Saturday, April 04, 2020

Altered Carbon (Season 2)

It’s great when you can change actors without losing the character.  If you have a shape shifter, they just look different next week.  Altered Carbon sort of has that in that characters can swap bodies.  The rich can afford clones of themselves, so the character can die without being recast.  But for the poorer people, it might mean using someone else’s body.

Takeshi Kovacs is back for the second season of Altered Carbon.  This time, he’s played by Anthony Mackie, whereas the character was played by Joel Kinnaman last season.  To make matters a little more confusing, he was also played by Will Yun Lee in both seasons.  (Will Yun Lee plays the body that Kovacs was born into.)

This time, he’s looking for Quellcrist Falconer.  It would seem that she’s killing those rich, immortal people.  Falconer is known for not liking the technology that allows for immortality, but murder is out of character for her.  The hope is to find her and get an explanation before the authorities do.

The second season does have a more subdued tone to it.  There wasn’t as much of a sense of wanting to see the next episode, as I did with the first season.  This isn’t to say that I didn’t want to watch it.  It’s more that I didn’t mind watching an episode before dinner.  There wasn’t that need to watch the next hour right away.

I think part of it is that most of the actors are new.  Even most of the characters are new.  In fact, I think Kovacs, Falconer and Poe are the only three characters to return.  Poe’s presence was a little strange.

For those that didn’t see the first season, he was the AI that ran the hotel Kovacs was operating out of.  At the end of the season, he was attacked.  Now, he’s glitchy and hesitant to reboot.  He might lose his memories, which would be bad.  It would have been easy enough to write this a little differently.  Instead, it’s used to hinder Kovacs here and there.

My main complaint with serialized stories is that each episode is rather slow and usually ends with a hyped-up cliffhanger.  At least we didn’t get the latter here.  It was also a little more evenly paced, but I felt it was slow at times.

Some of the series was spent looking for Konrad Harlan.  I wasn’t exactly sure where that was even going.  Poe was sent in to the VR world to look for him.  Once it was discovered that he wasn’t there, Poe and Kovacs all but gave up on it.  It seemed like a lot of screen time just to show what kind of person his daughter was.

Much of the season was like that.  It was so slow that I usually felt like I was missing something.  It’s like someone is telling you a story and constantly leaving out important details.  I felt like there should have been more going on.

I’m curious to see how the third season will turn out, if it is actually announced.  The series has a way of letting characters come back to life and were left with a pretty nice setup at the end of the final episode.  We’re teased with a big question of what exactly Poe and another AI character found.  The question is whether or not we’ll get our answer

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