Devs explores some philosophical questions like Determinism and free will in this brilliant series created, written and directed by Alex Garland

DEVS (2020)
USA. Fx on Hulu
Alex Garland
Sonoya Mizuno
Nick Offerman
Jin Ha
Zach Grenier
Cailee Spaeny

Since the beginning of time, man has wondered why are we here for? Likewise, going back to the origins of philosophy, one of the overriding questions is whether I was determined to be in this place asking these questions. If it was already determined then it can be said that “I’m here because that’s what I’m here for” Devs explores a part of those philosophical questions in this brilliant series created, written, and directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Dredd)

Aesthetics and Narrative without imperfections

Nick Offerman – Devs (2020)

We have mentioned several times that we are moved by slow-burn series and movies as long as they have a good plot and a good narrative. This FX on Hulu series is masterful and from the outset and without determinism we can intuit that it will become a cult series not only for fans of science fiction and philosophy but for anyone who watches it without a specific agenda.

Sonoya Mizuno as Lily Chan – DEVS (2020)

A perfect blend: Aesthetically great, perfectly orchestrated shots, intriguing music, sharp dialogues, and the most compelling part it’s ethical and philosophical dilemmas that will make you think and reflect about your existence.

Who is?

Lily and Sergei – Devs (2020)

Lily (Sonoya Mizuno) and Sergei (Karl Glusman) are a young couple of computer engineers who work for a technology company called Amaya. Sergei is presented with a unique opportunity to be part of a special project called Devs (short for Development) which is personally supervised by Forest (Nick Offerman) who is the computer and tech genius/guru in this story sort of like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.

The top-secret Devs project is something of an urban legend within the company. Only those who are selected know what it is about as no one is allowed to talk about it. The conflict begins when Sergei tries to leak information. Immediately is discovered.

Lily Chan – Devs (2020)

This causes him to «disappear.» His girlfriend Lily, who has an intrinsic relationship with him, notices his disappearance and begins a quest to discover the reasons for his disappearance and what lies behind Devs.

Garland’s personal seal

Alex Garland – Devs (2020)

Alex Garland is an excellent director on the rise. If he was a company I would not hesitate to invest or buy shares in whatever he does. He is a great storyteller and uses the technology as a silent spectator and not the object around which the story centers. The low point is that sometimes is difficult to be receptive to complicated subjects as philosophical questions that go beyond mundane conventions which is the case with almost all of Garland’s work.

That aura of mystery, that ethereal touch, the halo of intrigue, and visions of what may lie beyond can sound like something pretentious. But is not. Garland does not pretend, he does it and does it well.

Enigmatic and shifting

Sonoya Mizuno – Devs (2020)

It is not about the great philosophical questions or that that the answers are there, implicit that makes it a good story but the combination of everything to a good extent. Even from the first moment, Garland gives us the feeling that they are not telling us everything. The unreliable narrator becomes the unreliable story and it is little by little with several excellent plot twists that we are getting closer to a half-truth. With each episode, one question is solved but generates another two. That feeling of instability is what does not allow you to feel comfortable and let it pass in the background as one more story.

The answers to everything

Nick Offerman and Karl Glusman – Devs (2020)

That «great leap» of humanity regarding scientific and technological issues is being portrayed in the series. Various inflection points are mentioned such as the singularity, time travel, alternate realities, consciousness as something objective or as something subjective, etc. and the most terrifying thing is the forgotten morality in order to achieve these goals. That’s where Forest’s vision of the «deterministic» universe comes in when if it had to be then, it is.

Our verdict to Devs

Forrest (Nick Offerman) – Devs (2020)

Not everything that happened in 2020 was tragic. Devs is, in my opinion, one of the best philosophical science fiction series of all time A good SciPhiPhi or PhiPhi if you will. But, as that genre is not something that exists (although it should) I will leave it as one of the best science fiction series, period. Intriguing, fascinating, hypnotic, mind-blowing, and with a bunch of brilliant moments.

For a tv show to work beyond the power button, it should not lead us by the hand so we can feel comfortable, but rather make us leave our comfort zone and make us see it not only as a tv series but as something else … A philosophical essay in the form of a tv show.

Delirium Score

One of the best philosophical science fiction series of all time. But, as that genre is not something that exists (although it should) I will leave it as one of the best science fiction series, period.

Devs (2020)

Written by Glenn Marte