(2022 – ), TV-MA, 55m

Table of Contents

What Is Severance About?

A team of office workers with divided memories navigates a mysterious journey to uncover the truth behind their unique employment situation.

The Cast of Severance

  • Adam Scott as Mark S. – Mark is an employee at Lumon Industries, working in the “severed” division, where employees have their work and personal memories separated. He’s a team leader in the Macrodata Refinement department. He’s also great in Big Little Lies.


  • Zach Cherry as Dylan G. – Dylan is another employee in the Macrodata Refinement department. He serves as the comedic relief in the team, often providing a lighter perspective in a serious setting.


  • Britt Lower as Helly R. – Helly is a new employee in the Macrodata Refinement department. Her character struggles with the concept of severance and the implications it has on her life and identity.


  • Patricia Arquette as Harmony Cobel – Harmony is Mark’s boss and oversees the operations in the severed floor. She is strict and adheres closely to the company’s protocols and secrecy.


  • John Turturro as Irving B. – Irving is another employee in the Macrodata Refinement department. His character is meticulous and deeply loyal to the company, often clashing with others over company policy.


  • Tramell Tillman as Milchick – Milchick is responsible for the oversight of the ‘severed’ employees on the work floor. His character oscillates between being supportive and enforcing the strict rules of Lumon, adding to the complex dynamics within the company.


  • Jen Tullock as Devon H. – Devon is Mark’s sister in the “innie” world. She is not a part of Lumon Industries but plays a crucial role in Mark’s personal life and his journey throughout the series.


  • Christopher Walken as Burt G. – Burt works in the Macrodata Refinement department alongside Mark, Dylan, and Irving. He brings a unique perspective to the team, often challenging the status quo at Lumon Industries.


  • Dichen Lachman as Ms. Casey – Ms. Casey works in the Wellness Center at Lumon Industries. She plays a pivotal role in maintaining the well-being of the ‘severed’ employees, often interacting with them during moments of crisis or confusion.


  • Michael Chernus as Ricken Hale – Ricken is an outside-world character, a successful author and motivational speaker. His character provides a contrast to the Lumon employees, offering a glimpse into a different aspect of the show’s world.


  • Yul Vazquez as Petey – Petey is a former Lumon employee who has undergone the severance procedure. His character provides crucial insights into the effects of severance and the company’s practices.

The Filmmakers of Severance

  • Ben Stiller – He serves as one of the executive producers and is also the primary director for the series. Stiller’s vision and direction have been crucial in shaping the unique tone and aesthetic of Severance.


  • Dan Erickson – He is the creator and writer of Severance. Erickson is responsible for the show’s concept, storyline, and much of its dialogue. His writing has been praised for its originality and depth.


  • Nicky Weinstock – Serving as an executive producer, Weinstock plays a significant role in overseeing the production aspects of the series.


  • Chris Black – Also an executive producer, Black contributes to the strategic decisions regarding the show’s direction, production, and overall narrative structure.


  • Jackie Cohn – As an executive producer, Cohn is involved in various aspects of the show’s development and production.


  • Mark Friedman – He is listed as an executive producer and may have contributed to various stages of the show’s development.


  • Andrew Colville – Involved as an executive producer, Colville’s role includes overseeing the creative and logistical elements of the series.


  • Adam Scott – Apart from playing the lead role, Adam Scott also serves as an executive producer, contributing to the creative decisions of the series.


  • Patricia Arquette – Known for her role in the series, Arquette is also involved as a producer.


  • Aoife McArdle, Jeremy Beim, and Ben Stiller – These individuals are among the directors who have worked on various episodes of the series, with Stiller directing several key episodes.


  • Theodore Shapiro – He is the composer for the series, responsible for its distinctive and atmospheric score that adds depth to the narrative.

The Cinematography of Severance

Severance, a critically acclaimed TV series, is known for its unique camera work, which greatly enhances the show’s complex story and themes. The show’s camera style is very detailed, with careful shot composition, steady camera movements, and colors that clearly show the two different worlds of the characters.



The main idea in Severance is the actual process of severance, where Lumon Industries employees have an operation to keep their work and personal memories separate. The camera work reflects this split. In the work setting, the shots are clean and simple, with a lot of blues, grays, and whites, showing a very controlled and clinical office environment. The camera is often still, with balanced shots that make the space feel ordered but restricted. This style highlights the show’s focus on control, surveillance, and how impersonal corporate life can be.




On the other hand, the scenes showing the characters’ personal lives are shot with warmer colors and a more dynamic and natural style. The camera moves more and uses softer lighting, making a clear difference between the two worlds and showing the emotional gap the characters feel. The use of warmer colors and fluid camera movements in these personal scenes gives a feeling of freedom and reality, in stark contrast to their work lives.


Lighting is key in Severance. Bright, artificial lighting in the office creates an almost dreamy effect, while natural lighting in the outside scenes adds realism. This difference in lighting not only makes the story visually interesting but also changes how viewers feel about the different settings.


The camera also uses framing to show the characters’ mental states. Tight shots in the office scenes show their lack of freedom, while wider shots in the outside world suggest openness and possibilities. The camera often focuses on the characters’ faces, showing their subtle expressions and internal struggles.



The series also uses recurring visual elements, like mysterious hallways and red lights in the office, to add symbolism and hint at deeper themes of control, manipulation, and the blurred line between what’s real and what’s perceived. This visual strategy, through its optics and design, underscores the themes of control, surveillance, and the impersonal aspect of corporate environments in the show.

The Soundtrack of Severance

The soundtrack in Severance is a crucial part of the show’s engaging atmosphere. Theodore Shapiro composed the soundtrack, and his music is both haunting and deeply moving, matching the show’s mood and themes well. Shapiro’s work on Severance stands out for its simple yet powerful arrangements, creating feelings of unease and expectation. The score often mixes electronic and orchestral sounds, giving a feeling that is both modern and timeless, fitting with the show’s mix of futuristic ideas and common human experiences.


The music is cleverly used to highlight the difference between the characters’ work (“innie”) and personal (“outie”) lives. In the scenes at Lumon Industries, the soundtrack is more cold and controlled, echoing the exact nature of the setting. Repetitive patterns and slight discord in the music increase the feeling of strangeness and confusion that the characters experience. In contrast, in the outside world scenes, the music becomes warmer and more natural, matching the characters’ more genuine and emotionally rich personal lives.


Some popular tracks from the Severance soundtrack include:


  • “Defiant Jazz” – A track that captures the show’s blend of mystery and intrigue, with its rhythmic patterns and eerie undertones.


  • “Floating Above It All” – This piece evokes a sense of surreal detachment, fitting for the series’ exploration of divided consciousness.


  • “Music Dance Experience” – A more upbeat and rhythmic track that stands out for its energy and liveliness, contrasting with the show’s often somber tone.


  • “Lumon” – A track that encapsulates the corporate, almost dystopian atmosphere of Lumon Industries, with its methodical and imposing sound.


  • “Overtime Contemplation” – A reflective and introspective piece, highlighting the inner turmoil and existential questions faced by the characters.


Below is the original series soundtrack to season 1.

The Theme of Severance

Severance is an engaging TV show that skillfully explores a range of deep themes related to the human mind, corporate life, and identity. At its heart, the show looks at the split between work and personal life. This is shown through the unique idea of “severance” – a surgery that splits the consciousness of Lumon Industries employees into separate work and personal selves. This main idea is used to look into different themes.


Identity is a key theme in Severance. The surgery brings up big questions about who we really are. Are the characters more themselves at work, where they don’t have personal memories and feelings, or in their personal lives, where they don’t know about their jobs? This split life questions the usual ideas about identity, suggesting that it changes based on memories and experiences. The show explores the big question of whether you can really know yourself if you can’t access key parts of your life.


Memory and its role in our lives is another big theme. Severance imagines a world where work stress is completely separated from personal life. This leads to interesting questions about the importance of bad memories. Are these hard experiences, even if they’re upsetting, necessary to really understand ourselves and the world? The show suggests that all memories, good and bad, are part of being human.




The show also looks at corporate control and how it can make people less human. Lumon Industries shows an extreme version of companies taking over people’s lives. This is shown not just through the severance surgery but also through a very strict work environment. The show criticizes how corporate life can make people feel like just parts of a machine, valued only for how much they produce and follow rules.


Freedom and choice are also important themes. The Lumon employees, especially the “innies,” live without knowing about their personal lives, which is stress-free but limits their freedom and choice. This brings up the question: Is it better to live a simple, stress-free life, or is experiencing the full range of human feelings, including pain, necessary for real freedom and choice?


The theme of being watched and feeling paranoid is also in the series. The constant watching of Lumon employees creates a feeling of mistrust and fear, reflecting bigger worries in society about privacy and being watched too much. It asks how much privacy we’re willing to give up for safety or ease.


The show also talks about fighting back and standing up to power. The characters slowly understand their situation and try to fight against the company’s control, representing a bigger fight for self-rule and standing up against oppressive systems.


Severance is a complex show that uses its unique idea to talk about important themes. It questions what identity means, the role of memory, how corporate life affects us, what freedom really is, and how being watched changes things. Through its deep characters and thought-provoking story, the show invites viewers to think about these themes, making it a standout in modern TV.

Why You Should Watch Severance

Severance is a show on Apple TV that really stands out and is worth watching for many reasons. It’s not just the great camera work, music, and deep themes that make it special. One big reason to watch is its new and interesting idea. The show introduces a big change where employees at Lumon Industries get a surgery that splits their work and personal memories. This fresh idea is not only different but also creates many new story possibilities, making it a nice change from usual TV shows.


The writing and storytelling in Severance are outstanding. Each episode is well-made, with a story that is both exciting and makes you think. The show is great at keeping up suspense and mystery, revealing its secrets slowly to keep viewers interested. The pacing is careful, giving the complex story room to grow, making the drama and surprises even more powerful.


The characters in Severance are another strong point. The show has a variety of characters, each with their own unique traits, backgrounds, and reasons for what they do. The split between their work and personal lives adds more to their stories, giving a new view on how different parts of our lives shape who we are. The characters are easy to relate to, and their problems feel real, making viewers really care about what happens to them.



The performances in Severance are outstanding across the board. Adam Scott shows a different side of his acting skills, different from his past roles. Other actors like Zach Cherry, Britt Lower, and Patricia Arquette also do a great job, making their characters feel real and deep. The way they show the complexities of their split lives is especially impressive, often saying a lot with just a little.


Severance is also known for its detailed world-building. The world of Lumon Industries is very well-thought-out, from the company culture to the office design. This attention to detail makes a believable and engaging world that is important to the story. The show slowly shares more about this world, making each new piece of information feel rewarding.


The show also does a great job of mixing different moods. It moves smoothly between tense, dramatic moments and subtle humor, making sure the watching experience is not just interesting but also fun. This mix is hard to do, but Severance does it well.


The series is great for starting conversations and making people think. The main idea of the show brings up questions about balancing work and life, corporate ethics, and personal freedom. It makes viewers think about what it would be like if this technology were real, leading to interesting talks and debates.


Severance is a really well-made series that offers a unique and captivating watching experience. Its fresh idea, great writing, deep character development, fantastic acting, detailed world-building, and mix of tones make it a standout show. It’s not just entertaining, but also makes you think and challenge ideas, making it a must-watch for anyone looking for something different in their TV shows.

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