Why Severance is one of the best shows on TV

Healy wakes up
Zoom / Hailey R. wakes up.

to cutwho recently completed his first season on Apple TV +, is exploring a world where people can do just that Is that true Separate their work and personal life. Thanks to a new procedure developed by Lumon Industries, people can bifurcate themselves into “innocent” (persons of business) and “externals” (subjects) – without sharing memories. This appeals to people like Mark, who lost his wife in a car accident and struggled to cope with grief. Why not forget all that pain for eight hours a day?

Mark works on The Scratched Floor at Lumon, a place that makes your own office – no matter how nasty – look like Disney World. But Mark loves it. or Believes He likes it. In the meantime, we as viewers have some concerns. What, for example, is actually a job All day for Lumon? What’s with the creepy, worship-like vibe all around? What happened to his friend Betty? And why are people so excited about waffle parties?

If you think this sounds like a setting for the institutional sci-fi world, you’re not wrong. to cut It makes great TV its premise. Directed by Ben Stiller, the show is funny, silly, frustrating, mysterious, visually distinct, and ultimately motivating. Every episode brings together speed, from the slow start to the final finish, making this one of the best things we’ve seen so far in 2022. Here’s why.

(Some minor spoilers below)

Beauty in the midst of vanity

to cut It does a great trick: turning windowless offices, fluorescent lighting, corporate furniture, break rooms, stairs, elevators, and whitewashed hallways into something that goes from banal to menacing to — dare I say it?

The banality is clear enough. Lumon workers are encouraged by silly corporate “perks” like finger traps and waffle parties, even as they work in absurdly empty spaces. Workers answer to middle managers who never seem fully human, even when they ask people to show “good eyes” to others. And the food that comes out of the vending machine — deflated raisins, anyone? Not appetizing at best. The teamwork of the team may be “mysterious and important,” as one character describes it, but that’s an element of my faith. For the viewer, the work seems boring.

Then the danger comes to the fore. We meet Hailey R. In an ordinary conference room–but a room confined therein, and lying on the table, I spoke to her in a disembodied voice. We hear hints of violence between departments and deal with strange, cult-like sayings of the “Guide”. A character experiencing disturbing hallucinations. The paper shredder is being reused as a menacing weapon. The company has a mysterious scheme to do…something. The break room is a really bad place. So to cut He takes his place in a long line of corporate dystopias.

But among the dangers, we also feel a growing sense of wonder. The labyrinth vault is a labyrinth that Lumon has prevented her staff from drawing a map of. why? we do not know. But we follow our team of lovable Lumon losers because, like little kids, they get away with more than their parents allow. Our team discovers new things. They find other sections, with a hint of many more waiting to be revealed. They are exploring the strange Eternal Pavilion. They find some, make mistakes, Small tetrapods feeding on a bottle (Don’t be too spoiled-p). Lumon may be intimidating, but people still respond to beauty when they find it, as Burt and Irving do in the Plant Room.

Among all the maze-like puzzles, our team set out to make connections between departments, between inner and outer self, and between each other. People grow, thanks in part to a silly self-help book hitting the broken floor. Families, lovers and children are becoming increasingly important.

to cut It is a parody office. It is a tale of institutional dystopia and sinister schemes. But it’s also a show about healing, empathy, new life, and emotional growth under unpromising circumstances. Grouping all these elements together gives the show its whimsical effect.

—Nate Anderson, Deputy Editor