Five Reasons You Should Be Watching Altered Carbon

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I May Be Late to the Party, But Netflix’s Altered Carbon Is Well Worth a Binge!

Every time I come up blank for article ideas here at Space Porn, I ask the team for help. Inevitably, one of them pipes up with, “Have you watched Altered Carbon yet?” To which, I inevitably and ashamedly reply “No.” And then I make some vague statement about how I have to get on it. Yeah… I’m that guy.

Until now. You see, Altered Carbon didn’t grab me right away for a couple of reasons. So I want to speak to those of you out there who, like me, have been putting it off for similar reasons. Let’s address those reasons first, shall we?[restrict paid=true]

Why You Might’ve Passed at First:

First, I think Netflix owes everyone here at Space Porn a discount on their memberships. Because without those people, I would have never even considered watching this show. In my not-so-humble opinion, they botched job of marketing it. I didn’t even know about it until Season 2 was nearly out. And at that point, I figured (like I’m guessing many of you who also haven’t watched yet), Shit. I’m already a season behind and I don’t know if I have time right now to binge something. 

The other thing about Netflix’s botched marketing is that the trailers don’t do it justice. On the other hand, I’ll get into why that’s not really their fault in a minute.

The second reason I didn’t watch until this week is that I tried to watch it before. A couple of times. With as much good as I’m about to throw at you about this show, I think the following warning only fair. You have to make it through two-thirds of the first episode (that’s nearly forty fiscal minutes, boys and girls) before you finally start to understand the real complexity and potential this show has to offer. 

That complexity and potential, by the way, are the reason Netflix can’t be blamed too much for the trailers. They can’t really show you what the hell is going on, and if they did, they’d ruin the slow burn experience you get by watching this orchid bloom. It’s a little like Battlestar Galactica in that regard. 

Okay, On to Why You Should Watch!

1. High Concept Science Fiction

Yes. Altered Carbon has a lot of gore, a lot of T&A, and a lot of gritty action. But it’s also enveloped within an incredibly complex society in which immortality is possible, but only for those who can truly afford it. There are many levels of this society, and a rich back history including a civil war that led to the current hierarchy. It’s also got a lot of existential content as well. After all, if, as in the show, the body is just a “sleeve” that one’s digitally captured consciousness can slip in and out of, then where does that leave the concept of the soul? And that’s just the tip of the conceptual iceberg. 

2. Incredibly Gritty Setting, Tech, and Action Sequences

Yeah, so the first sentence of that last paragraph wasn’t really meant to disparage the T&A, gore, and action in the show, those are actually selling points, too. This show would fit into any HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, or STARZ original series lineup. Kovacs, the protagonist, is reminiscent of The Punisher, and he’s a member of an extinct class of warriors from the past with superhuman abilities.

Or, to put it bluntly, he’s a total fucking bad ass! As a matter of fact, during the first season, fans of another Netflix original, The Killing, will recognize Joel Kinnaman as a jacked up and really pissed-off version of Detective Holder. I’m only halfway through the first season so far, but I’ll tell you that every action sequence has been incredibly satisfying. Also, the dingy, grimy world below the clouds in Bay City remind me a bit of Blade Runner or the Shadowrun universe. 

3. Top Notch Mystery

The first season (as I said I’m only halfway through) revolves around Kovacs trying to solve the murder of the man who freed him from prison. It’s filled with all the twists and turns I’d expect from a whodunnit so far, and it’s supporting cast is fantastic. Lt. Ortega’s story arc is extremely compelling, as is Vernon Elliot’s. Finally, there’s the classic situation in which the rich spouses each know about and “apparently” tolerate one another’s infidelity. Yeah… That always works. I can’t wait to see where this goes.

4. Poe and the Raven Hotel

Of course I’m gonna put Poe as one of my favorite things about this show! He’s an A.I. Hotel (a hotel that’s run by an A.I. personality) modeled after—you guessed it—Edger Allan Poe! You see, in this reality, A.I.s are some of the lowest of the low-“lifes.” And Poe is fiercely loyal to Kovacs. He’s also delightfully charming, witty, and controls a lot of firepower.

5. You Guessed it. Altered Carbon Has Lots of T&A to Go Around

Yep. We’re a website called Space Porn, so I’m gonna have to point out what has to be a selling point for the show, because Netflix is paying a lot of actors to take their clothes off for it. And sure, if you like watching soft-core porn while you’re with your friends or family (Come on, EVERYBODY had a “Game of Thrones” night with their friends), then it’s gonna deliver that same amount of creepy awkwardness as the first time you saw the Lanister twins going at it in the tower on GOT. On the other hand, if you’re watching in private, then you may need a few *coughs* breaks now and then while binging.  

Final Verdict: 4.5/5 Comets (So Far)

I’m gonna be spending the next few days getting caught up on this show, so you’ll more than likely be reading about the rest of it next week here on Space Porn. That is, unless Elon Musk sets up an endangered species park on the Moon or something first.

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Brandon Humphreys

Brandon Humphreys

I'm a wizard. I write stuff and it goes from my head into yours - Magic! Apart from that, I am the Senior Editor for Space Porn, a veteran, a rock guitarist, and a teacher.

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