Amazon surprised audiences two years ago with a surprise hit: Upload. The high concept half-hour comedy provided a touching and endlessly intriguing world that mirrors where our society may be heading.
The concept at the center of it all was the idea that death is now no longer the end. Before dying, people’s consciousness could be uploaded to a virtual afterlife, like Second Life, but infinitely cooler.
The problem? Well, this solution has only been for the wealthy. There are options available to lower classes, but they’re incomparable and not desirable in the slightest––class conflict is an underlying core theme throughout the show and is something the lead character is attempting to fix.
Speaking of the leading man, Robbie Amell is back as the lovable Nathan Brown, who met his end prematurely, only to start an unexpected new beginning. The story picks up right where season one ended and, thankfully, doesn’t waste any time getting everything rolling.
Amell remains a fantastic part of the show and continues to prove that he has no problems in the leading role. With how good he is in Upload and the range he has showcased in both seasons, it’s a shame not to see him in more projects.
Many returning viewers may be wondering: but what about Nora? Well, Andy Allo is back and doesn’t miss a beat. Her story deviates away from her little afterlife romance this time around, as she is forced to go off the grid as the story gets underway.
This season, more than last, contains a lot of focus on the role of technology in one’s lives––and how some people choose to fix that. In this case, it’s a group of people off the grid, in the forest, who have cast out all tech from their daily lives.
It may read as preachy at times, but it mostly works thanks to the already exaggerated nature of the show. It also introduces some new ideologies that help flesh out this already rich and vibrant world.
While Nora spends a lot of time with that group, she does eventually get back to Amell’s character. Nathan and Nora remain the heart of the show, and when they finally do meet up, those sparks continue to fly as high and bright as ever.
One aspect of the performances that stuck out in the first season, and continues here, is how genuine the interactions feel between characters. There’s a subtleness to how the actors engage with each other that is mesmerizing and helps audiences connect more with everyone on the other side of the screen.
It’s worth noting how Allegra Edwards’s Ingrid Kannerman gets far more to work with this time around. The story allows her character to get a lot more development––no matter how much one is meant to hate her. After all, she’d surely be quite the mess to deal with in real life.
The most impressive element of Upload is how fully realized its world is. This continues into its sophomore run, and the series never misses a beat.
It truly is remarkable how fluid and organic everything feels. From how they store data to off-hand mentions of the fictional future of real-world companies––even the simple rules and structure of Lakeview, the digital afterlife most of the story takes place in. It’s all incredibly fascinating and engrossing; viewers will have no problems marinating in the lore.
Of course, being a comedy, it all falls apart if the show’s comedic elements are a miss. Thankfully, they’re far from that here—the actors and writing nail it every time, and it’s hard to think of any spot where a joke completely missed the mark.
The sophomore season of Upload is just as strong as its debut season, if not even stronger. It’s sad to see how the service only gave the second outing seven episodes.
Hopefully, that’s not a sign of the studios being unconfident in the series—especially given the ending of this season. It would be truly tragic if viewers don’t get to continue the Nathan Brown story in the future.
Season 2 of Upload hits Prime Video on March 11.