Upload follows Nathan (Robbie Amell) and his journey through the utopian concept of a digital afterlife. Set in the not so distant 2033, humans are able to ‘upload’ themselves into a virtual afterlife of their choosing. A slightly worrying concept if this were to happen in 13 years time.
The 10 episode sit-com follows computer programmer Nathan who dies prematurely and is uploaded to the extremely expensive Lakeview. Soon after arriving he finds himself under the foot of his vein, possessive and still alive girlfriend Ingrid (Allegra Edwards). As the series develops Nathan weighs up the pros and cons of digital heaven, but soon comes to a cross road when he suddenly develops a friendship with Nora (Zainab Johnson), his customer service rep or “Angel”.
It seems now TV is becoming saturated with premises of quirky afterlives. The Good Place (NBC) sets in motion its ideas of Hell, Miracle Workers (TBC) and Forever (Amazon) also try to give a sense of making a comedic stage for afterlife. Amazon backed Upload is no different, a mere extension of the trending post-humanness.
Greg Daniels (The Office) has done a superb job of adding light quirky dialogue and Minecraft esc CGI to his latest ventures, with Upload displaying a lot of serious jokes. His main success is the assemble of his support cast. Each character brings a new dimension to the plot, not one characteristic is the same. Moreover to keep us further on our toes Daniels throws in the bonus of a murder mystery.
Unfortunately for Upload, not all the comedy is truly funny. Robbie Amell is simply not cut out with the demands of playing the lead in a sitcom. His portrayal of our protagonist is largely at times stale and one dimensional. In comparison to other shows in the category such as Forever, its leads Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen bounce off the hatred between each other, where as Amell fails to sustain a connection with one other member of the cast.
Where as the Good Place allows audiences to laugh about the existential question ‘How will the human race survive inevitable corporate intrusion of our lives’, and Black Mirror emphasises a high level of pessimism for the future, Upload further fails to synthesis between the two.
Upload is an extremely easy watch, perfect for those looking for a new series without the hassle of committing 45 minutes of your time (although we seem to have a lot of that), in watching it, audiences will be left wondering what would happen if Jeff Bozos offered ‘heaven’ on the list of services offered by Amazon Prime.
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