blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Upload (2020) s01e06 – The Sleepover

Just as Allegra Edwards gets a redemption arc—two of them in fact—dead but living in a virtual reality simulation fiancé Robbie Amell starts getting close to his actual (vs. virtual) virtual assistant Andy Allo. Amell and Allo confide in one another about their suspicions regarding the A plot, which doesn’t usually get a lot of attention in “Upload” because the scripts are poorly plotted but whatever.

It’s “Upload,” there’s never much heavy lifting. Like when we find out Allo’s dad, Chris Williams, who’s dying from vape lung (no one knew it was dangerous until it was too late) and doesn’t want to be uploaded because he’s a Ludd (Luddite) goes on VR excursions using a joystick controller like it’s 1992. Because he just has to do the VR thing so much. It’s a weird (read, thoughtless) character detail and it doesn’t help Williams still isn’t very good. He’s better this episode. But he’s not good.

Edwards, on the other hand, is closer to being good than she’s ever been. She hangs out with Amell’s niece, Chloe Coleman, and ends up forming something of a human connection.

It’s too obvious and Edwards is too thin, writing and acting–but it’s a nice change. Especially since the episode otherwise just wanted to make simultaneously unpleasant and obvious jokes about how rude Edwards’s family members are to her and Coleman. And how rude Edwards is to her family members. It’s “Upload” doing social commentary and it’s a fail.

Much better is Zainab Johnson and Kevin Bigley’s pure comedy subplot. It makes absolutely no sense as far as the show’s established technology but whatever. At least it’s amusing. Johnson’s great. The show wastes a lot of performances, but Johnson’s able to succeed in a way no one else in the cast can manage.

Allo’s got a subplot about dating living real guy Matt Ward, but it’s mostly time killer. “Upload”’s middling comedy is a big improvement over its flaccid melodrama.

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