Upload is an American science fiction comedy-drama television series created by Greg Daniels. At the moment, two seasons of the series are streaming over at Amazon Prime Video, with each of the 17 episodes clocking in at about 30 minutes long. So the time investment isn’t too significant but the real question is, of course — is Upload worth binge-watching?
Yes! What else do you need to know? But seriously, folks — there is quite a lot to recommend Upload with, even if most of the cast look like CW TV series rejects – Robbie Amell, for fuck’s sake. Admittedly, that is a minor annoyance that will quickly fade away once you get into the strong writing on display here. Indeed, the writing on this series is the main attraction here. So kudos to creator Daniels and his crack writing team!
First, the premise (borrowed from Wikipedia, natch)
In 2033, humans are able to “upload” themselves into a virtual afterlife of their choosing. When computer programmer Nathan Brown dies prematurely, he is uploaded to the very expensive Lake View, but then finds himself under the thumb of his possessive, still-living girlfriend Ingrid Kannerman. As Nathan adjusts to the pros and cons of digital heaven, he bonds with Nora Antony, his living customer service rep. Nora struggles with the pressures of her job, her dying father who does not want to be uploaded, and her growing feelings for Nathan while slowly coming to believe that Nathan was murdered.
The novelty of a digital heaven is always intriguing and highly relevant as something the audience might readily imagine materialising in the near future. The writers are able to imbue high concept satirical commentary on wealth, social media addiction, class stratification and hacking culture without losing sight of the comedic opportunities afforded by the premise. Thus while you are laughing away at the visual gags, you will also be able to reflect on the underpinning themes of the scenarios.
Despite herself, the narcissistic Ingrid might be the best character in the series as Nathan and Nora are too ‘goody-two-shoes’ for our liking whereas Ingrid is sad and pathetic despite the many advantages she has been given in life. We love how Ingrid has no discernible character arc – compared to Nathan and Nora – and that seems to speak truth to the one-percenters Ingrid is obviously a satire on.
Upload is short and sweet overall — a fun series with a strong message. Definitely worth binge-watching!
Now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
… still there’s more …