Renee Elise Goldsberry as Rebel Queen — Quellcrist in “Altered Carbon”

How Netflix’s “Altered Carbon” Satisfyingly Elevates The Desirability Of Death

Because we need to be entertainingly quarantined!

Ezinne Ukoha
5 min readMar 13, 2020

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Mild spoilers for the first season

Dying is the mystery that leads us into the realm of uncertainty — and that pretty much dictates why the notion of not being alive anymore is on the top of the list of what most of us are incessantly fearful of — and with good reason.

If we had the ability to live forever — would you make that happen — and if so — why?

This is the question that you can’t help asking — once you dive into the futuristic spectacle of Netflix’s latest offering Altered Carbona high-tempo, grossly-moody romp — that features a universe that is rife with desperation and the irresistible alternates that only money can buy.

The impressively dark thriller stars Joel Kinnaman as Takeshi Kovacs a political warrior who is revived almost 250 years after his “sleeve” was terminated. “Sleeves” are the exteriors that serve as disposable bodies that are wired to accommodate “stacks” — which are storage devices that contain personalized memories.

These “stacks” are mass produced and replicated numerous times and they’ve been designed to fit into the vertebrae at the base of the neck, which means that a “sleeve” can literally wake up with the memory of an Asian, who was the only survivor of a major revolution, that took place many years prior with the goal of deactivating the new rules that were optimistically instituted, but ended up creating a climate of enslavement.

Joel Kinnaman is Takeshi Kovacs

Kinnaman embodies his “sleeve” and the responsibility of it with sour restlessness as he accepts the fate of rejecting a prison term in favor of investigating the gruesome murder of one of the richest and powerful men of the “settled world.”

As entertaining as Kinnaman’s Takeshi is in his new form, roving through erratic channels with all the celebrated goriness and explicit activities to boot, it’s his former version that fascinates each time…

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