BEST OF CULTURE 2022: Day 12 - 'Severance'

The cast of Severance - Adam Scott, Zach Cherry, John Turturro and Britt Lower
The cast of Severance - Adam Scott, Zach Cherry, John Turturro and Britt Lower   -   Copyright  Apple TV
By Amber Louise Bryce

Day 12 of our Cultural Advent Calendar, in which we’re counting down our highlights of 2022 day-by-day all the way to Christmas and beyond. Our top TV and streaming pick today is Severance (Apple TV).

POV: It’s the end of the work day. You close your laptop, grab your bags, say bye to your colleagues, ride the lift down to the ground floor then completely forget about work until you walk back in tomorrow. 

Sounds nice, right? 

But is it?

This is the concept of 'Severance', a psychological series directed by Ben Stiller and Aoife McArdle. It follows a team of office employees at a biotech company called Lumon Industries, each of whom have undergone an extreme procedure called ‘severing’, which involves work memories being separated from non-work memories.

While the themes of the show run deep and take many insidious turns, its overarching commentary on office culture and identity resonated with me a lot, especially as someone who, like many others, became a remote worker during the pandemic (and continues to be - I’m writing this from bed right now!)

Severance is dark and daring but all the more affecting for it, leaving your head spinning with thoughts and theories for hours, days, weeks afterwards. And while it’s not an ideal watch for winding down after a long day of work, it still beats having half your memories erased, that’s for sure.

'Severance' is on Apple TV.