Severance Season 1 Review- Minimal Spoilers

This is a review of season 1. You can find detailed episode recaps at the tag HERE.

Severance is an AppleTV+ series created by Dan Erickson and executive produced and directed by Ben Stiller. Season 1 consists of 9 episodes. Production has already begun on season 2, which will be 10 episodes (if IMDB is correct). This review was written after viewing the first 5 episodes, but only includes minimal spoilers for the first episode.

Adam Scott stars as Mark Scout, a widower who takes a job on the “severed” floor of Lumon Industries, a giant corporation with a cult-like following. Yes, it’s on the streamer brought to you by the cult of Steve Jobs. Sometimes, Apple is shameless. I say this as the parent of one of their lifelong devotees, while typing on a Macbook. Full disclosure- my laptops have all been Macbooks. I am also a fringe member of a corporate cult or two.

Because Mark’s work involves corporate secrets, he agrees to go through the severance medical procedure, in which a chip will be implanted into his brain, bifurcating his memories into two separate personas: one that can only access his time at work and another that only surfaces outside of his job. In addition to benefitting the corporation, the procedure will supposedly improve Mark’s work-life balance.

This has unforeseen consequences.

Severance is a cerebral science fiction dark comedy that, like its main character, has two personas. Much of the show takes place at the Lumon offices, on the windowless “severed” floor, located deep in the basement. This side of the show is a surreal, retrofuturistic psychological horror-thriller filled with characters who only know the world of the Lumon offices, which they aren’t allowed to leave, because they are “severed” personas, the Winter Soldiers of office drones. The walls are bright white, the fluorescent lights are always on and the hallways seem to go on forever, with only a few doors. Other than white, the main colors are the artificial turf green of the carpets and the blue of the men’s suits.

It’s stunningly but subliminally oppressive, in the way the clinical feel of the dentists’ offices of my youth let me know there was no point in resisting what was about to happen there.

Continue reading “Severance Season 1 Review- Minimal Spoilers”