Altered Carbon [season 1]

Following my reading of the rather thin (plot-wise) Thin Air, I took advantage of the virus to watch Netflix Altered Carbon. Which is based, roughly, on Richard Morgan’s book. While I enjoyed watching the efficient series, I failed to see a deeper message beyond the cyberpunk detective story, message that was indeed in the book. The show is very efficient with a well rendered futuristic San Francisco. Reminding me of Blade Runner, obviously. But also of the novels of William Gibson in many ways. Including this transformation of the Golden Gate Bridge into a container community. And the somewhat anachronistic fascination for samurais and yakuzas. A choice leading to repeated (wo)man to (wo)man fights that tend to become repetitive, a fairly high level of cruelty, sadism, gory and graphical episodes, definitely not a family show!, another futuristic and bleaker version of Chandler’s Farewell my Lovely, with the special twist of the murdered investigating his own murder already at the core of the book. But the lack of a deeper political message dilutes the appeal and somewhat the tension of the show, making somehow the existence of characters with a conscience hard to believe. A plus for the AI turned Edgar Poe turned The Raven hotel though! And a minus for the “happy ending.”..

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