ALTERED CARBON: a takeshi kovacs netflix series adapting richard k. morgan's cyberpunk pulp novels

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pretty decent adaptation?

going to preemptively say this is a full-on spoilers zone since it's a netflix series dumped as one 10 episode block

mh, Monday, 5 February 2018 18:43 (three months ago) Permalink

the show is mainly an adaptation of the first kovacs book, with backstory both blended in and changed

one thing that seems like a reasonable change but isn't really spelled out is that in the books, the "envoy corps" were a specialized military group that kovacs was part of, and the revolutionary group led by quellcrist falconer ("quell") was something he came to after having been an envoy. they don't really explain what an "envoy" is in the show, other than implying he has special training and it came from being part of the revolutionary group, not a military program

they also changed the entire family backstory. in the books, he mentions his family back on his home planet a few times but never has any inclination to visit them. the role the sister character plays in the show is a composite of a different character that played that role and completely new material

mh, Monday, 5 February 2018 18:53 (three months ago) Permalink

is the show as comically over the top, sex and violence-wise, as the book?

adam, Monday, 5 February 2018 19:03 (three months ago) Permalink

Seems to me the tone is pretty spot on. Aside from the tv-adaption changes mentioned (which haven't been egregious), this is pretty excellent and faithful (three eps to go).

I was worried that the first couple eps would turn people off given that the Blade Runner sequel had literally just hit home video.

Cyberkudos for casting Matt Frewer ('Max Headroom') as the Fight Drome host. I knew their hearts were in the right place when I saw him turn up!

Brakhage, Monday, 5 February 2018 19:07 (three months ago) Permalink

I would guess that the Stronghold bridge is up in Vancouver?

Brakhage, Monday, 5 February 2018 19:15 (three months ago) Permalink

Not liking all of the casual misogyny in the series. Hookers leering from every window, rich guys killing women and getting them new sleeves, etc. Can we tweak this vision of the future a little to get a little less cynical about how women get treated?

DJI, Monday, 5 February 2018 19:22 (three months ago) Permalink

Was interested in this, but the 'reception' chapter of its wiki was highly off-putting.

Le Bateau Ivre, Monday, 5 February 2018 19:29 (three months ago) Permalink

xp Basically what DJI says

Le Bateau Ivre, Monday, 5 February 2018 19:29 (three months ago) Permalink

rich guys killing women and getting them new sleeves

it's an undercurrent in the novel and maybe a little too stealthy of a subplot in the show, but this is the *actual* crime in the series (although the second part is not accurate) and the end of the season is, in fact, a reckoning with that

there is absolutely nothing subtle about the show

mh, Monday, 5 February 2018 19:35 (three months ago) Permalink

i really loved the titular novel in high school but man this feels like an overly bloody misogynistic chore to watch, i got 3 episodes in and sort of feel 'why bother' about the rest

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Monday, 5 February 2018 19:45 (three months ago) Permalink

was the novel really like this? i guess it was 15 years ago i read it, i can't really remember

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Monday, 5 February 2018 19:45 (three months ago) Permalink

it was, in some ways it's worse

I think the fact we're able to market hard-boiled future stuff like this, complete with the (and I swear to god I will not harp about William Gibson past this because every internet nerd is) people living on a bridge, a couple decades after it was laughed off as unfilmable by studios is some weird reckoning

mh, Monday, 5 February 2018 19:53 (three months ago) Permalink

it's kind of wild that Hayley Law filmed this at some point while doing Riverdale and barely had to make any costume changes to go from Josie and the Pussycats on that show to her role on this one? it seems like an indictment of 2018

mh, Monday, 5 February 2018 19:55 (three months ago) Permalink

Goddammit but isn’t cyberpunk my genre weakness

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Tuesday, 6 February 2018 07:22 (three months ago) Permalink

Yo why the fuck ain’t “capitalism” ever uttered in this series, if the Av Club review is correct?

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Tuesday, 6 February 2018 07:23 (three months ago) Permalink

Also, Poe should have been played by Paul F Tompkins

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Tuesday, 6 February 2018 07:30 (three months ago) Permalink

Bit much when they name episodes after Joy Division songs, huh

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Tuesday, 6 February 2018 08:10 (three months ago) Permalink

Also, Poe should have been played by Paul F Tompkins


truth-bomb

i gotta be a gazpacho man (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 6 February 2018 09:00 (three months ago) Permalink

Yo why the fuck ain’t “capitalism” ever uttered in this series, if the Av Club review is correct?

Yeah making the sister the villain wasn't exactly congruent with the themes of the material, really tacked on and made for a exceptionally boring finale. Still if they announced an adaptation of the next book in the series with a new cast I'd be up for it

Brakhage, Tuesday, 6 February 2018 19:26 (three months ago) Permalink

I think the fundamental thing I get from this adaptation is that it's pretty faithful to the source material, I felt compelled to watch it and don't regret it, and I really wonder whether adapting this work was the right move at all.

There are so many ways you could bring all of these retro-cyberpunk things to screen, and done all of the things that this series did, with a story that isn't pulp-retrograde.

mh, Tuesday, 6 February 2018 19:36 (three months ago) Permalink

Isn't the hook of the first book that it *is* pulp retrograde? I don't object to the tone, which I think they got right, but they opted for The Big Sleep (it's always family grievances) rather than Chinatown (society is too complex to be comprehended or made just, and the rich are beyond redemption)

The next book's more of a Zulu/Aliens/Raiders thing so it's still pulpy but with more of a team emphasis, so it might avoid some of the tone you're not into with this series

Totally agreed with you that there are many things I'm seeing now in film/TV that should really have never been adapted. The race to adapt or reboot every piece of existing IP has been exhausting and is getting maddening

Brakhage, Wednesday, 7 February 2018 20:36 (three months ago) Permalink

Apart from the finale, I really enjoyed this.

Looked absolutely stunning so I'm guessing Netflix threw a shitload of money at it.

groovypanda, Wednesday, 7 February 2018 21:32 (three months ago) Permalink

didn't take long before I got to the "yup, filmed in Vancouver" point by tallying actors who have appeared in at least one other science fiction show

mh, Wednesday, 7 February 2018 22:07 (three months ago) Permalink

oh man, I knew there was another nerdy cyberpunk connection: Kristin Lehman, who plays Miriam Bancroft, was in the X-Files episode written by WG

mh, Wednesday, 7 February 2018 22:10 (three months ago) Permalink

Should I watch this or the 2nd season of the Expanse instead?

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 9 February 2018 13:33 (three months ago) Permalink

Can you not watch both?

groovypanda, Friday, 9 February 2018 13:38 (three months ago) Permalink

I could! It would take months, but I could.

I guess, "If you had to commit to one multiepisode Netflix sci-fi show while continuing your years-long-binge of TNG and DS9, which would it be tfirs?"

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 9 February 2018 13:40 (three months ago) Permalink

my review: enjoyable but medium

paid by the word :(

Roberto Spiralli, Friday, 9 February 2018 14:40 (three months ago) Permalink

Bit much when they name episodes after Joy Division songs, huh

― Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish)

look he lost me when he named his protagonist "takeshi kovacs". so what, your protagonist is a cross between beat takeshi and ernie kovacs? go away. that shit is worse than the name neal stephenson gave to the lead character of "snow crash".

ziggy the ginhead (rushomancy), Friday, 9 February 2018 14:44 (three months ago) Permalink

I could believe the former but there's no reason to think of the latter? kovacs being the most common hungarian name

mh, Friday, 9 February 2018 14:54 (three months ago) Permalink

otoh I'm all for being super-cynical and believing he's named after a character from Alan Moore's Watchmen

mh, Friday, 9 February 2018 14:55 (three months ago) Permalink

Should I watch this or the 2nd season of the Expanse instead?

― Chuck_Tatum, Friday, February 9, 2018 1:33 PM (one hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

expanse imo

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Friday, 9 February 2018 15:02 (three months ago) Permalink

there's an art to novelty character names. "palmer eldritch" is a great novelty character name. "'saure' bummer" is a great novelty character name. takeshi kovacs is just awful.

man a real cyberpunk character name would be somebody who names themselves after a rush song or something else they thought was cool when they were twelve (i was "zaphod") and then got stuck with it.

ziggy the ginhead (rushomancy), Friday, 9 February 2018 15:09 (three months ago) Permalink

fair criticism

mh, Friday, 9 February 2018 15:15 (three months ago) Permalink

Fun to spot almost everybody who was in Dollhouse, plus the people from Buffy, Bones, and Rome.

It's really tough for me to think of them without prior roles, which I guess could involve a type of meta-fun. Nothing about the show's logic prevents all these shows as being in the same universe, and Purefoy is just using a very well-preserved ancient Roman body.

I will finish what I (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 9 February 2018 15:24 (three months ago) Permalink

man a real cyberpunk character name would be somebody who names themselves after a rush song or something else they thought was cool when they were twelve (i was "zaphod") and then got stuck with it.

― ziggy the ginhead (rushomancy), Friday, February 9, 2018 3:09 PM (twenty minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

the ready player one thread is that-a-way

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Friday, 9 February 2018 15:30 (three months ago) Permalink

Just realized where I knew Ato Essandoh from: Vinyl.

I will finish what I (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 10 February 2018 01:16 (three months ago) Permalink

Oh and also noticed that how Chris Conners plays Poe is disturbingly close to how Michael Ian Black plays Peepers on Another Period.

https://i0.wp.com/wherever-i-look.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Altered-Carbon-Season-1-Episode-2-Fallen-Angel-Chris-Conner-as-Poe.png?resize=595%2C333&ssl=1

https://media1.giphy.com/media/xT8qBfqm4VjeO31vri/200_s.gif

I will finish what I (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 10 February 2018 01:26 (three months ago) Permalink

Okay I just saw a mook yan jong dummy in a later ep and I’m trying to find an interview with Larnell Stovall about how many fighting styles he wasn’t able to get into the show.

Also:

did that episode of altered carbon really just use a cover of "more human than human" with shitty made up lyrics over a fight scene with a cyber ninja. are you fucking trying to make me cum bro

— mr grace mugabe (@mattvbrady) February 11, 2018

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Sunday, 11 February 2018 08:27 (three months ago) Permalink

every post i read in this thread just makes me think of "top knot detective"

ziggy the ginhead (rushomancy), Sunday, 11 February 2018 12:14 (three months ago) Permalink

i'm 6 episodes in and really enjoying it. of course the most memorable scene from the book for me was when Miriam was describing her secret island where she fucks her clones and bribes Takeshi w/that possibility and i'm glad they included it. actually no the most memorable was when he emerges from being tortured in virtual and lays waste to the entire compound and real kills the entire staff.

omar little, Saturday, 17 February 2018 02:53 (three months ago) Permalink

looking forward to discussing once you hit the third act

Larry Elleison (rogermexico.), Saturday, 17 February 2018 03:21 (three months ago) Permalink

I can't remember the details of the novel especially well, it's been so long since i read it. but as far as the plot w/the sister and how it wound up for the Bancrofts, is that faithful to the story?

the difference in quality between the violent sci-fi noir vs the Quellcrist flashbacks is considerable and QF is such an enigmatic figure that i didn't care about her or TK's adoration for her, nor did i ever see a point where his character had any reason to adore her. and everything in the forest with the rebels reminded me of the worst bits of Battlestar somehow. idk. Plus the stuff with the sister felt like a very tidy and easy way to wrap up a complex plot, which is why I suspect it differs from the novel somehow. or at least in the novel comes off a bit better.

Joel Kinnaman i think is pretty excellent in the lead role. Purefoy, Martha Higareda, Chris Conner, and Hayley Law i think are all extremely good. Matt Frewer as well, holy shit. Some of the others less so. The worst acting feels extremely not-great in a very obvious TV way. Especially when characters are trying to convey their villainy not by their acts but by saying things in an *extreme douche voice*.

omar little, Thursday, 1 March 2018 16:32 (two months ago) Permalink

everything in the forest with the rebels reminded me of the worst bits of Battlestar somehow

I was looking for Ewoks.

it's my leopard. (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 1 March 2018 16:42 (two months ago) Permalink

xp the sister being in play is completely a creation of the show, Kovacs never ran into his family in the books

The Bancroft stuff is nearly identical to the book -- it was completely a situation with an amoral rich man visiting both seedy places and the brothel in the sky

mh, Thursday, 1 March 2018 17:04 (two months ago) Permalink

Yeah, from memory a lot of the sister stuff happens the same in the book except it's not his sister but a former mentor/ Envoy from Kovacs' past. Think the Head In The Clouds finale/double sleeving scam plays out almost identically

groovypanda, Thursday, 1 March 2018 18:32 (two months ago) Permalink

the Quellcrist stuff is really confusing here, i think it's more foregrounded but there's nothing here to indicate exactly what her group's cause is, nor why Kovacs really becomes a believer, and again there's never a moment that signified any reason he'd come to fall in love with her. unlike Ortega, his relationship w/her is a bit complicated but you understand why he'd care about her. the Quellcrist relationship just seems to exist as a romantic MacGuffin device, someone for the narrative to focus on as a larger goal for him. but it doesn't feel like anything, per se.

omar little, Thursday, 1 March 2018 18:36 (two months ago) Permalink

i looked up a brief synopsis of the novel and it came back to me a bit, i recognized the story but not the characters who were moving the plot along, that's where the sister stuff threw me. i think her extreme evil just to get Takeshi back was a little OTT to say the least. they kind of kept piling it on, going from her making a decision about the rebels to her literally trafficking in the real death of women and children.

omar little, Thursday, 1 March 2018 18:38 (two months ago) Permalink

yeah i enjoyed it as pulp up through the "the case is solvèd!"... the third act was a disaster

Larry Elleison (rogermexico.), Thursday, 1 March 2018 18:53 (two months ago) Permalink

the case wasn't solved until the last episode, though! that was a fake solution

mh, Thursday, 1 March 2018 19:15 (two months ago) Permalink

i wouldn't have recognized KARL AGATHON from BSG if i hadn't read the cast credits.

omar little, Thursday, 1 March 2018 19:18 (two months ago) Permalink

in that last actual-solving scene i said aloud “i’ve brought you all here to the accusing parlour...” in a prof farnsworth voice

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Thursday, 1 March 2018 19:20 (two months ago) Permalink

i would have bought the "accusing parlour" scene more if there weren't fifty other people just lounging around, i guess the Bancroft storyline was always very stagey and theatrical tho, accentuating their rich narcissism and sociopathy.

omar little, Thursday, 1 March 2018 19:27 (two months ago) Permalink

it went full Law and Order in that last ep.

Manitobiloba (Kim), Thursday, 1 March 2018 19:29 (two months ago) Permalink

the case wasn't solved until the last episode, though! that was a fake solution

― mh, Thursday, March 1, 2018

obv. but it slid off the rails real fast after that.

Larry Elleison (rogermexico.), Thursday, 1 March 2018 22:20 (two months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

The scene w/ Peej's "This Wicked Tongue" is so cathartic.

Meme Imfurst (Leee), Monday, 9 April 2018 22:46 (one month ago) Permalink


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