A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Devs is a sci-fi drama about a tech company employee (Sonoya Mizuno) who's trying to unravel the mystery of her boyfriend's death. The show explores quantum physics and computing, and what the grieving CEO of a tech company (Nick Offerman) will do to get his daughter back. Frequent swearing includes "s--t" and "f--k," and characters are shown in bed kissing (no nudity). There are moments of graphic violence -- a man is forcefully suffocated with a plastic bag; a man dies by suicide and sets himself on fire -- but mostly the show is slow and contemplative, more interested in the futuristic world that has been built than what is happening within it.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Lily Chan (Sonoya Mizuno) and her boyfriend Sergei are computer engineers at a company called Amaya. Sergei gets promoted to the mysterious "devs" unit, but disappears after his first day with his new team. Lily, suspicious that Amaya's CEO, Forest (Nick Offerman), has something to do with his disappearance, begins to investigate him and the company.
Is it any good?
This intriguing but sometimes plodding sci-fi series requires a bit of patience, but can be rewarding thanks to creator Alex Garland's (Ex-Machina, Annihilation) ability to make a very complicated concept (quantum physics) more accessible. That said, not everything about the show is fresh: it's got many of the hallmarks of other modern sci-fi shows (cough, Westworld): textbook cinematography that looks nice but ultimately adds little to the story, and a super-slow pace that often comes from trying to stretch what could be a 90-minute premise across eight episodes. Both traits are great for the streaming business -- especially if viewers are pre-invested in the creators or the subjects -- but the storytelling doesn't often hold up under them. Devs' surfaces (and there are a lot of them) look shiny enough, and the future-tech world and ethical discussions hint at a distant payoff, but without a true investment in Garland or the relatively thin plot, it takes a lot of patience to make it there.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the technology shown on Devs. Does Amaya remind you of any real-life tech companies? Do you think Devs' level of technology is realistic? Is it moral?
Offerman's character Forest is grieving the death of his daughter. Does his sadness warrant the choices he makes? Why or why not?
What do you think about the diversity of the main cast on this series? Have you ever seen someone that looks like Lily as the lead in a TV show?
For kids who love science fiction
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.