Parents' Guide to

Severance

By Stephanie Morgan, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Dystopian tale of extreme work-life balance is scary smart.

TV Apple TV+ Drama 2022
Severance Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 13+

Great but disturbing, not for young kids/tweens

Really good dystopian show. Our almost 13 year old is watching it with us but it can be quite psychologically disturbing so I wouldn't recommend it for younger tweens.
age 12+

Some people, especially young people, might be triggered by the depiction of an attempted suicide in two episodes.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (5 ):

In the era of The Great Resignation, this dark dramedy asks viewers to examine whether an ideal work-life balance is actually attainable, and what they'd be willing to give up to achieve it. Initially, the mind-splitting premise of SEVERANCE seems absurd. Why would anyone permanently cleave their brain just to become eligible for a high-security job? As the series progresses, though, some valid points are made: What would it be worth to you to never again experience job-related stress during your downtime? Would the prospect of no more "Sunday night dread" tempt you to outsource a mundane existence to a walled-off version of yourself? Or could it be a respite? It's revealed that Mark (Adam Scott), once a history professor, joined the Lumon corporation for the chance to simply stop grieving for 40 hours a week.

The questions only multiply from there. Early on, Mark's blind date points out that Work Mark (his "innie") could have a girlfriend while Real Life Mark (his "outie") is married with kids -- and neither would ever know. We also see the societal consequences of the controversial procedure. While some are taking to the streets to protest what they view as growing corporate abuse, others are liberated by giving up more of their choices in life; a growing faction of people even seem to have found a way to give up food altogether. More common dystopian themes are also explored: Does power always corrupt? Do the "innies" have the same basic rights as the "outies"? While the pace of the show is definitely slow, the building tension only contributes to it's eerie, antiseptic tone. The underlying dark humor is also delightful (e.g., Lumon gives a whole new meaning to the office "break room"). Ultimately, this is a thriller so perfectly in tune with the moment that it will have everyone talking.

TV Details

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