Altered Carbon on Netflix: Overall – I liked it, though I have to resort to that cliché that ‘the book(s) were better.’
More in depth (and spoilery) after the jump.
As I mentioned, on the whole, I quite enjoyed the show. They managed to weave hard(ish) sci-fi, with great dialogue, and hyper-violence into a episodic TV show. The visuals were nearly consistently pretty great, and the thing was overall very well cast (Takeshi -both actors-, Poe, and Bancroft being standouts for me) and the story more or less hung together. Poe/Eddy the AI was a fabulous addition IMHO.
My quibbles are as follows, whereas the novel told an ultra-noir and deeply personal story, the show went operatic where envoys like Takeshi the ultimate one are transformed from government enforcers usually descending into a life of crime (of which there are many) into rarefied freedom fighters, fighting the evils of the 1% led by the person who created the stacks while Takeshi’s ultimate villain was his sister. This ‘neatness’ and conservation of story (not to mention the decision to pull Takeshi away from being the noir anti-hero towards a more heroic ‘motivated by love’ type) doesn’t make the story better in my opinion, though perhaps that’s what it took to get it to work (or at least sold) for a larger audience. Other quibble is the sci-fashion left me wanting, though to be fair that’s been true of just about every sci-fi movie save for flash gordon and 5th Element.
Still, an action packed smart allecky unnerving visual wonderland that faithfully shows stacks and all the identiy shenanigans that go along with WHILE gettingTakeshi Kovacs *mostly* right? I’ll take it, and I’ll recommend it to my friends.