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Severance is a Brutal Mystery Box of a TV Show You Should Watch

by Edison Ade 8 months ago in tv · updated 8 months ago
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The monotony of a 9-to-5 job can be as soul-crushing as it sounds. But what if that monotony was hiding something even more sinister?

Apple TV Plus

The new Apple TV series Severance is a brutal mystery box of a TV show, and you should watch it. While this premise might sound like the plot of an episode of Black Mirror, the theme of the show couldn’t be more different.

Apple TV Plus has been pretty hit-or-miss in terms of the quality of its shows so far. But Severance is definitely a hit. How brutal is Severance? The series paints office life as hell, a depiction that should resonate with viewers. Ben Stiller — who produced and directed most of the first season — is at the helm of this compelling thriller.

The creator of “Severance,” Dan Erickson, came up with the idea for his series while on a workday that seemed to last forever. During that endless slog, he wondered what would happen if a technology existed that obliviated you of your job when you weren’t at work.

“At one of them, I found myself wishing that I could jump ahead to the end of the day. I wanted to disassociate for the next eight hours. I thought, ‘That’s a messed up thing to wish for. We should want more time, not less,’” he told The Seattle Times

At first glance, it seems like there might not be much here — another show about white-collar workers trying to make it through the day — but don’t let that fool you: “Severance” will take you on an exciting ride as you watch these characters battle for their lives and deaths.

In “Severance,” Apple TV+’s new thriller, Adam Scott turns in a stunning performance as Mark, an employee at a manufacturing company that makes, well… it’s never clear what exactly they make, but they make something.

The series releases new episodes on Fridays and focused on Lumon, a mysterious company requiring employees working on classified projects to undergo a “severance” procedure that splits their consciousness in half. After having a chip injected into their brains, they achieve a radical work-life balance — one where they can focus exclusively on each task at hand without interruption from other priorities or emotional needs. One half of them works all day, while the other half plays all day. But when an employee disappears, the “play” halves are forced to investigate — and uncover some dark secrets about the company.

Severance begins with a simple concept: what if someone else could go to your job for you? That’s what Lumon offers its clients: a person who goes to work in their place so they can spend their time “off the clock” living their lives however they choose.

But it doesn’t take long for things to start unravelling at Lumon — and by extension, in the private lives of its employees. After having surgery, one of the workers begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations that threaten to expose secrets hidden deep within the company… and his own sanity.

Patricia Arquette and Tramell Tillman in “Severance” (Apple TV)

With an intriguing premise and compelling characters, Severance is the perfect show to binge over the weekend — and it will probably leave you wanting more!

The thing that makes “Severance” so gripping is the way in which it slowly, surely reveals the insidiousness of its setting.

In the show’s first episode, it becomes clear that Lumen isn’t your average company. There are secret workspaces that employees don’t have access to, and there’s a whole lot of sketchy behaviour going on behind closed doors.

I have to admit, I didn’t know what to expect from “Severance,” but I was actually pleasantly surprised. It’s a little bit of a slow starter, but the plot moves along quite nicely once the characters start to develop and interact. By the end of the season, I had come to really care about these characters and love seeing how they were going to grow in response to all the crazy situations they were in.

One spoiler, Mark’s boss is his next-door neighbour, but he doesn’t know it. I won’t spoil it by telling you why.

With a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 97 percent, as well as an audience score of 90 percent, Severance is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.

It’s no surprise that this Apple TV+ show has become such a hit: the plot is interesting, the acting is great, and the show has just enough humour to keep things interesting without distracting from the main plot.

Some have called Severance “a perfect combination of Black Mirror, Silicon Valley, and The Office.” Given the multitude of streaming services on the market, it can be difficult to find a show that is truly worth your time. But Severance is one show that’s worth it — and I highly recommend it!

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About the author

Edison Ade

Business Strategist, Building Products for companies using Web and Mobile technologies. Fractional CMO.

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