Severance: The Best Thriller Show We’ve Seen In A While


Apple TV+

Severance, starring Adam Scott and Britt Lower, is a thriller series on Apple TV+ that was released on Feb. 18.

Peter Philpott, Staff Writer

WARNING: This article contains minor spoilers for Apple TV+’s Severance.

Apple TV+ was created as a streaming service in 2019, but flew under the radar until recently, when it started to pump out hit shows such as Ted Lasso, See, and Black Bird. However, in February, they released a psychological thriller that skyrocketed in popularity. 

Severance is not brand new on Apple TV+, but I began to watch it a couple of weeks ago. And let me tell you, I am all for it.

The first time we see main character Mark S. (Adam Scott) is him weeping in his car before going to work. He pulls himself together, but when he arrives at work, there’s a wonderful sequence of him walking through the winding hallways of Lumon while discovering clues that he had been crying: A wet tissue, a snuffly nose. The way he continues to obliviously smile on his stroll hints to you the premise of the show.

Lumon is a massive, mysterious company whose latest innovative technology is “severance.” Severance is a program workers can enter that will split their memories so they can only access work memories when in the Lumon complex, but can only access personal memories upon exiting. All their work self knows is work. They never sleep. They never escape.

There are so many good things to say about Severance (hence its 97% on Rotten Tomatoes), but one of the things you can spot in the first five minutes is the sound design. The quiet but tense piano theme song, the soft ruffle of Mark’s business suit, the crisp click-clack of the keyboard in his office. All of this makes watching the show a tactile experience. 

The thing that makes this show stand out the most is its concept. With an overload of workplace comedies and first responder dramas materializing every day (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), it’s so cool to see an original idea on screen. This concept is exciting, it’s fresh.

Not to mention the budding romance between two elderly men that adds an LGBTQ storyline to the show, which is refreshing. Especially in the cold, monotonous office environment.

Throughout the whole show, as she begins to work at Lumon, Helly realizes that her work self is trapped there, destined to never leave until her outside self retires. As the four characters find out more about the dark side of Lumon, it builds up to a finale which features a blink-of-the-eye switch from suspense to action. 

Severance, to my relief, has been renewed for a second season. I strongly recommend it. If you are a fan of Alfred Hitchcock or even something like The Matrix, this show is right up your alley.

All in all, this show more than deserves the praise it’s gotten and I believe it could be entertaining to anyone (this is coming from a guy who’s not too into thrillers). Even though I found this show six months too late, I’m glad I discovered it.