Wednesday, February 07, 2018


ALTERED CARBON, on Netflix, satisfies my sweet tooth for sci fi urban dystopias, yet it plays out the same old film noir premise of a high society murder that turns out to involve sexual and other depredations of the bored rich. Owes a lot--for me, too much--to Raymond Chandler (whose work I adore, save for the misogyny), who's mid-20th century male understanding of women seems woefully inadequate to any future, dystopian or otherwise. At the center of this story women are literally treated as throwaway commodities, but I don't have confidence that the writers and directors are handling that with any sense of irony; it comes off as an unthought-out echo and appropriation of Chandler, done for the t and a.
The show also demonstrates what’s both right and wrong about ‘diversity’ in casting. On the upside: more diverse casting is great to see here, and at least three of the major characters are non-white. On the down side: people of color are still being used to authenticate the Caucasian hero and anti-heroes at the center of the action.
I'd like to see dark sci fi move away from the 'film noir' mash ups that have worked well until now but, for me, are paying fewer dividends.

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