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When Patrick Dempsey leftGrey’s Anatomy five years ago, who knew that his return to series television would be an Italian-produced series about a murder at an investment bank? In fact, if it weren’t for the pandemic, most Americans may never have seen the show, but thanks to delays in network series production, The CW has importedDevils, which aired in its home country six months ago and is already renewed for a second season.
DEVILS: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?
Opening Shot: An executive of an investment bank tells the brokers in the bullpen a parable about how an old fish tells young fish the water’s fine. And the young fish wonder what water is.
The Gist: February, 2011, in the London offices of NYL, one of the most important investment banks on the planet. CEO Dominic Morgan (Patrick Dempsey) is telling this story to show that his best trader, Mossimo Ruggero (Alessandro Borghi), is the shark coming up behind the old fish in the know. He shorted a stock that no one had thought to do a short sale on and made the firm a nine-figure payday. We see this scene interspersed with scenes of a man falling to his death onto the floor of the bank’s massive lobby atrium.
Massimo is up for the vice CEO job, and Morgan is in his corner, but other execs and board members aren’t fans, namely Ed Stuart (Ben Miles), who doesn’t like the chances Mossimo takes with their customers’ money. After Massimo and his team go out for a drink, he’s summoned to a hotel room, where he sees a call girl come out of a room in disguise. What he doesn’t realize until he sees a particular tattoo on her shoulder is that the call girl is his ex-wife Carrie (Sallie Harmsen).
It’s obvious someone is trying to discredit him so he doesn’t get the job, so he has his team investigate who that might be. Massimo suspects it’s Stuart, and more evidence points that way, especially after a young forensics student, Oliver Harris (Malachi Kirby), is recruited to help Massimo figure out what’s going on. After getting information that Stuart will be meeting with the CEO of a corporation the bank has invested in, Oliver observes at the lunch that the CEO has tremors.
Massimo takes advantage of the fact that Sofia Flores (Laila Costa), a writer for a left-wing website, has been seeking info from him and asks her to put out the information as a rumor. When the stock goes down, he thinks Stuart is finished. But Morgan still doesn’t give him the job, citing the fact that his ex-wife is back in town, which doesn’t reflect well on him or the bank. “Are you loyal?” he keeps asking Mossimo. Not long after that, we see the man who fell to his death is none other than Ed Stuart.
What Shows Will It Remind You Of? Devils gives off a similar vibe toBillions, except that the tension between the two main characters isn’t well established in the first episode of this Italian import, whereas from the jump of Billions, viewers knew who the combatants were.
Our Take: Based on a novel by Guido Maria Brera, the first episode ofDevils is supposed to set up a conflict between Massimo and Dominic, as we see in the opening sequence, when Massimo imagines the room being just the two of them. In voice over, we hear Massimo say Charles Baudelaire’s quote “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” So this is supposed to tell us that Massimo hitched his star to a man whom he thought was a mentor but really was the devil in a pinstriped suit.
Here’s the problem with that setup, though: We don’t see enough of Dempsey’s character in the first episode to establish this tension. As far as we know, this is still a mentor/mentee relationship. But at a certain point, as he becomes the likely prime suspect in Stuart’s death, Massimo is going to suspect that Dominic is behind this sabotage, though we’re not sure why at this point. Dominic is making millions through Massimo’s risky trades, so why stop the gravy train?
That lack of tension made for a fairly listless first episode. We’re hoping that as Massimo and his team — most of whom seem to be interchangeable at this point — get closer to the truth, the action and tension will increase. But for now all we’re seeing is Massimo’s great London apartment, the left-hand drive Ferrari he tools around the city in, and some stuff about how the Greek economy is about to collapse.
The lack of tension isn’t because of lack of effort on the part of all involved. Dempsey makes the most of his limited screentime, establishing Dominic way against the type he established onGrey’s Anatomy for so many years. Borghi has a certain charm, though he can be a bit stiff; we ascribe that to the fact that Mossimo has a past that he wants hidden. That lack of transparency, though, makes his character tough to root for.
The show has already been renewed for a second season, but given the fact that this import is being brought in by The CW as filler for a delayed fall schedule, we doubt that the second season will be seen stateside, despite Dempsey’s presence.
Sex and Skin: Nothing.
Parting Shot: As people look over balconies to see the crime scene, and Ed’s wife is consoled by Dominic, Mossimo observes everything and we hear in voice over, “The devil strokes our ego. He makes us think he doesn’t exist. He’s flattering us, so we don’t see… the devil is us.”
Sleeper Star: We’ll give this to Paul Chowdhry, who plays Kalim, one of Massimo’s team members, if only because he is sporting a fantastic mustache.
Most Pilot-y Line: There’s a sequence in the beginning of the episode where Massimo is leading trading activity and he sees numbers popping off the board as if he’s some sort of savant. Ever sinceSherlock, floating figures and numbers are the shortcut to indicate that someone is a savant; there has to be a better way to show that.
Our Call: STREAM IT. There’s nothing that’s awful about Devils; it’s not eye-rollingly dumb and the performances are decent. It’s just that the first episode grinds along so slowly, you just wonder when the real story is going to kick in. It does, at the end, but by then you might be too bored to care.
— Decider (@decider) October 8, 2020
Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, parenting and tech, but he doesn’t kid himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, VanityFair.com, Fast Company and elsewhere.
- Patrick Dempsey
- Stream It Or Skip It
- The CW
You are able to stream Devils by renting or purchasing on Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, Google Play, and iTunes.Is Devils on the CW app? ›
Every episode of DEVILS will be available to stream on The CW App and CWTV.com the day after broadcast for free and without a subscription, log-in or authentication required.Is Devils a good series? ›
Devils has the slightly tinny feel of a drama that's trying to tick boxes: troubled protagonist, high stakes, a suspicious death, conspiracies everywhere. But its emotional depth penetrates no further than the shiny surfaces. May 12, 2021 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…What is Devils on the CW about? ›
Devils is mostly about corruption and abuse of power in high finance.Is Devils on Amazon Prime? ›
Amazon.com: Devils, Season 1 : Patrick Dempsey, Alessandro Borghi, Laia Costa, Ken Stott, Kasia Smutniak, Lars Mikkelsen: Prime Video.What network is the series Devils on? ›
Devils - The CW Series - Where To Watch.Can I watch all Devils games on ESPN+? ›
ESPN+ is the home of out-of-market NHL games. The service streams hundreds of NHL games live for only $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year. Fans who do not live in-market can watch the New Jersey Devils and any other out-of-market team, plus thousands of hours of live sports.Why is the Devils banned? ›
The film's graphic portrayal of violence, sexuality and religion ignited harsh reaction from censors, and it originally received an X rating in both the United Kingdom and the United States. It was banned in several countries, and heavily edited for exhibition in others.Is CW Devils cancelled? ›
As of August 13, 2023, Devils has not been cancelled or renewed for a third season. Stay tuned for further updates.Is Devils coming back for Season 2? ›
Season One Ratings
Find out how Devils stacks up against other CW TV shows. Devils has been picked up for a second season which will debut on August 16, 2022.
Watching Devils Games Outside of their TV Market. To watch Devils games if you live outside the New Jersey market, you will need ESPN+. ESPN+ will show every Devils game that isn't exclusively airing nationally on ESPN or TNT.Is Devils Line on Hulu? ›
Watch Devils' Line Streaming Online. Hulu (Free Trial)How can I watch the Dark Angel series? ›
Watch Dark Angel | Disney+Where can I watch Season 2 Devils? ›
You are able to buy "Devils - Season 2" on Amazon Video, Apple TV, Vudu as download.