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Amazon Prime’s ‘Upload’ is Perfect for Quarantine Binge-Watching – Review

Amazon Prime’s new series Upload is a refreshing and funny take on the science-fiction utopia genre. Produced and written by Greg Daniels (The Office, Parks and Recreation), the series is a comforting, yet thought-provoking show to watch while self-isolating.

In the 2030s, technology has advanced so much that people can now upload their consciousness into virtual reality before they pass away, a digital afterlife. Big businesses own these “heavens” and make their wealth by selling packages and plans, similar to insurance companies. There’s a variety of these places to choose from, but Lakeview is the best heaven out there. Unfortunately, not many people can afford Lakeview, let alone any heaven.

The story follows Nathan Brown (Robbie Amell), a co-founder of a coding program that fell through the cracks. Normally, he wouldn’t afford such prestigious heaven. Lucky for him—or unlucky, depending on how you look at it—his living girlfriend, Ingrid (Allegra Edwards), has no issues being his sugar mama. Funded by her rich daddy that’s big in the heaven business, Ingrid pays for all of his Lakeview bills. Even in death, Nathan is completely dependent on her.

Robbie Amell Stars In 'Upload' Trailer From Amazon Prime Video ...
Robbie Amell as Nathan. Courtesy of Amazon Prime

Needless to say, Nathan has some trouble adjusting. His customer service representative, or “Angel” (Andy Allo), tries to help him get used to the Lakeview life, but there’s only so much she can do. While Nathan begins to develop romantic feelings for his Angel, he must come to terms with his not-so-perfect heaven and losing core memories from his life. He really can’t catch a break.

Upload is the perfect show to binge during quarantine because, it touches on a lot of things we’re currently feeling during the COVID-19 pandemic: restlessness, missing people we can’t physically be with, and frustration that money gets in the way of everything. It’s oddly comforting to watch Nathan slowly realize the utopic heaven he’s stuck in is far from perfect. He knows he’s only in this situation because he can afford it, but he wants his experience to be authentic and available to everybody regardless of their income.

Similarly, I’m comfortably stuck at home because I’m not an essential worker and can afford to work from home. But not everybody has this privilege, and I want to do what I can to help them. While it was written before the COVID-19 outbreak, the drama stems from this compassion and is only bolstered by pointed criticism of how the greedy capitalists that run the world don’t care for it and make it nearly impossible to help. Watch Upload | Prime Video
Robbie Amell as Nathan (left) and Andy Allo as Nathan’s Angel (right). Courtesy of Amazon Prime

Beyond this heavy existential drama, Upload is very funny. This to be expected with someone like Greg Daniels captaining, but the humor is surprisingly different from that of The Office or Parks and Recreation. It’s not filmed like a mockumentary, so the humor mostly relies on how absurd the advanced technology makes everything and how people ultimately still haven’t changed despite it.

I recommend this show for anybody looking for a good laugh and intricate drama. It does have some adult themes, so it’s for mature audiences only.

Upload’s is available exclusively on Amazon Prime.

Have you already seen Upload? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

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