Severance on Apple TV+ is the newest workplace science fiction thriller created by Dan Erickson and directed by Ben Stiller and Aoife McArdle. You’ve probably heard everyone and their mother talking about that finale on social media, but luckily for you, this article will be completely spoiler-free. If you’re here, you’re probably wondering if Severance on Apple TV+ is worth the hype, and the answer is yes — 100%.
But what exactly is this show? What’s the point, you might ask. And that’s it. While the general premise is about a workplace called Lumon Industries, where none of the employees remember their jobs once they leave the building, the series’ appeal lies in the questions it forces viewers to ask. Questions that are complicated, intriguing, and maybe even, at times, stressful.
Severance on Apple TV+ is not for everybody. The genre might not exactly appeal to those who don’t like it when their TV shows bring them anxiety (and often, I am this person). But if the occasional thriller is your cup of tea, then read on further to find out if this show is right for you.
What exactly equates to complex writing? Well, here we define it as writing that’s thought-provoking, intriguing, and refreshing. But so often, many of those words are overused in our line of work, except here, it’s true. This series’ appeal lies in what it’s trying to tell us while it lays out all the groundwork to show us something genuinely innovative.
There is plenty at stake here, which the episodes showcase right from the start, but what the writing achieves is gripping viewers through its ability to keep us invested in the storyline even while we don’t necessarily understand what’s happening. And even when we do, the “why” and the “how” remaining unanswered allows us to dive deeper into the series, nitpicking at every word and exchange.
On a show like Severance, we might never truly get to know just how complex each character is, but we see enough to be fascinated by each of them. What are they hiding? What does their life look like outside of Lumon? Who do they want to be? What were they like as children? There’s a line in Boy Meets World where Cory Matthews says to George Feeny, “It’s hard to imagine you as a boy. Did your parents call you Mr. Feeny?” And that’s sort of how I feel with each of the characters on this show. It’s almost hard to imagine them as kids, which adds to the mystery of their complexities and characteristics.
If nothing else, these characters are intriguing enough to keep you invested in the show to find out precisely what their deal is. It matters, and it’ll especially matter much later.
Ben Stiller and Aoife McArdle make it unbelievably easy to lose oneself in this dull, dry office by making you care. The writing makes you care, but the directing takes you through the moments in an almost alarming manner. It’s what makes the series so gripping and terrifying because a single frame means so much more than the presumed simplicity.
The tense emotions that you’ll end up feeling, especially towards the end, are a result of the buildup from the beginning through moments that are almost unbearably quiet and loud at the same time—and choosing to cut where they do in the final episode? When you know, you know, and when you see it, you’ll get the brilliance behind it.
If you’re a longtime fan of Parks and Recreation, then, like me, you’re probably going into this for Adam Scott. But you’ll come out of it appreciating everyone else just as much for the work they put in by layering these characters and allowing us to distinguish them from other roles we’ve seen them in. This show could’ve fallen to the slumps in the hands of perhaps lesser-skilled actors, but instead, we get to see embodiments that hit (and hit hard).
The performances in this show are exceptional, and the most outstanding achievement each of the actors bring is how subtly they get emotions to the surface. For a series that doesn’t feel grounded in reality (thank heaven for that?), the performances bring to the veneers beats that feel authentic enough to allow us to find connections we might not have otherwise seen.
The Maybe, Who Knows Love Stories?
The love stories on Severance are complicated, to say the least, and since we’re refusing to go into spoiler territory with this post, what we can say is that the relationships are just as unexpected as the plot twists. Will they? Won’t they? Probably. Maybe. If you’re somebody that generally walks into a show hoping for a ship to grab your attention, there’s likely something in this series for you. And while we don’t know how it’ll end, for now, our romance genre-loving hearts are intrigued.
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Severance is a detailed look into a world that will only get more intriguing as we draw parallels to the reality we’re in. It’s fascinating, it’s gripping, and it’s a must-watch, without question.
Severance is now streaming on Apple TV+.