Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Altered Carbon

Altered Carbon was one of the shows I was most looking forward to this past year. This had nothing to do with the desire to see an ambitious cyberpunk book series brought to life and everything to do with my love of James Purefoy and Joel Kinnaman. I watched that horrid adaptation of Mansfield Park for you James Purefoy, I will watch anything you are in! And the truth is, at times, this show was brilliant. The problem was the moments of brilliance made you realize they were capable of achieving perfection so when the show lagged you really felt it. Set in the future where human consciousness can be downloaded into new bodies, AKA sleeves, this allows death to no longer be an obstacle and the rich can literally live forever. Enter Joel Kinnaman as Takeshi Kovacs hired by the wealthy James Purefoy to find out who murdered his previous sleeve. Takeshi is downloaded into Joel's beautiful body and has to deal with this new body's history, his own history, and his job. If the show had stuck to a linear storyline of who killed James Purefoy instead of going off on long expository rants mainly dealing with Takeshi's fucked up personal life this show could have really worked. But going forward I don't know if I will be interested in watching. The show hinges on the interesting conceit of different actors playing the same role. Now this conceit isn't that original, even Woody Allen has done it, but where this conceit fails is I have this connection to the characters played by these specific actors, do I want to see Joel replaced by Anthony Mackie? Eh, I'm not sure.


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