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Series Review


  • Connor Petrey
  • crpWritescom
  • crpwritescom
  • crpWrites
Joe Kucharski
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 Published: 02.26.22


Genre: Drama. SciFi. Mystery.

“Severance is a promising start...”

     RELEASE: 02.18.22

SEVERANCE (2022) - [premiere]


"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."


“Who are you?” is how the pilot begins. Helly (Britt Lower) finds herself in a sparse conference room collapsed on the table. An old school Charlie’s Angels style intercom is wired into the wall. There are no windows. The carpet is green. She has no idea why she is there. Should she answer the question? So begins Severance, an office space mystery, if such a categorization can be applied.


The fun element of jumping into the premiere of a show with limited insight is the pure enjoyment of watching each reveal. The pilot episode (“Good News About Hell'' streaming on Apple TV+) has its reveals but there are many more hints to maintain a healthy amount of interest. And believe it, Severance is immensely interesting. 


The show’s premise (created by Dan Erickson) features select workers within Lumon Industries who have undergone a procedure that completely separates their work memories with their personal ones. Mark (Adam Scott) begins his day at a locker inside the Lumon building - and then forgets everything until eight hours later when he finds himself back at his locker… with a Band-Aid on his forehead. Within the office, Mark has no idea about his family, or what he did last night, like who he loved and what cocktail he mixed. Taking up space at a pub, Mark likewise has no idea if his work is meaningful or even how to relate stories with others at a dinner party. 


Severance is a quirky show. In fact, if Noah Hawley’s name appeared on the end credits, one would not be surprised; Severance would be the perfect complement between Fargo’s eccentricities and Legion’s psychedelia. Ben Stiller, however, is the director on this project. Coming off his exceptional Escape at Dannemora this, too, should not be a surprise. Rather, it is downright commendable for with this work, Stiller has proven he is not a one-joke routine. 


Not only does Severance raise the mystery of this specific project team with Lumon but asks deeper, Twilight Zone-tinted questions that only the best of sci-fi TV would ask: what happens to the personae of Mark that is left behind in the office? Where does the at-home Mark go between 9 and 5? And, of course, why the procedure? For some, not remembering the day at the office sounds like heaven. For Mark, for Helly, and for Petey, a former employee, Lumon Industries might be hell. Severance is a promising start for an interesting series. One that - hopefully - will be remembered, no matter the time of day.


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