Episode 1 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 3/5
Upload Season 2 feels like a bit of a missed opportunity. There are some golden moments in here, but they feel few and far between, with a story that can’t quite make up its mind which of its numerous plots it wants to be the main focus, messily stumbling across to a frustrating cliffhanger ending that doesn’t really resolve anything.
Despite its problems, Upload remains an amusing series, with some great jokes and a couple of cleverly worked and imaginative ideas thrown in. There’s a consistent anti-capitalist theme which is explored quite well too, while the characters do the best with the material they’re given. The trouble is, that material is rather mediocre compared to season 1.
The story really picks up right where the first left off. Nora is off with the Ludds, deciding to work with them off grid after having her heart broken by Nathan. They’re an anti-tech group and intend to sabotage Lakeview and hit back against those evil capitalists ruling over everything.
Nathan meanwhile, has his hands full with Ingrid. She’s uploaded herself into Lakeview and remains dead-set on trying to fix their relationship.
Of course, this leads to all sorts of disagreements and hijinks, with Ingrid believing a baby will solve all of their problems. And wouldn’t you know it, Horizen are developing brand new “Proto-Tykes”, which are the latest digital baby fashion trend in town.
These plot points actually work surprisingly well to push that aforementioned anti-capitalist stance, with the show delivering some scathing commentary right the way through. Sometimes it is a bit on-the-nose, especially when it’s delivered through the Ludds’ leader (and Nora’s potential love interest) Matteo, but by the end of the season, there’s no cathartic release – or ending for that matter – as Upload just sorta abruptly finishes.
The problem with this approach comes from its lack of focus. With Nora and Nathan spending a good chunk of time away from one another, the show meanders around several different subplots instead, but never quite dives into the heart of these stories. Nathan’s murder is brought up and quickly resolved by the end with very little aplomb while a conflict between Nora and a temp in the office, Tinsley, is hurriedly resolved and never mentioned again.
This is a consistent problem with season 2, which shifts back and forth between different subplots, sometimes bringing very little to the table in doing so. Thankfully, the comedy continues to deliver through all of the episodes, helping to paper over some of the story issues.
By the end of season 2 it becomes increasingly apparent that this year has felt like a stop-gap and a set-up for a much bigger season 3. That’s always a gamble for a studio to do that but given this is Amazon, there’s hopes that Upload will be renewed again to see this story through to its conclusion.
While its nowhere near as endearing as The Good Place, and lacks the same thought provoking depth as Black Mirror, Upload seems content to settle somewhere in the middle.
This second season is a bit clunky and rough around the edges, and the cliffhanger ending also puts a big dent in this season’s enjoyment. Despite that though, there’s enough here to whet the appetite and fans of this show should find enough to coast through. For everyone else, season 2 offers very little to justify the reduced run-time and lengthy wait.
Verdict - 6/10