Author Topic: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show  (Read 7123 times)

Puce Moment

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #60 on: April 16, 2020, 04:00:05 PM »
yeah, didn't know the final episode is out.

I will definitely be on that when I've finished work and got myself a haircut. Ah, fuck it, I'll watch it now.

Edit: I guess he got to match up his deus with his ex-machina. Can't say I am impressed - the whole resolution relied on explaining. I'm delighted this show tried to deal with weighty issues concerning determinism and many worlds, and overall I enjoyed this season a great deal, but I feel a little cheated at the end.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2020, 05:15:50 PM by Puce Moment »

Zero Gravitas

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #61 on: April 16, 2020, 08:01:32 PM »
Gah! The whole crux of the ending revolved around last minute introductions, Father Knox would be very disappointed and so was I.

It was a fun series though, rare to see these kinds of concepts explored and it hasn't failed to spark some interesting conversations. I gather Garland intended that strong determinism never really existed, and Forrest and Katie were living by and to the predictions, "They just adhered to it. When I was writing it, I viewed Forest as a priest with doubt and Katie like a priest without doubt."[1], that as an narrative thread would be nice to see explored rather than a post-hoc cool line to say in interviews.


 1. https://www.denofgeek.com/tv/devs-alex-garland-on-ex-machina-connection-and-predetermined-endings/

Alberon

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #62 on: April 16, 2020, 10:24:11 PM »
It was okay. It was a much clearer ending than I expected. The idea that, because of the many-world equations, Forest and Lily are living in each possible parallel world at once and we’re (mostly) following the ones who ‘lucked out’  is unusual (but not unwelcome) on TV.

It’s nice to see something on TV trying to deal with these ideas, but they never match the best in SF novels. Greg Egan has dealt with quantum issues much better (though he’s gone off the deep end of late).

The execution and info dump at the end could have been handled better and the bit with the senator suggesting the Devs world could also be a simulation was as subtle as a brick in the face.

As to the actress playing Lily’s acting, it did at times feel really flat in this episode. I remember her from Maniac and she was very different there so I can only presume it was a stylistic choice.

Devs is a good show even if it did go off the rails in the last couple of episodes. It looked good even when the writing went a bit wonky. Love to see more intelligent shows like this, but I’d like to see the likes of Garland working with good SF writers to push a shoW to the next level.

Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #63 on: April 16, 2020, 11:01:16 PM »
Shiter. But I largely agree with people when they say it was nice to have a show which dealt with this kind of ambitious subject matter, and it did spark some interesting thoughts or conversations. Didn’t stick the landing at all, mind you, and it really needed to in order to justify/excuse some of the many “oh fuck off” moments throughout the series. It feels like there are still a lot of threads left unexplained, but there was too much exposition as it was - fucked if I’m gonna watch it ever again to try and figure them out.

Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #64 on: April 17, 2020, 07:39:49 AM »
Incidentally, the reason for the machine not being able to see past a certain point didn't work, because in fact it saw clearly for several minutes past that point.

Oh, and also btw:

I did briefly wonder if the thing that causes causality to break down would be Lily deliberately not doing the thing that she's supposedly predestined to do, but surely that would be too pat.

Called it.

Alberon

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #65 on: April 17, 2020, 08:51:17 AM »
The machine stopped predicting when Lily died, not when she broke the prediction. Because at that point it started simulating all the parallel worlds where Forest and Lily lived. That's why Forest was so angry at Lyndon because he wanted his simulation only to live in a world where his daughter and wife survived.

surreal

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #66 on: April 17, 2020, 09:41:45 AM »
To be honest I didn't have much of a problem with that ending, at least it wasn't all hand-wavey and Forest didn't turn out to actually be god or Katie an angel or they interpretive-dance their way out of it.

The machine had been simulating the entire world, which was why it was important to stay on the tram lines so Forest got his "actual" daughter back.  As it would simulate memories too, starting 2 days back from death is why they remember the other world. 

I'm wondering if they can keep living from the same point over and over, hence the point about there being good and bad worlds and the change in shot lighting when discussing that?  Is the idea that Katie would be able to meet them in there when she dies?  Presumably the machine would be little use to the government now it can't predict the future?

General thumbs up for having something smart and challenging on TV

surreal

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #67 on: April 17, 2020, 01:23:20 PM »
It was okay. It was a much clearer ending than I expected. The idea that, because of the many-world equations, Forest and Lily are living in each possible parallel world at once and we’re (mostly) following the ones who ‘lucked out’  is unusual (but not unwelcome) on TV.

So the guy outside the door (forgot his name), are we to assume he maybe saw a different future when he looked in the machine, or that he'd seen Forest's predicted future and knew that had to happen, so he had also made a choice, or was his choice then determined by Lily's?
 

Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #68 on: April 17, 2020, 01:58:22 PM »
His choice was determined by what Alex Garland deemed convenient for the story.

surreal

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #69 on: April 17, 2020, 02:28:04 PM »
In this reality...

Alberon

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #70 on: April 17, 2020, 02:43:01 PM »
I'm wondering if they can keep living from the same point over and over, hence the point about there being good and bad worlds and the change in shot lighting when discussing that?  Is the idea that Katie would be able to meet them in there when she dies?  Presumably the machine would be little use to the government now it can't predict the future?

I think the idea was that they were living all possibilities at once. An entire set of parallel universe simulations, but each Lily and Forest were only aware of their particular simulation.

In principal, Katie could program herself into the simulations at any point, but her original self would carry on outside.

Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #71 on: April 17, 2020, 11:38:11 PM »
So the guy outside the door (forgot his name), are we to assume he maybe saw a different future when he looked in the machine, or that he'd seen Forest's predicted future and knew that had to happen, so he had also made a choice, or was his choice then determined by Lily's?

Satan Ex Machina.

By the way, what did we think of that? DEVS = "DEUS", "Ex Machina", "It was just a private joke"? I dunno. I think if I respected the show/Garland a bit more I might've loved that, but as it stands it was yet another "Oh fuck off" moment.

Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #72 on: April 18, 2020, 05:21:10 PM »
I felt the same thing I feel when Godard references his other films in his films.

Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #73 on: April 18, 2020, 07:16:03 PM »
I felt the same thing I feel when Godard references his other films in his films.

What’s that like?

Puce Moment

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #74 on: April 19, 2020, 12:50:41 PM »
What’s that like?

Come on mate, surely everyone knows what that's like. A universal concept if ever there was one.

Dex Sawash

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #75 on: April 21, 2020, 11:45:05 PM »

The OA minus the stupid dance bullshit.

Twit 2

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #76 on: May 05, 2020, 12:15:54 AM »
Watched 2 episodes. Passes the time, but it’s all rather familiar, and intriguing the audience by telling them fuck all only gets you so far.

Shot of his daughter in the black and white grainy simulation thing, blowing bubbles, was a really striking image, and very poignant. Garland so clearly wants to be Kubrick/Tarkovsky and occasionally he nails the tone but gets nowhere near the depth. Of course, no can be Tarkovsky because he’s a God, and I applaud the ambition but when I’m watching Garland’s stuff I’m usually thinking, “Why aren’t I watching Solaris?”

Will stick with the rest so I can complain about it.

Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #77 on: May 05, 2020, 03:00:31 PM »
Watched 2 episodes. Passes the time, but it’s all rather familiar, and intriguing the audience by telling them fuck all only gets you so far.

Yeah, put it next to all the other familiar tv shows that tackle determinism.

Twit 2

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #78 on: May 05, 2020, 04:33:30 PM »
Not so much the plot, I meant the tone, style and themes. 1st episode was peak-Garland. It felt so similar to Annihilation/Ex-Machina/Sunshine, which themselves feel like ersatz-Solaris. It’s all just Kris Kelvin and the ocean; strange wibbly goings on fucking with the reality/memory/identity/consciousness of the protagonists to a Ligeti/Artemiev type score. Technology in the woods, reeds swaying in the water. It just didn’t feel original at all to me.

He really can’t do dialogue, either. Ex-Machina was ruined for me by characters talking in pure exposition, explaining basic concepts to each other that they each already know, for the benefit of the audience. This didn’t disappoint on that front. In Tarkovsky, the sci-fi elements are just a means to an end, it’s all about the people really. Garland tries to do the same, I feel, but ends up focussing on the technology too much, with fairly wooden characters and not enough depth. But like I said, can’t blame him for not being Tarkovsky, and if you’re gonna steal, why not from the best.

Yes, basing the plot around determinism is a cool and fairly novel idea, though, and I will watch the rest to see what he does with it.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2020, 05:05:56 PM by Twit 2 »

Dex Sawash

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #79 on: May 05, 2020, 09:42:54 PM »

Wait, was meant to think about this while watching?

Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #80 on: May 05, 2020, 11:52:03 PM »
Quite enjoyed this as it was for the most part a decent story but have to concur with what seems to be the general view here that the dialogue was naff as fuck in places and like with a lot of very story focused TV the characterisations and character motivations were not v credible. Not to mention Lily's relationship with her beau's were hilariously not believable.

Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #81 on: May 07, 2020, 08:24:28 PM »
Satan Ex Machina.

By the way, what did we think of that? DEVS = "DEUS", "Ex Machina", "It was just a private joke"? I dunno. I think if I respected the show/Garland a bit more I might've loved that, but as it stands it was yet another "Oh fuck off" moment.

When he said "it was a Roman V", I thought "errr... De5s?"

greencalx

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #82 on: May 07, 2020, 09:59:17 PM »
When he said "it was a Roman V", I thought "errr... De5s?"

Thought that was just me.

Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #83 on: May 07, 2020, 10:45:22 PM »
Not to mention Lily's relationship with her beau's were hilariously not believable.

Jamie was an awful character as well. I think we were supposed to be rooting for them as a couple, but they were both so incredibly bland that I can't imagine anyone being invested in the outcome of their relationship. Karl Glusman's character was the more interesting of the two beaus, but he's barely in it and that flashback of him telling Lily he loves her was one of the most bizarre romance scenes I've ever seen. I'm still trying to get my head around the thinking behind that one.

I know we got a sort of Gervaisesque "keep watching ;)" from Garland regarding criticisms of Lily's wooden acting, but I don't think we ever got a satisfying justification for it. "Determinism".

That all being said - the subject matter alone makes this show worth having, and it inspired me to go on and read some science/sci-fi stuff involving time travel and multiverse/simulation theory, so it did some good.

Pingers

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #84 on: May 14, 2020, 02:05:03 PM »
I've only watched the first 4 episodes so have skimmed past any spoiler posts, but am really enjoying this. The darkness of it and the sense of Lily's powerlessness (currently) in the face of it is making me think/worry about it in between episodes. I like the overall visual and music aesthetic of it as well.

NoSleep

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #85 on: May 14, 2020, 04:58:29 PM »
I like the overall visual and music aesthetic of it as well.

Some excellent music choices for this series, indeed.

I, too enjoyed this and wonder if the story has legs for another season or more.

Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #86 on: May 19, 2020, 10:52:54 PM »
This was stupid.

If someone is told what is going to happen and what choices they will make, they are not going to then do exactly the same as predicted, they are being given information they didn't proudly have so are immediately not the same person who made those choices. Plus the whole living in the fantasy world ending was insultingly naff.

Puce Moment

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #87 on: May 20, 2020, 04:02:10 AM »
Yeah, that is one of the aspects of determinism that they conveniently skipped over. The interpretation seemed more metaphysical and supernatural than philosophical, and therefore lacked logic. It's a shame, because in the table scene yer woman basically explains why everything has a catalyst. So, the catalyst for dropping the gun was the visual showing her not dropping the gun.

I do wonder if I am being too hard on this, but I enjoyed Annhilation so much, being previously rather down on Garland.

NoSleep

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #88 on: May 20, 2020, 07:31:17 AM »
I thought that was the crux of the idea. Offerman's character was pursuing simulation of his own exact universe not because it was the only one but because simulating that exact universe meant that his universe would have to also be a simulation (it was only mentioned as an aside by the older guy once); which would mean complete control of that universe. That was why he was so adverse to the multiple universe solution (which is where they ended).

Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #89 on: May 20, 2020, 09:30:10 AM »
One thing that bothers me about the whole 'digitalising your consciousness' idea - which also bothered me in Westworld and a few episodes of Black Mirror - is that surely it's just a clone of your consciousness and there's no continuity between the real you and the digital you.

Lily and Forest's experience would be exactly the same whether they were reincarnated in the simulation or not - death and nothingness. It's just that new copies of them have been made that think they are the same as the original. So the Forest that worked for years to be able to be with his daughter again...never actually got to be with her. It was just a copy with the same memories. It just seems entirely pointless.

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