Video Review: DEVS

candicecoverThe only good thing that I have to say about this show is that it avoided the silly SciFi trope of using transparent displays.  My take away?  This show is cheezy anti-tech, anti-Silicon Valley agit-prop.

The show kicks off with the juxtaposition of a high tech couple leaving their nice San Francisco apartment, stepping over a homeless man camped literally on their doorstep, exchanging cheery morning greetings by name.  They then take a private commuter bus down the penisula to the over-the-top woodland tech campus with a creepy & cheezy giant, full color, statue of a little girl in modern clothing, which turns out to be the companies brand image and company name.  There is a hint that this is the Founder / CEO’s dead daughter.  And when we met this CEO, for just a moment, we would be forgiven for thinking that this is the same homeless man that was sleeping in the couple’s doorway.

One of the couple is promoted to work on a super secret project in a super protected and shielded bunker like building.  The inner sanctum is covered in what a good technologist would recognize as an oversized representation of a fractal antenna, like what can be found in modern cellphones… save that it fails to maintain the fractal pattern down to the small size that an actual working device would require.  This signals to me that the visual look was borrowed by the Hollywood set designer with no or little clue as to its actual function.  Then one goes into the sealed off room to see what is instantly recognizably an unshielded quantum computer.  This newly promoted employee turns out to be an industry spy who uses his ‘Dick Tracy’ watch, takes pictures of the code.

Bad Move.

He is discovered and murdered by the CEO and his security goon.  Thus, we are told, as if none of the rest of the obvious allusions didn’t, that they are evil.

The murder is covered up and the victim’s girlfriend tries to figure out what happened to him.  Oh… and there’s another reference to tech workers invading space that doesn’t belong to them when she approaches her old boyfriend for help, and they meet up in a bar in the Castro… get it? Heterosexual tech workers use the gay community’s space as if it was theirs.

OK, let’s unpack some of this shall we?  The well off tech workers stepping over the homeless man… pretty obvious huh.  Then the commuter bus, an icon of gentrification of The City that earlier escapees (always willing to shut the door after they get theirs) from the surrounding burbs have protested for raising the cost of rents and then bussing them to Silicon Valley.  This is clearly supposed to represent and demonize facebook and Google, etc.  The disquieting resemblance between the homeless man and the CEO… cute huh?  The list goes on and on.

As someone who grew up in Silicon Valley yet spent much time as a member of the LGBT community in The City my whole life, I can’t find this amusing nor enjoyable.  It’s crapping on everything I hold dear.  It’s a lie write on the small screens that I helped to develop by a Hollywood team that ungratefully uses all of the tech from people like me.  I won’t be watching it further.

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