The title refers to a procedure practiced by giant Lumon Industries, in which employees cut their memories of what happens at work from what happens outside, and vice versa, in theory, bringing new meaning to the phrase “work-life balance”.
However, when a team member suddenly leaves, and a newcomer arrives, it upsets the chemistry within the office, sparking ideas about what might really be motivating the practice — and what might the company actually do? Senior Copper seems keen to avoid it.
The answers don’t come quickly, but the script becomes absolutely fantastic, with Adam Scott taking on the role of Mark Scout, the new low-profile leader of the team; and Brett Laure as Hailey, a newcomer who asks a lot of questions.
For Mark, the broken memories served a purpose, as they allowed him to find some distance between work and the pain he was experiencing after losing his wife.
Scott turns out to be the perfect guy, but the cast is uniformly good. Why Others Agree to Faust’s Deal This is just one of the breadcrumbs that “Severance” takes its time, in a series that leaves plenty of runway for more at the end of its nine episodes.
Light escape is not. But until the show’s fictional technology becomes a reality, series like “Severance” are just sort of a cerebral concept to help distract one’s mind from the daily work of 9-5.
“Severance” premieres February 18 on Apple TV+. (Disclosure: My wife works for an Apple division.)