Lockdown restrictions got tightened and now include a 6pm to 6am curfew so I had extra time to kill and binge-watch the first season of an Amazon Prime Original Series Upload. Upload premiered on Amazon Prime on the 1st of May 2020… Lets pretend I can afford a subscription while I am on the 30-day free trial.
The premise of the series is a future where they have perfected the art of a digital afterlife, where one’s consciousness can be uploaded to a digital heaven and so continue to exist in a virtual reality which they can somewhat interface with the real world.
Watching Upload was reminiscent of watching the Netflix series Black Mirror a dark satirical series on technology but where Black Mirror is mostly dark, Upload tries to be lighter, colourful maybe even comical but there’s still a certain bleakness beneath it all.
If you have watched Black Mirror then you know that each episode is standalone, you can just pick an episode and watch or be more sequential about it. From my recollection of Black Mirror the following episodes combined would give you a feel for what Upload is about
San Junipero Series 3 Episode 4
This Episode is about a Heaven on Earth place which is more than it seems.
Hang The Dj Series 4 Episode 4
This is about futuristic dating
Nosedive Series 3 Episode 1
Is about a social-media fuelled world of ratings and likes and trying to have the picture perfect life.
If you haven’t watched Black Mirror you could look up those episodes they are also among the most highly rated of the series’ cumulative 23 episodes
Back to Upload, if I had not watched Black Mirror I would have appreciated it a little more but I kept thinking Black Mirror did this better although Upload gets points for not being so dark.
Upload is a somewhat funny sci-fi comedy romance and if they had turned up the plot a little bit more and developed some of the themes explored in it possibly could have been a very profound watch.
The pilot episode is 46 minutes and the other nine episodes of season one range between 25 and 30 minutes so its very easy to binge watch this series and when you get to the end you will wonder if it has a second season because [redacted]. I am pleased to say it was approved for a second season so it will be coming back and I would definitely watch its second season.
If Upload is anything to go by the future will be a bleak place, imagine if they commercialised Heaven pop-up adverts and all and you got the type of Heaven you paid for… If you think technology will help narrow the bridge between the society, the rich and the poor, you might have to rethink your perspective. Upload also takes long distance dating to another level, imagine dating a dead person and with a 50 year (60 if you watched your diet) life expectancy, its definitely bound to get entangled.
Upload is funny and provocative and invites some interesting discussions, like if you could upload your consciousness to cloud and live forever and ever, would you do it?
Upload is a bit slow-paced though there’s a background mystery that will keep you hooked right up to the cliff-hanger…
It has a sitcom feel to it and then some rather graphic sex scenes in the first episodes thrown in mostly to keep the rating at MA 16+ as they aren’t really contributing to the plot.
It tries to be many things I wish they could just pick a hill and die on it, is it a comedy, a satire, romcom and what is the theme… because I feel they played it too safe and kept options open.
If you have time to kill and looking for a lockdown watch, I say watch it, its only ten episodes, don’t be expecting the Heavens and Earth to move, but don’t be surprised when it grows on you, it does that.