Let me remind you a brief summary of the first season. Earth, 2033. 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, both the process of preserving the digital matrix and staying in the digital “Paradise” require significant money: you have to pay literally for every sneeze.
Nathan (Robbie Amell) is in a car accident and seriously injured, and his fiancée Ingrid Kanneman (Allegra Rose Edwards) talks Nathan into the digital world of Lake View.
Nathan’s angel (escort) in this digital world is Horizon’s support worker Nora Anthony (Andy Allo). Nora and Nathan had a little romance, but then in real life, Nora was attacked and in danger. And Nathan Ingrid, who pays for his stay at Lake View, was sent to a two-gigabyte digital prison – for an affair on the side.
In this two-gigabyte zone, the digital copy of a person is frozen almost all the time, because the memory is quickly running out. In the season finale, Nathan is brought out of the freeze by Ingrid and informed that she herself has fully booted up (that is, she died in real life), so that they will now be together all the time.
Second season. Nora’s father, who has connections with the “Luddite” group, helps the girl get to the Luddite community, where she will not be found. Luddites fight against digital slavery and live in a world free of gadgets: they are subsistence and self-supporting.
In the community, one of the leaders of the Luddites, a certain Matteo (Paolo Costanzo), clearly laid eyes on Nora. Matteo told Nora that they were opposed to the Horizen corporation and that Nora, who worked there and knows some secrets, could help them in this confrontation.
Meanwhile, in Horizen, Nora’s friend Alisha (Zaynab Johnson) is literally sewn up at work, because due to the disappearance of Nora, Alisha is forced to accompany not only her clients, but also her friend’s clients. Alisha complains about this to her boss Lucy (Andrea Rosen), who in return promotes Alisha to junior manager and offers to take on an assistant.
Alisha’s new assistant is called Tinsley (Mackenzie Cardwell). She is not at all like Nora, and does not know much, but Ingrid started a dinner party in Lake View and demanded two angels at once, so Alisha had to send Tinsley there in Nora’s avatar. That is, Tinsley in Lake View looks like Nora, which leads to terrible confusion Nathan, who was terribly worried about Nora and could not find her anywhere.
I really enjoyed the first season of Reboot. A great idea with this digital afterlife of Lake View, a wonderful and very witty implementation of this world, a cute romantic story, cool Lake View characters and bright employees of the Horizen office (Nora, Alisha and boss Lucy) – a good dynamic and a worthy start for the second season.
The series’ showrunner is Greg Daniels: The Simpsons writer in the 90s, co-creator of the US version of The Office and Parks and Recreation, and you know, you can really feel that in Upload: the thin romantic line, great social satire.
The first episodes of the first season were shown so well that Amazon Studios ordered the production of the second season just after the release of the second episode of the first season.
Of course, on the one hand, I was waiting for the second season, but, on the other hand, I was afraid that the creators of the series would greatly lower the bar, as, unfortunately, often happens. Many series, having started well, noticeably degrade already in the second season: for the first season, the creators had good ideas, they implemented them, and when, against the backdrop of good ratings, they were ordered the next season, the chewing of the old already begins: and how many times have we had to do this collide. For example, this happened with “Sinners”, “This is Us”, “Ordinary Woman”, “Goliath”, “Altered Carbon”, “Double”, “Happy” – here you can continue for a long time. A great first season and a sharp slide down already in the second season.
Thankfully, nothing of the sort happened with the second season of Upload. Moreover, there was not even a certain stagnation in the development of characters, which was observed, for example, in the second season of “The Stranger from Space”.
No, everything is great here! The appearance of Ingrid in Lake View as if in person (they quickly show that she still did not boot, but simply became almost constantly present in the digital world with the help of a special suit) gave a lot of funny episodes, and when Ingrid in the fifth series started a training digital baby, it was really funny. Another great episode is when Ingrid was forced to hire a “nurse” for Nathan to be at Lake View as Ingrid!
In addition, Ingrid’s character has been noticeably developed. No, she remained an extremely spoiled bitch from a terribly rich family, but for the sake of Nathan, whom she really loves, Ingrid went to serious hardships, so everything is not so simple with her here.
The community of Luddites (in the original they are called abbreviated as luds, luds) was interestingly shown, Matteo, performed by Canadian actor Paolo Costanzo, is a completely new charismatic character.
Nora – actress and famous singer Andy Allo – switched to a romantic line with Matteo in the new season, although her feelings for Nathan did not dry out, and then she returned to work at Horizen, got access to Lake View again and became involved in a complex Luddite infiltration project to the digital world.
At the same time, Nora had to live in the apartment of the hacker Ivan Spelic, who helps the Luddites, and the actor Josh Bandey turned out to be a cheerful and funny hacker, despite certain stereotypes in the depiction of such characters.
The gorgeous Alisha – played by actress and stand-up comedian Zainab Johnson – was given a lot more screen time, and it was the right decision: Alisha lit up every time she appeared. She has made significant progress in her relationship with Lucy’s boss (actress Andrea Rosin, producer of “Episodes”, somewhat repetitive but repetitively funny, which is quite forgivable), she had to endure the continuous pestering of Nathan’s friend Luke – in general, Alisha is here, in contrast from the first season, quite enough. And then I kept thinking, why is such a bright and unconventional actress like Zainab Johnson so little used before?
Speaking of Luke. In his role, Kevin Bigley still lights up. And he’s just as funny as he was in the first season: Luke brings an element of slight insanity to any event, he tries to hack the system, he is terribly obsessed with cheese sticks along with the desire to sleep with Alisha and he somehow has to cope with insomnia.
What, you ask, is Nathan himself? So he is here, in a strange way, the most secondary character, although the main character. No, he has a lot of screen time and a lot of things revolving around him, but here he is – the least noticeable character: he is more of a link in a well-twisted plot. Canadian actor Robbie Amell is still decent, although he plays Nathan without a twinkle, he also continues to look like a young Tom Cruise (they joked about this in the first season, they stopped in the second), but, to be honest, the actor Owen Daniels, portraying here artificial intelligence Lake View, in terms of charisma and the variety of roles that he plays here, will give Amell a hundred points ahead.
Well, with the plot here, too, everything is cool and completely new. I will not reveal all the details so as not to spoil, but the struggle of the Luddites against Horizen, revealing mysteries, digital children of various levels, a new type of access to the thoughts of digital entities, theft of life time from digital copies of the rich and transferring them to the poor from a two-gigabyte level – all this is excellent designed and played.
In general, I really liked the second season: the creators of the series not only did not lower the bar, but, in my opinion, even took it to a new level. Class, just class!
PS For the third season, “Download” was definitely extended, but there are no additional details about this yet.
Loading. Second season / Upload. Season 2
Director: Greg Daniels Cast: Robbie Amell, Andy Allo, Kevin Bigley, Zainab Johnson, Paolo Costanzo, Josh Banday, Allegra Rose, Owen Daniels, Andrea Rosen, Jordan Johnson-Hinds, Josh Bunday, William B Davis, Elizabeth Bowen
Series, USA, 2022, 30 min. Fantastic rom-com, 2 seasons, 10 episodes per season