By Dave B.
Amazon Prime’s Upload takes place in the near future in a world where the virtual and “real” worlds coexist in surprising ways. When he’s grievously injured in a self-driving car accident, Nathan’s consciousness is uploaded into his girlfriend’s family’s digital afterlife, Lake View. As Nathan adjusts to his new, noncorporeal existence, he bonds with his customer service representative, Nora. Together, they attempt to solve the mysteries surrounding Nathan’s accident and why some of his memories appear to have been intentionally erased.
The first thing that you should know before deciding whether or not to watch this show is that Upload is billed as a comedy, and although it does have a few laugh out loud moments, it’s more accurate to describe it as a romance/mystery/horror with humorous elements. That said, there’s a lot to like about Upload. Most noticeably, the casting is excellent. I don’t mean that all of the performances are superior. I mean that everyone seems to be to well-cast for the role that they play, which helps to increase viewer buy-in. That’s important because getting into the flow of the show depends, in large part, on accepting the writers’ vision of the world in 2033. Upload is strong when it deals with social and philosophical concepts and is at its best when it performs as a snarky social satire. The mystery and the romantic elements of the show are okay, but relatively unoriginal.
My main problem with Upload is that it can be excessively uncomfortable to watch. As the season progresses, it becomes clearer that a world with an eternal digital afterlife is one of the most psychologically and philosophically terrifying dystopias that I can imagine. Every aspect of the show eventually becomes suffused with an intense feeling of existential dread, in which death is often fundamentally preferable to “life”. It’s weird, to say the least.
For the most part, Upload is interesting, the characters are relatable (and mostly likeable), and the mystery aspects of the show were juuuust engaging enough that I wanted to get to the bottom of what is going on and why. And yes, I definitely recommend the show, especially if you’re looking for some entertainment with a surprising amount of emotional depth. But if you go into Upload expecting a show that that’s primarily a comedy, you may be disappointed unless you prefer your humor as garnish on a big plate of existential horror.
Service: Amazon Prime
Approx. Episode Length: 25 minutes
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.