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Set in the distant yet not-so-distant-we-have-flying-cars future, FX’s mini-series Devs is a sci-fi thriller that follows Lily Chan (Sonoya Mizuno), a computer engineer whose boyfriend Sergei (Karl Glusman) falls victim to tragedy after receiving a promotion at his company, Amaya. And although Amaya and its CEO Forest (Nick Offerman) offer kind words,  Lily grows to believe that the tech giant and its creator had a hand in Sergei’s demise.

The mystery of why Sergei was removed and what sinister motive Amaya is protecting is the central story of Devs. Created by Alex Garland, Devs is an unusual show perfect for the Gen-Z workforce, but perhaps not the Gen-Z mindset, as the series is taking its time with this tale, a slow and steady burn via a week-by-week rollout that might deter those weaned on YouTube videos.

This mini-series is set in the future, if the future was determined by IKEA. Everything is beautiful and clean, perfectly in place with a lingering question of sturdiness. But behind the VITTSJÖ bookcase lies a conspiracy brimming with possible peril. This is best reflected in Offerman’s turn as Forest, a man whose laid back demeanor hides a dangerous nature.

A quiet menace festers within the framework here, alerting viewers that real danger is around every corner. There are signs throughout the series that danger is afoot, noted by ominous tones, prying camera angles, and Alison Pill. Pill, who apparently has a contract that allows her to star in everything on every platform, is the Patron Saint of Dramatic Cover Ups And Corporate Fuckery. If there is a bad guy at play in a TV drama, Pill is probably standing behind them, holding their drink.

Like their offices and homes, the characters that inhabit Devs are deliberate in design. As seen in his previous work on Never Let Me Go, Ex Machina and Annihilation, Garland has strong opinions on science and technology. This hinders as much as helps, serving while creating servants, and can be used as a tool for unlocking the worst in man’s nature if left unchecked. But this time around, Garland uses an episodic format to vociferate his prophetic warnings.

There’s something amiss at Amaya, something deadly and malignant. Devs forces the viewer along a path, moving at a glacial pace that requires patience from its audience, especially since FX on Hulu is releasing each episode one by one rather than the now-usual series rollout. But the combination of horror and high-tech appears to be building to a crescendo that will come crashing down. The journey to discovery is lined with intrigue and suspense, but requires an investment of time and diligence on behalf of the viewer. If Garland’s previous work offers any hint to what’s to come, then expect Devs to pack a slow, well-calculated punch right in the iPhone.

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