It’s sometimes easy to forget that Apple TV+ is only a little over two years old at this point, given the degree to which it’s had to come from behind in the streaming race. And how, in spite of that fact, the iPhone maker’s streamer has not only already collected tons of industry awards and recognition, but it’s also given us shows that have easily broken into the mainstream, like Ted Lasso. Apple TV+ has also just done it again, with a new series called Severance that takes a dystopian look at the modern workplace.
Over at Rotten Tomatoes, this show (which as of this writing has released three episodes of its nine-episode first season so far) is close to achieving a perfect critics’ score. It currently has a 97% critics’ rating on the review aggregation site, based on 71 reviews thus far. Like this one, from The Atlantic: “I can forgive Severance a lot because it’s easily the most fun of the metaphysical, have you ever questioned the nature of your reality mystery-box shows that have popped up over the past few years.”
Unlike Netflix, episodes for Severance roll out on a weekly basis, which is the typical Apple TV+ model. That’s good for people like me, who are already busy enough and have impossibly long watchlists. As far as a summary goes, this show feels a little like what you’d get if you took every bit of the comedy out of The Office – and you then melded it with something like, say, Black Mirror.
Mark S., played by Adam Scott, leads a team of workers at a company called Lumon Industries. Per Apple’s summary, employees there have “undergone a severance procedure, which surgically divides their memories between their work and personal lives. This daring experiment in ‘work-life balance’ is called into question as Mark finds himself at the center of an unraveling mystery that will force him to confront the true nature of his work … and of himself.”
Severance was written and created by Dan Erickson. Mark Friedman, Chris Black, John Cameron, and Andrew Colville are executive producers, alongside Erickson. Additionally, Ben Stiller, Nicky Weinstock, and Jackie Cohn executive produce through Red Hour Productions. And both Patricia Arquette and Adam Scott serve as producers.
The show is one of several standout sci-fi dramas on Apple TV+, by the way, alongside Silo as well as Foundation — the latter an adaptation of award-winning stories by Isaac Asimov.