Tuesday 16 January 2024

TV Show Review: Severance Season 1

Created by Dan Erikson (2022)
IMDb Listing

Lumen Industries has discovered how to surgically separate the brain. Their workers have no memories of what they do on the job, and their ‘innies’ have no life outside of work.

After a co-worker suddenly leaves, Mark S. is promoted to team lead of data refinement. His first task is to help the team’s replacement, Helly, with her adjustment to severed life.

But Helly doesn’t want to work at Lumen and it’s truly bizarre office culture. And she will do whatever it takes to get out.

This is an absolutely brilliant show on Apple TV. It’s slow moving and takes its time letting you get to know the core characters and their issues. It asks some great questions about memory, work, and work-life balance. Having seen it twice now, it’s also a show that gets better upon rewatch as you can pay attention to smaller details you missed the first time around.

The story is bizarre in all the best ways. There’s so much that’s simply ODD about Lumen and the office. The show has a lot of bright lights and long white corridors. It’s also got some creative photography choices, making good use of reflections and cramped spaces. There’s a sweet office romance between 2 older men (one of whom is played by Christopher Walken). A lot of 60s inspired sets and parties. A new age guru, and more.

The season has an electrifying finale that poses a lot of new questions and deepens the mysteries around the company.

I hope the series gets all the seasons it needs to tell its story as planned.

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