Altered Carbon is a breakthrough series of the Sci-Fi genre, showing that with enough money in your budget, anything is possible. At $70 million, or $7M per episode, Altered Carbon looks like a hollywood movie you'd see in theaters that took 3 years to make. Its absolutely gorgeous. I'd say Altered Carbon is perhaps the only successful TV applications of a true Cyberpunk future Dystopia. The show's world feels much like a cross between Total Recall, Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell and the game series Deus Ex, but the story itself focuses more on a mystery subplot within this vast and cruel world, and its done in a way that feels very immersive. It's also worth mentioning that Altered Carbon has some of the greatest fight choreography thats ever graced the small screen. Theres tons of action, both long range and hand to hand. There is one sword fight in episode 7 that reminded me of one of my favorite action movies of all time, Equillibrium (2002). So this show will appeal to those who love action, those who love sci-fi, as well as those who loves mystery and intrigue.
Unfortunately, while sexual violence in a dystopian future is a fairly common theme considering the inevitable destruction of the middle class, the show hits this theme way to heavy handed, bordering on an almost unprecedented cruelty towards women. While the show does technically indicate that the same things that are happening to the women portrayed also happens to men, and children, there is significantly more focus on objectifying women in horrific ways. Episodes 8 and 9 were so graphic and disturbing that It almost ruined the entire show for me and made me not want to watch 10 and wish I'd never watched them. After watching 9, I decided to read some critic reviews because I believed there was no way I was the only person who would have issues stomaching these types of scenes. It turns out that 13 out of 15 critics all stated that the shows heavyhanded sexual violence of women was far too extreme and was in very poor taste. So I will absolutely recommend this show for all the wonders it has to offer .. but I would advise STRONG caution when watching episodes 8 and 9, and might even suggest you avoid them all together and ask someone else to fill you in on what you missed (in general terms). Having finished the series now, Ican say that I would've enjoyed it about 20% more had I not watched those two episdoes. Hence the 3 and a half star review instead of 4 and a half. Themes included in episode 9 are snuff rape, torture rape, the brutal murder of an entire family including the children, suggested child prostitution, and more. Be advised.