Netflix’s second season of Altered Carbon recently debuted on the streaming service with Anthony Mackie taking on the role Takeshi Kovacs after Joel Kinnaman portrayed him in the first season.

Rotten Tomatoes

Fans are not too happy with the second season. The show currently has a 38% Audience Score with a 2.61 average rating from 708 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

Not only are they giving it poor ratings, but they are expressing their distaste in written reviews as well.

Colin P. writes writes, “Terrible. They took everything that was great about Season 1 (sex, mystery, complex narrative) and reduced it to a punch-fest with no style. Completely disappointed.”

Wes B. writes, “Mackie is not Kovacs–not even close. Casting and acting aside, the show did a huge disservice to its rich, complex source material and instead clung to the bored, tired, woke tropes of modern television. There were some gems in the fight scenes, which were almost always interesting to watch, yet the visuals failed to make up for the directionless and shallow plot. What’s left is a thrown together romantic tragedy It pointedly ignores the dark, meaningful questions poised by the novel and presents characters who somehow feel less real than those on some mashed together pieces of paper. It follows the form of sci-fi, true, but lacks the intellectual engagement that is so core to the genre. I would strongly recommend the novels: they’re a treat, and Richard K. Morgan deserves better than to watch his brainchild get the Game of Thrones treatment. Do yourself a favor and watch The Expanse instead.”

Diego V. writes, “I just don’t understand critics. This second season is far weaker in every aspect of writing, acting, ambient and direction. If the protagonists of both season are the same person. They don’t feel like it. And I know the actors are different, and comes in par with the world building, but this felt cheap and bad.”

Leigh H. writes, “I was so excited for this second season, and it really fell flat for me. It felt way too easy to find Quell. Her survival by Rei’s hand felt contrived and expected. Anthony Mackie didn’t scream “I’m forever broken and you should love me for it” like Joel Kinnaman did. The world felt so much smaller and lower stakes. The big mystery didn’t feel anywhere near as rewarding because it didn’t directly relate to any of the main characters’ origin stories. The connection between the elder and Quell didn’t feel realistic or really important enough to drive the whole season. I’m happy that Netflix is continuing the story, but if they’re going to do a 3rd season, they really need to step it up!”

Milos S. writes, “The second season has committed the ultimate sin when it comes to shows such as this – it’s boring. The secondary characters (with the exception of Poe and Dig) were paper thin and forgettable. Every scene that concentrated on Quel or the bounty hunter (whose name I forgot even though I just finished watching the show) was just not that interesting and I just skipped through them on the last 2 episodes. I think Mackie tried his best but in the end, even with Conner’s great performance, it just wasn’t enough.”

Michael B. writes, “Definitely pales compared to the first season. The world building was lazier. The dialogue and delivery was off. It seemed like season 2 was an attempt to de scinfi it and dumb it down for critics. Based on the improved ratings, it worked ….”

Derrick S. writes, “Very disappointed.. Makie did not make for a convincing Takeshi and the budget seemed way too low.”

Frank J. writes, “This was a big step backwards in storytelling. First season was amazing but this was poorly executed from story structure.”

John M. writes, “Do not recommend. Was not as good as the first season. One problem is that they changed the lead character’s character. It doesn’t make sense that because he’s in a black sleeve his character would be fundamentally different – the Asian and white sleeve kept the same mannerisms, language, and emotions but the black sleeve was a totally different character. Another problem is the first season was very interesting from a world building perspective but the second felt like they ran out of ideas. I hope they don’t make a third season.”

Nick C. writes, “Mack ie is just not as convincing as Kovac in season 2. As misogynistic as it is, also disappointed that this season isn’t the erotic escapade season 1 was. The storyline is more predictable and little character development. Overall not as thrilling as the debut season”

Chris P. writes, “Get the season 1 Showrunner back!… I like Anthony Mackie & I knew it was going to be tough filling the 2 Takashis in season 1’s shoes so I think he did what he could with a much duller storyline..I agree with others that everything I loved in the 1st season they went all PG on us…I DO want a Season 3 & intriguing characters again.. & Poe is still great…Make me care again!”

Matt J. writes, “Extremely dissapointing and soulless. First season was such a fun and interesting ride. The characters were all enthralling, the story and setting drew me in. I binged the entire first season and wanted more. The second season was hard to get through. Anthony Mackie just did not capture the same intensity as joel kinnaman. I felt like I was watching a completely different character. The writing of the second season tanked. The overall quality drop from season 1 to season 2 is very noticeable. Here’s to hoping if there’s a season 3 these issues will be fixed.”

Metacritic

It’s not just users on Rotten Tomatoes. On Metacritic, The User Score sits at 3.6 from 88 ratings. There are 20 positive reviews, 15 mixed, and 53 negative reviews.

Pio writes, “Netflix and the plane weak ass cast ruined a good… even one of the best series of netflix. The blade runner atmosphere is gone. The story and the world looks not like on the same budget like season 1.”

DeltaFenix writes, “Very far removed from season 1 and not in a good way. Anthony Mackie is underwhelming and proves to be a bland lead despite being very captivating and fun in the MCU movies. They tried to make this season very tame, playing it very safe whilst offering no substance. Just watch season 1 and be done with the series, you will be happier.”

Nickycakes writes, “Really enjoyed season 1. This season, however, was a huge disappointment. Bad casting for the lead…actually most of the new characters. The sidekick bounty hunter is completely unnecessary, has a story nobody would care about, and seems shoehorned into the show for some reason. There is basically no plot or mystery like the first season. The fight had their moments, but for the most part were ridiculous. The technobabble was off the charts and really cringeworthy. If they do a 3rd season, hopefully they get better writing and acting and a real story.”

Red_Ninja_9 writes, “Dude…Anthony Mackie isn’t charismatic or interesting as the lead. He has as much personality as a tree. Got bored after 1st episode, the more I watch the worst it got. The only thing that kept the show going for me was Trepp…I quit after 3rd episode. Sad!”

FishDragin writes, “It’s just not that good. They blew their budget on season one or never had one for season two, the story feels like it was written for crappy prime Time TV.”

Signum writes, “The acting, CGI, story, cast and fighting choreography have all unfortunately been downgraded severely. Season 1 was one of the best cyberpunk themed shows on TV but this is a D+ level show with cartoon villains and inconsistent characters. Big disappointment :(”

Rtaz writes, “After brilliant season 1, this is just so sub-par. Mackie is not really delivering like Kinneman, tho writing and plot is just horrible. Where’s the punk from Cyberpunk? Gone.”

Eastw1ng writes, “Bad acting and a terrible first episode. The storyline is very predictable and not very interesting. This is truly a bad sequel.”

Chernobog writes, “”I’m strong woman that don’t need no man” writing doesn’t belong in this franchise. Way to ruin amazing source material with garbage writing and political squandering. If you loved the first season like I did don’t bother with this trash.”

Exist_To_Resist writes, “Even worse than the first season. Who writes this crap, character development is non existent and the story is dumb. But then again this is Netflix, I don’t expect much from them these days.”

Lcremer writes, “Missing what made the first season amazing. I was really looking forward to this season and the new cast. But now I’m tempted to just cancel my Netflix account.”

Have you checked out Altered Carbon Season 2 yet? What did you think?

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    John F. Trent
    Founder and Editor-in-Chief

    John is the Editor-in-Chief here at Bounding Into Comics. He is a massive Washington Capitals fan, lover of history, and likes to dabble in economics and philosophy.

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