2020 has been a trash year for pretty much everything. This includes the TV and movie industry which is projected to lose $5bn in revenue this year.
You'd think that Netflix would be spared since they doubled their customer base as a result of the global lockdown, BUT NO. They had to go and cancel one of the best sci-fi shows in their line-up! (I swear they always do this, just look at how they butchered my boi Sens8, maybe Altered Carbon will also get a wrap-up special)
There's already a campaign (which you can help sign) to save the show but till then here's 4 alternatives to tide you over till season 3 hopefully spins up again.
Note: My recommendations include series that have been completed or have sequels in the works. That way you can binge watch and look forward to something also la.
Oh and some are R-Rated.
Love, Death & Robots
Confirmed to be renewed in June 2019, Love, Death & Robots doesn't follow your typical series formula. Like Black Mirror, episodes are self-contained narratives so you can skip between them as they are standalone stories.
It's hard to describe what makes Love, Death & Robots so enticing but the diverse art-style definitely plays a part. From the nostalgic 2D art style of episodes like Sucker of Souls to the stop motion of Ice Age each short has its own personality.
And of course there's the stories themselves. There are comedic episodes like Three Robots who wander the post apocalypse discovering about our past and more contemplative ones like ZIMA Blue, which share Altered Carbon's search for the reason for living.
But there's one episode that is a complete mindf**k, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to discuss and need emotional support after watching Beyond the Aquila Rift.
Season 1 of Love, Death & Robots is now streaming on Netflix.
This probably hits a younger crowd than Altered Carbon does but The 100 can definitely hold it's own. The show gets its name from the first 100 teens who are sent back to Earth to test if it is hospitable decades after a nuclear war ends life on the planet.
But it grows to be so much more than that as these kids have to wise up fast to survive the dangers of a planet they've never known. The series really does mature over the course of its seven seasons and the action is as hearty as any fight scene in Altered Carbon.
*Spoiler* The show even features a sentient AI like Poe called A.L.I.E in the later seasons and she is quite the looker. She might also suffer from a certain "glitch" like her AI counterpart but I'll leave you to watch and find out what that is.
Seasons 1-5 of The 100 is now streaming on Netflix.
12 Monkeys takes the badass nature of Takeshi Kovac and the science of Altered Carbon and mixes it up with the craziness of time travel. James Cole (Aaron Stanford) embodies the similar man out of time vibe Joel Kinnaman does in season 1 of Altered Carbon.
While Kinnaman wakes up in the future, Stanford wakes up in the past to stop a deadly virus from being released by the mysterious "Army of the 12 Monkeys". The show does a wonderful take on time travel that isn't too hard to wrap around. Plus it's ironic that the story is centred around stopping a global pandemic 😅
Fun fact, there was actually a 12 Monkeys movie (1995) based off the same storyline that starred Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis. As seen from the gif above, Pitt's performance was so on point bananas (pun intended) that he won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor.
Watch both the 1995 movie and the series right now on Netflix.
Into the Bad Lands
Into the Badlands hits a lot closer to the Japanese roots of Altered Carbon. Just like Takeshi's sister relies on her katana and martial arts, this series capitalises on the grace of melee combat.
Instead of a high-tech future, here we have one that has regressed to a feudal life with limited uses of electricity and zero guns. The story follows Sunny (Daniel Wu) a clipper (think bodyguard/hitman) as he navigates the complicated politics of the badlands.
I think fans of Altered Carbon will really appreciate the choreography of the fights here and the motivations of both main characters aren't so different. Both Sunny and Takeshi often get manipulated into fights they really don't want any part in but still kick some serious ass anyway. It's just a shame they ended it after 4 seasons (on a cliffhanger no less!)
Watch all 4 seasons of Into the Badlands on Amazon Prime now
BONUS: Cyberpunk: EdgeRunners
Ok so this one isn't out till 2022 but I'd say that CYBERPUNK: EDGERUNNERS is the closest spiritual successor to Altered Carbon. There's already a pretty dope Altered Carbon anime Resleeved out now but it's just one movie.
Come 2022, the geniuses behind Kill La Kill and Gurren Lagann, Studio Trigger will present to us an original story from Night City. Knowing their over the top art style and fight scenes I cannot wait to see how they bring the story of a futuristic samurai to life.
If you can't wait till then, Cyberpunk 2077, a game which has been in development for 7 years finally releases on 19 November. The Witcher 3 is hands down of my favourite RPGs of all time and I can't wait to get out there with video game Keanu to raise some hell.
I really hope another streaming service or network swoops in and saves old Takeshi Kovac like Netflix did Lucifer. I know season 2 wasn't the greatest in terms of plot and acting but it wasn't the worst either!
Maybe they'll re-sleeve the series someday down the road but till then I'll be rewatching the iconic first season wondering what could have been...
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