Mind-Bending Sci-Fi Streaming Series Shows The Dark Side Of Modern Life

By Charlene Badasie | Published

  • The acclaimed sci-fi psychological thriller Severance is streaming on Apple TV+
  • Severance follows a group of office workers who have agreed to undergo a brain surgery that causes them to lose their memories, every single work day, of what they do at their job.
  • By agreeing to the surgery, the characters of Severance essentially create split personalities who exist as slaves–having no knowledge or memory of their outside lives, and nothing to look forward to but work.
  • Severance was renewed for a second season which began filming this January.

The gripping 2022 psychological sci-fi thriller Severance is streaming on Apple TV+. Created by Dan Erickson, the nine-episode first season is directed by Ben Stiller and Aoife McArdle. The series boasts an impressive cast that includes Adam Scott, Zach Cherry, Britt Lower, Tramell Tillman, Jen Tullock, Dichen Lachman, Michael Chernus, John Turturro, Christopher Walken, and Patricia Arquette.

Innies And Outies


The series revolves around Mark S. (Adam Scott), an employee of the fictional biotechnology corporation Lumon Industries. The company uses a medical procedure called “severance” to separate the non-work memories of its staff from their work-related ones. Mark S. is one of the employees who chose to undergo the process.

When an individual is working, they are called “innies” and possess no recollection of their personal lives or the external world. Outside the workplace, they become “outies” with no memory of their time at work. This results in Mark (and other employees) existing as two people with distinct personalities and motives.

Beginning Your Bizarre Job At Lumon


Severance begins with Mark S., an employee in Lumon Industries’s Macrodata Refinement (MDR) division, being promoted to department head following his coworker Petey’s sudden departure. Mark’s first task in his new role involves orienting new employee Helly (Britt Lower), who wakes up in a conference room with no memory of who she is.

After being informed about the “severance” procedure by her “outie” through a video, she realizes that her memories have been divided, with one version existing solely within the workplace. Meanwhile, the “outside” version of Mark grieves the loss of his wife, Gemma. Helly is introduced to Irving (John Turturro) and Dylan (Zach Cherry), who seem comfortable with having dual lives.

Helly Refuses To Submit

As the work version of Helly keeps trying to escape, Severance explores the complexities of the severed employees’ dual lives and the conspiracies within Lumon Industries. Mark, Helly, Dylan, and Irving eventually attempt to uncover Lumon’s secrets and resist the manipulative forces at play. The season concludes with several dramatic revelations during a company gala.

Severance Is An Emmy Magnet

christopher walken

Severance premiered on Apple TV+ in February 2022. The series earned praise from critics and audiences who hailed the story, cinematography, direction, production design, musical score, and performances. The show was nominated for 14 Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series and acting noms for Scott, Turturro, Walken, and Arquette. It took home the trophies for Main Title Design and musical score.

The Upcoming Second Season


In April 2022, Severance was officially renewed for a second season, but production was delayed due to the Hollywood writers’ and actors strikes. Filming resumed in late January, with Apple TV+ sharing a behind-the-scenes image from the psychological sci-fi thriller to mark the occasion. The photo shows Adam Scott’s character, Mark S., sprinting through the corridors of Lumon Industries’ offices.

Trouble Behind The Scenes

severance season 2

Interestingly, Severance  Season 2 faced additional challenges, including internal conflicts behind the scenes. Allegedly, multiple scripts were written and discarded, and the relationship between co-showrunners Dan Erickson (who authored the pilot episode) and Mark Friedman became strained. Friedman initially intended to step away from Season 2, but after struggling to replace him, Ben Stiller decided to bring Friedman back into the fold.