Synopsis: A man is able to choose his own afterlife after his untimely death.
Review: I know we are a little late to this party considering that news has just dropped today that the series will be back for a second season, and to be honest. I’m not in the least bit surprised. So that being said, I’ll cut to the chase with the review and sum up why I think the show deserved its renewal in my closing comments.
When software coder Nathan Brown is badly injured when his self-driven car malfunctions. He finds himself between choosing a natural death or having his consciousness uploaded to a virtual reality like existence in the luxury hotel called Lakeview. After some convincing by his wealthy girlfriend Ingrid. Nathan chooses Lakeview but soon wonders whether he has made the right choice.
As he acclimates to life after death. Nathan struggles to adjust, but over time he gets to know some of the quirky characters, but things get interesting when Nathan finds himself falling for Nora who is one of the Angels. The Angels are the computer operators and support agents that look after the dead residents of Lakeview. Over the course of the series, Nathan and Nora get wrapped up in a mystery surrounding why many of his memories seem to be either missing or corrupted.
Robbie Amell does a great job in his role of Nathan and does great at showing the characters many layers as we see Nathan begin life as a jerk and go into an afterlife with quite a bit of emotional depth. Andy Allo is very natural in the role of Nora. The Angel and facilitator of Nathan’s whims. Both actors do a great job of playing characters who are lost in life and death until they find each other. In fact, the relationship that transpires between Nathan and Nora pretty much brings home how unsuited Ingrid and Nathan are for each other. A fact that Nathan slowly becomes aware of as the afterlife shows him how shallow his relationship with her truly was. Allegra Edwards does a fantastic job as Ingrid who is your typical spoilt LA brat.
All the actors do a great job with their roles and we even get a few appearances from Philip Granger as Uncle Larry, who has a rather funny moment at Nathan’s funeral and turns up again toward the end of the series. Although this character didn’t get much screen time. Uncle Larry is a character that I’d love to see get some development in the second season. He is the inappropriate relative that everyone avoids at weddings and funerals. So imagine what he’d do if he got to Lakeview.
The first season of Upload was a wonderful example of comedy-drama, which has a number of themes running through it. But the main theme is that of human connection. Over the course of the series, we see Nathan make connections with various other dead people in Lakeview while his relationship with Ingrid in the real world is gradually deteriorating. The friendship that Nathan forms with Luke is particularly funny and a highlight of that is when they take 12-year-old Dylon to an unsanctioned area just outside of Lakeview where they can party and buy illegal modifications for their avatars.
The show does a good job of illustrating the potential flaws you may run up against if you ever find yourself with the choice of having your consciousness uploaded to a Virtual Reality type environment, but also kind of questions what is real verse what isn’t.
The visual effects are a lot of fun as they are somewhat of a plot point for Lakeview. Particularly in the first episode where Luke points out a few of the flaws in the system such as various things such as the lake appearing to be on a loop. We also have the visual of the angels going all pixelated as they disappear back into the real world when they pop in and out of Lakeview when called.
The series is funny, dramatic and will have you hooked right from the first episode. The show is a breath of fresh air and thankfully has earned its second season, which is great news because we get left with one hell of a cliffhanger.
I can’t wait to see the second season whenever it airs.
- Incidental Music8.5