The good place is only a click away in smart 'Upload'

Tom Long
Special to The Detroit News

Think of it as virtual heaven. 

In the not-too-distant future your consciousness can be transferred to a luxurious hotel just before you die. There you’ll enjoy perpetual sunny days, lavish brunches and communications with loved ones back in the real world. You can even have sex with a living lover, assuming that lover doesn’t mind pulling on an outlandish foam rubber suit. 

All of this is available, of course, if you have the money for it. 

Nathan (Robbie Amell, exuding charm) did not have the money for it after his self-driving car crashed into a truck. But his filthy-rich girlfriend Ingrid (Allegra Edwards) did, so she ordered Nathan’s consciousness sent off to the happy place. 

A scene from "Upload"

This is the premise of Amazon’s “Upload,” one of the best sitcoms of the streaming era. It comes from Greg Daniels (“The Office,” “King of the Hill,” “Parks and Rec”) and makes a fine metaphysical companion to the recently departed “The Good Place.” 

Call it “The Fake Place” because, as with “The Good Place,” all is not as serene as it seems. 

The generally awful Ingrid now controls Nathan’s future; a lovers’ quarrel could mean life or death. Which becomes complicated when Nathan finds himself attracted to the living woman, Nora (a sprite Andy Allo), in charge of his virtual existence, who visits him regularly. 

At first it seems like Daniels is going to mainly satirize our modern world, which the show does reliably and deliciously. But as “Upload” progresses a conspiracy theory pushes forward and the underlying theme of income inequality becomes clear. 

Still, “Upload” never forgets to be funny and between the afterlife and modern life Daniels has, well, an eternity of material to work with. Beam me up. 



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