Remembering Bollywood Icon Irrfan Khan / Michael Cogswell
from whyy in Philadelphia. This is fresh air. I'm Davies in for Terry Gross. Today we remember Irfan Khan the Bollywood actor who was so famous in India. He was known simply as Irfan. He died Wednesday in Mumbai. Khan became internationally known for his work in the films. Slumdog millionaire pe the namesake the lunchbox and life of Pi also. We remember Michael cogs. Well whose life's work with preserving the legacy of Louis Armstrong cogs. Well died last week. Concert was executive director of the Louis Armstrong House Museum where hundreds of tapes thousands of photographs as well as journals trumpets and more are archived also TV critic David Bien Cooley Reviews Upload a new comedy series on Amazon by Greg Daniels who adapted the British series the Office for American audiences. Irfan Khan the Indian actor who became a star in Bollywood and his success in Hollywood died Wednesday in Mumbai after being admitted to a hospital for a colon infection. He was fifty. Four Khan was raised in a middle class family in northern India. He was admitted to the National School of drama. In New Delhi began acting in Indian television in the eighties and went on to become one of the country's most beloved film stars. He was honored with four. A film fare awards. That's the Bollywood equivalent of the Academy Awards cons. Best-known American films include the namesake the lunchbox life of Pi and slumdog millionaire which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. He also appeared in. Hbo's in treatment as Soon Neil a man from India who'd lost his wife and was living with his son and daughter-in-law Julia in this scene. They've taken him to a therapist despite his protests because he's grown depressed and uncommunicative. Gabriel Byrne plays the therapist Julia employees. That you're you're greasing for for your wife hadn't eased in the past six months you would. Would you agree with that? The hasidim my wife and I were MATT FOR THIRTY YEARS. From the age of twenty three until the day she died spent practically every day of my life with her. I do not understand the need to quantify the process of grieving. This need to count the Earl's in months. I was a math professor. But this is not bad. This is the furthest thing from. Math is only feeling and sometimes it is only a blank on a scene from the HBO show in treatment. Terry interviewed Khan in two thousand twelve. Air Fun Con. Welcome to fresh air and Kutu so. Let me play a scene from the film that I think your best known for in the United States and that slumdog millionaire and your detective a police detective. In this scene you're interrogating the main character. Who is just one? Lots of money on the Indian version of WHO wants to be a millionaire and no one believes that this this young man who's from the slums of Mumbai could actually know the answers to the questions and have made that much money so you you're assuming that he's cheated and he's you have him hanging by his arms and with electrodes attached to his feet. You're actually administering shocks to him. So here you are with Dev Patel as the the slumdog millionaire. It's hard in my wife is giving me. Hey I've got a desk full of Margaret Cho's Apis extortionist. Bum bandits. Ed You so. Why don't you see was both a lot of time and Debbie how you cheated Now this flow. He's unconscious. Not what good is that. How many times what should he wants. So now will have a misty. Internet's that here next being that pencil human rights so I was thinking. Get him down. Dyneema please forgot thick. It's my guest. Irfan Khan as a police detective in slumdog millionaire. How did the popularity of slumdog millionaire international popularity of IT Academy Award Popularity of Change Your Life? It didn't have any directive as far as India and We were shape or Indian. Exposure is concerned but definitely here in America. My you know people have CNN. And it's it's a rare opportunity for me to to be in the ceremony of You Know Oscar awards. That was something you know which was exposed for the first time and I it it gave me a visibility in America but there there were firms which I did which which were close to me was namesake and you know. I'm still very fond of that firm and this idea foam which really made difference in my life as far as American market is concerned and this was a film in which you played An Indian American. Who's moved to the? Us with your wife and your son is has become very you know Americanized trying to Kind of make sense of his Indian American identity and his name is Google which has always hated and toward the end of the movie. You told him the story of how how was named on. It's it's a very moving story you you play college professor in a but you're very you're very smart very quiet Subdued man who obviously has a lot of very powerful feelings inside but you you don't express it with a lot of Drama you're very kind of subdued personality in it There was something new that point of career I was doing firms which had a lot more to do with my presence on the screen and when this opportunity came to me I never knew that is going to challenge me in that way that I need to work on my presence that it shouldn't. It should become like an accrue sieve. It shouldn't it shouldn't Just jump out from the screen. I have to have to work on On being unnoticeable. That was something you know. Something new for me to exercise In this part and that made you know head up out of difference in my in in my career you know it it it just give me Sometimes as an actor you challenges which you think that you know. How am I going to do that? And that's where the fun begins. You know when you really fulfill the demand of the part and you see what you were supposed to achieve and That's what names did to me. It's interesting that challenge for you to be in obtrusive. I've seen posters for some of your Indian films and seeing a couple of scenes on websites from them and their scenes of you with guns and scenes of you. You love scenes and you're working with a warlord in the mountains and so he does a role that we haven't seen you in and American films. Yes Did what you're talking about warlord for which Take me out of a slumber in order to that was a firm which really gave me birth. I was losing my interest in acting and I was doing. A lot of television and television was making the board of of this profession of his job of being an actor Television was more of verbal medium. It will more for review play. You know At that time when I was doing television so I I was not having good time as an actor and there was nothing to discover and So I was losing interest as an actor. I was contemplating to leave this job at that time. I got this phone. Call the warrior by It was produced by Jennifer and directed by Asif Kapadia. And that firm really changed my life. the experience of doing that foam and being with the director. It's you know it's something you know. It really completely put my life into a different path. And that's something that the desert which is again very dear to me and and that's the first time I went out of India when the head the premiere of Warrior in London. And that's the first time I saw foreign land. I was never out if India before that. And what years it was Two thousand two thousand. You've done a lot of films in India. We Associate Bollywood movies with a lot of like singing and dancing and big production numbers. Have you been in that type of Indian film or Yes I did? Try those Those films and Bill few I did those firms and But I wouldn't I was never ever comfortable with Things like Just breaking into a dance without Raymond reason I think my my training in theatre stopped me from doing these unbelievable situations and I think it's a kind of challenge for an actor to believe in these situations which are completely fantastic. I can you suddenly. You're you're sitting here and you just break into a dance and you know you start singing But I think it's a it's a great Way of entertaining people and you know just Trying to create a world to believe in no I like that but I couldn't do that so How did your parents feel about you? An actor my mother still feels that I could be She would be much more happier if I come back to my hometown and some job decent job and so that I don't have to be away from her She still feels that. Sometimes my phone comes in. I forces her to go with everybody. And that's the only time she says okay. This was good. This was you know She's pleased with that but Within her heart she is still you know she's still yawns for me to be there with her. So that's kind of Of Opinion I carry with me and I don't know what to do with it. So does your does your mother take any solace in knowing that even though you're not living very close to her geographically that you you're so successful and so well known in popular in India it it does do something to her but not enough for her to really feel You know she still wants to see me. She still wants to see you anyway. She has this Feeling that all we should be together. We should be living in the same house and we should be. You know sharing everything you know. She's like a She just wants to put all of us under her wings and you know she wants to feel good about it so I grew up seeing some American movies as well as Indian movies. Where they're American movies or an American actors that influenced you and made you interested in performing. Oh yes played a major role in my education as an actor I was in drama school as Not many drama schools in India is one Which is attentive. It's natural school. Grandma in Delhi the three year degree course so I was doing that in a I had so many questions about How to learn acting in what acting is all about and things like that and in. I started watching films at that time because earlier we were not permitted to watch films. We meaning beaming like my family. Didn't allow us to Did because they were coming from the feudal background and you know they had this attitude of looking down upon films like these are not good influence. They used to take like that so We were not allowed to watch phones and when I went to drama school and there was a theatre where all these Interesting phones used to play on a discount rate and that's where I washed Causey or Kosta Gara Philly knee and that was something eye opener to me and I never have never seen brand new before that. I never knew who Robert De Niro's I never knew Al Pacino never knew anybody and that's really opened and My mind doors and windows. And that's fair my real training started. And that's what keeps me kind of dry you've for future drive with with an actor where those movies dubbed or subtitled. No no no. They were they were. There was a gradual cost to garden. Subtitling phillies former surprised So you got to hear. Brando's voice you got to hear Pacino's because he's really. They were they were. They were like Patronized by by by by gaumont and these teenagers would not commercial theaters. There were there. There was a kind of cultural center in Delhi and they used to run these firms just for just to popularize art. Did your parents let you watch television when you were growing up? Even though you came little late I think In our house delusion came in eighty four. Yeah Yeah it's just a just a year back. Iraqi eighty-three came in a House. And at that time it was two channels used to come which was which Goldman channels. They were not private. Private Channel started coming in India Around two thousand before that there was just two channels you know and it used to start around six in the evening and use to if End Around ten thirty or eleven at night just two to three hours when you were alive. Television where they government controlled programs to yet. There were two channels that is The two channels which is owned by Government. But then you know they opened Up for for private channels and then the de now. There are more than hundred channels. You studied at the National School of Drama in Indiana. I don't know if there's a specific approach to acting a specific school of acting that that's taught there but I'm wondering if there's any comparisons you could make between acting as you learned it as an acting as you think you may have learned it if you went to You know one one of the theater schools in England or if you'd studied you know the method in the United States. It's very interesting question See we don't have a culture of really sick acting in India Our firm still are influenced by bar see theater. Barzi theater was known for Melodrama so still caddied in today's time. Still carry that melodramatic. You know Aspect of still done in our cinema. We don't when you say melodramatic. A little overstated a little overstated. All all about emotions. And you know you just have to project your emotions. You don't have to behave in a in a realistic way. You don't have to be believable. You just have to You know mesmerized the audience with your video with your Stran- ix So that was That was a kind of you know. cinema was inspired or. Roy adapted that that and We don't have any school like you know you have here. You have teachers who who studied Stanislavsky in the develop their own techniques and they had their own way of teaching people how to how to go about doing a role performing ruled the realistically so we have techniques. So it's it's like trial and error in are you. Do you find your own method. All the we had a kind of drama training In maybe in in early ages but it's really inch- int- when our theater used to play a very important role in society Suba but that's not practiced to introduce time? That's like two thousand years old in an interview on On Al Jazeera. You told a story that I thought was really funny in the story. Is that you know when you wanted to act on television you went. You must have been pretty young when you did this. You climbed up like this little mountain or hill where where the TV transmission tower was. And you figured when you got there. That's where the officers would be in the people and you could see if you could do something there and then you got there and realize it's just a tower. When when that when you did that I was I was fourteen. I it's it's you know. It sounds strange Into this time forty near boys is you know much more smart and you know the the no but I think if you live your very nive and that's what somebody. My cousin told me that you know there. If you want to work in television you see that that that tower on the mountain. You know they're the they have office and you can go there and we can ask them. You know if you can. We can work in television. And that's what we did. We climbed the whole mountain. Was nobody not even a dog. What's it what was your reaction when you realize there's nothing there but then we started roaming around on the on the mountain so we forgot about about getting work on television. We you know we just having great time mountain did you go to a real TV studio after that eventually. No no I thought you know this is this is not going to work out and you know. Irfan Khan thank you so much for talking with us. Thank you thank you. So as Indian actor Irvan con speaking with Terry Gross in two thousand twelve Khan died Wednesday. He was fifty four after a break. We'll listen to Terry's interview with Michael cogs. Well whose life's work was preserving the legacy of Louis Armstrong cogs will died last week and David in Cooley reviews upload a new comedy series on Amazon from Greg Daniels I'm Dave Davies at this is fresh air from. Npr's built this each week on the show. During this unprecedented crisis I'll be asking some of the top founders and builders how they're dealing with the economic impact of the coronal virus and hear about some of the ways they're pivoting to fight it subscriber. Listen now to how I built this. This is fresh air. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross. Remember remember Michael cogs. Well who's wife's work was devoted to preserving the legacy of Louis Armstrong died last week at the age of sixty six from complications of bladder cancer. Carswell was a musician with a Master's in Jazz Studies. When in Nineteen ninety-one he responded to an advertisement for an archivist to handle the Louis Armstrong Collection. It began cog swells twenty seven year association with and dedication to musician casual became the executive director of the Louis Armstrong House. Museum in Corona Queens. New York which cons well helped renovate and preserve. Its the house. Louis Armstrong lived in for the last thirty years of his life with his wife Lucille. The collection includes six hundred fifty. Reel to reel tape recordings of songs and conversations. Five thousand photographs three Hundred Fifty Pages of autobiographical manuscript eighty-six scrapbooks two hundred forty acetate discs of live recordings Armstrong made at home five trumpets and more cogs. Well was also the author of the book. Louis Armstrong the offstage story of Satchmo Terry Gross spoke with Michael Cox. Well in two thousand one. She asked him about the Armstrong House. Why don't you describe the house in the neighborhood that it's in in nineteen forty three? Lewis and his wife. Lucille purchased a simple frame house in the working class neighborhood of Corona Queens and they lived there for the rest of their lives this the interior of the house and what Armstrong was proudest stuff. Well although it's a very simple frame house sort of an archie bunker house if you will They did many remarkable things with the inside. For example they enclosed the front porch and remove some interior walls to make this gigantic living room the seventy foot long living room which they filled with paintings and upholstered furniture. The downstairs bathroom is covered with mirrors. Every inch of the walls and ceiling is covered with mirrors and all the fixtures gold plated and imported from Italy many fabulous things with the interior of the house. Why did the Armstrong's live in a working class neighborhood for the latter part of Armstrong's life when they could have afforded probably to live anywhere else? Well it's an interesting issue. Because Lewis when they bought. The house was already a superstar and they could have lived almost anywhere Perhaps in Beverly Hills certainly a big estate. On the north shore of Long Island Lucille found the House and purchased it and decorated it without Louis. Ever having seen it They were married in forty two and she bought the house. In forty-three Louis came off the road. We know this from his own manuscript. He gave a cabdriver and address. Take me to this house in Queens. They pulled up front Lewis. Said go on and take me to the address I gave you the driver said no. This is it. So he got out came up rang. The Doorbell Lucille opened the door. Welcome home honey. She had a home cooked meal on the table. She had the whole place decorated and he fell in love with it. In later years Lucille tried to convince him to look in an estate on Long Island and a townhouse and Upper Manhattan and he refused to even consider them. He was very comfortable there in the neighborhood. He knew the neighbors they knew him. He would hang out on the front steps of the House and talked to neighbors. He would walk up the street To one hundred and sixty northern boulevard. Joe's artistic barbershop get his haircut. Chew the fat with guys in the barber shop. He had a very comfortable life there and he cherished it. It was a real refuge for him when he was off the road. An important part of the Louis Armstrong Archives is a huge collection of tapes that he recorded on an old reel to reel machine. What kind of things did he record as to rotate machine there? More than six hundred and fifty tapes And the Armstrong collection at the archives about half of those are simply dubs of LP's and seventy eight Lewis would copy his favorite records onto audiotape so that he could listen to them when he was in the hotel room. Or the dressing room He had a steamer trunk custom modified to hold his Tape decks and turntables But he also recorded the other. Half of the tapes are spoken. Word tapes. He would turn his tape recorder onto record when he was hanging out in the dressing room or backstage or wherever and as a result we literally have hundreds and hundreds of hours of tape of Louis and the guys sitting around in dirty jokes and band stories and Lewis and Lucille at home. And you name it. He also recorded many many memories about his life Who was he speaking to when he did that? Was He doing there for posterity? That's a good question. Sometimes he would make tapes as spoken word letters. We know from the tape that he was making the tape for an individual for example Max Jones one of his biographers in England. But other tapes. We have to ask ourselves that question. For whom was he making this and On one level. He's just playing with his tape recorder. He's having fun with his audio equipment but on another more profound level he was making it for us. He he was leaving a an audio legacy for us. Well you've brought some tape excerpts with you. Why don't we listen to one of them and this? This is a memory of Louis. Armstrong's from his childhood in warling when he came out of the orphan's home. What did you summarize? What's in this because it's just a little bit hard to hear so I it would be easier to listen to if we already know what we're listening for on New Year's eve new years of One thousand nine hundred twelve Lewis fired off a pistol in the streets of New Orleans and To celebrate New Year's Eve and his his little buddies were with him and there was a policeman nearby. Who saw this? Lewis had been in some minor scrapes with the law before and he was sentenced to the colored wave home for boys in New Orleans and he spent Roughly eighteen months there. When he got out he was released to the custody of his father. Louis father had abandoned the family when Lewis was an infant and he continued to live in New Orleans but Lewis had had very little contact with him so the story. Lewis is telling that he's released from the wave home and he goes to live with his father and his father's new wife and their children when I came out of the waves home wave home. I've stayed a while with my are the Willett and is otherwise and family. He had another wife name. Go Trud a nice woman. She thought quite a bit about me. He liked it and I thought she was nice to Ghana really gotten elected. She and my father had two boys and a girl so I skate with them for a while when I got out of the waves home but I come to getting lonesome lonesome. You know what I mean I mean I got on some from my mother. Marianne Marianne you know that. Show me and my sister Beatrice. Would it go minute nickname? And before I realized that I would back living with them again and happy as could be in that great big room where the three of us was so happy and we lived there so happy so very long Lewis. His mother was a teenage prostitute when she gave birth to him. Did he ever hold that against her? That she had been a prostitute. Louis always spoke of his mother with the deepest and most sincere respect and affection He he dearly loved her and she was a huge influence on his life It's funny Louis. Occasionally speaks badly of his father If you stand back a couple of steps though and look at the big picture what is more likely is that His mother was Was on the street. And was hustling as Lewis would say. And his father left her and He was Had A very responsible job. He was superintendent and Turpentine factory. Which for a black man and turn of the century New Orleans was a good job and he held that job for many years and he remarried and raised children with his second wife so his father apparently was quite stable but Lewis worshiped his mother and He did not have strong feelings for his father and he writes in his manuscripts that he always felt very comfortable around prostitutes. In fact his first wife was a prostitute to well. Lewis grew up in a neighborhood of New Orleans that was so rough it was nicknamed the battlefield. And that's that's the environment. Lewis grew up in is Temps and prostitutes and street people and Nightlife people and gamblers and he loved them all he he Always speaks of his childhood in the most glowing terms. What a wonderful childhood he had He and his mother and sister lived in a little two room house with a dirt floor and there was a privy out back and they were so poor that occasionally Lewis and his sister would go through garbage to find vegetables and so they could cut out the rotten parts and eat what was remaining But in spite of That type of childhood Louis always refers to his childhood with with great affection. Michael cogs well whose life work was preserving the legacy of Louis Armstrong cogs. Well died last week. We'll hear more after a break. This is fresh air. The biggest story in the world is a science story and keeping up with all the latest corona virus research. It's a lot. So on shortwave. We translate the science you need to know into short daily episodes. Listen and subscribe to shortwave from NPR. We're listening to Terry's two thousand one interview with Michael Cogs well Executive Director of the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens New York. He died last week at the age of sixty. Six Armstrong did have some pretty powerful things to say during the civil rights movement. What are what are some of the statements he made? Perhaps the most famous one is when the little rock crisis was unfolding. Lewis was out in the boondocks. I think North Dakota and a local reporter knocked on his door to interview the famous Mr Armstrong. Who's in town? Louis at time was watching the television news broadcast about Little Rock and he let loose with both barrels. He said that President Eisenhower was two faced and had no guts he called Governor Orval fobus and uneducated plow boy. He said the way they're treating my people in the south of government can go to hell The reporter wrote this up. Took it back to his editor. The editor knew exactly what he had and showed it to Lewis and Lewis approved. It wrote solid at the bottom of sheet got published got picked up by the Associated Press and went out all over the world. That's the most famous statement. Lewis made about civil rights but in his dressing room tapes and then his manuscripts you can tell that. Lewis as rule felt that he could do more for the civil rights struggle by being Louis Armstrong by performing by knowing his fans by traveling around the world. And that's that's the tact. He took he also wrote about his pleasures in his journals and one of the pleasures that he wrote about was smoking marijuana which he did from the age of twenty six on and when he started smoking the warrant any laws against it he wrote. It puzzles me to marijuana connected with narcotics dope and all that kind of crap. It's actually shame. Well it's true. He was He was a lifelong pot smoker and Having said that Lewis was also the consummate professional. He was always on time and ready to play. And one of the most creative people Of this century or any other century he would speak about pot-smoking In his writings and in the tapes. You know just in casual references. It was no secret that he he smoked marijuana. I think one of the most amusing things that comes to mind there was a biography of Armstrong published. That mentioned in passing that Mez Mezro did arrangements for the Louis Armstrong Orchestra in the thirties. And I and other people read that and said Gee that doesn't sound right. I mean mezro was a part-time clarinet player but he didn't have the technical facility to arrangements for for a big band. Where on Earth did that come from? Well a couple of years ago We acquired a copy of an Armstrong letter from the Library of Congress. A letter that Lewis wrote to Mezro in the nineteen thirties and he says An essence dear mez We're doing a tour of Europe and I need some arrangements. Now you have to understand. That MEZRO was Louis. Armstrong's pot dealer. He says I need some arrangements. I need enough arrangements to last six weeks and I need some really good arrangements. And I'm wiring the money to the American Express office in Paris and you dig Daddy. I know you'll understand so Apparently the biographer had seen this letter and not not really understood what Lewis was saying. One of Armstrong's big hits in the mid fifty s was mack the knife. Which is the Kurt? Vile Bertel Braxton from the threepenny opera and with Armstrong it became this big pop hit There's a recording that he made with Lottie Legna of the song and Legno By this time was was the widow of Kurt. Vile and She Of course was in the original production of threepenny opera. Her style of singing is singing is is much more of a theater music style. Not the kind of behind the beach. Jazz style of Armstrong and on this recording. It seems to be Armstrong Session. And he's coaching her in the kind of rhythm that he wants. And I think it's really fascinating to listen to him. Control the session and coach. Legna so I thought we could give this elicit anything you want to say about this track. Well we have tapes of this in the Armstrong Arc as it is fascinating lot to lend you has come by this recording session and Lewis has coaching her on on the CODA on the tag to mack the knife and she just can't get that final syncopation and Lewis is so gracious and so patient whether it's really a great example of Of these two together Michael Cox. Well Good luck with your work with the Armstrong House and archives. Thank you so much for talking with us. Thanks for your interest Soukous louder than here so we brown over the line on the right deal now that he back in pass now back back in. Then we'll pick up. That was now see down. See now that man. I did back down back into one two three their longest. Talk San Francisco shape. It's not that MAG bone back in town one. Two three batted visit ready the vocal waste from the planet local shock and sent me talk. That MAC heats bogey tawdry. Take all the way Suker Dante. All Sweden line fall on the right now that keys backing That's Louis Armstrong. Coaching singer Lottie Linnea from a recording archive at the Louis Armstrong House Museum. Michael cogs well was the executive director of the museum. He died last week. Cogs well spoke with Terry Gross in two thousand one. His final project is a twenty three million dollar education center across the street from the Armstrong House to hold the archives and Exhibition. Gallery and a jazz club though. Construction has been halted because of the CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC COMING UP DAVID B. And Cooley reviews upload the new comedy series by Greg Daniels who brought us the American version of the Office. This is fresh air support for. Npr comes from whyy presenting the pulse. A podcast that takes you on adventures into unexpected corners of health and science plastic in the guts of deep sea creatures crying after anesthesia building. Your own Internet. Each episode is full of fascinating stories and Big Ideas. The pulse available. Where you get your podcasts or at whyy dot org. Hi It's Terry Gross inviting you to check out our new online archive collecting forty years of fresh air interviews and reviews. You can hear my interviews with people like David Bowie aretha Franklin Johnny Cash. John Updike Tony Morrison Search for names. You're interested in make a playlist for yourself or friends at fresh air. Archived Dot Org. That's fresh air archive dot org former Saturday. Night live writer Greg Daniels who went on to create the American adaptation of the British Sitcom. The office has two new series. Premiering in May later this month he and his NBC office star. Steve Carell re team for a new Netflix comedy called Space Force and starting today Amazon presents. Another new Greg Daniels comedy. It's called upload and our TV critic David in Cooley has a review of that one. Welcome to Upload Nathan made it Lakeview. You lucky duck in the new Greg Daniels Scifi Comedy Upload Nathan Brown played by Robbie Mel is the lead character. But he's not so lucky first of all we hardly get the no Nathan and the world of the near future in which he lives when he stops living. The handsome young man dies in a freak accident involving his self driving car and he has. Wealthy girlfriend puts up the money to have his memories and personality uploaded into a lookalike. Avatar AVATAR resides in. What now passes for his eternal afterlife in a world? Not of his own making actually. It's a world made by giant corporation. One of several competing to offer people an alternative to dying in the natural way in dealing with whatever does or doesn't come next one of the many brilliant concepts in this new upload show. Is that series creator? Greg Daniels envisions his imaginary world as a place where this transition from bio to upload as they call it is a predominantly financial transaction. The more you can afford the better your computerized afterlife and Nathan. Because he's girlfriend's family literally owns. The place gets to live with the one percenters whether he wants to or not here. He is waking up for the first time to his new reality guided by a computer tech back in the real world. An upload clients support staffer named Nora. Who SERVES AS PERSONAL? Siri or Alexa. She's played by Andy Allo and she's instantly likable as he is her. Co-star do you see anything some kind of old fashioned room looking over a lake beautiful trees? Well sharks swimming right towards me. What Okay No. That's not supposed to having any sense of humor. Nice so welcome to Lakeview the only digital afterlife environment modeled on the Grand Victorian hotels of the United States and Canada. Hope it's not too Ralph Lauren. For you never really my thing but it's kind of cool yeah uplifting views healthy pursuits timeless Americana Arthur slaves. What are you serious one. This is a design scheme and to. That's not even the right period. Lakeview is open to all races religions genders. Absolutely anybody in upload we get to explore both worlds the computer generated lakeview and the real world of twenty thirty three which is when this series begins and Nathan dies in both places the details comic and otherwise or crammed into each frame like panels from a drawing in mad magazine. The closer you look the more you'll find in the real world. Nora has a vintage political poster on her wall. Supporting the twenty. Twenty four political ticket of Oprah and Kamla in the afterlife. Avatars residents can adjust the seasons of the gorgeous view outside their window. Just by turning the dial on a sort of landscape thermostat kind of like changing the background on your zoom meeting. Breakfast buffets are loaded with endless treats but like most of the things in these for profit virtual realities. You have to pay extra to get what you want. In Nathan case. His girlfriend Ingrid played by Allegra Edwards controls. His budget and decides as each purchase request comes to her account. Whether or not to indulge him there even her ways for the virtual in real worlds to interact. Nora as a client support. Technician can visit his world as her own. Temporary Avatar and Ingrid and Nathan can see each other by visual computer links watching and talking on monitors. That's an accidental. Extra creepy touch because watching them reach out to each other trying to connect only through. Tv screens suddenly feels much too familiar. But upload this new comedy without a laugh track does more than just create inventive new worlds. Like the good place. It's full of thoughtful questions and challenging ideas about the meaning of life itself and of Death Itself Upload also holds up to comparisons with episodes of Black Mirror covering the worlds within worlds of avatars and computerized identity and to similar themes in Westworld and the movie her and very quickly upload reveals himself to have even more layers. It's a love story with Nathan Nora extremely attracted to one another but fighting seemingly insurmountable obstacles and before long Nathan begins to suspect that the freak accident that killed him was no accident at all that turns this Sitcom into a mystery series to as Nathan and others set out to solve a murder. His I love upload because it's so smart so funny and so imaginatively complicated. It may sound like a paradox but watching the TV show right now about a character who feels confined helpless and trapped in these troubled days when many of share those same feelings turns out to be a wonderful way to escape. David in Cooley is editor of the website TV worth watching and professor of TV studies at Rohan University on Monday. Show we welcome back. Fashion Mentor. Tim Gunn his new fashion competition. Show making the cut features ECO conscious designs that fit all body types enter gender-neutral. We'll hear more about his life how he came to love teaching despite a difficult start struggles as a teenager and his father who worked closely with J Edgar Hoover in the FBI. I hope you can join us. Fresh Air's executive producer is Danny Miller. Our Technical Director and engineer is Audrey Bentham with additional engineering support choice Lieberman and Julian Herzfeld. Our interviews and reviews are produced an edited by. Amy Salad. Phyllis Myers Sam Brigger Lauren Crendall Heidi Soman Theresa Madden Moves. Eighty via challenor. And Seth Kelly. Our associate producer of digital media. Is Molly Seavy Nesper? Roberta shorrock directs. The show for Terry Gross days.