Dan Erickson’s “Severance”


Misha Ankudovych, Editor-In-Chief

Dan Erickson’s “Severance”  Is a Beautifully Terrifying Look at a Society As Similar To Ours As it is Different

When I first turned on Severance, I had expected either a workplace comedy or a workplace drama, however, what I got was somehow both of those things and so much more. Severance follows a world in which some opt to become ‘severed’ – completely disassociating their personality and memories into two separate beings. One who only has a recollection of life outside of work (colloquially an ‘outie’), and the other purely remembers life inside work. (An ‘inie’). This means for the outie, they walk into work and then instantly walk out, however for the inie they walk into work and immediately walk back in. 

This show takes a common theme – corporate greed/burnout – and takes a unique approach that makes up for some of its cliches (and then some). This show falls short in its messaging. Most of the messages are communicated simply, and do not take full advantage of the unique structure of the show. However, where the show fails in its messaging, it prospers in entertainment value. 

Severance spent the first few episodes beautifully crafting a horrifying dystopian world not too dissimilar to ours. The stark contrast between the conditions inside versus outside first make you believe that the situation is black and white. But as the show goes on, it becomes less and less clear who is actually trapped in a worse situation. Severed prospers in the dramatic irony it is able to create, making you always feel as if you are one step ahead of the characters, which is what makes the twists and turns even more jarring and beautiful. 

There are currently four episodes of Severance, and more will be released each Thursday at 9:00PM EST. I am looking forward to diligently following this show, and if you have AppleTV+, I think you should give it a try too!