corps as rebels instead of Protectorate enforcers and shadow ops, they got the bits with Quell pretty well right, at least with her quotes, and while they merged a lot of her character with Virginia--Kovac's instructor--it still worked.

It doesn't back away from the violence and sex from the book, by any means. Which, as hard boiled science fiction, Morgan has a lot of both. But at no time was it just gratuitous, and it fit the "bodies as commodities" motif again and again.

This was a show that I feared that they'd butcher, and they got it better than I was expecting.
 
2018-02-05 12:19:38 AM  
I thought it was amazing. I couldn't believe something so good was on Netflix. So many Canadian actors so much dong and bush. Amazing.
 
2018-02-05 01:19:48 AM  
I'm going to have to check it out, but I don't think I'm going to put much stock into this guy:
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-02-05 01:28:16 AM  

sithon: So many Canadian actors


What is it with Canadian actors and science fiction?
 
2018-02-05 01:45:12 AM  

fusillade762: sithon: So many Canadian actors

What is it with Canadian actors and science fiction?


"Genre television" tends to require big special effects budgets. To offset this, they film in Canada, using domestic talent.
 
2018-02-05 01:47:46 AM  
I just want to know where I can get that 'full amenities' package from the hotel...
 
2018-02-05 02:08:37 AM  

sillydragon: I just want to know where I can get that 'full amenities' package from the hotel...


I loved that scene. Screw leaving the light on for me, my expectations are higher now.
 
2018-02-05 02:09:44 AM  
I'm enjoying the series so far.
 
2018-02-05 02:22:46 AM  

fusillade762: sithon: So many Canadian actors

What is it with Canadian actors and science fiction?


Vancouver is the future home of the Global Corporate Congress.
 
2018-02-05 02:27:41 AM  
I only saw the first episode.  I started watching Electric Dreams on Amazon Prime first, and after a killer opening episode, it seemed to have a massive drop in quality.

So I went to Altered Carbon.  I'm digging it, as I was huge fan of cyberpunk and William Gibson's Sprawl Trilogy.
 
2018-02-05 02:40:26 AM  
So far so good being 2 episodes in.  I like the world building and the interesting ideas they are exploring.  I do have to say, it is a little porny at times for me to recommend to all audiences, but it does seem to fit with the concept rather than being merely gratuitous.  I just worry it may limit the appeal a bit, although that didn't seem to stop Game of Thrones. I do hope this generates enough interest to go to a season 2 given the likely expense this production entails. The nice part is, all new actors can be easy to explain away although there is danger if the new cast can capture the previous casts abilities and motivations.
 
2018-02-05 02:44:24 AM  
It could have had better editing.  It was so dense with information in places that certain topics got set up with a single line of dialogue and then, episodes later, the topic would finally matter and I found that we would have to stop watching and goto the internet to try and suss out the details.

Enjoyable, but it really could have been cleaned up.
 
2018-02-05 02:46:15 AM  

Daedalus27: So far so good being 2 episodes in.  I like the world building and the interesting ideas they are exploring.  I do have to say, it is a little porny at times for me to recommend to all audiences, but it does seem to fit with the concept rather than being merely gratuitous.  I just worry it may limit the appeal a bit, although that didn't seem to stop Game of Thrones. I do hope this generates enough interest to go to a season 2 given the likely expense this production entails. The nice part is, all new actors can be easy to explain away although there is danger if the new cast can capture the previous casts abilities and motivations.


It gets pornier.  Like incredibly gratuitously pornier.  You have been warned.

/we usually went and got drinks or took bathroom breaks it was so common.
 
2018-02-05 03:04:35 AM  
It's a very good adaptation of the novel. Unfortunately for me I didn't care much for the novel. Would have been happier if they picked Iain Banks or Ken MacLeod as a basis for a new series.
 
2018-02-05 03:07:31 AM  

Sgt Otter: I only saw the first episode.  I started watching Electric Dreams on Amazon Prime first, and after a killer opening episode, it seemed to have a massive drop in quality.


The interesting thing for me was Amazon completely change the episode order from the original Channel 4 episode list.  And yes, I agree Amazon front loaded the episodes.
 
2018-02-05 03:09:04 AM  

BafflerMeal: Daedalus27: So far so good being 2 episodes in.  I like the world building and the interesting ideas they are exploring.  I do have to say, it is a little porny at times for me to recommend to all audiences, but it does seem to fit with the concept rather than being merely gratuitous.  I just worry it may limit the appeal a bit, although that didn't seem to stop Game of Thrones. I do hope this generates enough interest to go to a season 2 given the likely expense this production entails. The nice part is, all new actors can be easy to explain away although there is danger if the new cast can capture the previous casts abilities and motivations.

It gets pornier.  Like incredibly gratuitously pornier.  You have been warned.

/we usually went and got drinks or took bathroom breaks it was so common.


Really? I'm no prude, gotta have porn, but am not exactly interested in it being mixed in with regular video entertainment.

Can't we keep the two separate? (It could get awkward around the children and the grandparents)
 
2018-02-05 03:16:29 AM  

baxterdog: BafflerMeal: Daedalus27: So far so good being 2 episodes in.  I like the world building and the interesting ideas they are exploring.  I do have to say, it is a little porny at times for me to recommend to all audiences, but it does seem to fit with the concept rather than being merely gratuitous.  I just worry it may limit the appeal a bit, although that didn't seem to stop Game of Thrones. I do hope this generates enough interest to go to a season 2 given the likely expense this production entails. The nice part is, all new actors can be easy to explain away although there is danger if the new cast can capture the previous casts abilities and motivations.

It gets pornier.  Like incredibly gratuitously pornier.  You have been warned.

/we usually went and got drinks or took bathroom breaks it was so common.

Really? I'm no prude, gotta have porn, but am not exactly interested in it being mixed in with regular video entertainment.

Can't we keep the two separate? (It could get awkward around the children and the grandparents)


It was about on the level with Penny Dreadful.  About every other episode there is a full on sex scene and pretty much across the board there is T&A will both male and female full frontals.  I have nothing against it per se, but none of it really advanced the story in any way and was pretty gratuitous.  To put it another way: The Sex, Drugs, and Violence trifecta was kept even in equal measure.
 
2018-02-05 03:19:19 AM  
What pissed me off was they were flying on Harlan's world, the missing mohicans, and I really wanted to see the Hendrix - though Poe was cool as hell, the psychedelic Hendrix will forever be stuck in my mind.
The Virginia/Quell blending - not too sure about that one - but at leas they didn't fk it up that bad.
 
2018-02-05 03:23:34 AM  
My favorite bit so far was the Biker guy as Grandma. That had to be an interesting casting call and a very unique opportunity for actor who looks like he eats children for breakfast.

My favorite character is Ortega.
 
2018-02-05 03:24:04 AM  
I found it to be excellent binge worthy TV while recovering from an illness. Each time I told myself it was enough TV for one day I found myself turning it back on to watch more.
 
2018-02-05 03:26:20 AM  

whr21: I really wanted to see the Hendrix


Could they afford Hendrix? His estate might have asked for too much money.

My only complaint (and I haven't read the book, so I can't comment on the changes) was Matt Frewer. I mean, yeah, he's Max Headroom, but can we let that go?
 
2018-02-05 03:38:07 AM  

Ed Grubermann: whr21: I really wanted to see the Hendrix

Could they afford Hendrix? His estate might have asked for too much money.

My only complaint (and I haven't read the book, so I can't comment on the changes) was Matt Frewer. I mean, yeah, he's Max Headroom, but can we let that go?


He nailed the character perfectly. The Max Headroom thing was the cherry on top, really.
 
2018-02-05 03:41:24 AM  

Ed Grubermann: Could they afford Hendrix? His estate might have asked for too much money.


Yr. prolly right, I'm kinda glad they didn't to some extent, what I imagined while reading would never have translated to the screen, and in doing so pissed me off also.
So thanks I guess?
 
2018-02-05 04:15:35 AM  
The Netflix series was average.  It started promising, was decent for about 5 episodes, episode 6 was a dip in quality and then it fell off a cliff at episode 7.

The series ends up being a good writer's (Morgan) work mixed in with a cliche Hollywood writer's work.  The parts that more directly use the book are far better than the new stuff, and it shows even in the positive reviews where most of the praise is directed at what was lifted directly from the book.  As the series drifts off into new territory it becomes a pretty standard generic action movie full of the tropes and cliches that makes them eye rollingly annoying.
 
2018-02-05 04:29:16 AM  

Ed Grubermann: My favorite bit so far was the Biker guy as Grandma. That had to be an interesting casting call and a very unique opportunity for actor who looks like he eats children for breakfast.


It took me a minute to adjust to that - it was poignant and hilarious. That episode did jump around a bit too much, though. This show has me hooked, and I didn't last past Season 2 of GoT, Breaking Bad, or Walking Dead.

/ also waiting for more Killjoys.
 
2018-02-05 04:34:59 AM  
And, someone needs to start a "Raven Hotel" stat. Even if Poe has to be a live actor until the AI and holo-projection isn't sorted yet.

I would *definitely* stay at a Raven Hotel if Poe was bartending.
 
2018-02-05 04:37:37 AM  

Ed Grubermann: My favorite character is Ortega.


That shower scene.... oh, my!
 
2018-02-05 04:39:44 AM  

Ed Grubermann: whr21: I really wanted to see the Hendrix

Could they afford Hendrix? His estate might have asked for too much money.

My only complaint (and I haven't read the book, so I can't comment on the changes) was Matt Frewer. I mean, yeah, he's Max Headroom, but can we let that go?


Nah, Frewer gets a life pass for MH and "Crimson Permanent Assurance".
 
2018-02-05 04:41:29 AM  
Having no knowledge of the book or anything, I liked it. Definitely better than Blade Runner. Stacks and sleeves are just plain more interesting than replicants


But yea, there was a ton of wasted potential, and some meh filler. It felt like the sort of thing that they could have done a tight 20 episodes for and called it there. They won't, because that's not how TV works, but I think that would have been a better show and a much tighter first season. But still, the story was good, even if the dialogue was sometimes overly TV dialogue-y.


Boobs and dongs and torture and murder, while the world is controlled by the ultra-elite? Seems like a realistic look at the future if there ever was one.
 
2018-02-05 04:50:31 AM  
I have never read the books so I have a question:

Why are there no unique identifying tags for stacks and DHFs?  Why is it that this ubiquitous technology that every human has from the age of one year old has no way of identifying who the DHF is remotely?

I can understand this (more or less) from a TV story telling perspective and not wanting to get bogged down in the details but it just seems a massive oversight if it's not covered.  We have unique tech IDs, RFIDs, engine stamps, etc... today and it seems even more common going forward for everything.  How is it that in the course of this story, who is inside a sleeve is a big mystery?  I mean if sleeves are disposable to an extent like clothes, there would have been designed in tech to uniquely identify the stack and the loaded DHF because facial recognition loses quite a bit of usefulness.
 
2018-02-05 04:52:41 AM  
Question #2:

Why has stack/DHF technology not changed or progressed in 300+ years?  The form factor is exactly the same and as far as this series goes it doesn't look like anything has changed at all since they were introduced.  Technology just doesn't work that way.

/I did a little side reading but I can't find the answers to either of these questions
 
2018-02-05 05:03:54 AM  
The series was bland writing plus nudity so clearly a hit.... like Game of Groans..

The finale was utter crud...

Overall... bog standard Netflix fare....
 
2018-02-05 05:09:05 AM  

Duke of Madness Motors: It's a very good adaptation of the novel. Unfortunately for me I didn't care much for the novel. Would have been happier if they picked Iain Banks or Ken MacLeod as a basis for a new series.


I'm not sure the usual netflix crowd would deal all that well with the Culture. :)
 
2018-02-05 05:39:25 AM  

BafflerMeal: Question #2:

Why has stack/DHF technology not changed or progressed in 300+ years?  The form factor is exactly the same and as far as this series goes it doesn't look like anything has changed at all since they were introduced.  Technology just doesn't work that way.

/I did a little side reading but I can't find the answers to either of these questions


Just look at how much more efficient steam engines have become in the last 50 years. We are currently about to hit the limit on how small we can make transistors for microprocessors.

Somethings hit the limit of physics and just can't be developed further.
 
2018-02-05 05:48:12 AM  

baxterdog: BafflerMeal: Daedalus27: So far so good being 2 episodes in.  I like the world building and the interesting ideas they are exploring.  I do have to say, it is a little porny at times for me to recommend to all audiences, but it does seem to fit with the concept rather than being merely gratuitous.  I just worry it may limit the appeal a bit, although that didn't seem to stop Game of Thrones. I do hope this generates enough interest to go to a season 2 given the likely expense this production entails. The nice part is, all new actors can be easy to explain away although there is danger if the new cast can capture the previous casts abilities and motivations.

It gets pornier.  Like incredibly gratuitously pornier.  You have been warned.

/we usually went and got drinks or took bathroom breaks it was so common.

Really? I'm no prude, gotta have porn, but am not exactly interested in it being mixed in with regular video entertainment.

Can't we keep the two separate? (It could get awkward around the children and the grandparents)


I dont think your children should be watching sci fi filled with deaths and gore.
Not every form of media has to be for every member of your household.
 
2018-02-05 06:11:54 AM  
The AV Club criticized the show for not conveying a strong enough socialist (or anti-capitalist or whatever terminology you prefer) "message".
 
2018-02-05 06:12:29 AM  

Sgt Otter: I only saw the first episode.  I started watching Electric Dreams on Amazon Prime first, and after a killer opening episode, it seemed to have a massive drop in quality.

So I went to Altered Carbon.  I'm digging it, as I was huge fan of cyberpunk and William Gibson's Sprawl Trilogy.


I really seemed like a well run Cyberunk RPG campaign to me
 
2018-02-05 06:26:49 AM  
While it is beautiful to look at, it features some of the worst acting this side of a high school drama class. I could barely make it through the first episode.
 
2018-02-05 06:35:41 AM  
I loved the show but I have a question that wasn't addressed, or at least I missed it. Where do extra sleeves come from? They make it clear that clones are stupid expensive. And sure, most poor people don't get new sleeves at all and just have to wait in digital limbo. But plenty of other people throughout the show who aren't Meths get new sleeves or clearly state they have access to a new one if needed.

So if clones are nearly impossible for most of the population, then all these extra sleeves used to be someone who was born and then...just got evicted from their birth body? Are all extra sleeves from someone who had theirs taken away?
 
2018-02-05 06:42:40 AM  

fusillade762: sithon: So many Canadian actors

What is it with Canadian actors and science fiction?


'Cuz.
We're.
AWESOME.
 
2018-02-05 06:51:27 AM  

FlashHarry: While it is beautiful to look at, it features some of the worst acting this side of a high school drama class. I could barely make it through the first episode.


I think it's more 'bad dialouge' than 'bad acting'. I really like the show but damn, some of the diaogue just make me cringe!
 
2018-02-05 06:52:03 AM  

Norfolking Chance: BafflerMeal: Question #2:

Why has stack/DHF technology not changed or progressed in 300+ years?  The form factor is exactly the same and as far as this series goes it doesn't look like anything has changed at all since they were introduced.  Technology just doesn't work that way.

/I did a little side reading but I can't find the answers to either of these questions

Just look at how much more efficient steam engines have become in the last 50 years. We are currently about to hit the limit on how small we can make transistors for microprocessors.

Somethings hit the limit of physics and just can't be developed further.


That, and the fact that the stacks are alien technology that may not be entirely understood. Since how they work exactly is never addressed, for all we know the scientific community of that world may very well just consider them farking magic and stomp home in exasperation. Stacks work and that may be all that they know.
 
2018-02-05 06:54:15 AM  

Esroc: Norfolking Chance: BafflerMeal: Question #2:

Why has stack/DHF technology not changed or progressed in 300+ years?  The form factor is exactly the same and as far as this series goes it doesn't look like anything has changed at all since they were introduced.  Technology just doesn't work that way.

/I did a little side reading but I can't find the answers to either of these questions

Just look at how much more efficient steam engines have become in the last 50 years. We are currently about to hit the limit on how small we can make transistors for microprocessors.

Somethings hit the limit of physics and just can't be developed further.

That, and the fact that the stacks are alien technology that may not be entirely understood. Since how they work exactly is never addressed, for all we know the scientific community of that world may very well just consider them farking magic and stomp home in exasperation. Stacks work and that may be all that they know.


Someone made them.  They continue to make more.  They are manufactured for billions of people. "it's magic" isn't a great answer.
 
2018-02-05 07:15:24 AM  

Esroc: Norfolking Chance: BafflerMeal: Question #2:

Why has stack/DHF technology not changed or progressed in 300+ years?  The form factor is exactly the same and as far as this series goes it doesn't look like anything has changed at all since they were introduced.  Technology just doesn't work that way.

/I did a little side reading but I can't find the answers to either of these questions

Just look at how much more efficient steam engines have become in the last 50 years. We are currently about to hit the limit on how small we can make transistors for microprocessors.

Somethings hit the limit of physics and just can't be developed further.

That, and the fact that the stacks are alien technology that may not be entirely understood. Since how they work exactly is never addressed, for all we know the scientific community of that world may very well just consider them farking magic and stomp home in exasperation. Stacks work and that may be all that they know.


There is a few lines about someone in the show being one (or the) creator of dhf/stacks and casting, and they got disillusioned of it, so not a stretch to think they destroyed information about how they worked, but creation of them and working with them was too well known to get rid of.

/my take on it
// and reverse engineering might  be hard and illegal
/// or what else was there to add aside from remote id's?
 
2018-02-05 07:25:46 AM  
haven't read the books, though they've been on my wishlist for a while.

but after two episodes of the show, i actually find myself less interested in the books altogether. on the show, the motivations of the characters or non-sensical, the sex is gratuitous, the social commentary thin, and the pacing lurches from boring to meth-tweaker

yes, the production values are gorgeous and yes the casting is solid, if uninspired in some places. maybe the books and can fill in some blanks and elevate the material, but I can't help but feel that a lot of genre tv is getting pretty damn formulaic with the sprinkles and frosting and forgetting to bake some cake
 
2018-02-05 07:39:06 AM  
I really liked it. Binged it all in one day.

You may now dogpile on me.
 
2018-02-05 07:42:34 AM  
The series, on its own is ok, if full of hollywoodisms.

As an adaptation of a book, though, it's crap. They took a gritty noir detective mystery with a few sci-fi conceits and turned it into a wuxia flick. The search/replace of the envoys makes zero sense, they turned Quell from a philosopher, poet, and revolutionary into, well, a drill sergeant, by giving her all of the drill sergeants lines, plus the one story about Iffy Deme. And there was zero reason to retcon Reileen Kawahara like that.

I mean, I get changes like not being able to afford Hendrix's likeness. But the rest were pointless.
 
2018-02-05 08:01:59 AM  

Duke of Madness Motors: It's a very good adaptation of the novel. Unfortunately for me I didn't care much for the novel. Would have been happier if they picked Iain Banks or Ken MacLeod as a basis for a new series.


Peter F Hamilton's Night's Dawn trilogy would be my number one pick for this kind of adaptation.
 
2018-02-05 08:03:35 AM  

Esroc: I loved the show but I have a question that wasn't addressed, or at least I missed it. Where do extra sleeves come from? They make it clear that clones are stupid expensive. And sure, most poor people don't get new sleeves at all and just have to wait in digital limbo. But plenty of other people throughout the show who aren't Meths get new sleeves or clearly state they have access to a new one if needed.

So if clones are nearly impossible for most of the population, then all these extra sleeves used to be someone who was born and then...just got evicted from their birth body? Are all extra sleeves from someone who had theirs taken away?


You are essentially right with the house analogy, most sleeves are seized from prisoners, taken from debtors, but many are also voluntarily sold.  Where the show garbles the concept most is that it doesn't cover how the different versions of "living" fit into the larger picture.  There is really a tiered system; inactive stack, virtual reality, synthetic sleeve, and then the various grades of organic sleeves.

The show skims over this part of the world so it is easy to get the wrong idea.  People actually live in VR if they can't afford a new sleeve since it is considerably cheaper, in fact this is where most people end up.  In the show VR is only really used for interrogation, but people enter VR for all sorts of reasons including vacations.  The show also screws up the concept of synthetic sleeves by showing them as advanced and desirable when in the books they aren't very good and no one wants to live in one if they can help it.

The inconsistencies you observe in the show with how valuable sleeves are mostly have to do with the sloppy writing and replacing what should have been interesting world building with bad Hollywood action and romance scenes.
 
2018-02-05 08:04:24 AM  

Ed Grubermann: My favorite bit so far was the Biker guy as Grandma. That had to be an interesting casting call and a very unique opportunity for actor who looks like he eats children for breakfast.

My favorite character is Ortega.


Biker as grandma was good ,but the fact that they brought him back as someone else just blew my mind. Fits perfectly with the bodies-don't-matter thing.
 
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