Title: Upload (Season #1)
Released: 2020

Fix: Near Future Escapism From Our Current Hellscape (Although Still a Little Bleak)
Platform: Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime Summary:

From the Emmy-winning Greg Daniels (The OfficeParks & Rec) comes a hilarious new sci-fi comedy. In the future people can upload their consciousness to a luxurious digital afterlife. When party boy Nathan gets uploaded to a virtual resort he meets the down-to-earth Nora who starts as his customer service “angel”, but becomes so much more as she helps him find friendship, love and purpose.

FYA Summary:

Apparently, afterlife comedies by Park and Rec creators are my very specific brand? (Must have been some very interesting convos on set!)

The year is 2033, and humans have invented the closest thing to immortality. It’s not without quirks and flaws, but you can live on in a digital afterlife — if you’re rich enough, anyway. And you don’t even have to leave your loved ones behind; you can still see them and talk to them and kind-of-sort-of touch them, even! But, of course, a new way of (after)life also means a new set of complications. 

Familiar Faces:

Robbie Amell as Nathan 

I was racking my brain to figure out why I knew of Robbie Amell for anything beyond being related to Stephen. I still haven’t watched The DUFF (I know) and he only had a brief stint on The Flash, so it really made no sense that I felt like I had seen him in more stuff. But a quick glance at his filmography reminded me that OH YEAH, I watched the entire only season of The Tomorrow People and then promptly forgot all about it, that’s why. Anyway, Robbie’s much better suited to being a hot goof as he is here.

Andy Allo as Nora

I didn’t watch the Pitch Perfect movies beyond the original (she was in the band Evermoist in the third one), but she’s very charming and winsome. Nora provides a particularly interesting perspective of the lives of working class people in this speculative future. (Spoiler alert: their lives sucks!)

Allegra Edwards as Ingrid

Ingrid is totally Alexis Rose of the future, but slightly more and also slightly less sympathetic? She’s the very much alive girlfriend of Nathan, who’s very much not alive, but she’s trying her darnedest to make their still ongoing relationship work — sometimes in an overly controlling way. Thus the complexity of sympathy. 

Zainab Johnson as Aleesha

Aleesha is Nora’s fellow afterlife customer service rep who’s responsible for an AMAAAAZING way to deal with unruly customers.

Kevin Bigley as Luke 

Luke is the bro-y comedic sidekick whose probably tragic backstory hasn’t been fully explored yet, so of course I find him endearing. 

Owen Daniels as A.I. Guy

You know how video games have non-playable characters? Like that, but for literally every worker at the afterlife resort. (A white man whose sole purpose is to wait on others hand and foot? Of course he’s not real!!!)

Couch-Sharing Capability: Medium

Even though the show brings up a lot of thought-provoking ideas ranging from serious to silly, it’s not exactly like we have a shortage of things to talk about these days. But maybe that’s also why a bit of shared escapism might be handy. Although it isn’t as family friendly as that other afterlife comedy, since this one has blood, butts, bare chests, and cusses. (It pains me to break the alliteration, but using “bad language” would hurt even more.)

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Whatever Floats Your Boat

Look, it’s been a very hard week/month/year/life/existence of humankind; do what you gotta do. In terms of the show, I do love the many clever world building details, so perhaps adjust your buzz to appreciate both simultaneously. 

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Good

I only discovered this show because of its relentless TV commercials, but a high-concept premise with a short season is exactly in my wheelhouse. And for a show produced by freaking Amazon, it’s ironically critical of big corporations and capitalism. Plus, it’s amusing that these adult characters are the same generation as our YA characters today. And that society can apparently make it to 2033, LOLOLOL. 

Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she oversaw all things FYA Book Club from 2013 to 2023.