Mark leads a team of office workers whose memories have been surgically divided between their work and personal lives. When a mysterious colleague appears outside of work, it begins a journey to discover the truth about their jobs.
How often does a series hook you, reel you in, and keep you so captivated that you not only can’t stop watching it, but when it ends, you can’t stop thinking about it? Not very often, but “Severance” did exactly that (much to my dogs’ dismay and lack of walks for 24 hours).
The concept for those of you who haven’t yet begun to watch “Severance” is a novel one, especially in light of our last two years of Covid. Most of us have had our work lives spill over into our home lives in the past two years thanks (?) to Zoom and all things possible on the internet. There is no separation of work and home and the balance really has gotten to many of us as we feel we are on-call 24/7, attached by all things technology. What if we could sever our lives into two different selves, to truly have a work self and a home self? And that question is the premise of “Severance.”
Taking place in the not so distant future, the huge company Lumon “helps” their employees focus on work while protecting proprietary information. The process is severance, a chip inserted permanently and irreversibly into an employees brain allowing them to have no memory of who they are in the real world and to not have work interfere with their lives above the never-ending flourescently lit green and white basement. Somewhat robotically, a group of 4 “refiners” (what are they refining?) is drastically changed when Petey (Yul Vazquez) suddenly leaves and is replaced by Helly R. (Britt Lower). Her appearance, on a conference table with no memory, proves to be a challenge for Mark S (Adam Scott) who finds himself appointed by Harmony Cobel (Patricia Arquette) as the new department leader.
Helly R doesn’t want to be there, and appealing to her “outie” self to allow her to resign, she goes to dramatic lengths to do so. What’s actually happening to their outer selves is something none of them could have dreamed, but through an emergency, their lives will never be the same as they get a glimpse into that world.
This show has it all: murder, mystery, intrigue, love, and twists and turns–many of which you never see coming and those that you do, you sit on the edge of your seat attempting to will it to happen or not– and at the core of it all is power and greed. The characters, all very unique, have their own “innie” and “outie” stories and as you watch each of them unfold, you constantly question the benefits and issues that arise given the “intervention” of the procedure.
The season’s grand finale is a doozie! Creator Dan Erickson and director Ben Stiller know how to answer your questions while leave you yearning for more. As you look over the edge with a pit in your stomach, “Severance” plunges you into a free fall from which you may not find a soft landing…and you love every minute of it!
Watch this on Apple TV+
After Episode 9, watch this teaser for Season 2!