Amazon has debuted a brand new futuristic comedy sci-fi sequence, “Add,” from TV sequence veteran Greg Daniels, who co-created each “The Workplace” and “Parks and Recreation.” The present has a handful of humorous concepts however does not fairly add as much as something substantial.
The premise of “Add” is that within the not-very-distant future, people are in a position to add their consciousness into the afterlife of their alternative. Nathan (Robbie Amell) is a software program developer in his late 20s, in a relationship with a egocentric, shallow girl (Allegra Edwards.)
After he dies in a self-driving automotive accident, Nathan arrives in an artificial afterlife known as Lakeview, which resembles an all-inclusive resort. He slowly adjusts to life there, even forming an apparent reference to the avatar of his tech help “angel,” Nora (Andy Allo.) We additionally see Nora, in her off-the-clock life.
In the meantime, there are quickly hints of company malfeasance: Nathan begins to suspect that he might have been murdered, whereas for some purpose his afterlife incarnation can by no means bear in mind any particulars about his earthbound work life. And as soon as we study that there is such a factor as “downloading”-returning consciousness to earth following an add that is a touch as to the place issues are going.
All ten episodes debuted Friday and may be streamed now for Amazon Prime subscribers; we have seen the primary 4. The primary one is lengthy, about 45 minutes, however the remainder is round 30 minutes.
The plain comparability is to “The Good Place,” one other sequence about younger folks in a creatively rendered afterlife, and that present was created by Daniels’ outdated companion Michael Schur. The visible color and style palette are even related. However the distinction is, “The Good Place” mastered a mix of comedy and massive philosophical questions whereas availing itself of a heavy-hitting forged. “Add” does not go almost that deep. And its makes an attempt at satire about know-how and late capitalism are very hit-or-miss.
Amell, seen most just lately within the hit Netflix motion film “Code 8,” is charismatic sufficient, though on the subject of pure comedy, he is not fairly Ted Danson. He does have robust chemistry with Andy Allo, and the thread of their relationship is of extra curiosity than a lot of the remainder of what’s occurring on display screen. A lot much less profitable is the rendering of the girlfriend character who, within the episodes, I noticed no less than, is the form of one-dimensional shrew that we do not see quite a lot of in films or TV anymore.
One energy is the supporting forged. Kevin Bigley may be very humorous as one other resident of the afterlife, whereas William B. Davis-Cigarette Smoking Man from “The X-Information”!-shows up as a rich industrialist who’s alleged to be a parody of David Koch.
There are quite a lot of scattered first rate concepts, equivalent to a “remedy canine” that speaks with a human voice, the thought of a go well with that permits the souls of the afterlife to have intercourse with the residing, with the ability to attend one’s personal funeral, and that in future, Oscar Mayer and Intel have merged. A few of it, although, is well-trodden. There is a bunch of stuff within the second episode about folks giving one another star scores, which was already the main target of a “Black Mirror” episode; that sequence, in actual fact, appears to be a transparent inspiration right here. The recent “Devs,” as properly, explores some related themes, albeit with a a lot darker tone.
There is not any phrase but about whether or not “Add” will obtain a second season, however there’s an opportunity the present may catch on, because of Amell’s recognition and residual goodwill from the long term of “The Workplace.” However in case you end streaming rapidly, know that one other Daniels-created present, “House Power,” is coming to Netflix on the finish of the month.
Whereas “Add” has some virtues, most of what it does has been carried out higher, beforehand, by different reveals.
Stephen Silver, a know-how author for The Nationwide Curiosity, is a journalist, essayist, and movie critic, who can be a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Company, Residing Life Fearless, Backstage journal, Broad Road Evaluation and Splice At present. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Movie Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia together with his spouse and two sons.
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