Devs - A new sci fi miniseries written and directed by Alex Garland - Thursdays on Hulu

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The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
4,147
I watched the first two episodes and really love the way this looks. Garland is really good at lacing the transcendent with a dose of permanent mute anxiety.

As for what devs is, my assumption so far:

It‘s a project using a quantum computer to simulate every state of every atom at all times, thus simulating the entire world.

The underlying question is that if you can run a deterministic simulation of the world, does this prove the world is itself a simulation ?

I assume the whole project somehow relies on the notion of observer effect, which would explain how they’d have a quantum computer running a deterministic simulation. The secrecy and layers of protection would be there to prevent any kind of observational tampering, I guess.
 

scottstephan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
358
I'm pretty puzzled by the number of posters who are guesisng what Devs is given that the first and second episodes spell it out pretty clearly. ANYWAY: My guess about the whole plot

Forest is somehow responsible for the death of his wife/daught. Forest doesn't 100% believe in a determinstic universe. Devs is both a play for a pre-cognitive superpower, but also a way to determine the nature of the universe. If it is indeed deterministic then Forest can absolve himself of the guilt around his daughter and wife's (?) death. Lily is clearly some kind of chaotic, unpredictable variable that threatens this experiment, also spurred by her love for someone. Ergo, the unstoppable force (Lily) and the unmovable object (The determinstic universe as represented by Devs)
 

shira

Community Resetter
Member
Oct 25, 2017
16,873
I watched the first two episodes and really love the way this looks. Garland is really good at lacing the transcendent with a dose of permanent mute anxiety.

As for what devs is, my assumption so far:

It‘s a project using a quantum computer to simulate every state of every atom at all times, thus simulating the entire world.

The underlying question is that if you can run a deterministic simulation of the world, does this prove the world is itself a simulation ?

I assume the whole project somehow relies on the notion of observer effect, which would explain how they’d have a quantum computer running a deterministic simulation. The secrecy and layers of protection would be there to prevent any kind of observational tampering, I guess.
This is kind of my guess, but why would you need Lily as the main character for that?
If she gets promoted to dev or she's somehow Offerman's daughter 🙄
 

Arol

Avenger
Dec 29, 2017
61
Enjoyed the premise and the first two episodes.

But man, the acting from the actors seems off. I can't put my finger on it why it's bothering me so much.
 

Nothus

Member
Oct 26, 2017
500
Enjoyed the premise and the first two episodes.

But man, the acting from the actors seems off. I can't put my finger on it why it's bothering me so much.
I get what you mean, it's strange. Some lines are delivered well and then others are as wooden as all hell. Very odd.
 

choog

Member
Oct 27, 2017
184
Seattle
I like it so far, but roll my eyes a little.

Is Kenton going to kill someone in every episode? I hope the show doesn't ignore what may happen for killing the Russian guy.

I like how they handled cracking the phone. I do wonder, a bit, about how Lili was able to know his phone password (not the sudoku app).
For the sudoku crack I, at first, I thought "who cares if an app erases itself if you have a backup?" then glad to see that it was an online app.
 

Mifune

Member
Oct 30, 2017
478
Loving this so far, though it feels more familiar than what I was expecting - what with the paranoid conspiracy thriller vibes and all. Acting doesn't bother me at all - it's flat and affectless, yes - but to me anyway makes all these characters feel like real people, which I suppose is the point. Did read that Garland directed all his actors to be monotone in their deliveries.
 
Oct 26, 2017
8,550
Mushroom Kingdom
Just finished the first two episodes.

I'm so happy they aren't bullshitting with the mystery and things are movings way way way fast.
Didn't expect us to find out what Devs were working on until miseason.

I also love the conclusion for ep2:
Lmao "fuck off" with the spy thriller hacker politic-ing direction. Its been done to death at this point, so a smart move to veer away from it
 

squeakywheel

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,537
I don’t think this is for me. The stilted acting and lines are taking me out of the fantasy. The lead’s acting is terrible and her American accent is so bad imo. The boyfriend’s Russian accent sucked too. They should’ve just made her speak in her British tongue. I’ll try episode 2 but might nope out if the acting doesn’t improve. It’s a very good concept though.
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,526
Garland is capturing San Francisco like no other media has before. Absolutely gorgeous shots from every part of the city.
 

SJRB

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
3,191
Can't stop thinking about this show.

Weekly episodes suck, I need to know NOW.
 

TheNatureBoy

Member
Nov 4, 2017
2,582
Just finished the 2nd episode. Show definitely has me hooked, the music and visuals in the show are great.

The giant statue of the little girl is creepy.

The whole Devs facility is stunning to look at.

The Devs team watching the code form that image was WOW! I'm with Stewart, they should be celebrating.
 

Nimrod

Member
Nov 3, 2017
64
I really enjoyed the first two episodes. Anyone know where I can listen to that flute like soundtrack from the first episode?
 

Mg.

Member
Oct 25, 2017
441
Loving this so far, though it feels more familiar than what I was expecting - what with the paranoid conspiracy thriller vibes and all. Acting doesn't bother me at all - it's flat and affectless, yes - but to me anyway makes all these characters feel like real people, which I suppose is the point. Did read that Garland directed all his actors to be monotone in their deliveries.
Episode one's premise is largely that of Ex Machina, which is why it felt pretty familiar to me. Genius programmer is invited to a once-in-alive-time big-leagues/cool-kids-only club focused on a ground breaking secret project.

I don’t think this is for me. The stilted acting and lines are taking me out of the fantasy. The lead’s acting is terrible and her American accent is so bad imo. The boyfriend’s Russian accent sucked too. They should’ve just made her speak in her British tongue. I’ll try episode 2 but might nope out if the acting doesn’t improve. It’s a very good concept though.
Oh you're going to love episode two. mwuaha

So far I'm quite intrigued with the show and will probably ride it to the end. The inconsistent stiff acting is a bit of a bother, as are some scenes that are shot oddly (I too had to rewatch that bit of episode two to figure out what just happened). What I'm really hoping for is the show to become a bit more 'weird' with its setting and premise. The trailer(s) gave me the impression this would venture more into the surreal.
 

SJRB

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
3,191
I really enjoyed the first two episodes. Anyone know where I can listen to that flute like soundtrack from the first episode?
Score is done by Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow, who also did Annihilation and Ex Machina for Gerland.

Especially Annihilation was nothing short of spectacular.

Score isn't out yet, but I hope it'll be released once the show is over.
 

Nothus

Member
Oct 26, 2017
500
I don't know why anyone would want to willingly listen to that flute music. I found it to be incredibly unsettling, which I'm pretty sure was its purpose!
 
Oct 25, 2017
8,251
Houston
Started watching and finished the 2 episodes without knowing a single thing about the show beforehand.

Interested but not sure what the overall plot will be after that 2nd ep
 

Kinthey

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
7,390
Really enjoying it. I like how the mystery is played. It's not annoyingly secretive like it's done so often but also still open enough to leave you guessing.

I watched the first two episodes and really love the way this looks. Garland is really good at lacing the transcendent with a dose of permanent mute anxiety.

As for what devs is, my assumption so far:

It‘s a project using a quantum computer to simulate every state of every atom at all times, thus simulating the entire world.

The underlying question is that if you can run a deterministic simulation of the world, does this prove the world is itself a simulation ?

I assume the whole project somehow relies on the notion of observer effect, which would explain how they’d have a quantum computer running a deterministic simulation. The secrecy and layers of protection would be there to prevent any kind of observational tampering, I guess.
I wondered about the simulation aspect as well. What if they like, reprogrammed Sergei to burn himself. I feel like they dropped hints towards that possibility at the start of the show with Sergei's own project where he did this on a much, much smaller scale.
 

nullref

Member
Oct 27, 2017
755
I'm pretty puzzled by the number of posters who are guesisng what Devs is given that the first and second episodes spell it out pretty clearly.
I feel like the premise and the way they've spelled it out are such that if you're already somewhat familiar with the concepts involved, it'll be pretty obvious, but if you're less so, it might still retain a little mystery at this point. I think it works well enough in both cases.

I agree with the posts about the somewhat stiff acting from the lead, and some surrounding characters—I felt the same way. It was obvious enough I that I thought maybe there's some intent behind it, and the reason for that choice might become more obvious as the show plays out. Not sure; we'll see.
 

Nude_Tayne

Member
Jan 8, 2018
1,968
earth
So far I'm really digging the show.

One thing I thought was funny was, in ep2 after yet another shot of the giant girl statue which hadn't yet been explained at all, I started guessing as to what the significance/history of it is. Not 30 seconds later the CEO starts talking about his daughter and I was 100% right on the money.
 

Kinthey

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
7,390
Yeah, it's interesting how much we found about about Devs in just two episodes without any exposition dumps.
When Sergei walked into the secret building I totally thought that's where they'll leave it. Instead we see everything he sees and the only difference is that we don't understand what he understands when he sees the code. Really refreshing way to do a mystery
 

snowtire

Member
Nov 17, 2017
688
I also have very mixed feelings after the first two eps but I’ll definitely stick with it. The “I reset the password for you on the super secret spy app” bit in the second ep was incredibly funny.
 

Lord Error

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,258
Love the show - I really find it entrancing. I did kind of figure out the motivation of the owner of the company, and the driving force behind the secret project as soon as the first episode began, but I think they clearly wanted it spelled out for people who have at least some idea about this kind of stuff.
Wish the show didn't have the
spy aspect to it, or at least that it was handled a little more seriously. It's really hard to accept that Sergei would start recording stuff on the very first day of work - while sitting across the person who was interviewing him for the job the day before - while looking as distressed as he did.
And yeah, the password reset on the app was something better left unspoken.

My two favorite less obvious things about the show.
1. The sudden realization that the
name of the show / secret division is the Latin spelling of the word Deus (God)
2. The rough, crude and
brutal fight to death between the two men at the end of ep 2, where despite all the apparent wild twists and randomness we can't help but remember Forest's words about determinism - after all he just provided direct proof of what he was saying. It was chilling.
 

Lord Error

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,258
Super confused at the ending of the second episode.

How the hell did Anton get killed? I watched the fight like three times, suddenly you hear a *crack* and he's dead. I can't figure out what happened
When they fall down,
Kenton pushes his feet against something under the car next to him, while Anotin's head is wedged beneath the car tire on the vehicle next to him. Kenton holds his arm so that Antoin can't break free, and pushes them both upwards until Antoin's neck breaks. They really staged that fight to look like the most haphazard and unpredictable thing possible, where the outcome was decided more by sheer luck than anything else - but that was the whole point, for the viewer to see that after all that's been presented in the episode prior, even an event like that is never actually truly random.
 

zeitheist

Member
Oct 29, 2017
159
If the universe is deterministic and they have a machine to look into the past and future, what happens if you watch yourself but just one second into the future?
 

Rendering...

Member
Oct 30, 2017
10,821
This show is exactly my cup of tea. Brooding and enticing, like walking into a dim forest and seeing the base of a massive tree arching into the shadows. It's the feeling of being small next to something vast and unknown. That's what Devs captures with its hints of world-changing technology and secrets worth killing for. I love it.

What's great about this show so far is how it avoids that annoying format of teasing something cool and then drawing out the revelation for half a season or more. At the very beginning Devs looks like it's angling to blueball the audience, but then, in the space of two episodes, subplots go places, we get a good and proper look at the mysterious things we want to see, some of our questions are answered and then transformed into more interesting questions, and characters take decisive action with significant results.

I really hope Devs keeps plunging forward at the same pace and quality, because this is a damn strong start.
 

Griff

Member
Aug 12, 2018
2,249
West Hollywood
I watched the first two last night and really enjoyed them. Curious to see where it heads! I think I have a pretty strong grasp on what is going to happen given that I predicted what happened in the first episode as well as what the machine was before it was revealed.
 

Lord Error

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,258
If the universe is deterministic and they have a machine to look into the past and future, what happens if you watch yourself but just one second into the future?
Some research with brain scans has shown that when it comes to decision making, the purpose of the conscious part of our mind is more or less just to agree to a decision that has already been made split second earlier in some more primitive part of our brain - and convince itself that it was the one who made the decision. So even just based on that, our decisions may not be as much of a product of free will as we like to think they are.

As for their machine, we dont't know yet if it can look into the future, but it's pretty clear that it must be where things are heading to.
 

zeitheist

Member
Oct 29, 2017
159
As for their machine, we dont't know yet if it can look into the future, but it's pretty clear that it must be where things are heading to.
What if we decide to do the opposite of what our future self does? For example raise our left hand when our future self raises the right hand. At that point we have a problem.
The only way to keep up the theory of a deterministic universe would be if in situations like these the grain (of the projected future image) is so strong that we are unable to clearly see (and later change) any of our actions. Only observers who have no intention or potential to change our actions would be able to observe our future self.

That kind of "smart" protective filter could mean the universe is the result of intelligent design.
 

Lord Error

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,258
What if we decide to do the opposite of what our future self does? For example raise our left hand when our future self raises the right hand. At that point we have a problem.
The only way to keep up the theory of a deterministic universe would be if in situations like these the grain (of the projected future image) is so strong that we are unable to clearly see (and later change) any of our actions. Only observers who have no intention or potential to change our actions would be able to observe our future self.

That kind of "smart" protective filter could mean the universe is the result of intelligent design.
I would suggest you to read a short story "Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang. It is what movie Arrival was based on, and It elegantly explains away this kind of conundrum by suggesting that it's simply impossible to do different than what you know the future will bring, because you are not in charge of any of it anyway. He basically posits that this only seems like a paradox because of the illusion of choice that is so strong in us - but to a being that can actally see the future, it would not feel like a paradox at all.

As for my own thoughts on this, the strongest counter-argument to the idea of determinism, in particular the idea of the lack of free will, that I can think of, would be if someone decides to make every decision in life by following the outcome of a true random generator (not the coin toss like Two-Face does, but a true random process like certain radioactive decays or quantum wave function collapse processes). In that case, how can anything about that person's outcomes be deterministic? Then again, this show presents the idea I guess that nothing is actually truly random, so even processes I mentioned are in some way predictable.

*edit* I believe also that the grainy look simulation is said to be due to technical inadequacy of their computer. They are simulating on a rougher granular level, and one of the programmers remarks that if Forest wants better than that, he'll "need as many qubits as there are particles in the universe, so good luck with that". Although, that doesn't delegitimize your idea of the universe itself filtering what one can see, which would be an interesting direction for sure.
 
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Rodney McKay

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,405
Saw the third episode and was underwhelmed.

I was getting really worried when they started saying the main character had mental issues in the past (that would not be a direction I'd want to see the show go personally), but I'm relieved it was just a fake-out.

Nothing was revealed we as the audience didn't really already know and not really any hints of where the show will go beyond introducing government into things more, and the only neat part was the beginning showing famous events throughout history.
I would suggest you to read a short story "Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang. It is what movie Arrival was based on, and It elegantly explains away this kind of conundrum by suggesting that it's simply impossible to do different than what you know the future will bring, because you are not in charge of any of it anyway. He basically posits that this only seems like a paradox because of the illusion of choice that is so strong in us - but to a being that can actally see the future, it would not feel like a paradox at all.
The Dune series deals with knowing the future a lot too.

In that, when the person/people actually look into the future and see it, it's locked in. Once you see it it can't be changed, because you saw it.

And in this shows universe, I assume the calculations are so accurate that the machine will know exactly how your brain would respond to seeing a recording of the future, so what you see would be what will happen because it knew you would try faking it out.

Or it would crash the computer. Maybe it knows that whatever vision of the future it would show you 20 seconds into the future could let you try to fake it out, so it would just crash and not let you see the future.