Upload (TV series)

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Upload
Upload Amazon series logo.jpeg
Genre
Created byGreg Daniels
Starring
Composer(s)Joseph Stephens
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Production location(s)Vancouver, B.C.
Camera setupSingle-camera
Production company(s)
Release
Original networkPrime Video
Original releaseMay 1, 2020 (2020-05-01) –
present

Upload is an American science fiction comedy web television series created by Greg Daniels.[1] It premiered May 1, 2020, on Prime Video and later that month was renewed for a second season.[2]

Premise[edit]

In 2033, humans are able to "upload" themselves into a virtual afterlife of their choosing. When computer programmer Nathan dies prematurely, he is uploaded to the very expensive Lake View, but soon finds himself under the thumb of his possessive, still-living girlfriend Ingrid. As Nathan adjusts to the pros and cons of digital heaven, he bonds with Nora, his living customer service rep, or "Angel". Nora struggles with the pressures of her job, her dying father who does not want to be uploaded, and her growing feelings for Nathan while slowly coming to believe that Nathan was murdered.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Robbie Amell as Nathan Brown, a 27-year-old computer engineering grad and newly deceased computer programmer who is uploaded to the digital afterlife Lake View
  • Andy Allo as Nora Antony, a living woman who is Nathan's handler in his afterlife
  • Allegra Edwards as Ingrid Kannerman, Nathan's girlfriend
  • Zainab Johnson as Aleesha, Nora's coworker who is Luke's handler
  • Kevin Bigley as Luke, another resident of Lake View who befriends Nathan

Recurring[edit]

  • Jordan Johnson-Hinds as Jamie, Nathan's best friend and business partner
  • Chris Williams as Dave Antony, Nora's father
  • Owen Daniels as A.I. Guy, an employee at Lake View who serves multiple functions
  • Andrea Rosen as Lucy, Nora's boss at Horizen
  • Josh Banday as Ivan, Nora's coworker
  • Christine Ko as Mandi, Nora's roommate
  • Jessica Tuck as Viv, Nathan's mother
  • William B. Davis as David Choak, a wealthy man living across the hall from Nathan at Lake View
  • Elizabeth Bowen as Fran Booth, Nathan's cousin who is investigating his car accident
  • Chloe Coleman as Nevaeh, Nathan's niece
  • Julian Christopher as Ernie, a Horizen therapist whose avatar in Lake View is a Labrador Retriever
  • Rhys Slack as Dylan, a child who lives in Lake View
  • Matt Ward as Byron, Nora's casual sex partner
  • Barclay Hope as Oliver Kannerman, Ingrid's father
  • Yvetta Fisher as Batia, Nora's coworker
  • Hilary Jardine as Mildred, Ingrid's centenarian grandmother who resides in Lake View. Her avatar was based on a very old black and white photograph, and she appears in black and white.
  • Scott Patey as Josh Pitzer, an executive hoping to buy Nathan and Jamie's software

Guest[edit]

  • Justin Stone as Dan the Orbit Gum Guy
  • Philip Granger as Uncle Larry
  • Phoebe Miu as Yang
  • Brea St. James as Older (female) Dylan
  • Lucas Wyka as Jack Kannerman
  • Matt Braunger as Brad
  • Wayne Wilderson as Zach
  • Creed Bratton as Rupert Tilford

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"Welcome to Upload"Greg DanielsGreg DanielsMay 1, 2020 (2020-05-01)
One night while on his way home from picking up groceries, Nathan Brown’s self-driving car malfunctions and crashes, leaving him mortally wounded. While in the hospital with his vitals rapidly dropping, his wealthy girlfriend Ingrid Kannerman suggests his consciousness be uploaded so that they can still be together. Nathan hastily agrees and goes through the uploading process. At first everything seems fine and Nathan is happy with his new afterlife, until he realizes the many restrictions involved. Nathan is ready to end it all by jumping into a torrent stream and committing “virtucide” until stopped by Nora Antony, his human handler who helps him cope with this new life. As she leaves her desk at the end of her shift, a file folder containing a corrupt memory file of Nathan’s remotely opens and certain files are deleted.
2"Five Stars"Greg DanielsGreg DanielsMay 1, 2020 (2020-05-01)
Having to take therapy because he tried “killing” himself, Nathan is introduced to his therapist Ernie, whose avatar is a Labrador Retriever. He tasks Nathan with meeting five new Uploads and learning more about them. In the real world, Nora is working to get an employee discount so she can have her dying father uploaded when he dies. Nora’s boss refuses to sign the discount paperwork unless Nora gets a 4.8 star customer service rating by the end of her shift. Nathan meets David Choak, his wealthy neighbor, who suggests that Nathan’s death may have not been an accident since Nathan cannot remember certain parts of his past life. Nathan’s cousin Fran is investigating his accident, and finds his car was tampered with because it is unable to give proper information about the crash. Nathan overhears that Nora needs to improve her customer service rating and out of kindness gives her multiple five star ratings. Nora is also able to fix one of Nathan’s corrupt memory files and finds out about a software deal he was preparing before his death.
3"The Funeral"Jonathan van TullekenMary GulinoMay 1, 2020 (2020-05-01)
Nathan prepares for his funeral happening in the real world, assuming a lot of people will be there. Before the funeral they watch news coverage of Rupert Tilford, a man who won the chance to be “downloaded” into a clone body, only for it to have disastrous results. Nathan attends his funeral with Luke, a fellow Upload, and Mildred who is Ingrid’s grandmother and also resides in Lakeview. Nora attends his funeral in New York and meets three former girlfriends from his college days, who inquire about her connection to him. Fran questions Ingrid about the accident, not believing Nathan died prematurely and Nathan finds out there wasn’t much money given to his surviving family from his unfinished software deal. He’s also disheartened by Ingrid’s speech as instead of praising his life she praises Rupert’s, and his best friends leave during the funeral ceremony. Nathan is informed by Fran that she’s secretly investigating the accident and plans on suing the car company because of shady details behind the accident. Nora finds out that Nathan’s business deal never went through and when she interviews the man interested in Nathan’s software, she is denied any information.
4"The Sex Suit"Jonathan van TullekenAasia Lashay BullockMay 1, 2020 (2020-05-01)
Nathan learns about the various plans of Lakeview’s world, and sees what is included for those that pay the least. He’s frustrated that Horizen is more interested in getting money for upgrades, than providing an equal opportunity experience for all residents. During a Vogue interview, there’s tension between Nathan and Ingrid stemming from Nathan’s belief that Ingrid no longer loves him as she refuses to use a VR suit to have sex with him. Nathan and Nora’s friendship becomes closer, with Nathan feeling he can relate to her more than Ingrid. Ingrid unexpectedly shows up at Nathan’s room and prepares to have sex with him, only to pause when she realizes his virtual body is not like his real one. Nora is called in to assist, much to Nathan’s dismay, who feels embarrassed about the awkward situation. Fran continues her investigation into Nathan’s accident, and upon viewing surveillance footage from the grocery store, discovers that Ingrid tampered with Nathan’s car. Nora, upset by her lack of intimacy, reinstalls a dating app and is paired up with her casual partner Byron. While having sex with him, she pictures her earlier encounter with Nathan.
5"The Grey Market"Kacie AnningMike LawrenceMay 1, 2020 (2020-05-01)
Dylan is frustrated that his family, except for his mother, have pretty much forgotten about him and moved on with their lives, mainly because he’s a teenager stuck in a child’s body. Nathan and Ingrid take part in couple’s therapy, each bringing their respective therapists, both claiming that they feel they’re becoming disconnected. Nathan feels that he doesn’t have much of his own life, since it’s all controlled by Ingrid’s decisions. He also reveals Fran’s information, that he wasn’t actually dying before being uploaded. Nathan’s friendship with Dylan grows, since they both feel like they’re not supposed to be in Lakeview. Nora deals with her father’s worsening health condition. Along with Luke, Nathan and Dylan head to the Grey Market, a VR equivalent of the Black Market, where Nathan loses track of Dylan while paying money to see why his former business partner Jamie has been avoiding him. Dylan is found getting an avatar upgrade so he can appear as an older person, but the upgrade is a female one. Nora quickly reprograms Dylan to his former avatar body. Fran is in her self-driving vehicle on her way to see Josh Pitzer, when her car malfunctions and drives over the edge of a pier.
6"The Sleepover"Kacie AnningShepard BoucherMay 1, 2020 (2020-05-01)
Nathan is informed by his niece Nevaeh that she’s having a sleepover with Ingrid, and informed of Fran’s disappearance. Nora is told by her father that she needs to get to know Byron more, who’s alive, instead of focusing on Nathan who’s dead. Nathan is becoming bored being by himself at Lakeview and tries every chance he can get to spend time with Nora. Luke is causing problems for Aleesha, who’s been getting in trouble at work because Luke is accessing upgraded items/areas without paying for them. During their date, Nora finds out some interesting things about Byron, including that he likes to inspire children to always try and do their best, regardless of the situation. During dinner with her family with Nevaeh present, Ingrid dislikes the way they treat both Nevaeh and Nathan because they come from humble means, eventually kicking everyone out. Nora’s date with Byron goes awry when he mocks the work that she does. She spends that rest of the evening talking to Nathan, even letting him know that she agrees his death wasn’t an accident. She falls asleep at her desk, being awoken by Aleesha.
7"Bring Your Dad to Work Day"David RogersOwen DanielsMay 1, 2020 (2020-05-01)
Nora is exposed by her boss Lucy about her overnight excursion in Lakeview with Nathan, and threatened with losing her good rating should she continue to pursue a close relationship. Ingrid attends a support group and says she’s thinking of “freezing” Nathan temporarily until she can be with him. Nora sees a news report about the death of Josh Pitzer and suspects that someone is trying to cover up anything to do with Nathan’s program, Beyond. Nora has Nathan give her father a tour of Lakeview, hoping he’ll choose to be uploaded once he dies, instead of wanting to be with his wife in Heaven. A figure approaches the door leading to the data servers for Lakeview and plants a bomb inside, while Nora uses her boss Lucy’s computer to find out what she can about what happened in regards to Josh’s death and Nathan’s damaged memories. She finds that an unknown employee has access to Nathan’s files and tries to look into it, but the bomb goes off and shuts down all affected computers. The computers come back on and she searches the global employee database for the unknown employee ID, finding no results. Even after a successful tour with Nathan, Nora’s father decides not to go ahead with uploading himself when he dies.
8"Shopping Other Digital After-Lives"Jeffrey BlitzAlex Sherman & Alyssa LaneMay 1, 2020 (2020-05-01)
Nora is informed by Lucy that she’s being put on probation because of her constant hanging out with Nathan, which goes against company policy. Unbeknownst to Nathan and Nora, Lucy signs on to Nora’s computer and has a conversation with him using Nora’s avatar. Lucy tries to deter Nathan’s feelings for Nora, hoping their friendship will end. Nathan looks into going to other VR worlds, hoping to find one more suited to his financial situation, since he can’t stand not being around Nora. Nora finds out through Aleesha that he’s downloaded himself to his hard drive and fearing that he’s in danger, travels to L.A. She meets up with Ingrid at her house, who discovers what Nathan and his mom are doing. While Ingrid is on the phone, Nora find a box of Nathan’s belongings and looks through them. Nathan ends up deciding to stay in Lakeview, making Nora happy.
9"Update Eve"Daina ReidGreg DanielsMay 1, 2020 (2020-05-01)
Everyone including Lakeview residents and Horizen employees prepare for a new upgrade for Lakeview. Nathan has thoughts of breaking up with Ingrid, knowing that if he does so he’ll lose all the privileges he currently has. His mother works with their lawyer to see what can be done. Lucy keeps pressuring Nora to admit her feelings for Nathan, which would enable Lucy to fire her. Nora keeps insisting that she loves Byron and has only a mutual friendship with Nathan. Nathan tries to pressure both Julian and Ingrid about what they know about what really happened to him, but both remain mum, especially Ingrid who says she wants him to remain with her so that she can protect him. Nathan decides to stay awake while everyone else is getting updated, hoping it’ll help return his missing memories. Nora finds out that if he does stay awake, it may also affect whatever memories and events he had before the upgrade, meaning he’d possibly forget about meeting Luke, Dylan and her. She decides to let him get upgraded.
10"Freeyond"Daina ReidGreg DanielsMay 1, 2020 (2020-05-01)
Nathan wakes up from the update, with his missing memories restored. One of the images shows that Ingrid’s father was one of the investors interested in buying Nathan and Jamie’s software, but rather than going with a rich company, they went with Josh Pitzer and his smaller company. Nathan later meets her father in private, giving him a copy of the software, without Jamie's knowledge. Nora was able to bypass Nathan’s upgrade and in turn he’s forgotten ever knowing her, much to her dismay. Nathan later says that he did that to protect her in case anyone finds out what happened to him. Nathan finally breaks up with Ingrid, and is forced to move to the 2G floor, and while speaking with Nora, a man attempts to kill her. Using an icon program given to him by Nora, he helps her escape her attacker, killing him in an elevator. Nora speaks to her father about what Nathan and she have found, and he suggests that she hide off the grid until they can figure out who is responsible for Nathan’s death. Nora finally admits her feelings for Nathan, but he can’t respond since his data has been used up in the process of listening to her. Nora heads away with Byron as Ingrid comes to visit Nathan in his room to tell him that she’s uploaded herself so they can finally be together. He gets upset, and his one word response causes him to use up the extra 1G she gave him.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

On September 8, 2017, it was announced that Amazon had given a pilot order to a new single-camera comedy series created by Greg Daniels.[3] On July 28, 2018, it was announced that Amazon had given the production a series order for a first season consisting of ten episodes. Daniels serves as an executive producer alongside Howard Klein and the series is produced by 3 Arts Entertainment.[4] On May 8, 2020, Amazon renewed the series for a second season.[2]

Casting[edit]

In January 2018, it was announced that Robbie Amell and Andy Allo had been cast in the pilot's male and female lead roles, respectively.[5][6]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography for the series ran from March 5 to May 10, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.[7]

Some exterior photography for the Lake View virtual reality world was shot at Mohonk Mountain House and Preserve in New Paltz, New York, including images of the hotel, grounds and lake. A small number of interior shots, including rooms at the hotel, were also filmed on location.[8]

Reception[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the series has an approval rating of 81% with an average score of 6.75 out of 10 based on reviews from 34 critics. The website's critical consensus is, "Though Upload at times suffers from tonal overload, witty writing and a winsome cast make it an afterlife worth living."[9] On Metacritic, the season has a weighted average score of 66 out of 100, based on 19 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Prime Video (March 16, 2020). "3,2,1...upload. A new Amazon Original series from Greg Daniels, arrives May 1. #UploadTVpic.twitter.com/ovdG7KB7yW". @PrimeVideo. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Petski, Denise (May 8, 2020). "'Upload' Renewed For Season 2 By Amazon". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  3. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 9, 2017). "Amazon Orders Fred Armisen-Maya Rudolph Comedy & Wong Kar-wai Drama Series; Greg Daniels, Bays-Thomas Pilots". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  4. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (July 28, 2018). "Greg Daniels Sci-Fi Comedy Pilot 'Upload' Picked Up To Series By Amazon – TCA". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  5. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 4, 2018). "Robbie Amell To Star in Greg Daniels' Amazon Comedy Pilot 'Upload'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  6. ^ Petski, Denise (January 12, 2018). "'Upload': Andy Allo Cast As Lead In Amazon Comedy Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  7. ^ Takeuchi, Craig (January 14, 2019). "Filming in Vancouver: Robbie Amell to star in Upload; George Takei in The Terror". Inside Vancouver. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  8. ^ Axelson, Ben. "How to watch 'Upload': Sci-fi afterlife comedy filmed at famous Upstate NY mountain hotel". Syracuse.com. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  9. ^ "Upload: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  10. ^ "Upload - TV Show Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 13, 2020.

External links[edit]