Streaming Spotlight by Cindy Summers
Upload – Amazon Originals
Upload is a dark comedy with witty dialog that centers around death and the futuristic ways people choose to move through it. The world at this time is divided into living humans known as Bios and those who have crossed over, some choosing traditional death while those who can afford an afterlife being given the opportunity to upload their consciousness to a chosen virtual reality world for eternity where they are able to still communicate with the living world through technology.
The hitch is that you have to plan and pay for your afterlife choice before death, as a consciousness can only be transferred from a living person, with each afterlife realm driven by high priced amenities. There are several different virtual destinations for uploads, Horizen’s Lakeview being the most affluent afterlife zone. Upon arriving, afterlife guests are assigned a customer service rep referred to as their angel that they can all on for any concerns merely by calling out “angel”. The customer service rep consolidates the guest’s memory files and builds a VR visual profile from their images so guests feel a seamless transition into the afterlife, and their angels have a basic knowledge of their background and characteristics.
This futuristic world for the living Bios is completely controlled by technology with self-driving cars, 3D printed fake food and sex suits to have intimate encounters with those in the afterlife. Unfortunately for Nathan (Robbie Amell), his self driving car lost control and crashed into a large truck. In the hospital, Nathan is told that his situation is serious, and his girlfriend Ingrid Kannerman (Allegra Edwards) was there to convince Nathan to choose the Lakeview afterlife, due to her family’s wealth and future plans to reside there.
Though Nathan’s vitals had begun to recover, Ingrid got him to sign the consent, so his consciousness was removed, along with his head (an unfortunate side affect) and he was transferred to Lakeview where Ingrid had complete control over every thing Nathan did as every action had a charge, even thinking. Ingrid made sure that Nathan had an unlimited data plan so that she could always communicate with and control him.
Though angels are customer service agents working shifts, Nathan developed a special relationship with Nora (Andy Allo), a spunky rep that liked to bend the rules. As Nora and Nathan’s relationship grew, Nathan found himself wanting to be free of the financial grip Ingrid had over him and explore the possibilities with his angel Nora, which was strictly forbidden.
Nora had her own struggling in the real world of poverty and her dad being diagnosed with vape lung, not wanting to upload as Nora would prefer, rather wanting to join is deceased wife. Being a savvy tech, Nora discovered that some of Nathan’s memories were corrupted, and upon attempting to correct them discovers that Nathan’s car crash seemed intentional, and works on both sides to try to discover the truth.
Upload definitely poses questions regarding our future and the afterlife with lots of jabs at big corporations like naming the afterlife corp Horizen, Nora reaching out to her tech friend at AT&T&T and pokes at policies like the Vogue interview Ingrid does virtually with Nathan promoting Bios vs Uploads being the ultimate long distance relationship with Ingrid saying “Speaking of sex, would you like to watch one of our sex tapes. My dad got Ang Lee to edit the body cam footage from our first night together. …They’re on my office computer.”
10 Episodes – approx. 30 min each