These days, it’s hard not to feel like modern life has sunken into at least one of the circles of hell. Commodification has begun to creep into every facet of our lives, from influencers marketing dieting pills to children, to the mom-and-pop shops replaced by Targets, to the ads you get just from mentioning a product near your phone. As it is, society feels pretty hellish these days.
Rather than convince you otherwise, “Devil May Care” leans into these shared feelings, albeit in an unconventional way. The show itself doesn’t focus on modern life as much as it focuses on the Devil’s (Alan Tudyk, “Rogue One”) quest to make Hell a more “pleasant” experience, making social commentary along the way. In this new version of Hell, the Devil has traded old-fashioned torture, flying demons and lava for high-rises, ads and pretentious French restaurants. As the Devil puts it, “I got tired of the lava look, so we gentrified.” All in all, modern Hell doesn’t seem very different from our world.
Enter Beans (Asif Ali, “Wrecked”), a Gen-Z kid from New Jersey, unwillingly hired to be the Devil’s social media manager in order to help make Hell even better. Beans gets to work making a social media site to connect the people in Hell but inevitably faces plenty of bumps along the way.
The show sets up a dichotomy and subsequent tension between the idea of classic and modern Hell, as the Devil steps on the toes of the many factions of his civilization that miss the old Hell. Modern Hell is full of subtle references to pop culture like kale and the now-controversial Ellen DeGeneres. The show specifically addresses that Hell isn’t the one sending these things to Earth; rather, it’s humans and their free will that create the things that ultimately belong in Hell. A lot of these moments might be controversial, but they make viewers laugh all the same and aren’t too in-your-face or preachy.
This humor is tied in with random gags, similar to humor you can expect from other contemporary animated comedies like “Rick and Morty.” Some gags include the 25th president, William McKinley, being the Devil’s “left-hand man” and the repeated mentions that the only source of true evil in Hell is cats. Why the series chooses to slander the name of cats remains to be seen, but damn if I’m not intrigued.
With new ten-minute episodes released weekly, “Devil May Care” is hyper-palatable and takes no real commitment. It’s funny enough, walking the fine line between making enough references that your brain is tuned in while still being a relaxing viewing experience. Unfortunately, it’s only available through cable or Hulu Premium with Live TV, so it might not be accessible for all. But for those with an account and a couple of minutes to spare on their Sundays, I’d say there’s little to lose. How hellish could it really be?
Daily Arts Writer Sarah Rahman can be reached at email@example.com.