Earth, not too distant future. Horizen Corporation has learned how to save the digital matrix of people’s consciousness and place it in a specially created digital world. Theoretically, this looks like “immortality”: a person retains his consciousness and memories, can enjoy his existence in a very comfortable environment. However, the very process of preserving the digital matrix, and staying in the digital “Paradise” requires very, very significant money: you have to pay literally for every sneeze.
A young guy from a poor family, Nathan (Robbie Amell), together with his partner Jamie (Jordan Johnson-Hinds), founded an IT company in which they developed a certain project of interest to large corporations. However, after they found investors for this project, some disagreements arose between Nathan and Jamie.
Not long after this, Nathan had a car accident in self-driving taxis, which are considered ultra-safe. Nathan was seriously injured, and Nathan’s fiancee Ingrid Kanneman (Allegra Rose Edwards) persuades the guy not to risk any operations and resuscitation, but to immediately move his consciousness to the comfortable afterlife of Lake View from Horizen: Ingrid is from a very wealthy family, and she is ready for anything is to pay for her fiancé.
Nathan agrees, after which he finds himself in Lake View, where he quickly finds out that the digital reality in which his mind is placed looks nothing like in advertising. What is happening frightens him, and he is even going to reset, that is, turn off his consciousness, but his “angel” – an employee of the corresponding support service at Horizon Nora Anthony (Andy Allo) – dissuades Nathan from this.
After that, Nathan called Nora often enough to talk to her, and as a result, some kind of romantic relationship began to emerge between them – rather strange, if you think about it.
Nora also found out that some memory files in Nathan’s memory were damaged, and she began to guess that Nathan had a taxi accident for a reason.
The series “Download” is like taking one episode from the “Black Mirror” and making it a separate series, where they thought in great detail about the structure of the digital afterlife and what happens in it, at the same time they also worked out the characters of the acting characters with no less care.
It’s a good fantasy, and a very nice rom-com, and a funny sitcom (at times), and a light detective story.
The showrunner of the series is Greg Daniels, and this is a famous person: the screenwriter of The Simpsons in the nineties, one of the creators of the American version of the series The Office and the series Parks and Recreation, and this is felt in Upload: a romantic line between Nathan and Nora it’s as subtle and delicate as the line in The Office between Jim and Pam, and there’s plenty of great social satire in the show that was typical of Parks and Recreation.
This Lake View digital afterlife world is very well done – well, I just take my hat off! The system of “angels”, annoying ads, strange servants of Artificial Intelligence, a well-thought-out system of payment for everything, including even a common cold, the need for food and disposal of waste, psychotherapy with the help of pets that speak in the voice of a professional psychologist, certain bugs in the system (and where you can’t get away from them), the existence of the afterlife Darknet, where you can buy some benefits for Lake View from United Statesn hackers, two-gigabyte cells for rogue people and what happens to customers in them is just some kind of holiday: great fantasy and impressive implementation!
Canadian Robbie Amell, who played Nathan – well, pure young Tom Cruise, looks extremely similar. His character is a handsome, charming, but slightly infantile guy, whom a powerful woman can twirl as she wants: in fact, this is exactly what Ingrid does. Well played, I liked the character, but he is somehow, how to say, a little sterile. However, Robbie has not yet acquired a very annoying tomkruzny manner of constantly using the same acting tricks, so, in general, he liked it.
Nora, played by the famous singer Andy Allo (here, for example, she is on the Jimmy Kimmel show) is very good! Her character is very natural, sincere and romantic. The development of the relationship with Nathan is scripted and staged with great skill, but this, sorry, still had to be played – Andy did it perfectly and, in my opinion, this is the best role in this series.
Nora has a friend at work Alisha – a long-legged explosive African American with a completely unthinkable hairstyle – and Zainab Johnson, who is best known as a stand-up comedian, absolutely atomically lit up in her role. (Interestingly, Zainab was born in Harlem to a family of thirteen (!) children, and her parents raised her in a strict Muslim faith.)
Allegra Rose Edwards effectively played the spectacular bitch Ingrid, I apologize for the tautological tautology, but the character itself is somewhat typical and therefore not very interesting.
Of the cameo roles, one of the guests of Lake View, Luke, who was perfectly portrayed by Kevin Bigley, liked the most. Luke lost both legs in Iraq, committed suicide and somehow ended up in Lake View. In the digital afterlife, he has two legs, which Luke is terribly pleased with, and he is a person who tries to hack any system. Great character, very bright.
Another very cool boss of Nora Lucy: she was played by Andrea Rosen, whom I know from her funny role as a producer in “Episodes”.
In general, I watched it with great pleasure, I definitely recommend not to miss it. I thought that the first season would be a complete story, but no: the story will continue in the second season, which was filmed, but filming was stopped due to the coronavirus. But I hope that it will still be filmed: I will wait for the release of the second season.
Upload serie meaning
Director: Greg Daniels Cast: Robbie Amell, Andy Allo, Kevin Bigley, Zainab Johnson, Allegra Rose Edwards, Owen Daniels, Andrea Rosen, Jordan Johnson-Hinds, Josh Bunday, William B Davis, Elizabeth Bowen
Series, USA, 2020, 30 min. fantastic rom-com, 2 seasons, 10 episodes