Netflix’s Altered Carbon Season 2: All The Season 1 Story And Characters To Remember

It’s been quite a while since season one of Altered Carbon first streamed on Netflix, so you’d be forgiven for forgetting some or all of what happened–after all, the story included a twisting murder mystery, a whole bunch of sci-fi terms, and a ton of characters switching bodies. At the center of it all is Takeshi Kovacs, a character with a long history, a bunch of cool abilities, and some keen detective skills.

There’s also a whole bunch of dense sci-fi material you need to be intimately familiar with to really appreciate Altered Carbon’s future world, from artificially intelligent hotels to technology that makes some people effectively immortal. Altered Carbon is full of confusing terminology, which can make it tough to follow the story if you’re not up on your concepts.

Lucky for you, we’ve run down everything you need to remember about Altered Carbon Season 1, from the concept of stacks and sleeves to the vast murder mystery and the lengthy political history of the world–all of which is important to enjoying the newest chapter. Here’s everything you need to know about Altered Carbon to get ready for Season 2.

‘Love is Blind’: All your post-finale burning questions for Jessica and Mark, answered

Spoiler alert!: This story reveals details of Netflix’s “Love is Blind” finale. To avoid any spoilers, stop reading now, lock yourself in a pod to watch and then come back!

If you’ve seen the “Love is Blind” finale, you know there was no need to raise a metallic champagne glass to Mr. and Mrs. Mark Cuevas (should Jessica Batten have wanted to take the last name of her all-in suitor, a decade her junior).

“It’s my wedding day, and I couldn’t be happier,” Jessica says on Episode 10 of Netflix’s captivating and cringeworthy new dating show, explaining that she found “full-blown love” with Mark and making it seem as if she would say “I do.” Even at the altar, she praises and professes her love for Mark, who was 24 when the series was taped in fall 2018.

But when it was her turn to commit, Jessica, then 34, said she thought the two weren’t ready. In her defense, they had met just weeks before, “dating” while isolated in pods and unable to see each other until they were engaged. As the show went on, they moved in together.

Following the finale, we had so many questions, and honestly couldn’t wait for the reunion, taped Feb. 18 and available Thursday on Netflix’s YouTube channel. So we asked the couple a bunch of them (edited for clarity).

Question: Honestly, did you go into the show expecting to walk away with a husband?

Jessica Batten: Absolutely.

Q: Wow, no hesitation?

Jessica: OK, with a husband? Maybe not with a husband… I went into the show feeling like I was going to fall in love, because I’m someone who thinks everything happens for a reason, and I over-dramatized all of it (laughs).

Q: You fell in love. You got very close to finding a husband. How did you feel waking up on your wedding day?

Jessica: I was actually quite ready for it to happen. It had been a month and a half of a bit of a struggle and some frustration. I was memorializing the experiences and taking it all in, but I was definitely ready to sort of let it play out. I already knew what my decision was gonna be. Mark and I had already had conversations about the future of our relationship, and I felt like I was in a good place and I was ready to walk down the aisle and do what I needed to do.

Q: You knew before (the wedding) that you were going to say no, is that what you’re saying?

Jessica: I did. I knew before the wedding day that I wasn’t ready, we were not in a place to commit to marriage that day.

Q: When did you know that you were not going to say “I do”?

Jessica: In Mexico, I started having a lot of reservations, and a woman’s intuition was saying that this probably was not going to happen for us. And I was honest with him then, I was honest with him every moment that I felt anything. I felt like I had gotten in over my head. So I  immediately told him in Mexico: “Oh no, I think I am not necessarily ready for this. I think we have a lot to figure out,” and all that.

Q: In the episode on your wedding day you’re saying you’d found “full-blown love” and you “couldn’t be happier” and you’re ready to exchange vows. So it definitely makes it seem like you’re going to say “I do.” And then you say I’m “too much of a realist to take this big of a chance.” So why that contrast?

Jessica (who has not seen the edited finale): Gosh, I didn’t have any of that context, so thank you. I figured what would play out is I look a little relieved that day, and I’m excited and all of those things, and I felt like me and Mark were on the same page. I really wanted to get out of a pressure-filled situation that was leading to a marriage that I didn’t think we were ready for.

Q: So you and Mark had already had a conversation. Were you were surprised that he said he wanted to marry you then, on the altar?

Jessica: Yes, to say the least.

Q: And what were you feeling when he said yes?

Jessica: It was interesting, because we had discussed a lot of the details of the wedding. He and I had to choose who are we going to have as our bridesmaids and a lot of the details…  but when the doors opened I realized there were, like, five more groomsman than we discussed, and I thought, “Oh, welp, I think he’s gonna say yes,” and that’s exactly what happened.

Q: In the episode, you say “I’ll apologize to whoever I need to apologize to.” Did you apologize to Mark, or anybody?

Jessica: I did apologize to him, and I apologized to his mom. You know, I apologized to him every single day of that experiment (laughs) to be honest with you. I was like, “I’m so sorry this is happening,” or “I’m so sorry that I don’t feel like I can do this or that because it’s untruthful.”

Q: Ultimately, why couldn’t it work between you two?

Jessica: The pods (were) very 15 minutes today, an hour tomorrow. I probably spent four or five hours in total talking to him. Once we were in Mexico, and you’re with somebody 24/7, there’s a lot of other dynamics that play in – interactions with other people, and you’re having very long conversations and you’re spending day in and day out together. It just wasn’t right. We’re just at different life stages, and it became very apparent.

Q: In the pods, you also had a connection with Barnett. Do you think things could’ve worked out with him?

Jessica: No. I don’t. I don’t think that would’ve worked out, either. I don’t think my guy was there, unfortunately, but I tried really hard.

Q: Were you surprised that Barnett and Amber made it all the way and got married?

Jessica: I was initially shocked. But after we got out of the pods, and I saw them together and they were so happy, I wasn’t surprised at all. I knew they were going to go through with it… and I was just super happy for them. There was no resentment, no “I want to go get your man,” or anything like that. I was fully supportive of them.

Q: You mention you had hopes of falling in love when you signed up for the show. And it appeared that you were very hurt by Barnett and that you had a special connection. And then you went back to Mark. Looking back, do you feel like Mark was any sort of fallback guy, or were your feelings for him genuine?

Jessica: I can see how it looked. It literally looked like I went from one room of being broken up with to the next room, accepting an engagement. There were a lot of feelings that I was processing during that time. Barnett represents a guy that I normally go for who’s unavailable… and the whole time Mark had been there. He had been wanting a relationship since Day 1, and that also represents someone in my life who I don’t tend to go for. So, I was drawing all of these parallels from the pods to my real life, and I felt like this is what was meant to be. I’m supposed to walk away from this guy who’s eluded me before, and I’m supposed to end up with the guy who’s been there since Day 1.

Q: But you were genuinely in love with Mark?

Jessica: 100%. I watch the episode back, and I was fully in love with him. I wouldn’t have told him I loved him if I didn’t feel that in the moment, but I think a lot of it was sensationalized due to the uncomfortability of the living situation. I hadn’t talked to my friends, I hadn’t talked to my family. You have no TV, no internet. You’re with these 15 women in this pod which is really a soundstage in south Atlanta. Life starts to get pretty weird, and you’re having these connections with these men, and it feels different than if you just met them in the real world.

Q: Are you dating anybody now?

Jessica: I’m actually dating around, but nothing serious. I didn’t date for a long time, after the show, but I recently started up again. It’s been really great. I’m actually in L.A. now. So it’s been a nice change from Atlanta. Atlanta is a tough place to date…

The day after talking to Jessica, we talked to Mark.

From the beginning, Mark Cuevas was smitten with Jessica.

Q: Jessica said you guys had conversations about not being ready to wed. Was that true?  

Mark Cuevas: I wear my heart on my sleeve. And I made this promise before I did this experiment that I’m gonna stay true to myself no matter what. Even though those conversations might’ve been (had), once I saw her walking down the aisle, I just felt what I felt in the moment, and I think the hopeless romantic in me was like, “We can do this.”

Q: Were you shocked that she didn’t reciprocate and say, “I do?” or did you expect that?

Mark: I mean, it hurt. I was disappointed, but it was such an intense experience, and we were both trying to figure it out. Jess is always gonna have a special place in my heart no matter what.

Q: You said you needed to be honest for yourself, but is there any part of you that wishes you hadn’t said “I do” just so Jessica wouldn’t have been surprised?

Mark: Once you’re up there and you hear the music come on and they open these doors (and) she walks down the aisle … I still get emotional thinking about it because that day no one could’ve told me anything. I was on Cloud 9, and I had that same rush because to me it’s like, “Wow! I deserve this love.” And sure, the outcome didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to, but living in the moment you can never regret the things you do, because everything’s a lesson.

Q: You’ve identified yourself as a hopeless romantic. Do you feel, looking back, that you genuinely loved her the first time she said hi to you?

Mark: People say love at first sight, for me it was like first voice. All the women in this whole experience are beautiful people and wonderful. It’s just Jess was the one that stood out no matter what, and it was real to me. I was 24 at the time and, again, I love hard, and I don’t regret anything from it.

Q: What was it like seeing Jessica at the reunion?

Mark: It was good to see her. She looked as beautiful as ever… We talked, we were friends, and it was water under the bridge.

Q: Have you connected with anyone like you did with Jessica since the show?

Mark: It’s hard to compare how I connected with anybody as I connected with Jess.

Q: For those criticizing Jessica, what should they know?

Mark: We’re the first people to ever do this. Jess was figuring it out just as much as I was. I really wish people would cut her some slack, because she is beautiful and a really deep, loving person.


Taylor Swift, Man

The Taylor Swift vs. Scooter Braun feud continues in “The Man,” the latest single from last year’s Lover.

The video, Swift’s solo directorial debut (she’s credited as co-director on previous Lover singles “ME!,” “You Need to Calm Down” and “Lover”) takes the song’s conceit to its logical conclusion, following a — you guessed it — man with an eerily familiar face.

“There’s a song that I had wanted to write conceptually for a very long time, because over the course of my life it has occurred to me that we have a bit of a double-standard issue in our society,” Swift explained before performing the track at the Tiny Desk last year.

After rounds of shots, a tennis match temper tantrum, a workplace meltdown and a “Leo on a boat in Saint-Tropez” scene comes the reveal: It’s all a video shoot, directed by Swift, who offers the direction to the actor (also played by Swift, but voiced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), “Could you try to be sexier? Maybe more likable this time?”

In classic Swift fashion, the visual treatment is full of not-so-subtle nods. A prominent “No Scooters” sign on the 13th Street Station, with previous album titles and scrawled on the subway tile wall near a “Missing: If Found Return to Taylor Swift” sign, points directly to her latest object of ire, Scooter Braun, manager of Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen and Ariana Grande, among others. There’s also the closing credits — “Directed by,” “Written by,” “Owned by,” and “Starring,” all attributed to Swift.

The backstory: In 2018, Taylor Swift announced a new recording deal with Universal. Last year, ahead of the release of Lover, her former label, Big Machine Label Group, was sold to Braun’s Ithaca Holdings. That sale meant that Braun’s company had control over Swift’s master recordings for her first six records. A public feud followed as Swift announced plans to re-record those early albums in order to own the rights and rallied her fanbase ahead of performances at the VMAs and the American Music Awards.

The video also comes on the heels of the release of Miss Americana. Directed by Lana Wilson, the Netflix film chronicles the aftermath of 2017’s Reputation and the making of Lover, plus the behind-the-curtain process by which Swift, who had long avoided public statements on politics, arrived at her first endorsement.

Everything coming to Apple TV+ that we know about so far

The streaming video environment is more crowded than ever these days. Not to be left out, Apple launched Apple TV+ on November 1 and has been slowly adding original content. They’ve since signed overall deals with the likes of Alfonso Cuaron, Kerry Ehrin, Jon M. Chu, Justin Lin, Jason Katims, Lee Eisenberg, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Meryl Streep, and studios A24, Imagine Documentaries, and Oprah. Clearly, they mean business.

With so many options out there, cord cutters have a lot to consider when it comes to deciding which streaming service to invest in. Of course, one of the biggest factors will be just how compelling each service’s movies and television shows are. In order to help you make an informed decision, here’s all the original content already on Apple TV+, what we know is coming, as well as everything that’s been rumored so far.


Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet

Co-created by It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia creators/stars Rob McElhenny and Charlie Day (as well as Megan Ganz), Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet follows a team of video game developers and stars McElhenney as the fictional company’s creative director, Ian Grimm. It was recently renewed for a second season.

Little America

This anthology series developed by the Oscar-nominated writing duo of The Big Sick, Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, explores the immigrant experience by focusing on the true stories of immigrants in the U.S. “We wanted to focus on the immigrants doing everyday life stuff,” explained Nanjiani. The majority of writers and directors are either immigrants or the children of immigrants, and the show is intended to remind audiences that there’s “no such thing as the other. Only us.”

For All Mankind

A sci-fi series from Battlestar Galactica‘s Ronald D. Moore that explores what would have happened if the international space race had continued long after it actually ended. The first trailer for the alternate-history series debuted June 3 during Apple’s keynote presentation at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference.

The Elephant Queen

This documentary narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) follows a mother elephant, Athena, as she travels across the African savannah with her herd following the loss of their waterhole.

The Morning Show

One of the biggest projects Apple is working on — given both its A-list cast and Apple’s resource investment — is this series that explores the behind-the-scenes drama of a morning TV news show. The Morning Show will team Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston both in front of the camera and as producers, while also bringing Steve Carell back to television. The series will “pull back the curtain on the power dynamic between women and men,” according to Witherspoon and Aniston. Apple has already ordered two seasons of the series.


A reboot of the popular 1990s children’s series of the same name, the new version will follow a group of kids who must solve the mystery of a ghost’s unfinished business after it begins bringing fictional characters to life in their neighborhood.


A fantasy epic starring Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard, the series is set centuries after a virus has killed off all but a few million people and rendered the survivors blind. Momoa asked the audience at Apple’s presentation to close their eyes, saying, “Imagine every human experience available to you … experienced in this way.”


Developed with Sesame Workshop and featuring both new and familiar puppets from the Sesame Street world, the kid-friendly series will use principles of coding to solve problems.

Snoopy in Space

The beloved Peanuts character Snoopy heads off into space for this animated adventure that has him take command of the International Space Station. Hilarity is likely to ensue.


A comedy series based on the life of poet Emily Dickinson that stars Hailee Steinfeld (Bumblebee) as Dickinson and Jane Krakowski (30 Rock) as her mother.


From Emmy and Peabody winner R.J. Cutler, this series will profile internationally-renowned leaders like Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, Yara Shahidi, Stevie Wonder, Misty Copeland, and many more using letters written to them from fans as a medium.

Amazing Stories

A revival of the sci-fi /fantasy anthology series of the same name, Amazing Stories has Steven Spielberg on board as producer. (Think Jordan Peele’s new Twilight Zone series, but on Apple’s service instead of CBS All Access.) According to Spielberg, the first season is intended to provide a “single thematic experience” for audiences despite telling stand-alone stories. One episode will feature a World War II pilot whose plane travels into the present day.

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth

Meryl Streep will provide voiceover narration of this upcoming animated short film about Earth Day. Jacob Tremblay (Room) voices a 7-year old child who learns about the planet. Chris O’Dowd and Ruth Negga provide the voices for his parents.

Defending Jacob

Based on the 2012 New York Times best-selling novel of the same name, Defending Jacob tells the story of a crime that shakes a small Massachusetts town to its core. It stars Chris Evans, Michelle Dockery, Jaeden Martell, Cherry Jones, Pablo Schreiber, Betty Gabriel, and Sakina Jaffrey.


This docuseries is produced by Ryan White, Jessica Hargrave, Wanda Sykes, and Wilson Cruz and focuses on the LGBTQ movement’s impact on television. It will feature narration from Janet Mock, Margaret Cho, Asia Kate Dillon, Neil Patrick Harris, and Lena Waithe.

Central Park

Central Park First Look for Apple TV+

An animated musical comedy from Bob’s Burgers creator Loren Bouchard, Nora Smith, and Josh Gad, Central Park will follow the Tillermans, a family that lives in Central Park. The voice cast includes the likes of Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Tituss Burgess, Daveed Diggs, and Stanley Tucci. From the first-look image, it looks like it will be made in a similar animation style to Bob’s Burgers.

Little Voice

J.J. Abrams and musician Sara Bareilles team up for this series that follows a young musician in New York City learning to find herself and her voice. Bareilles will serve as co-creator, co-producer, and composer on the series.


Apple’s first original series from the U.K., Trying stars Rafe Spall and  Esther Smith as a couple who are trying to have a baby. Apple, however, describes the series’ larger theme as about “growing up, settling down and finding someone to love.”


This series from Sixth Sense filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan follows a Philadelphia couple whose marriage is disintegrating after a terrible tragedy, and the mysterious force that enters their lives. Rupert Grint, Lauren Ambrose, and Toby Kebbell star in the series.

Time Bandits

Thor: Ragnarok and What We Do in the Shadows director Taika Waititi has been hired by Apple to helm a TV adaptation of the 1981 fantasy film Time Bandits, which follows a young boy who embarks on a series of time-traveling adventures with a group of dwarfs.

Netflix teases time-twisting season 2 of The Umbrella Academy

It’s been just over a year since the premiere of The Umbrella Academy on Netflix, and with filming on the second season concluded, fans are finally getting a peek at what season 2 will bring for the show’s dysfunctional family of superheroes.

Netflix released a series of posters on Twitter featuring each of the show’s main characters’ eyes framed by an umbrella-shaped pattern. The series of character-specific images were preceded by a promotional image for the second season with the tagline “When are they?”

“This time travel thing? It gets messy,” Netflix wrote in the accompanying tweet. “The cast of Umbrella Academy is back for Season 2!”

After the first season of The Umbrella Academy ended on a cliffhanger that saw the siblings journey back in time — with some help from Number Five (Aidan Gallagher) — in the midst of an apocalyptic event, fans were left wondering where the next season would send the reluctant heroes. The Netflix teasers suggest that a journey through time is indeed in their future (or is it their past?), but judging by the events of the first season, their adventure isn’t likely to go smoothly.

Netflix renewed The Umbrella Academy in April 2019, just two months after the series launched on the streaming service. There’s no word on when the second, 10-episode season will premiere, but filming on the new season reportedly concluded in November 2019.

The Umbrella Academy is based on the comic book series of the same name written by Gerard Way and illustrated by Gabriel Bá, and was developed for TV by Steve Blackman (the Fargo TV series) and Jeremy Slater (Death Note). The series follows a group of adopted siblings with extraordinary powers who spend their childhood as a superhero team, only to grow estranged in later years. They reunite years later when their father dies, only to find themselves caught up in a world-threatening mystery tied to their past.

Season 2 of The Umbrella Academy is expected to bring back first-season stars Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, David Castañeda, Aidan Gallagher, and Justin Min, as well as Cameron Britton and Mary J. Blige, who portrayed the time-hopping mercenaries Hazel and Cha-Cha. Several new cast members for season 2 were also announced, with Ritu Arya, Yusuf Gatewood, and Marin Ireland all joining the series.

Arya will portray Lila, “a chameleon who can be as brilliant or as clinically insane as the situation requires,” while Gatewood will play Raymond, “a born leader with the smarts, gravitas, and the confidence to never have to prove it to anyone.” Ireland will play Sissy, “a fearless, no-nonsense Texas mom who married young for all the wrong reasons.”

Westworld Season 3 trailer: HBO sends the show into the unknown

HBO’s Westworld ventures into a brave, new world in its third season, and the stakes have never been higher.

The season 3 trailer for Westworld arrived online Thursday in advance of the show’s return in March, and it offers a preview of the war to come between the android hosts — now free of the confines of the titular, high-tech amusement park — and the unsuspecting human world.

Over the course of the series’ first two seasons, the park’s androids achieved a form of sentience and eventually rid themselves of human control, staging an uprising that swept across the park and left more than a few human bodies in its wake. In the second season, several hosts managed to find a way out of the park, and the third season picks up in the aftermath of their departure from the park’s borders.

Along with chronicling the androids’ experiences in the human world, the season is also expected to introduce another new theme park — this time, with a World War II theme. The latest trailer offers a preview of some of the environments and tense events the new park holds for its visitors, whether android or human.

Season 3 of Westworld brings back many of the show’s regular cast members, including Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores, Thandie Newton as Maeve, Jeffrey Wright as Bernard, Tessa Thompson as Charlotte, and Ed Harris as William.

The series also adds a few familiar faces to the third-season cast, including Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul, Master of None actress Lena Waithe, Black Swan actor Vincent Cassel, musician Kid Cudi, and professional football player Marshawn Lynch.

Created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, and executive produced by the aforementioned duo along with  J. J. Abrams, Jerry Weintraub, and Bryan Burk, HBO’s Westworld series is based on the 1973 film of the same name that was written and directed by Michael Crichton. Westworld consistently ranks among the premium cable network’s most-watched shows. The series’ first season still holds the record as the network’s most popular first season of any original series produced by HBO so far.

Season 3 is scheduled to premiere March 15.

Trends with Benefits podcast

The continuing evolution of Visual Effects never ceases to amaze, when it comes to the Academy Awards nominees. On this episode we will be covering the Oscar nominees of 2020, The Lion King, Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, The Irishman, Avengers: Endgame, and 1917.

Today’s podcast cast includes: Caleb Denison, Adrien Warner, Ryan Waniata, and Greg Nibler.

Trends with Benefits

Each week, we gather a roundtable of tech experts, along with celebrity guests to discuss all things technology-related on Trends with Benefits. We will recap the most important tech stories to surface throughout the week and include any late breaking tech headlines. This is your go to source for topical, informative, fun conversations about the technology that is changing our lives, all in a one-of-a-kind podcast.

Trends with Benefits also streams live each week at 2:30 p.m. PT. The video podcast is available on Facebook,  YouTube and Twitch, giving you the opportunity to join in and ask questions. You’ll get your chance to voice your opinions along with the experts on the show.

Every week the podcast is different, covering the entire range of tech topics available at Digital Trends: Smart home devices and smart speakers are evolving rapidly. They provide new levels of convenience at home, but does Google Home or Amazon Alexa invade your privacy?

With how essential smartphones are to everyday life, Trends with Benefits dices deep into all the latest iPhone and Android news, along with providing real life reviews of all the newest phones.

How we watch television is evolving as streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video compete with cable companies. The TV in your living room is also transforming to take advantage of cord-cutting. Our TV expert Caleb Denison weighs in with all the latest inside information on where TV trends are headed. For weekly recommendations of what shows to stream and movies to watch listen to our other podcast Between the Streams.

Nearly anything Elon Musk does is fair game to talk about on Trends with Benefits. From Tesla to SpaceX to the Boring Co. we cover it all.

Other regular topics include virtual reality and augmented reality, the latest gaming consoles, artificial intelligence (AI) and robots. We love to talk about robots.

Be sure to catch each half-hour episode. Please subscribe now and share Trends with Benefits with your fellow tech enthusiasts. Send in your questions to

Host Greg Nibler @GregNibler is a media personality, writer, actor, and all around funny guy. Check out his other podcast Funemployent Radio.

Other regular guests include: