Upload is back for season 2 on Amazon's Prime Video and the digital afterlife is once again posting many existential thoughts in our heads, many of which are even more exacerbated by the fact that a global pandemic is still present.
"I think that the pandemic showed us a lot about technology and that we're sort of using it to connect in a way more than before," said creator Greg Daniels in a recent interview with S&A. "But there's pluses and minuses, [such as] the absence of human connection. And so the show is so much about a virtual world that we create with technology, but it's also about fairness and who gets to participate in the virtual heaven. And then it's about sort of capitalism and the charging of it. And there's a lot of things involved with the distribution of the vaccines and there's like a lot of issues that came up in the pandemic that I feel like we're talking about in the show. And part of that is just when you set something in the future, the way you figure out what to write about is you kind of look at what technology is just in a lab somewhere that they just invented, and then you imagine what would happen if it was widespread."
Season 1 ended with a cliffhanger when just as Nathan (Robbie Amell) wanted to tell Nora (Andy Allo) how he felt, his data ran out and Ingrid (Allegra Edwards) popped up in Westview, seemingly ready to be with Nathan and in there permanently...or so we assume.
"I feel like season 2 is trying to expand the world [and] open it out," Daniels added. "I think with Ingrid, she to me is a very funny character, and so much about the digital afterlife is giving the characters a second chance to become better people by using this. In season 1 Nathan really grew as a person and now the opportunity is now presented to Ingrid, if she wants to use it to grow. And the thing that I love about Ingrid is she's got a really strong vision for how she wants life to turn out and you know, she wants to be with Nathan and she has a certain vision of this family that she wants to create. And she's really gonna go after it hard and I love when a character you know sometimes makes some shortcuts and ethical problems, but definitely has a vision of where they want to go."
On the cliffhanger and where things pick up, Amell added, "He wanted to say I love you too when Nora said it, but he was frozen, and now the data [laughs]. And then Ingrid shows up and that is like a doomsday scenario for him. He had finally felt like he had gotten away, he moved to 2-gig, he was on his own. And she shows up...and Nora is gone. I think that he kind of looks at this as, 'I need to find Nora, and I need help to do that.' And even though Ingrid's not helping him, he's just buying time to try and find her. But, as you see, time goes by and he can't find her and life moves on, and he tries to make the best of a bad situation. And I think what's interesting is that you see Nathan go through such a journey in the first season, from his character arc of being this kind of [a] selfish, materialistic guy, and learning from Nora and growing in becoming more of a real human being. And you start to wonder, maybe Ingrid can do the same thing? But think that I think that he's probably still in love with Nora and he's probably going to do everything he can to try and get her back."
Allo's Andy also gets a lot of her own story this season that's important for the character and isn't just juxtaposed to her relationship with Nathan.
"It's so great because I think the best thing to do when you have heartbreak is just to step away and process it,' Allo told us. "So she really gets to do that. And she does meet someone new, which is interesting and I don't recommend jumping into one thing after someone else...don't do that [laughs]. What's so exciting is seeing her really coming into her own and her own power as a leader. And she gets an opportunity with her work that I don't think she knew that she could do or would be even able to have that opportunity. So there's this growth in her where she starts to see herself as more than what she's been and I think it's a beautiful moment of her really coming into her power."
Another character with growth and added depth is Zainab Johnson's Aleesha.
"I love the growth that Aleesha has, because she's not just comic relief," she said. "She's not just support. Now, we're getting insight into who she is, why she does what she wants and what Aleesha wants. In season 1, I played a very specific role, this service [to] someone else's wants. And I think season two, you get to see like a glimpse of like, 'Oh, what does this character want? And do we want that for her?' And I think the audience does. So I'm excited for people to see all that happens to Alicia."
Watch the full interviews with Amell, Allo, Johnson, Daniels, Kevin Bigley, Allegra Edwards, Josh Banday, Owen Daniels and Andrea Rosen:
Upload season 2 is streaming now on Prime Video.