blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Upload (2020) s01e02 – Five Stars

The best part about “Upload” this episode is Cigarette Smoking Man William B. Davis as one of the “Choak” brothers, who has died and is now living his reward after ruining American society for decades. Because Davis is good. No qualifications, no asterisks, he’s just good.

Everything else in “Upload” comes with a caveat. Even, sort of, Allegra Edwards.

Edwards is lead Robbie Amell’s girlfriend. He’s dead and in “Upload”—you have your mind put on computer and then you exist forever in an app but capitalism so everything costs money–she’s his evil rich White woman fiancée. Basically Edwards needs to be Portia de Rossi in “Arrested Development” in 2003 for it to work and it’s not 2003 and Edwards isn’t de Rossi. And “Upload” isn’t “Arrested Development.”

So while Edwards is bad, the part is thin. So a caveat. Would Edwards be good if the part were good? Doesn’t seem like it. She’s a charisma vacuum.

As opposed to Andy Allo, who plays Amell’s “angel,” the customer service rep who waits on him hand and foot—digitally—and tries to sell him virtual goods as he goes through the iAfterlife. Allo’s full of charisma. Even more than Amell, which is something since the whole show is sold on the idea he’s charming.

He’s just a little much of a tech frat bro. To the point episode writer and director and show creator Greg Daniels gives Amell’s character thin backstory but taking up the amount of time real backstory would’ve taken. Is it intentionally shallow?


The stuff with Allo’s dating life, which is entirely sexual encounter and app-based—complete with a rating system (the episode title refers to Allo’s pursuit of better ratings as a customer service rep from her virtual charges)—is apparently the only way the not White people can have human connection while White people like Amell and Edwards live in a CW nighttime soap opera. It’s not entirely class and wealth-based—Amell’s supposed to have working class origins so as to clash with Edwards because “Upload” is often very lazy—but it does seem to be race-related. At least in the optics.

But whatever.

It’s also not worth thinking about too hard. No one else did. You’re just supposed to stan Allo and Amell and Allo and Amell make it easy to comply.

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