GABBLER RECOMMENDS: Netflix’s Altered Carbon

What people are saying:

Morgan traces the genesis of Altered Carbon to an argument he had with a Buddhist at a party. “We got talking about karma and the idea that if you’re suffering in this life it’s because in a previous life you did something shitty. I’ve got a lot of time for Buddhism. Among the predominant faiths, it’s the one that’s the least full of bullshit. But I pressed him: ‘So I’m suffering and I can’t remember what I did to earn this suffering? That’s not right, is it, because I’m not that person?’ And he said: ‘It’s the same soul.’ I said: ‘It doesn’t fucking matter. What matters is whether you, as an experiential being, remember it. Otherwise I’m being punished and I don’t know why. That’s the height of injustice.’”

The everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink approach also extends to the show’s dizzyingly convoluted mystery plot, though critic Beth Elderkin points out that the show is actually easier to follow than its source material, the novel Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan. “If you can believe it, some character stories were combined into single characters,” she says. “So it’s even more convoluted when you’re reading it in the book.”

But the show certainly has its defenders. As a science fiction author himself, Daniel H. Wilson found the show’s excesses oddly encouraging.

“It gives me hope,” he says, “because all the science fiction I write has too much stuff going on, too much exposition. So I hope this does well, because it gives me hope that you can create a really complex world and tell a cool story and get away with it.”

As a bleak dystopia, “Altered Carbon” cops flak for being a lesser “Blade Runner”. But on the diversity front, Lachman thinks “Altered Carbon” is superior.

“In ‘Blade Runner’, there’s sanskrit and Japanese and Chinese writing on all the buttons and everything, and not one person who looked like they could read it.”

GABBLER RECOMMENDS: Netflix’s Alias Grace

It even has a Margaret Atwood cameo.

Read more Gabbler Recommendations here

GABBLER RECOMMENDS: The Case Against Black Mirror By Kathryn VanArendonk

“The thing is, for all its conceptual complexity — for all of the surprise twists and third-act reversals, for all of the high-concept premises and alarming escalations, Black Mirror’s messages are usually pretty simple. Cell phones? Bad. Reality shows? Bad. Social media? Really bad. Politics as entertainment? Definitely bad, but not ultimately as disturbing as entertainment-style justice. Oh, sure, the setup and the execution of those ideas is impressive, but the show’s primary crutch is too often that it uses thought-provoking and fascinating foundations in order to reach the simplest, most alarmist possible conclusion about a variety of technological innovations.

In general, Black Mirror’s box of magic tricks is just that — a set of admittedly impressive narrative tricks that don’t result in much of substance.” [Via]

#TwilightZoneIsStillNumberOne

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

GABBLER RECOMMENDS: Maria Bamford’s Lady Dynamite

Word cannot express my love of this show. So, I’ll let the GIFs do it for me:

On paper, Lady Dynamite fits the same mold as countless other self-referential shows about a comedian’s life, from Seinfeld to Curb Your Enthusiasm to Louie, blending autobiographical stories with heightened sitcom material and an impressive cavalcade of guests. But the show’s star Maria Bamford and its co-creators Mitch Hurwitz and Pam Brady have taken that well-worn formula and turned it into a uniquely bizarre comedy for Netflix—one that manages to tap into dark, emotional territory while remaining a cheerful, unconventional delight.

Many episodes deal with Bamford’s adventures in a modern Hollywood determined to monetize her eccentricity. She tries to “Trojan horse” some feminist commentary into a bad network sitcom; she foolishly gives up a role to a Sarah Silverman, who sends her on a scavenger hunt to win it back. She appears in a violent, surreal Japanese ad for a product called “Pussy Noodle” and attends a terrifying corporate “pitchapalooza” involving Wendie Malick and a sandwich.

Am I selling it yet?

Thank you to all the people who made these GIFs so that I can enjoy these parts of the show on repeat. You are a gift to the world.

 

 

Appreciation post:

I, Gabbler, previously recommended season 2 of Daredevil, but forgot to mention my thoughts on Foggy and Karen (the two main mere mortals in this series).

Karen grows a lot more in this season, reflecting off of the Punisher in a way that shows she’s really a badass lawbreaking crime stopper. You only got a taste of that badassery in season 1; but here, the Punisher would be a poorer character without her. While it still sucks that she’s used to prop up male characters, it feels more like he propped up her despite the (likely) true intent of the writers. But I’ll stop assuming.

Foggy is still a barfy goody-goody who “cares too much” about his friends, to the point where when he finally gets enough of Matt’s crap you’re like Thank God! He has a backbone. He’s a much better character when he’s moping about and no longer happy-go-lucky. You want Matt to include him in on the secrets. You wonder why he doesn’t.

I’m still holding out for less Foggy face-time in season 3. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.