Severance (season 1)

Imagine if you could arrive at work each morning, get into the elevator, and blink – it’s home time and you’re stepping back out of the elevator ready to go back to life. Aside from the missing hours, as far as you’re concerned, work takes up only 2 commutes a day and nothing else of your life.

This is Severance: a process where work you (your ‘innie’) knows nothing about your life outside of work (your ‘outie’), and vice versa. Perfect security for work, and no distractions from life; while you-you doesn’t have to deal with the stresses and boredom of office life.

Sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it? At least until you really start thinking about what it all means…

And that’s what the show does. It sets up this concept, and then slowly – oh so slowly – starts to show the cracks. First it’s the weirdness of the work: four people sitting round desks picking out groups of numbers on a screen that ‘feel wrong’. They have no idea what they’re doing, or why, or even really what’s going on in the world outside of these cavernous, fluorescent-lit offices, and miles and miles of twisting white corridors. The company is more like a cult, and the routines are increasingly bizarre.

I admit that I struggled with this show at first. It was definitely something intriguing, but I wanted to have seen it more than I wanted to watch. But that changes, the glacial slow pace eventually picks up speed until we’re all but sprinting by the end. Tantalising hints of weirdness, of wrongness, seep out into each episode, and we’re invited to think about the darker side of this bargain. And then the reveals start, things I didn’t even think to see coming, and – well, wow. By the end of the season I was all but screaming at the TV, in a good way.

This is absolutely fantastic TV, such an amazing idea and very cleverly eked out to make you think and experience as it goes. Only complaint is that slow, slow pacing – it really did almost have me give up after one episode, but seriously, stick with it – this is amazing!

And oh, but I’m so glad we’re getting a second series! There are still so many secrets and whys and wtfs to come. Bring it!

Severance poster

First broadcast: February 2022
Series: 1 (with a second announced)
Episodes: 9 @ ~50 mins each

My rating: 9/10

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8 thoughts on “Severance (season 1)

  1. I’ve been on the fence about seeing this or not. You make a compelling case for giving it a go, and I promise if I do I will stick it out long enough for it to take off. I think there’s so much to watch out there anymore people have really short “fuses” as to how long they will stick with a show before giving up and moving on to the next. I do try to take in at least 3-4 episodes to give them a chance to shine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I only stuck with this after a few friends were raving about it. There is *so* much to watch these days, it’s hard to stick to anything if it doesn’t instantly appeal. But this proved me a bit wrong! I hope you like it if you do give it a chance.

      Liked by 1 person

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