The Atlantic

Why TV Is So Worried About Free Will

Alex Garland’s new show Devs and Season 3 of Westworld find dystopia in determinism.
Source: FX

, the new eight-part drama written and directed by Alex Garland (), is the kind of series that signals its grandiosity from the word , with an abstract montage featuring choral music, saxophone interruptions, and fragmented scenes of San Francisco. In the opening seconds, the camera pans in slowly on the darkened features of Forest (played by Nick Offerman), a tech-company CEO with a bedraggled beard and a frozen expression, like a GEICO caveman who’s seen some stuff. Then it cuts to a triptych of video installations featuring a small girl blowing puffy white seeds off a dandelion. is immediately ponderous, alienating, and full of unintentionally funny details: Why is there a 100-foot-high sculpture of that same small girl in the middle of the redwoods? Has the Golden Gate Bridge always seemed so IKEA-poster generic? Why is the most high-tech coding campus in Silicon Valley as gilded

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