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Severance Apple TV Series: Work-life balance taken to a whole new level!

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

Seems that the pandemic has gifted us with more onscreen dystopian realities than we know what to do with. Ben Stiller's Severance Apple TV Series is one such Orwellian nightmare that is worth a watch.


Severance's Rabbit Hole of a Plot


The series starts with a disoriented employee talking to a disembodied voice over an old-timey intercom. The audience is then Tarentino'ed back to the voice which is that of a severed employee.


Severance Apple TV Series
Lumon's disorienting orientation

Severance refers to the surgical implantation of a neural implant that separates the work part of your brain from the life/home part of your brain. The fictional company in the series called Lumon recruits employees this way since the work that happens at this enterprise requires pathological levels of confidentiality.


Severance Apple TV Series
Got something on my mind

So once an employee goes through the process of severance, the second the employee leaves the work building, they will not be able to recall anything about their work. When they re-enter the building every morning, they are "re-activated" and will feel like they never left the building.


You are shown an almost Pavlovian response to an elevator ding where the employee "snaps" out of his work self into his outside persona.


Severance Apple TV Series
Ding!

The series is predicated upon massive levels of suspense that will ease just to a smidge every episode. There are several parallels to cults that you can see play out in Lumon where the employed individuals are discouraged from thinking anything that expresses their identity.


There are also hard and strict punishments that are handed out to employees who step out of line and scant (and sometimes nonsensical) rewards to people who conform.



Cast


The cast of Severance is an eclectic mix of veteran actors and (relatively) new faces with Adam Scott ( Mark Scout) leading the charge in this psychological thriller.


Scott is the central character who is trying to unravel the mystery that is Lumon, with John Turturro (Irving), Christopher Walken (Burt), and the beautiful Britt Lower (Helly) along for the ride


Severance Apple TV Series
MDR team at Lumon

Patricia Arquette is also playing the role of the cold and ruthless boss Harmony and the funny dude Zach Cherry (Dylan) whom you would have seen in Spiderman: Homecoming and Shang Chi.


Of course, the biggest surprise is the person who is directing this sci-fi thriller Ben Stiller who seems to be quite comfortable dealing with dark, morbid, and twisted plot motifs.


Should You Watch It? Yes!


Apart from the stark metaphor of work and life balance that can get extreme in some cases, Severance is worth watching because of the great cast, performances, and what is sure to be an awesome plot device. I just hope that the suspense builds to a meaningful and satisfying reveal, or else the audience backlash to this would be spectacular.


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