Severance Season 1 Review Apple Tv Plus

If you oasis’t been watching Severance on
Apple TV Plus, you’re missing out on one of 2022’s weirdest and all-time shows.

Severance is a strong blend of surreal workplace comedy and corporate thriller. I couldn’t get enough of its showtime season. Information technology’s common for shows to present puzzle box narratives, it’due south less mutual to see it come together in such a compelling, skilful fashion.

Severance has been renewed for a second season and, based on the season one finale, the show certainly has plenty of direction for the hereafter. Before the premiere, I spoke with creator Dan Erickson about the show’southward timeliness, working with series director Ben Stiller, and got some answers on the logic behind the show’s surreal vibe. (Note: Pocket-sized spoilers ahead.)

Set in a mysterious office run by the Lumon corporation, Severance follows employees who have their personal memories wiped every fourth dimension they clock in for work. They focus only on their assignments and accept no contact with the exterior earth. That is, until a rebel group of employees set out to unravel the corporation’s nighttime secrets.

The series leans heavily into the inherent weirdness of function culture, which has been magnified significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Severance carries an anti-capitalist sentiment throughout, especially when information technology comes to seeing the team of Lumon’s Macrodata Refinement Department slowly rebel against the company and take back control of their lives. Its style is a slick blend of the workplace humor from 1999 satire Office Space, punctuated with the unsettling impact of Blackness Mirror’s best episodes.

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The team of Macrodata Refinement sometimes meets up with other teams, one of which is led by Burt, played past Christopher Walken.

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The issue of work/life residuum as a cultural touchstone hits differently now in 2022, and creator Erickson is certainly aware of that after seeing the world change during the production of the series.

“We were three weeks away from shooting when the lockdowns happened, and nosotros idea to ourselves, ‘What kind of world are nosotros going to be releasing this show into?'” Erickson says. “But what was so funny is that it just changed the context. I don’t think it lessened the story at all. Information technology just highlighted how weird and difficult it is to create that separation [between life and work]. I think people are looking to maintain control of the personal side of their lives. It’s and so telling to me that when information technology became unsafe to go outside, the corporate answer to that was not, ‘Oh, allow’s limit what nosotros have to inquire people to practise.’ But rather, ‘Well, allow’south but go into their homes.'”

Severance besides explores the strangeness of Lumon’s retrofuturist visitor: the retro computers and office aesthetics look like they were ripped out of the 1980s. This gives the impression the characters are stepping out of time whenever they go to work — and in some sense, they are. Past undergoing the “severance” handling, the workers essentially create a second version of themselves who only seem to exist in the office and accept no retentivity of the exterior world. It takes the dual nature of work/life balance to the extreme, and information technology’southward unnerving to see play out.


There are several moments where the characters are put into uncomfortable work situations — this scene takes place in Lumon’due south “Break Room.”

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This series is also i of the more than visually stunning goggle box shows this twelvemonth. Information technology does an impeccable chore of showing merely how strange it is to work at this company, where the main characters spend their days sorting numbers into “boxes” on their computers without any clue of what the numbers mean. The visual effects throughout convey paranoia and disorientation within an isolated work environment. It evokes the same fashion from cerebral shows like Mr. Robot and even from video games similar indie favorite The Stanley Parable or Hideo Kojima’southward ill-blighted horror game P.T.

Elevating Severance’s principal story is the cast, which features several comedic actors going exterior their comfort zones.
Adam Scott‘southward Mark is largely the plot’s focal indicate, and Scott does an excellent job blending his deadpan-style humor with his dramatic chops. John Turturro, Brit Lower and Zach Cherry circular out a tight-knit team of office workers who have to work together to fight against their employer.

At its core, Severance is about office civilization taken to its farthermost, and for folks who work in offices today, information technology can resonate pretty heavily. A defining moment comes when the coiffure of the Macrodata Refinement finally accomplish their quota. Not but are they treated to a waffle political party, but a personalized message that comes in the form of a retro video game cinematic, almost similar an ending from a classic Lucasarts game. It’s a strange, endearing scene, but it also left me feeling conflicted.

For gamers, finishing a video game involves many hours of learning the systems at piece of work and overcoming the challenges therein. An catastrophe to a video game tin often feel like the game is finally speaking back to yous, praising you lot for your efforts, and rewarding yous with a cutscene that wraps up your journey. This is great and all, but on the darker side, Lumon’south version also represents a commentary on how often companies reward their employees for their efforts with minor perks and hollow praise.

The employ of a classic video game was deliberate, and it perfectly matched the tone Severance was going for.

“I sent Ben Stiller a clip of Rex’southward Quest V, my favorite game growing up. And I was like, ‘This is kind of what I run into,'” Erickson says. “There was that retrofuturist attribute in the scripts when I initially wrote it, but I just actually liked that aesthetic.”

Erickson continues, “Simply that kind of an respond wasn’t plenty for Ben, who’s very meticulous about details and logic. Information technology was really open to creating a globe that was half real and half not, simply it had to at least have its own logic on its ain. There’due south this sense that you lot’re in this soup of time and space that could be anywhere and at any time. And so it was scary and fun to make it the heads of those corporate overlords.”

Severance reaches a major turning betoken in the flavor finale. Basically, the work team sees the outside world for the first time, confronted with the reality of who their “outie” counterparts actually are. This was a perfect way to end the flavour, and I’grand excited to see where the story could get next. Although, it turns out that finale wasn’t the catastrophe Erickson originally had in listen.


There’s some weird stuff happening in Lumon Corporation, and Severance does well to not reveal too much to keep you guessing.

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“So, information technology’s funny, when we were writing the season there was going to exist another episode later [the finale],” Erickson says. “We talked almost this being the penultimate episode and maybe coming and showing the ramifications of it. Merely after talking virtually it, I call up Ben was the one who said, ‘I think this is it. That’southward the cease of the season.’ Ultimately, we were all of the aforementioned mind.”

I’thou usually not one for cliffhangers, merely the lack of total closure and sense of mystery nosotros have later on the finale left me more intrigued than upset. There’south yet much we don’t know about Lumon. What are those numbers the Macro Data Department are sorting? What’south next for the “innies” back in the office?

I can run into Severance expanding its scope even further in the adjacent season, but I hope it won’t go likewise large. The show is at its best when information technology sticks to the uncomfortable nature of extended function work and the amount of bizarre, off-putting patterns of behavior we subject area ourselves to for the 9-to-v. I really enjoyed Severance for how information technology embraced existence weird, but also in how real it could get too.

Flavour ane of Severance is bachelor now on Apple tree TV Plus.

Severance Season 1 Review Apple Tv Plus