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Primetime Picks… 5/1/20

May 01 Posted by in Features | Comments

Early this morning, Amazon Prime Video released the 10-episode first season of the new sci-fi comedy Upload, from series creator Greg Daniels (The Office, Parks and Recreation). In the year 2033, people now have the option to upload themselves into a digital afterlife before they die, allowing them to essentially live forever. Those who are still living on Earth can interact with their deceased loved ones using virtual reality headsets—and other specialized equipment, should their needs be a little more intimate. However, much like life on Earth, every bit and byte in these virtual worlds has been monetized, and only the rich can afford to spend their digital afterlife in a luxurious place like Lakeview.

Nora Antony (Andy Allo, Chicago Fire, Pitch Perfect 3) is a customer service representative for the Horizon corporation. It is her job to be an “angel” to the residents of Lakeview, helping them get accustomed to their new digital after-lives, and assisting them with whatever needs come up. While she may be good at her job, her boss, Lucy (Andrea Rosen, Episodes) doesn’t appreciate her, and is constantly threatening to lower her star rating. Nora also hasn’t had much luck in her personal life, resorting to using a sketchy hook-up app when she feels lonely. However, Nora’s life is about to change when she is assigned to a new Lakeview client.

Nathan Brown (Robbie Amell, The X-Files, The Flash) is a bit of a party boy, but also an intelligent programmer. He and business partner Jamie (Jordan Johnson-Hinds, Letterykenny) are working on a freeware program that would allow people of any means to be able to afford to live on in a digital afterlife. However, when Nathan is badly injured in a suspicious self-driving car crash, his wealthy girlfriend, Ingird (Allegra Edwards, Briarpatch), makes the decision to upload him to Lakeview. While Nathan is now “living” in luxury, he also feels trapped as Ingrid has control over his finances and what he can do with his endless time. However, his new Angel Nora becomes a breath of fresh air…well, if he could breathe.

Once I started watching this show, I couldn’t stop—I thoroughly enjoyed this first season, and was screaming to see what happens next after it ended! In some ways the show reminded me of The Good Place—though it does take advantage of the fact that it’s not on network TV, and is thus not as family-friendly. The series offers a unique, interesting and sometimes wacky alternate take on the afterlife, mixing in witty writing, clever humor, topical references, and some really fun, quirky characters. There is a really nice blend of humor and character drama, along with the underlying mystery of whether or not what happened to Nathan was truly an accident. The cast is fantastic, and have such great chemistry with one another. In addition to the main characters, there’s also some fun recurring characters, such as the annoying A.I. GUY (Owen Daniels) who seems to be everywhere, Nora’s foul-mouthed 18-year-old client Dylan (Rhys Slack) who’s stuck in a 12-year-old avatar body, and Nora’s co-worker Aleesha (Zainab Johnson) and her clients, young veteran Luke (Kevin Bigley, The Moodys) and bigoted billionaire David (William B. Davis, The X-Files).

The series has some really fun and interesting ideas as to what the future will be like. I just hope the actual future includes another season of this series!

Tonight, I’ll also be watching/recording Trying, Prop Culture, Hollywood, The Blacklist, and The Graham Norton Show.

For additional suggestions on what to check out tonight, including a new episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, check out the If We Controlled Your Remote… 5/1/20 post at TVisMyPacifier.com.