If you haven’t seen Severance yet, then you should. The first season (running on Apple TV+) has just finished, and the whole thing has been absolutely bonkers.
I mean, from the strangely disturbing opening credits, you know you’re in for something seriously weird.
The premise is deceptively simple; Severance tells the story of a small group of individuals who, in order to work for the dystopian Lumon Corporation, have agreed to be ‘severed’. What does this mean? Okay hang the hell on … The employees have a chip inserted into their brains which prevents them accessing their home life memories while they’re at work, and their work memories when they’re back at home.
Ideal for Lumon: the staff have no idea what they do for a living when they’re not at work, and when they are at work, they’re not distracted by problems at home. Sounds almost too simple to run a whole TV series around, but the genius of it hits you when you realise that what you have is two separate people living in the same body, and as your memories are part of who you are, then these people can become completely different over time. And as far as the ‘Innie’ (the person actually at work) is concerned, their whole existence is in the office. They get in the elevator to go home, but they don’t go home: as far as they can tell, the elevator doors open and they’re still in the office. That’s when it hits you how inhuman it is; people are being exploited with no escape, and when their ‘outie’ leave the company, they simple cease to exist … or did they ever exist in the first place?
As I said, it is bonkers, a dark comedy, thriller and dystopian science fiction all rolled into one. The script is witty and sardonic, the acting is brilliant; it’s worth seeing for the sheer novelty, and for Patricia Arquette’s mad portrayal of the department boss.
Yeah, it’s on AppleTV+, but it’s worth taking out the sub for the month to binge it.