A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Gives a glimpse into what technology was like in the 20th century.
The characters place a growing importance on relationships and connection as the series progresses.
Positive Role Models
Helly is an independent thinker who refuses to go along with the status quo. Mark's sister cares and worries about him.
Of the seven central characters, two are Black men and two are women.
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Violence & Scariness
Series begins with a woman waking up on a table in a locked board room, unable to remember anything about herself. Later she throws an intercom speaker, hitting a man in the head. Little violence is actually shown, but a sense of peril permeates the series. Repeated allusions to characters existing in a type of human-made hell that they can't escape. A character asks if she's livestock, grown to be food. Characters casually threaten each other; e.g., "If you breathe on me, I'll rip your larynx out." Workers are disciplined in "the break room," where they're subjected to psychological torture. One character has ominous hallucinations of things like black goo oozing all around him. Characters threaten to hurt and kill each other.
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Regular use of "f--k," "s--t," "damn," etc. Characters threaten to hurt and kill each other.
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Products & Purchases
Workers are incentivized with trinkets: finger traps, gift cards, etc.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Light social drinking and mention of looking hung over.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that a sense of peril permeates the dystopian show Severance. There are repeated allusions to the characters existing in a type of human-made hell that they can't escape. A character asks if she's livestock, grown to be food. Characters also casually threaten each other; e.g., "If you breathe on me, I'll rip your larynx out." Little physical violence is actually shown, but workers are disciplined in "the break room," where they're subjected to psychological torture. One character (John Turturro of O Brother, Where Art Thou?) has ominous hallucinations of things like black goo oozing all around him. There's regular use of "f--k," "s--t," "damn," etc.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.