A Shorter, Deeper Dive Into the Metaverse

After a long two years, Upload finally returns with a second and abbreviated shorter season. With more ridiculous and terrifying technical advancements and a deeper exploration of the world, the sophomore season of this sci-fi rom-com series is a bit too short but still just as sweet. Created by Greg Danielsthe second season picks up right where the first one left off with Nora (Andy Allo) leaving the city to live off the grid and Nathan (Robbie Amell) trapped in the 2 gig room after Ingrid (Allegra Edwards) has just told him that she uploaded for him.

While being a sort of twisted love triangle, the series has never shied away from pointing and laughing at the extremes that technology could lead to. The first season introduced the main concept of uploading, aka uploading your mind to a server after death. Nathan Brown, a former computer engineer, is uploaded to the very expensive afterlife called Lake View where he meets Nora, one of the customer service reps working there. The two develop feelings for each other, despite the fact that Nathan is technically still dating his living girlfriend Ingrid.

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Season 2 takes the story deeper, shining a harsher light on the threats of Big Tech and the evils of capitalism. The opening of Season 2 sees Nora a part of an anti-technology anti-capitalism group living out in the woods, but despite the treachery of the regular world and its invasive tech, the extremist group known as the Ludds have their own flaws. However, meeting the Ludds finally gives us a firm opposition to Horizons of the world.


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RELATED: ‘Upload’ Season 2: Release Date, Cast, Plot, and Everything You Need to Know

With commentary on privacy, politics, and socioeconomic imbalance, Upload is still as witty as its first season. The disappointing part is that it means we spend more time with Nathan and Nora apart than we do seeing them together. As the beating heart of the series, Amell and Allo have so much palpable chemistry it made me long for the days of their coy flirtation when she was just his angel and he was just a dead guy.

But the season also expands the role of Nora’s co-worker Aleesha (Zainab Johnson) in an exciting way that serves both as a surprise and an intriguing conflict when it comes to the motivations of the protagonists. Her scenes with former army corporal and Lake View resident, Luke (Kevin Bigley), are just as comedic as they were before. It will always be funny to watch the two snap at each other and try to one-up each other.

The new tech advancements are both comedic gold and pure nightmare fuel, from the idea of ​​growing your own after-life baby to being able to read someone’s mind in real-time, to a company owning your crazy and horny dreams as intellectual property, Upload is constantly reminding us that endless the possibilities are horrifically when it comes to how far tech companies will go to commodify things. It’s always been embedded into the world of Upload which makes it so natural to the characters and absurd to us, the viewers.


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Image via Prime Video

The problem with the season is it feels like we’ve barely revved the engine and the race is already over. The seven episodes are hardly enough to tackle the essential mystery at hand and the season feels more like an interlude than a true full season. Indeed, the show reaches its quite literal climax at the end of the final episode, leaving us once again on another cliffhanger.

While the highlight last season was easily the pairing between Nathan and Nora, this season Allegra Edwards’ manic and obsessive Ingrid Kannerman takes the cake simply for how far they’ve decided to push her character this season. The definition of a clingy girlfriend, Ingrid takes her toxic love for Nathan to new heights this season and every level up leaves us cringing and groaning, but at least it’s effective.

With the cliffhanger we’re left on at the end of the season, I’m once again clamoring for a third season, one that is perhaps longer and willing to drill down deeper into the world of conspiracy. While it’s far from perfect, Upload Season 2 sets up the building blocks for an explosive story — if it only had some more time to tell it.

Rating: B-

Upload Season 2 is now available to stream on Prime Video.


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