The last season's (much superior) Industry was focused on the bottom of the ladder to trade, Devils sets its sights at higher up the chain, a place that is morally deficient as it is financially prosperous operating in the most bleak corners of capitalism while bankers face control of the destiny of entire nations depending on their decisions. Unfortunately, for all its glamour it doesn't give the grandiose topic, that is so full of potential for dramatic drama, and the depth and depth it demands rather, it recasts the ambitions, subterfuges, the backstabbing and career failures as an unsolved mystery. It aims to be an Shakespearean drama of epic proportions It's a lot closer to the euro-pudding Billions.
Devils is over-stuffed with (mostly unlikable) characters that it renders Magnolia look stale.
A reworking of the story I Diavoli by Guido Maria Brera, Devils essentially details the mind games played by talented traders Massimo Ruggero (Alessandro Borghi) and his mentor, the brutal CEO of an investment bank Dominic Morgan (Patrick Dempsey). The psychological game begins when Morgan ignores Ruggero for promotion, but the stakes are raised when the successful candidate is killed when he falls from a balcony. Ruggero is the main suspect. Borghi is most well-known for Suburra and Suburra, is as convincing as Ruggero but he isn't able to find the subtleties or nuances that make his arc convincing or his inner life resonate while Dempsey is more McDreamy and more McBastard with his with hushed, sharp-looking suits. Each episode begins with Ruggero contemplating the gods and devils over a voiceovers, attempting to create mythological dimension, however the fight of wits doesn't really catch the fire.
Devils is overloaded with (mostly inexplicably) characters that they make Magnolia look apathetic; Ruggero's wife, who is his ex Carrie (Sallie Harmsen) who's shady past could have hurt Ruggero's chances of a successful career Morgan's spouse Nina (Kasia Smutniak) who had an affair Ruggero and Ruggero's trusted group of trader (Pia the Mechlers, Harry Michell and Paul Chowdhry who has already laid claim to the best television of 2021's facial hairstyle); Ruggero protege Oliver (a charming Malachi Kirby) who has an extraordinary talent for reading the minds of others; as well as two sleuthing policemen named Bale (Lorna Brown) and Winks (Mark O'Halloran) probably due to the fact that the writing team is Spurs supporters. However, the most important plot element will be Laia Costa's Sofia she is the Argentinian blogger for the hacktivist organization Subterranea and who, in a shady alliance with Assange like Daniel Duval (Lars Mikkelsen) and wants to take down NYL because of personal motives.
It's an extravagant, globe-trotting spectacle (Germany! Germany! Amalfi Coast! Earls Court! ) directed by speedy licks and filled with random stylistic quirks, from the whirling of numbers on the screen (one director is the actor from Sherlock, Nick Hurran) as well as rapid cuts, and images that interrupt the dialogue. At the halfway point the show is slowed down and the repercussions of the early 2000s' European financial crisis comes to the forefront (there's lots of news footage to provide the context) as Morgan's master plan becomes apparent and Ruggero finds himself having to defend his master. There are a lot of interesting themes to be found here. It's a pity that Devils isn't capable of carving these themes out.