In Alex Garland’s DEVS from Hulu & FX, Watch Rising Star Sonoya Mizuno Fight Parks & Rec Vet Nick Offerman’s Quantum God Complex

Written by: Jason Lucia – April 20th, 2020 12:44pm pst


Credit: Hulu/FX

Science fiction has always been a popular genre, and quantum leaps in special effects technology have made the science fiction action spectacle (and its super hero offshoots) the perfect blockbuster formula.  Afterbuzz loves Pop Sci-Fi, and for those that love Pop Sci-Fi as well, we have plenty of articles coming your way. However, there’s a different kind of science fiction that’s just as rich and full of wild weirdness, though it often might invite us into worlds that look deceptively like the world we live in.  

Because films and shows with this slant on sci fi tend to be more subtle and psychological, they sometimes fly under the pop culture radar and Afterbuzz hates the idea of you superfans missing out on a mind-bending science fiction experience, so we submit, for your approval…AfterBuzz TV Scifi Hidden Gems.  

In this installment, we invite you to get deep with us in a sleek and heartbreaking philosophical techno thriller from Hulu and FX.  We invite you to find out what they do at DEVS.

Does it tie into the next Avengers movie?  Is Baby Yoda in it? No to both questions, but DEVS does present us with a world of wonders.  Let us entice you. If you enter the world of DEVS, this is what you get…

Credit: Hulu/FX

You get an eerie slightly futuristic tech campus version of the Garden of Eden, watched over by a 50 foot tall statue of a spooky little girl.  You get Parks & Recreation vet Nick Offerman as the quantum computing tech guru, giving a career-changing performance of deep empathy and subtle madness. There’s a sketchy espionage scenario that tricks you into thinking this is about politics when it is in fact a very San Francisco simulation of the loftiest ancient mythologies. 

You’ll see grainy 4D holograms of Jesus on the cross and Marilyn Monroe on her wedding bed.  You’ll see fascinating actress Sonoya Mizuno as the lead, who in losing her lover comes to realize that she never knew him.  She would not be his Eve. She’s the Lilith in the mix. Lilith was the first wife of Adam, according to certain sources. She walked right out of the Bible and into the gnostic apocrypha and the demonologies.  She believed in free will. She refused to do as she was told, embodying at once the best and the worst in us. Lawless but unmechanical, chaotic but alive.

You’ll see ravishing production design that makes something alien and vaguely religious out of this quantum computing cube in which multiverses are crunched into code and immersed in its infinite mainframes.  You’ll feel the tragedy of a young seeker who reaches a crossroads in their yearning for interface with the great equation and finds that there is no parallel Earth on which we do not die.  

Credit: Hulu/FX

You’ll see machines that measure and map and anticipate the gentle webs that connect us all, the fleeting butterfly beats that spin and ripple into unthinkable emotional monsoons.  A story of hubris and redemption, god-like doomed ambition born of shocking personal tragedy, a thriller-tinted collision of mysticism and simulation theory, lovers going through hell to find each other, in the process learning to perceive this whole mad painful world as a work of art with jagged shadows woven into its filigree, so the beauty and the light will be brighter by contrast.

DEVS is a mad scientist story that scrapes the vault of heaven, like the best ones do.  Science fiction and horror scholars might call it Silicon Valley Lovecraft, a story built around a terrible knowledge too vast for a human mind to hold for long before the memories start melting, reality becomes fragile, and confusion starts setting in.

Credit: Hulu/FX

You’ll thrill to Lily’s desperate efforts to extricate herself from all the egomaniacal madness of men who want to be spies and men who want to be gods and men who want to save her.  But whatever she loves gets crunched in the schemes and shrapnel of these “great men” and “professionals” and “heroes”. Every major character in DEVS is driven by a love so great that they would shred the laws of space and time to bring it back to life and keep it safe.

DEVS is sinister, philosophical, funny, strangely hopeful and yet chilling in its implications.  Its suspense elements benefit from the episodic delivery, but this is basically an 8 hour Alex Garland movie (he of the films ANNIHILATION, EX MACHINA,and the script for 28 DAYS LATER), and it has that Alex Garland feeling…this recurring unspoken thematic vibration I detect in his work that I (perhaps madly) interpret as a channelled cosmic consolation for a nervous species in the midst of what feels like its extinction when it is in fact on the brink of a great transfiguration, a shift in awareness so great that it changes the meaning of every name and number in the codes of earth and heaven.

Those are just a smattering of this unique program’s attractions.  

You see something you like in that kaleidoscope of spoiler free teasers?  

Oh, you WANTED a spoiler? Ok then. 

Credit: Hulu/FX

On DEVS you will at last find out why artists have been painting God to look vaguely like Nick Offerman for centuries.

If you love DEVS, Alex Garland, and Afterbuzz TV SciFi Hidden Gems, share this article with a friend.  Tune in daily to AfterbuzzTV for all your Science Fiction related articles and aftershows and all the latest news on the world of pop culture and entertainment.

If you enjoy the writing of Jason Lucia, give him a tweet @jasonmlucia.
He also writes as Jason Squamata. You can buy his new novel HERE.

About The Author:

Jason M. Lucia is a media critic, columnist, and professional ghostwriter whose work has been published under several pseudonyms.  He was raised in Medford, MA.  He went to school in NY.  He lives to rhapsodize the stories he loves on the page and in the flesh.

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