SEVERANCE. Give your life to a corporation and you will be happy

The Apple TV + platform once again did not disappoint and provided viewers with a series around which a fan club like Lost may be created.

Severance it consists of all the ingredients needed to create a timeless hit series. The world is populated with interesting characters, the scenery is wonderfully paranoid, the whole is filled with an impenetrable aura of mystery, and perhaps most importantly: the nine-episode production deals with matters that are so current to us.

For who has never dreamed of disconnecting from everyday life for a while and finally feeling the pleasant lightness of being? After all, we say “I am doing something to distract ourselves”, so that what do we want to break, if not ourselves, from what do we want to break away from, if not who we are at the moment? After all, the turn to nostalgia in pop culture is founded on the ever more strongly marked common need to escape from the present towards an innocent, idealized, and therefore untrue past. To escape from the excessive demands of employers, including the so-called the cult of zapierdolu, young generations entering the labor markets also want. The Great Resignation, Chinese tang ping, reddit channel r / antiwork – more and more signals are coming to the light of the upcoming gigantic turning point in connection with the performance of paid work, which may turn upside down for several hundred years the laboriously built system of functioning of societies.

Creators Severance proved that there is a miraculous recipe for the above ills. Here is the Lumon corporation proposed a smart solution – just implement a chip in the employee’s head, and thanks to it, his working life will be separated from everyday life. The concept is as follows: during working hours, a person becomes an individual who does not remember who he is “on the outside”, and after work, he no longer remembers what he did at work and what he does at all. In this devilishly clever way, you can increase work efficiency, avoid the feeling of burnout among employees, as well as possible lawsuits, if it turns out that the corporation runs not entirely legal businesses.

In such a world lives Mark (Adam Scott), a traumatized man determined to divide his self into two, just to get away from the pain after the loss of his beloved wife for a few hours. It is mainly from his perspective that we follow events in the corporation and in the outside world. The scriptwriters skimp on information about Mark’s associates, just like him, who refine macrodata, whatever that might mean (the characters also do not fully know what their work is about), slowly revealing the principles of the closed work environment.

Amazing space for discussion

Severance it is not a series that can be told in a few words, which is not a trick I use for the purposes of this review, but simply a statement of fact. Regardless of which thread you choose to wallpaper, an amazing space for discussion opens up each time, thanks to the scenario rich in details and open to interpretation. For example, let’s look at the rules of Lumon – the characters do not know what their actions are, nor do they know people from other departments, for any offenses they go to the “break room” (wonderful pun), where they have to confess their sins, they don’t even know exactly where all the corridors lead to. What is more strange, however, the company has created something like a secular mythology – holy books were written about the founder’s origins, a museum was created in his honor, even pictures were created that capture the most important moments in the “life” of the corporation.


The most beautiful in Severance it is precisely the combination of reflection on the material aspect of the company’s functioning, focused on the ever-increasing profit, with the mystical aura of this place. I have the impression that the creators show the viewers a cosmogony straight from the beginnings of any great philosophical or religious system, as if we are just witnessing the emergence of a new world rooted in new axioms, although dressed in old clothes.

Severance is a complete series with a great cast (Turturro, Arquette and Walken), a carefully planned plot, as well as memorable scenes. This is how modern science fiction series should look like – minimalism of form and maximum content make the production of Apple TV + now one of the best series of 2022.

Marcin Kempisty

Marcin Kempisty

A serial addict looking for truth in culture. He values ​​courage, uncompromisingness, but also openness to the views of other people. If it weren’t for Michelangelo Antonioni’s films, he wouldn’t be here.

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