Upload is a new sci-fi sitcom on Amazon about how in 2033 you’ll be able to upload your consciousness to a computer just before you die and something something something you will live forever in an artificial intelligence digital afterlife! (I’ve never been sure why people who think this sounds like a good idea are convinced that in that sentence the “you” before the “something something something” and the “you” after are in some meaningful sense the same thing.)
Whenever I hear about this idea, I think: “While dying can be expensive, one thing you can say in favor of being dead is that at least it’s free. But next they’ll make being dead require a monthly subscription fee for all your crucial software upgrades.”
And, yeah, that’s exactly the theme of “Upload.”
Upload is created by sitcom titan Greg Daniels from an idea he came up with in 1987 as an SNL writer. He enjoys co-creator credits on King of the Hill, the American version of The Office, and Parks and Recreation. Upload is not hugely funny, but it’s interesting and insightful. And it looks nice.
A vain young man is mortally injured in a self-driving car accident (or was it?), and his rich Ivanka Trump-lookalike girlfriend promises to pay for him to be uploaded to a swanky AI heaven modeled on the grand old Mohonk Lake resort hotel in the Catskills.
But it turns out that being dead in 2033 is even more stressfully expensive than being alive for all but the very richest people/simulated entities.