Warning Might contain spoilers.

I remember reading about Altered Carbon and feeling skeptical. It looked like it could easily be a dour, grimdark tale with the same sort of sensibilities as Game of Thrones.[1] Moreover, the only real exposure I had had to Joel Kinnaman was in Suicide Squad (2016), where I found him boring and bland.

I gave the show a shot anyway because of the overwhelmingly positive reviews and the intriguing setting and plot. The first episode drew me into the story. By the third, I was hooked. I had never before seen such a perfect portrayal of such a stereotypical protagonist: the gruff, tough, taciturn man who just wants to survive and not be involved in anything, because (and this is what the performance brought out to such perfection) of how broken he was inside. That alone would have been enough to carry the show, but it was only one part of a tapestry of careful design and plotting, where every scene felt like it carried meaning beyond what we saw, because of the combination of the performances, the direction, the writing, the score, and the fantastic production design.

A top-notch show overall.


  1. I hated Game of Thrones. A story for another time.