The first episode of Devil May Care saw our lead character Zachary “Beans” Bean (Asif Ali) arrive in Hell, where he was instantly led to the Devil and made his new assistant. This wasn’t any kind of Hell that you might have previously seen on tv however as the Devil has gentrified the place and now wants his citizens to be happy, and one of the ways he plans to do this is by introducing social media to the afterlife because while he might mean well he sure has terrible ideas sometimes.
That’s illustrated throughout the first season of SyFy’s new animated comedy starring the ever fantastic Alan Tudyk as the Devil, and it’s partially what makes this superb new series such essential viewing. He’s as enthusiastic as a puppy who’s just discovered the existence of bouncy balls and just as endearing as he tries his best to get everyone in Hell involved with “Chit-Chat”, the social media platform Beans has invented for him.
This lets creator Douglas Goldstein mock and satirise all forms of internet use, from people being made in to memes (which allows them to psychologically torture the devil’s second in command President McKinley (Fred Tatasciore) in all manner of funny ways) to unboxing videos, though the Devil doesn’t have a hit on his hands when he tries to unbox “the German concept of thinking of the perfect comeback long after the chance to use it has past” strangely enough, while unboxing “Harvey Weinstein’s deformed penis” backfires when said body part has a gun and starts shooting at everyone, with the surreal nature of the show just one of the many ways it’ll make you laugh hard.
While this is the main arc that runs throughout the season a lot of the time the series also explores the lives of those who have been sentenced to eternity in the now no longer burning pits of Hell, and there’s also some occasional trips to Earth where the Devil is forced to go if someone wants to make a deal with him, as with the fourth episode where he is briefly trapped there when an annoying atheist voiced by Lewis Black dies on him. In that episode we get to meet God in the fourth episode as well, voiced by Jack McBrayer he’s an absolute delight, self-centred and secretly shitty and so clearly the most realistic version of the supreme being yet seen on tv, and the reason why he built Hell is a hilarious one.
It’s already confident enough to feature entire episodes devoted to supporting characters, which impressed me as it could easily have relied on the Devil and Beans’ antics to make you laugh. Best of all is one episode which concentrates on the Devil’s wife Regina (Pamela Adlon) and the fact that she misses the way Hell used to be, but tries to change her ways and so has therapy sessions with Freud, and her drunken visit to Earth and a certain Russian leader is one of the funniest scenes of the whole season.
The show also has a lot of fun mocking other well known types so when Gwyneth Paltrow ends up in Hell no one wants her there, Orson Welles makes a cameo at the Rise Of Skywalker premier shouting “Who does Orson Welles have to fuck to get a bowl of peas around here?”, and there’s much astute mockery of that Star Wars film as well and the way certain aspects don’t make a single shred of sense.
The season ends on a real high note when Hell literally freezes over, and the demons find out that snow in hell sadly isn’t cocaine, not even when it’s yellow. It ends with a To Be Continued card and I truly hope it is, it would be an enormous shame if this wasn’t given another season, and SyFy would be wise to renew it for a good few as this is one of the best new animated comedies I’ve seen in many a year. The world building is extremely impressive, it feels like a fresh, original series with a voice cast who are among the best in the business, and with a selection of writers who deserve love and acclaim as well.