Happy Monday, everyone! And happy 1 year birthday to us! That’s right, 1 whole year ago we began our crazy journey into reviewing, and boy have I loved every minute. Hopefully you have too, because I don’t plan on stopping any time soon!
This week Altered Carbon came out, which I first heard about on the One Show on the BBC a few weeks ago, with an interview with James Purefoy (who plays Laurens Bancroft). From the get-go I knew I wanted to watch this, and I knew Seb would do too. We knew what we had to do this weekend, and we sat down and binge watched it over 3 nights – he wanted to do it quicker, but I like that thing called ‘sleep’ too much!
Altered Carbon is set in the distant future where people use “sleeves” instead of one fixed body. Their consciousness is transferred to “stacks”, which are placed at the base of the/inside the vertebrae, and a person can only experience a “true death” if someone is to kill this stack, otherwise it is just placed from one sleeve to another.
The long and short of it – death is a thing of the past, people can just re-body and move on.
Because of this re-sleeving, people can almost come back from the dead, and this happens to Takeshi Kovacs, an Asian born man now placed into the “first body” (not really but spoilers!) that can be found – a military grade white man after 250 years “dead”. As an Envoy, a man of the rebellion from hundreds of years ago, he’s unused to the world that’s he’s come into – especially because people keep recognising him and he has no idea what they’re on about.
Kovacs is accosted repeatedly by Kristen Ortega, a detective in the BCPD, who seems to have a thing about not letting him get hurt. People beat him up for absolutely no reason. Everyone seems to have an issue with him before he’s introduced himself to people! You’ll have to watch to find out why!
I love the fact that multiple people play characters within this show, without it feeling wrong on a cultural level. Even though a white man is playing an Asian man as the main character, we get constant flashbacks of his life as an Asian man, and see him flipping through sleeves like they mean nothing to him. It’s really interesting to see a sleeve that he’s not willing to let die, and makes sure he patches it up as best as possible.
I loved Lizzie Elliot’s story line, a woman that had such a fractured mind that she can’t have fixed unless she’s put into virtual reality. She’s literally a boss. I loved everything about her. Amazing actress too! She was by far my favourite character, and I was glad that she, along with her mum and dad, such main characters in the show. It was really cool to have a badass family; hacker mum, military dad and Lizzie the (insert mega spoiler).
There’s so much I want to enthuse about with Altered Carbon but I don’t even have the words to put down! It’s full of life, story and amazingly well rounded characters. Even though there was so many, it doesn’t feel over saturated with storylines. Each character has their own parts of the episode, so it’s easy to differentiate what’s going on, and I’m sure I can remember each character’s story if you quizzed me. Other than why Kovacs has a pink backpack, but Seb cannot remember that either, so I hope we just missed it and it was actually explained!
Altered Carbon was by far one of the best Sci-fi/Cyber Punk shows I’ve seen in a long time – which admittedly isn’t many things I’ve seen, but I’ve seen enough to have an opinion. It was well filmed, well told, well… well I loved EVERYTHING so yeah… I guess I didn’t care for as much of the past stuff as some people might, I kind of wished he had remained more of an enigma to the audience but it also worked that we found out about Kovacs as we watched, so I won’t complain! Plus, I can’t complain about how much sex there was – very much on par to Game of Thrones or Outlander! I actually like that sex is being normalised by tele!
Have you seen Altered Carbon? Loved the adaptation? Want to read the book? Maybe you hated every second and can’t wait to rant about it? I’d love to chat! Leave a comment down below!
[Header Image: Altered Carbon, Netflix, 2018]