Upload remains the most ambitious comedy on television.
This review of Amazon’s Upload season 2 contains no spoilers.
When we left last season, Upload ended on a cliffhanger—a perfect one. With Nathan (Code 8’s Robbie Amell) unable to return the “I love you” back to Nora (Chicago Fire’s Andy Allo) because he ran out of gigs, he had them replenished by his fiance, Ingrid (the wonderful Allegra Edwards). Only to give him the shocking news. She uploaded herself into Lake View. Being so afraid of losing him, she sacrificed herself to show how much he meant to them. Now, back for season two, Upload continues its genre-bending and, at times, hilarious satire with intriguing results.
This season begins with Nora and Nathan going their separate ways. She now lives in a commune in the Poconos with her new squeeze, Matte (Paulo Costanzo, perfect casting for any Greg Daniels’ comedy). He soon finds out these guys are associated with the LUDDS, an activist group that wants to take down companies like Horizon and Lake View’s crown jewel. On the other hand, Nathan tries to forget Nora settling for Ingrid and her need to have a digital baby. (Horizon sells them, and you have to play with them. Everything from feeding and changing their diapers). Luke (Siren’s Kevin Brigley) is still on a mission to make Nathan his best friend. Aleesha (Zainab Johnson) manages to fall into a promotion by default.
This season’s cast’s wonderfully funny and nuanced supporting turns make this season stand out. Edwards continues to show an eye-opening amount of range. From her hilarious and vain take where the joke is on her Ingrid, to subtle heartbreaking moments when she realizes Nathan has eyes for Nora. Brigley’s Luke often has the show’s funniest lines. You’ll watch him single-handedly keep Nathan’s ego on a pedestal while aggressively confronting him about his negative self-talk.
He also has chemistry with Zainab Johnson’s Aleesha, who have a certain Moonlighting quality as their relationship progresses. I haven’t even brought up the unsung hero of the show, A.I. Guy (Owen Daniels), who offers solid comic relief whenever the show tends to sway towards the serious. The first season’s focus was on the blossoming romance between Nora and Nathan. This year’s season allows the cast to take a more upfront role.
Daniels’ Upload, along with writers like Owen Daniels, Megan Neuringer (Portlandia), and Izzy Kadish (Space Force), balances dark themes by exploring tough subjects. Those include everything from commerce, the use of technology, and even what it means to be alive. At the same time, many may find the comedy, especially the first season, too dark for their tastes. Upload‘s hubris is told with a noticeably light touch this time around.
Upload is a better series when it’s about the dilemma of living an afterlife under the control of big-tech rather than the mystery of why Nathan was killed. Its cliffhanger finale doesn’t do the season any favors. It undercuts it. Still, it’s ambitious storytelling that you rarely see in mainstream comedies that reward its audience.
What did you think of Amazon’s Upload season 2? Comment below.