Director Ben Stiller’s new Apple TV+ drama is bringing a new meaning to work/life balance. The streamer has shared a teaser trailer for Severance, which is described as a “workplace thriller” and centers around people who choose to not think about work while at home—like, at all.
While the series poster makes a play on the popular comedy The Office, based on the clip, Severance feels more akin to The Stepford Wives or The Truman Show, existing in a dystopian world slightly removed from our own. Adam Scott’s character Mark Scout leads a team at the mysterious Lumon Industries. The company’s employees have undergone an irreversible “severance” procedure, which surgically divides their memories between their work and personal lives.
While on the clock and working on the sterile floor of the Lumon Corporation (which they emphasize is a good one), they sit in barren offices, roll a red ball in a circle to one another, and shake maracas under multicolored lights. When they’re at home, they share dinners with friends and loved ones, and carry out daily chores, unable to recall any of the things they’ve done during their 9-5.
The full cast features Academy Award winner Patricia Arquette, who stars alongside Scott, Emmy Award winner John Turturro (The Plot Against America), Britt Lower (High Maintenance), Zach Cherry (Succession), Dichen Lachman (Altered Carbon), Jen Tullock (Before You Know It), Tramell Tillman (Dietland), Michael Chernus (Orange is the New Black) and Academy Award winner Christopher Walken.
Severance is written and created by Dan Erickson, who had a few small roles in films and television series such as V.I.P. and Dark Skies. Erickson’s not taken up an acting role since 2009, and this is his first project since then (which right out the gate looks, really good).
Mark Friedman (The Forgotten), Chris Black (Star Trek: Enterprise), John Cameron, and Andrew Colville serve as executive producers alongside Erickson.
Severance debuts on Apple TV+ with the first two episodes on February 18, 2022, followed by new weekly installments, each Friday.