Syfy has been developing its TZGZ programming for quite some time now. Devil May Care is the network’s newest kid on the block. It’s the animated brainchild of Robot Chicken co-head writer Douglas Goldstein. Devil May Care tells the tale of Beans (voiced by Asif Ali), a social media coordinator who winds up in Hell. He’s hired by the Devil (voiced by Alan Tudyk) to “rebrand” Hell for a new era. The talented cast also includes Pamela Adlon as Devil’s wife Regina, Stephanie Beatriz as Devil’s lackey Gloria and Fred Tatasciore as Devil’s “advocate” President William McKinley. Together, they transform the most formidable afterlife destination into a trendy hotspot (pun intended).
First off, I’ll watch anything with Tudyk. He’s already pulling double duty with Syfy’s other new kid on the block, Resident Alien, and blessing us with an out-of-this-world performance. The major players do a phenomenal job of injecting life into these characters, especially through various vocal nuances. Adlon’s Regina is a standout. Tatasciore is a voice-over veteran whose talents shine as the stalwart McKinley.
I’ve adored Beatriz since Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s inception. There are remnants of Rosa Diaz in Gloria, but mostly in her mannerisms. This is just proof that she’s adept at playing stoic characters. Ali imbues our protagonist Beans with childlike innocence. We’re seeing this world through his eyes. Fun fact: you may know him as Norm in Disney Plus’ WandaVision.
Devil May Care manages to squeeze in quite a bit of narrative over its seven-installment season while averaging around 11 minutes per episode. It’s said that “The devil is in the details,” and there are details aplenty that help establish the mythology of this animated comedy. Only flip phones are used in Hell. Goop products are shipped there too, including the infamous vagina candle. Cats will jump you on the streets and are considered to be some of the most vicious creatures. Oh, and remember dial-up? Every PC is equipped with dial-up and tech that predates 2000. Only critically panned movies air in Hell. Apparently, Devil loves reading the notoriously Christian Left Behind novels and keeps a photo of Barney the dinosaur in his office.
It’s these intricacies that really elevate Devil May Care.
In addition to the devilish details, the opening credits song is delightful. There are fun pop culture nods that change with every episode i.e. there’s a different film displayed on the theater’s marquis. And, in case you were wondering, From Justin to Kelly finally made its Hell debut. The satire is punchy and relevant. While Devil May Care can take a turn for the cynical, it never loses its heart. For being “evil,” the characters are endearing.
Tudyk’s interpretation of Devil is comparable to a middle-aged businessman who’s trying to stay hip. He’s surprisingly friendly with his constituents and a feminist figure of sorts. Not at all the conniving, villainous demon he’s made out to be in other media. It’s a breath of fresh air. It makes you want to mosey on downstairs and get a job working for Lucifer.
Devil May Care‘s jabs at pop culture never come across as cruel — more like a celebration of what society may deem to be pitfalls. Uncovering the hidden gems and finer details may be the highlight of the series for me. Thankfully, each episode is short enough that re-watches are a breeze.
Overall, it’s a gleeful animated romp that pokes fun at our obsession with social media, embraces societal misfits and worships pop culture. Its biting satire and sturdily built mythos make for a hellishly good time.
Devil May Care is currently airing on Sundays at 12 am on your Syfy affiliate.
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