Severance – The DVDfever Review – Patricia Arquette – Apple TV+

Severance Severance is a bizarre new Apple TV+ series, with some episodes directed by Ben Stiller.

Initially, we see a woman fast asleep on the table. She’s woken up by a tannoy, and asked a series of completely random questions that are nothing to do with anything you’d be asked in the course of a normal day.

Next up, we see Mark (Adam Scott) going into work at Lumon Industries, and working on Macrodata Refinement, he almost dozes off in the lift, then things suddenly start feeling a bit unreal.

I have to be careful about avoiding spoilers, but it’s safe to say that the billing for the series confirms that when you sign up to work at this place, you agree to undergo a procedure which will result in forgetting everything about your home life while you’re in work, and vice versa. Hence, when you go home, you won’t remember your work colleagues, either. This is due to working in a very sparse department full of official secrets, as well as providing the perfect work/life balance.

In order to avoid crossing over in the left, the company staggers the times they arrive and leave, but as for the job itself, it’s some sort of data entry, where the computers are like late ’70s/early ’80s Tandy TRS80 models, but with some more modern tweaks like a DVD player, even though TVs are still 4:3 curved tubes.

With Patricia Arquette, as Peggy, as their boss, I’m finding it hard to believe that it’s almost 30 years since I saw her in the excellent True Romance, which also starred Christopher Walken, and he pops up in this as well, although they didn’t share screen time in that film.

When it comes to getting around Lumon Industries, the building feels like one of those computer games where everything keeps flipping around, rather like Portal. Again, to fully grasp how that works, you’ll need to watch it for yourself.

Later on the evening of the first episode, Mark goes out for a dinner with his sister and friends, where there’s no dinner, just water… Plus, their friends are having a child, in a situation where they feel it’s better to put all 3 beds the child will ever use in the bedroom at the same time, and let the child progress from one to the other at their own rate… rather than replacing the bed as and when they would need it – which sounds completely ridiculous.

But then this series feels like it’s all about a whole load of weird stuff happening.

Episode 2 shows how the ‘procedure’ works… it’s pretty gross. Of course, and completely unnecessary, since – as I mentioned earlier – if you’re going to sign something like the Official Secrets Act, just sign it! There’s also a party* for new recruit Helly (Britt Lower), with added ’70s-style funky electronic keyboard music.

(*cheese and wine not available. Actually, there might be cheese.)

I will certainly be checking out more of this, and there’s 9 episodes in total.

Severance is on Apple TV+ from Friday February 18th, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD. I’m not sure yet how many episodes are available at launch. With Apple TV+, it tends to be 2 or 3 initially, and then the rest being added weekly.

Check out the trailer below:

Severance – Official Trailer – Apple TV+

Episode 1-2 Score: 8/10

Detailed specs:

Running time: 55-60 per episode
Release date: February 18th 2022
Studio: Apple TV+
Format: 2.20:1

Series Directors: Ben Stiller, Aoife McArdle
Producers: Gerry Robert Byrne, Aoife McArdle
Writers: Mohamad el Masri, Dan Erickson, Wei-Ning Yu
Music: Theodore Shapiro

Peggy: Patricia Arquette
Ms. Casey: Dichen Lachman
Mark: Adam Scott
Burt: Christopher Walken
Irving: John Turturro
Helly: Britt Lower
Dylan: Zach Cherry
Devon: Jen Tullock
Kier Egan: Marc Geller
Milchick: Tramell Tillman
Natalie: Sydney Cole Alexander
Judd: Mark Kenneth Smaltz
Petey Kilmer: Yul Vazquez
Alexa: Nikki M James
Rebeck: Grace Rex
Gabby Arteta: Nora Dale
Danise: Annie McNamara
Patton: Donald Webber Jr
June Kilmer: Cassidy Layton
Angelo Arteta: Ethan Flower
Jasper: Edward Brence