Wrapping up the first season on Friday, the Apple TV+ series Severance is a must watch. The tense sci-fi drama blends elements of the 60s, 70s and 80s with current day to paint a miserable picture of how corporations value business over their employees.
Thanks to the brilliant actors within the nine episodes such as lead Adam Scott and fellow cast Britt Lower, Zach Cherry, Tramell Tillman, John Turturro and Patricia Arquette. The mysteries throughout the nine episodes are one of the main reasons for the dark and dreading feelings felt, some will and some will not be answered.
There is an overarching metaphor that relates to the facts that many have a second life at work. Staff may have different feelings, thoughts and passions to fit in better with fellow employees.
Directed by Ben Stiller and Aoife McArdle, the show’s pacing starts slow but quickly the audience is opened up to the world of Lumon Industries and “innies” and “outies”. The permeance sees employees split their selves into separate brains and memories at work and outside of work. Entering into work sees the employees switch to their “innies” and their other selves, with no memories of their home lives or outside world. This premise itself is very interesting, and becomes more distributing the longer you think about it.
The distinct design and cinematography was exceptional and definitely stood out. “You have to make sure that the inside and outside world are [different] enough that you’re immersed in the world, so you feel like you’re severed when you’re down there with them,” explains Hindle. The starting point was offices from the 1960s. “They’re working in this office environment, and they’re brought in to just be these pro-workers, and they’re birthed into the place,” Hindle says. “It should be like what offices used to be like. Beautiful desks, beautiful structures, beautiful lights. Just about work. On the desk there’s one pen, a rolodex, a phone. It felt like it had to be that same tone — but way more playful.”
Severance is really a show that paints the darkest possible portrait of how megacorporations think about and treat their employees. The ending certainly leaves us with questions, thankfully the series was picked up for a second season. Get a taste of the series via the trailer below, but really – best to go in dark and have the world of Severance suck you in.