Virtual reality and the afterlife
Amazon Prime Video’s hit comedy show is back with a new season and in a blink of an eye, Upload season 3 is already over! The third instalment is all about unravelling Choak’s endgame and figuring out the dangers of downloading into a human clone while the virtual afterlife, Lakeview has its different set of issues. Well if you are looking for more such fun sci-fi shows, you’ve come to the right place.
Well without further wait, here are 10 TV shows with a similar premise to watch if you like Upload.
The Good Place (2016-2020)
Similarities – afterlife, mystery, rom-com
Pretty much a female version of Nathan, Eleanor Shellstrop, after her passing, unexpectedly finds herself in the afterlife’s Good Place, a heavenly utopia. However, she quickly realizes she’s there due to a clerical error and must hide her morally questionable past. As she endeavours to improve herself with the help of her quirky companions, the show delves into ethical discourse and the concept of heaven and hell.
Similarities – afterlife, drama, rom-com
Forever is another hilarious Prime Video comedy with heavy themes. It follows the lives of June and Oscar, a married couple living an ordinary life. They both die and discover the afterlife is not what they expected.
In trying to switch things up, they embark on a journey through various afterlife experiences, including an idyllic suburban neighbourhood and a desert landscape. Along the way, they meet Kase who has been in the afterlife for centuries, and Mark, a young man who has his own questions about eternity.
Alice in Borderland (2020-)
Similarities – alternate reality, thriller, mystery
While goofing off on the streets and evading the police, Arisu and his friends emerge from hiding to discover that everyone has vanished. They encounter others and realise everyone has to participate in deadly games to survive, but there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Win the games and live to see another day, or lose and face certain death. There’s also a more sinister undercurrent to the enigmatic gaming realm they’ve been transported to, making it closer in spirit to Upload.
Black Mirror (2011-)
Similarities – virtual reality, romance, thriller
With the rapid progress of technology, this anthology series explores the dark side of how it can negatively impact society. Each episode is a standalone story that delves into various scenarios, often highlighting the consequences of realistic pieces of technology taking over the world.
There are several AI/virtual reality-focused episodes such as the one where people can create AIs based on their loved ones or virtual afterlives where people can use their younger selves to interact with the living just like Lakeview in Upload.
Altered Carbon (2018-2020)
Similarities – AI, cloning, romance, mystery
Altered Carbon is a cyberpunk series set in a future where human consciousness can be transferred between bodies and clones. Takeshi Kovacs, a former soldier, is revived after 250 years in a new body to investigate the murder of a wealthy man, Laurens Bancroft.
He begrudgingly pairs up with Kristin Ortega, a police officer who has a troubled history with Takeshi’s new body and forms a unique relationship with Poe, an AI hotel manager. The series explores similar themes as that of Upload as it introduces a world where immortality is possible but only for the wealthy elite.
Hotel Del Luna (2019)
Similarities – afterlife, romance, drama
Much like the eerie Lakeview, step into a haunted hotel of this K-drama that caters to ghosts and spirits burdened with unresolved emotional issues which make it impossible for them to rest in peace. Jang Man-wol, an enigmatic and beautiful woman, oversees the hotel, bound to it by a past sin. When the upright and naive Goo Chan-sung becomes the hotel’s new manager, their destinies intertwine, leading to a journey of redemption and love.
The Peripheral (2022)
Similarities – virtual reality, mystery, thriller
This sci-fi show is set in two different timelines, one in a near-future rural town in West Virginia and another in a distant future where technology and society have evolved significantly. In the near-future, Flynne Fisher discovers a murder while beta-testing a virtual reality game for a mysterious tech company. She becomes embroiled in a complex conspiracy that connects her to the future world.
Similarities – alternate reality, mystery, drama
While similar to its German Netflix predecessor, Dark with a complex mystery that deepens with each episode, 1899 leans more into the realm of alternate realities. Without revealing too much and risking spoilers, it begins as a supernatural series where passengers aboard a ship begin to experience unsettling phenomena after coming into contact with the missing ship Prometheus.
Similarities – virtual reality, romance, mystery
Imagine living in a small town where tourists visit daily and treat you as their plaything, commanding your every action. Dolores complies without question until a guest provokes the hosts, awakening something in their memories. They discover they are all AIs and their world is an amusement park called Westworld, managed by Dr. Ford and his team. However, as the programmers lose control over Westworld, the consequences spill into the real world.
Russian Doll (2019-2022)
Similarities – alternate reality, mystery
Russian Doll follows the story of Nadia, a woman who repeatedly dies and returns to the same moment at her 36th birthday party. She becomes trapped in a time loop and tries to figure out the cause of her predicament. Along the way, she crosses paths with Alan Zaveri and other characters who are all stuck in a similar time loop, leading to a journey of self-discovery and personal growth.
The I-Land (2019)
Similarities – virtual reality, thriller, mystery
In The I-Land, a group of strangers wake up on a remote and idyllic tropical island with no memory of their past. The primary characters include Chase, a strong-willed woman who takes on a leadership role; Cooper, a former lawyer with a secretive past; K.C., a doctor; and Mason, an investigative journalist. As they attempt to unravel the mysteries of the island, they must work together to survive while facing various challenges and threats.
So there we have it, our 10 TV show alternatives to watch when you’re finished watching Upload.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!