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'Altered Carbon'

There's no death without pain.

I never really liked the shows that you could tell what was going to happen, same with movies. I want to be surprised at every turn when I'm watching something. If the show is predictable, then more then likely I'm not tuning in next week to catch the newest episode. And if I do get into a show, I hate having to wait a week to find out what is going to happen which is why I am a big fan on Netflix. There are so many amazing shows out right now but for now we will stick with one, Altered Carbon. If you haven't already binge-watched this Netflix Original then I suggest you give it a try.

The show is based off the book Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan, which, sadly, I haven't read yet so I can't compare the two but I will hopefully be getting the book soon so then I can write a comparison on the two. I have seen a few articles that have stated that while the first show is based off the book, the first season loosely followed the book's story. They even brought in a character for the first season that wasn't introduced until the third book, I won't spoil who it is lol.

The series, which only has one season with ten episodes, is set in a futuristic San Francisco called Bay City. In the series, the year is 2384 and people no longer have to die for real. A person's memories, or their "stack" which is a small device in the base of your head, can be transferred into a new body, or a "sleeve." As long as your stack remains intact when you die, you can be brought back to life, and as long as you have the money for a new sleeve. The rich can afford to have clones made of themselves and they can also have their stack automatically uploaded into one of their clones every day, so they are essentially living forever, they are called Meths after the bible's Methuselah who supposedly lived to be 969 years old. 

People now can fight in battles where the winner is the last person left alive and they get a brand new sleeve. People can also go to brothels and kill another person in a number of grotesque ways and the person killed in turn gets a new sleeve. There is also virtual reality, where police do all of their interrogations for the simple fact that you can kill someone over and over again in any way that you can think of because it's not real.  

In the first episode we meet the main character, Takeshi Kovacs (played by Joel Kinnaman) is brought back to life by a man named Laurens Bancroft. Bancroft, the first Meth, believes that his former sleeve was murdered just moments after his stack uploaded, his memory from the past 48 hours has all been erased so he assumes someone murdered him, that he would not have committed suicide. Kovacs, who is already not happy about being brought back after he fought against everything that Laurens Bancroft is and most of the world is as well, has to decide whether he will take the job and get money and a full pardon from prison or to go back on ice and leave Bancroft's death a mystery. 

Bancroft wanted Kovacs brought back for the simple fact that he was an Envoy. An Envoy is a futuristic soldier trained in a various type of ways such as, being able to pull themselves out of virtual reality. Bancroft assumed that because the police didn't or couldn't find out any information, they were incompetent and decided to get someone he deemed fit to solve his murder. 

Along the way he is helped out by detective Kristin Ortega (played by Martha Higareda) who seems to hate him for no reason other than he is an Envoy and she doesn't trust him, we find out later there is much more to that story. There is also former soldier Vernon Elliot (played by Ato Essandoh) who's hacker wife has been 'put on ice' or sent to prison and her stack was put up and her sleeve taken away, and their daughter Lizzie was tortured in virtual reality until her mind broke and she can no longer be in the real world. The last person who helps him, and one of my favorite characters is A.I. (artificial intelligence) Poe, or Edgar Allen Poe (played by Chris Conner). He is the owner of a hotel named The Raven, in which Kovacs stays, Poe also tells us that not only is he the owner of the hotel but he is the hotel. Soon Kovacs finds out that while he was brought back only to discover what happened to Bancroft, the torture of poor Lizzie and the death of a girl who seemed to have fallen out of the sky are both connected to his initial investigation as well. 

If you like movies like The Matrix, or Blade Runner then Altered Carbon might just be the show for you. Right now there is only one season on Netflix and there seems to be no definitive plans for a second season but we hope that there is. But with Joel Kinnaman working on another project it leaves one to wonder, will they wait until he is done to do a second season or work around his schedule, or will Takeshi Kovacs get a new sleeve? 

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'Altered Carbon'
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