TV Review: Upload Season 1 🖥🖲️

Unlimited data may have a different meaning in 2033.


Robbie Amell (left) and Allegra Edwards (right) star in Upload. CREDIT: Amazon Studios

This post for Upload Season 1 is spoiler-free.

Upload (2020, created by Greg Daniels) shows us what life can be like after death. Injured in a self-driving car crash and forced to choose between death or upload—young coder Nathan Brown (Robbie Amell) gets seamlessly “uploaded” into a virtual afterlife, where his memories and pre-death body gets to live on perennially.

In 2033, humans are given the option to upload themselves (in other words, preserve themselves) as a digital copy, but only if they have the money. Money is a big topic of discussion in Upload, as those who lack financial means will have to live under 2Gig plans or be forcefully frozen. Nathan is sponsored by his girlfriend Ingrid (Allegra Edwards) to live in the best virtual afterlife called Lakeview, run by the company Horizen. All Lakeview residents are provided with a customer service representative known as “Angels” to them. Nathan is assigned Nora (Andy Allo) as his angel to help him ease into his virtual afterlife and the pair forms an intimate relationship but struggles to keep it alive.

The world-building of Upload is fantastic. It is strangely familiar, especially if you have watched Black Mirror before. From using 3D printers to print food; having literal handphones for communications between the real world and virtual world; self-driving cars with an option of “Prioritising Occupant”, Upload imagines the possibilities of what a futuristic world can look like. The premise of the show is lucid and it’s easy to catch on with what’s happening.

One might think of The Good Place when watching Upload, but I can assure that the two shows are very different. Upload finds a balance between reality and virtuality, and gets into a discussion of how money keeps one alive forever, while The Good Place is entirely about morality, ethics and who deserves to live in heaven or in hell.

Apart from its first episode, the ten-episode season has half-hour long episodes. The dramedy is unconventional and unique. It’s best going into the show not knowing much, as I was surprised by how the story progressed from episode three onwards. The trailer for the show does not reveal much apart from depicting the synopsis of the show. Upload is highly recommended for those who want a series that can take you out of this world.

Rating: 4/5

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