Apple TV+ prides itself on producing high quality original content and once again they have hit it out of the park with Severance.
We've all heard of the work-life balance but this show takes the concept to an all new level.
Basically there's a company called Lumon Industries and they have devised a program called the ‘severance procedure'. This irreversible program involves inserting a tiny microchip into the brain which then allows the company to completely separate work memories from non-work memories.
Employees who undergo this controversial procedure essentially have no idea about their personal lives or who they are in the outside world when they are at work. They also have no memory of work when they leave.
Severance follows Mark Scout (Adam Scott), an employee of the company who works in the Macrodata Refinement division with three other office workers on the severed floor of the building.
Then without notice, they are told that one of them, Petey, no longer works there. Mark is promoted and Petey is replaced by Helly (Britt Lower).
Outside of work Mark leads a relatively quiet life. Mourning the death of his wife, he lives in Lumon Industry subsidised housing and other than his sister, doesn't really have much going on socially.
Happy with the way the severance program works for him, Mark is surprised when Petey (Yul Vazquez), the mysterious colleague appears telling him that they know each other from work and all is not what it seems at Lumon.
The problem of course is that Mark, because of the severance program has no idea who Petey is and even when he starts to believe him, as soon as he gets to work the outside memories are wiped.
Throw in a very suspicious boss in Harmony Cobel (Patricia Arquette), a controlling supervisor named Milchick (Tramell Tillman), and company protocols that will send a chill down your spine and you have all the makings for an excellent psychological drama.
Is Severance Worth Watching?
There are a lot of reasons to really like Severance. Firstly, it is very different to most other tv series airing at the moment and is visually spectacular.
Everything from Mark's home to the Lumon building, to the car park is cold, desolate and devoid of any warmth and that includes most of the people. Everything is stripped back to the bare bones, letting the characters and the storyline do all the work.
The plot is intriguing and while Severance was created by Dan Erickson the episodes are directed by Ben Stiller and Aoife McArdle and then have done a sterling job.
So yes, Severance is definitely worth watching!
Where Can You Watch Severance?
You can watch Severance on Apple TV+. The series premiered on February 18, 2022 with weekly installments dropping every Friday.
When you set out to create a completely new concept in tv drama that is devoid of all the usual bells and whistles and instead relies on the ability of the actors to carry it, then you need a cast up to the job.
Thankfully, Severance is perfectly cast with Mark, and the office workers whose memories have been surgically divided, carrying us along on the mysterious Lumon Industries journey of corporate drudgery.
And did I mention that Christopher Walken is in it?
Adam Scott (Loot) as Mark Scout, a worker for Lumon Industries who is part of the severance program and grieving from the death of his wife.
Patricia Arquette as Harmony Cobel, Mark’s boss / Mrs. Selvig, Mark’s next-door neighbor.
Zach Cherry as Dylan, Mark’s co-worker who enjoys company perks and the only fun element of the show.
Britt Lower as Helly, the new girl replacement for Petey but who quickly realises that she wants out of Lumon.
John Turturro as Irving, Mark’s co-worker who is devoted to Lumon and a stickler for company policy.
Christopher Walken as Burt, the severed chief of the Optics and Design division.
Tramell Tillman as Seth Milchick, the supervisor on the severed floor.
Jen Tullock as Devon, Mark’s pregnant sister.
Michael Chernus as Ricken, Devon’s husband, a self-help author.
Dichen Lachman as Ms. Casey, the wellness counsellor on the severed floor.
Yul Vazquez as Petey, a Lumon worker, and best friend of Mark, who was fired under mysterious circumstances. Helly is his replacement.
Where Was Severance Filmed?
Pre-production for it began in November 2020 in New York City.
Filming for Severance season 1 began in January before moving for a few days to Nyack in February 2021 and in Kingston and Beacon in March 2021.
In April 2021, filming moved to northern New Jersey, mainly in the Bell Works building complex. Filming concluded on June 23, 2021.
It then took nine months of post-production work at Red Hour Productions and Endeavor Content to bring it to our screens in February 2022 via Apple TV+.
Production designer Jeremy Hindle blended corporate looks from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s for the show's distinctive look.
Severance season 2 is scheduled to begin shooting on March 14, 2022, in New York and New Jersey.