Alex Garland's new miniseries, Devs

The trailer for Alex Garland’s next project dropped yesterday:

I have next to no idea what it’s even about, but you know I’m gonna be there on day one. Even if it was just to see Nick Offerman play a stringy-haired, creepy, tech CEO

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Finally a show about the existential horrors of working in game development.


“What am I doing here?” is a question I’ve asked myself on the regular.

A little less so now that I’m not working on F2P mobile games. But it still comes up.

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I’m not gonna bother with this unless/until spoilers start coming out and it turns out it’s not some boring “REAL LIFE IS A SIMULATION!!!” nonsense.


I think there are interesting ideas behind mostly a mediocre show. The espionage plot line was unnecessary and side-tracked from the more interesting aspects of the show, the unifying theories behind the technology, the implications of the technology, and whether the technology is accurate or just persuasive.

I’m with you on mostly mediocre. There are some highlights: the acting is overall pretty good across the board, the music and visuals are great. But there is something kinda off about the show as a whole for me. It has some terrible writing in parts (does Alex Garland really think programmers recite the fibonacci sequence to each other for fun?) and focuses way too much on the extremely tired trope of (I think this is revealed in the first ep but I can’t remember so I’ll blur it) “bad man who is good actually because he’s motivated by his dead wife and daughter”.

I stopped watching a couple of weeks ago, so I have 2 episodes left. Without spoilers, anyone who’s watched the whole thing care to say whether it sticks the landing?

I don’t know if I quite agree with the presence of “is good actually” part of the trope, since Forest never came across as particularly likeable or anywhere near what I would describe as good, imo. This tired trope being deployed as motivation for the character didn’t make me feel sympathy for him or understand him any better, on the contrary: the whole dead wife and daughter plus the hubris of using his company to “bring them back” (whatever that means) was like the backstory of an (evil) tech bro magnate villain and I don’t think the show sides with him. I don’t know. Maybe I’m being too charitable, since the writing really dips below mediocre at times. That is another big problem I had with Devs, I never really thought of Forest and Katie as humans or even characters; they were mostly cyphers.

I thought the series was pretty disappointing as well. It perhaps would’ve worked better as a film, with a tighter pace and focus. The best part for me was the acting, and in particular Sonoya Mizuno and Zach Grenier were really great. Plus there were some nice visuals and compositions throughout.

What I’ll say is, if you mostly disliked the series I don’t think the final episode will change your mind. The ideas throughout Devs were interesting but the writing ultimately really wasn’t up to par. Vague mentions about the final ep: I was mostly okay with the final episode overall in comparison to the rest of the series, but that final scene soured me on it tbh.

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I think the fundamental problem of this show is that the main character isn’t Devs. I assumed she would join the team by episode 2 or 3 then work to uncover the mysteries from the inside. So she’s outside of the primary conflict, which is fundamentally a philosophical quantum mechanics question that she doesn’t even know about. She can’t really be a player in the story without being on the Devs team.

So you end up with this really interesting show inside the Cube that brings up these deep ideas and conflicts. Then this just kinda blah mystery thriller outside the cube.

Also, I swear to god I would have fucking murdered Forrest too over that DEVS is really DEUS pun. Fuck off, dude.