Stop whatever show or movie you're watching, and instead watch the new Amazon Prime Video comedy from the creator of The Office.
In this time of social distancing and spending a lot more of your day at home, chances are you're watching all kinds of movies and TV shows, including plenty of action and horror titles. It definitely seems like the plethora of streaming services available were made for this moment in time. As you plot out your next binge, though, you're in luck. The decision has already been made. It's time to stop everything you're doing and watch the new TV series Upload on Amazon Prime Video.
Upload is a comedy from The Office creator Greg Daniels and is set in a future that feels a little too possible. When you're about to die, you have the option of having your consciousness "uploaded" into a digital world that is magnificent--on the surface.
The show follows Nathan (Robbie Amell), who meets an untimely death in a car accident and finds himself uploaded into the most lavish of digital afterlives, thanks to his well-off girlfriend footing the bill. From there, the series explores everything from how dependent humans have become on technology to microtransactions, which have become prevalent in the gaming industry. Yes, while you can buy your way into a better digital heaven, once you're there you should expect to be financially gouged for practically everything, while also being inundated with ads. It's like The Good Place if it were run by Google.
While that alone would be the basis of a very funny show, that's not enough for Upload. This series is equal parts comedy, murder mystery, slow-burning romance, and social commentary. These elements shouldn't necessarily work together as well as they do in Upload, but they fit perfectly like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, thanks in large part to the world that's built over the course of Season 1's 10 episodes.
It's a world where people rely on computers to do almost everything, from driving their cars to printing their food. It's a vision of the future that feels hauntingly real. However, it's one that Upload uses to point out just how ridiculous letting technology do everything can be. Yes, there are plenty of funny moments, whether it's a glitch in the code of the digital afterlife that makes everyone appear as a blocky Minecraft-style character or seeing rideshare company Lyft replaced with Byke, which is essentially a self-driving bicycle company.
Still, while there's plenty of fun to be had at the expense of this version of the future, it's coupled with what could easily be considered warnings about going down this potential road. Practically everything in this future is controlled by tech conglomerates, many of which have banded together to create bigger corporations with more power, like Google Samsung. Even the digital afterlife is run by corporations with seemingly very little oversight, which is a scary thought when these companies control practically every aspect of your existence--both before and after you die.
How do romance and a murder mystery find their way into this story? The show has so much to say about technology and electronic devices, that it's up to Nathan and those around him to ground the story--from his new digital best friend (Kevin Bigley) to the rich girlfriend he left behind (Allegra Edwards).
As Nathan adjusts to his new normal and the unexpected limitations that come with it, questions about his former life begin to rise, giving way to a bigger mystery. Then, while the pieces of this that subplot reveal themselves, Nathan begins to bond with Nora (Andy Allo), his living customer service representative. The relationship that grows between them is by no means a traditional romance, especially given one of them is dead and no longer exists on the physical plane. And yet, it's one of the most genuine relationships you're going to find on TV.
Upload juggles so many different balls at any given moment that it would have been understandable if it partially lost its way. After all, it wouldn't be the first time that's happened (here's looking at you, Riverdale). In the end, though, it doesn't fall into that trap. The various story threads are all given the appropriate room to grow and become more engaging, resulting in a truly special show.
With so many TV series being released practically daily, it's easy to miss when something truly special arrives. I'm here to tell you that Upload is that something. So what are you waiting for? Open up the Amazon Prime Video app and start watching it now.
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