The ins and outs

Published April 10, 2022

A still from the TV series Severance featuring Adam Scott and Britt Lower

There’s been a TV show streaming on Apple TV+ recently, a little production called Severance, I don’t know if you’ve heard of it? I’m astounded at how popular this show has become, not because it’s not good, but because it just seems to have blown up out of nowhere. But the show features that thing that everyone loves - morals alongside a mystery. While you’re trying to figure out what on earth is going on, you’re also desperately trying to imagine how you would feel in a similar situation.

It’s hard to describe the series in a nutshell, effectively, you have people working for a mysterious company, undergoing a procedure to split their work selves from their home selves, and lots and LOTS of repurcussions because of that. That doesn’t do it justice, but not only is it hard to explain, it’s hard to do so with words because the aesthetic of the piece is part of what makes it so brilliant.

The clean and crisp angles of the interior offset by the often dark and broooding world outside of Lumon. The old-school feel of the computers and the muted colours of life on the severed floor really make an impact, as well as that feeling of it never shutting off.

I’ve loved trying to get my head around the separation of the two worlds. That the ‘innie’s, as they are called, don’t get to sleep. They don’t power down. Life picks up again immediately for them, even though there’s been a whole evening, a night, and presumably some breakfast in between. The idea that you could come home from work with a feeling - joyous or frazzled, depending on the day - and not know why. That little notes are left on your car to explain why you’ve had a bump on the head and are leaving with a plaster.

Apple released a tie-in book that doesn’t do much in the way of enlightening, but just goes further to deepen that uncomfortable feeling of mystery. The series started very slowly but really ramped up to give us some much-needed insight in the last couple of episodes, rewarding those that stuck with it… to a point. Thank goodness a second series has been granted because there are so many questions left unanswered and so much more we need to know.

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