Like most others during this lockdown, Martha and I have been consuming an inordinate amount of TV.
Sometimes that means older shows that just feel comfortable when re-viewed. While I’ve gone back to “NYPD Blue” and “Cheers,” she has been binge-watching “Monk” and “House.” For the latter, I annoy her by popping into the room at random points during an episode to shout, “My diagnosis is lupus!”
Needless to say, she can’t wait for this sheltering-at-home to end. As for me, I wonder how long it will be before medical shows can begin producing new episodes, so I can change my diagnosis and exclaim, “It’s COVID-19!”
But we’re getting in our share of things we haven’t seen before. Here are mini-reviews of two recent streaming shows from our queue. Each of them consists of 10 thirty-minute episodes.
“Dead To Me.” In its second season, it’s still fun watching the sparkling chemistry of Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini in this Netflix original series, but the plot seems to have gone down what I call the “Lost” path. That means that new problems crop up in each episode, but none of the previous problems ever get solved.
The piling on of more subplots gets to be a bit much, yet I stuck around just to see how the showrunners would resolve the concentric circles of drama they’d created. There’s going to be a third season, so they couldn’t close all the plot holes, but I still enjoyed the ride.
I give the second season of “Dead To Me” a 7 out of 10.
“Upload” (an Amazon Prime original) is a sci-fi story from Greg Daniels (“The Office,” “Parks and Recreation”) that borrows from “Black Mirror,” “Her,” and “The Good Place.”
In a near-future world, humans can choose the afterlife they’d like to spend eternity in by having their consciousnesses scanned to the cloud. The more they can afford, the ritzier the accommodations and accoutrements. But even in the nicest place, there are still product placements and ads, because it’s all a digital concoction. That means there are glitches, a desperate need for five-star reviews, and add-ons you only get if you pay for them.
The plot centers on a guy whose afterlife is being paid for by his rich, snotty girlfriend, while the romance comes from his relationship with a tech-support “angel” who falls for him, even though it’s against the rules. There’s also the possibility that the main character, who died in a self-driving car crash, was murdered by someone close to him.
The CGI effects are dazzlingly good, the writing is clever, and the characters are often quite funny. Oh, and I loved the corporate mergers resulting in companies like Nokia/Taco Bell and Oscar Mayer/Intel. Maybe that’s why the actress Daniels hired to play the wealthy girlfriend is — really — Allegra Edwards.
I give “Upload” a 7.5 out of 10 and look forward to a second season — whenever they can get around to producing it.