Why, Netflix? Why?

Why did you have to bring Altered Carbon back for another season? I thought this high-concept dud that rips off Blade Runner, Demolition Man, and True Detective was dead in the water after its disastrous first season back in 2018. Well, here we are two years later with another season, a new star, and the same ridiculous high-concept garbage. With an intro like that, you know I had to watch it just to be sure I’m right. Yes, you can just stamp the word “sucker” across my forehead right now.

Before we jump into my review, here’s the trailer for Altered Carbon, season two:

Amazing, Wasn’t It?

After that action-packed trailer, you probably have a few questions. I’m going to guess what those might be and try to answer them:

Q: What’s Altered Carbon About Again?

Oh, so you didn’t watch the first season either? Well, this series is set in a dystopian sci-fi future in the year 2384. Scientists are able to extend people’s lives by saving their minds/consciousness on chips called “cortical stacks.” When a person dies, ages, or becomes ill, their “stack” can be placed in a new, healthy body or “sleeve.” Voila! A brand new life.

In this nearly impossible scenario, former terrorist Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman) wakes up in a new body. He’s given the choice of returning to prison for his crimes or helping solve the murder of wealthy playboy Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy). Bancroft is still alive, but someone killed his old sleeve. He has no idea who, hence why he wants Kovacs to find out. That’s some high-concept stuff, right?

Q: What Happened to Joel Kinnamon?

He’s the popular actor who played Takeshi Kovacs in season one. My guess is that he bailed after the disastrous first season. As a result, he’s been “re-sleeved” into actor Anthony Mackie’s body. I have to admit that this concept is a clever one for the show’s production team. It lets the creators can cast a new lead character every season to spice things up. Too bad it’s not enough to save this flop.

Q: So, Who’s Anthony Mackie?

It’s okay if you don’t recognize him. I didn’t either until I took a quick trip to IMDB.com. Mackie is an actor who’s been in at least a few movies I’ve seen, such as 8 Mile and The Hurt Locker. He’s also been in a handful of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies as Sam Wilson/Falcon, but I haven’t seen any of those films. Now, he stars at Takeshi Kovacs in Altered Carbon, season two… the role of a lifetime, I’m sure.

Q: How Many Episodes Does Season 2 Have?

Season two features eight episodes. That’s two less than the previous season. I wonder if that’s indicative of a loss of enthusiasm the creators have for their own project?

Q: Why Did it Take Two Years for Season 2?

Because Altered Carbon sucks. Seriously, I think that’s the reason it took so long for them to come out with the second season. The first year was probably spent agonizing over how to save this failed Netflix original series. Production and post-production probably took up the better part of the second year. That’s my guess and I’m sticking to it.

Q: So, How Did I Like the Season 2 Premiere?

Stuart really wanted me to write about this show but it’s so boring I just couldn’t. You might remember that I fell asleep when I tried watching the first episode of season one. Well, I didn’t fall asleep this time; I changed the channel instead. From what I could tell, it seemed like an endless reel of Matrix-like fight scenes with a protagonist who cannot be killed. With no real stakes involved, I lost interest rather quickly. Plus, I never finished the first season so it was a little hard to follow along.

Here’s the sick and twisted thing about Stuart’s request: It was all a setup. That’s right, the guy that runs this blog totally set me up. Check this out: He hates Netflix. I mean he really hates it. Stuart also knows I hated Altered Carbon’s first season. He asked me to review season two knowing that I wouldn’t like it. This gave me the perfect chance to say…

…“This is Exactly What’s Wrong with Netflix.”

Literally, any problem I have with this streaming service is the worst thing in the world in Stuart’s mind. That’s just because he doesn’t like Netflix, plain and simple. I’m not going to go that far, despite my total disappointment in the Altered Carbon series. Netflix is still home to my favorite series, Stranger Things, after all. And it’s also the creator of another series that I love and Stuart hates: Ozark. I’m sure he’ll shudder when he finds out that the show’s third season premieres in a couple of weeks!

About the Author

Jake Buckler
Jake Buckler is a cord-cutter, consumer electronics geek, and Celtic folk music fan. Those qualities, and his writing experience, helped him land a copywriting gig at Signal Group, LLC. He also contributes to The Solid Signal Blog.