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Apple TV’s ‘Severance’ proves that going to work is worse than a horror movie

Apple TV's 'Severance' proves that going to work is worse than a horror movie

The last time a new series on Apple TV+ became a sensation, It was Ted Lassoany Witnessed the building of his popularity At the same rate as our anxiety and panic during the horrific first months of the epidemic – that is, uh so far quickly. We were stuck at home. Things were bleak. It was the steadfast optimism, earnest worldview, and Voguern Leghorn cleverness that turned into everyone from Ted both. Ointment and guiding light through the dark.

Another new Apple TV+ series is starting to draw cues of the same enthusiasm as the football coach did, albeit under very different circumstances – but again on a wise, if completely unplanned tone to reflect the current cultural mood.

Daily monster obsession

Everything we can’t stop love and hate and think about this week in pop culture.

Ted Lasso For the first time when we were all adjusting to a new life working from home and Need some cheer. Now the staff is running He was called to the office in a group. After two years of recalibration of a different type of Balance life with workThey’re not quite over the moon and need venting.

Enters to cuta series in which the act of going to an office and working every day for a company is portrayed as psychological torture and a real-life aspect of a dystopian horror movie.

I can’t imagine why, at this moment, a series like this seems to resonate. Great puzzle. Who can say? (It’s funny too, because you have to laugh…)

The series, directed by Ben Stiller, premieres its third episode Friday on Apple’s streaming service, several days after Gracie Mansion’s jester-in-Residence, New York City Mayor Eric Adamsurged companies to Force workers to return to the officearguing that remote work is not sustainable.

“You can’t stay home in your pajamas all day,” he said, both of which are a challenge to those accustomed to a khaki-free life — “I can and will.” single emotional response To the moratoriums of PJs — and the egregious ignorance of those who have discovered telecommuting to be a miraculous solution to the burnout and logistical imprisonment that is entrenched in commuting and tethering to an office desk all day, especially for working parents.

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When they dreamed of the show, the creative team behind them to cut I could never have imagined those existential musings of “What does work mean today?” It would be less philosophical to direct your attention to him than to bring up the headlines, the more pressing question. It’s been years before anyone even knows what a pandemic is, and the idea of ​​work-life balance is less poised than teetering with half of “life” dug into the earth while the “work” portion extends toward the moon. But his arrival at this particular time could not be more perfect.

Severance, in the case of this series, refers to a controversial procedure that has become normal and popular. Of his own free will, an employee of a major corporation can agree to become a “cut” worker, which means undergoing a brain surgery that will bifurcate the entirety of a person’s personal life and career, including all the memories of each. While they are at work, they have no awareness of or remember who they are or what is happening when they are out of the office, and vice versa.

The solution to trying to maintain a work-life balance: stop trying. Why fail to “get it all” when you can succeed in getting half, depending on the time of day? That famous adulation, “I don’t know how you do it!” Well, she doesn’t care about working while she’s at home, and the rest of the world died because of her while she was working. And it takes no effort to segment; Her brain is now unknown to do so.

“Don’t mess with your head?” One character, fascinated by the action, asks Mark (Adam Scott; Listen to my colleague Matt Wellstein interview with him here). Mark is a lump-sum worker at a company called Lomon. He replies, “I think that’s the point for some people.”

In his “outside” life, which refers to his being outside of Lomon, his wife died dealing with depression and unhealthy alcoholism. In his “insider” life, he and his colleagues single-handedly collected data as a kind of quartet under the watchful eye of executive gentlemen who enforce strict, lactating protocols. That’s fine for Mark, both the indoor and outdoor versions, until things start to get complicated – which is exactly what was cut to avoid.

If we’re being honest, the concept of dismissal sounds appealing, especially given the state of the modern work culture. The show would not work otherwise.

Perhaps a person from nine to five would not feel mind-numbing if there was no context for an outside world. Maybe endless quest inbox zero It won’t stress your will to live and deprive you of trivial things like “relax, always” or “sleep at night” if your inbox is no longer there the second you stop for the day. (As a person with an existing inbox: 90933-i.e Not an exaggerated number– I am here. Don’t get me started with the idea of ​​spending the day. What is this, the fifties? In other words: cut me off, Dad.)

And maybe, too, you’d be more productive if you weren’t busy arguing with your spouse, fixing your kids’ schedule, or thinking about how to fix it. Real Housewives of New York City (Theoretically, of course…) while you’re trying to do a job.

genius to cut, however, and the reason everyone who watches it has been unable to shake it off is the slow suggestion that this is not an easy solution to a global crisis. It is, as with everything related to work culture and corporate incentives, both outrageous and troubling in ways we may be unwilling or unwilling to realize that we are already on the path toward its fruition.

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to cut It reveals the inevitability of something like this, a world in which we are divided in order to better serve the bottom line of the company. The series will leave you stunned by its instantaneous relay of the tactics employers take to employees lit into believing they are satisfied. (A man won’t stop talking about the waffle party he could win if his numbers were strong enough.)

When Healy, the newest fired employee at Le Mon, wakes up in a conference room and realizes she can’t remember anything about herself, and asks, “Am I a cattle? Did you raise me for food?”, she would be tempted to take a survey of your work history and how you were evaluated . Healy trapped. She cannot escape and cannot resign, and they are one in the same, because the resignation must be signed by the “outer” version, and the “outside” version willingly agreed to this day associated with the cabin, the groundhog hell.

As you watch the series, its inevitability haunts you. Watching it unfold is as unsettling as any horror movie or series you’ll be watching this year. Each episode plays as a mystery comedy, as the steep slopes likely ensure that Apple’s weekly release strategy will continue to grow an audience obsessed with the show.

It’s a commentary on workplace culture clever in its balance between fantasy, brutal realism, and humorous, violent ideology. It is Kafka. It’s Kubrick. It’s Brené Brown and GOOP. Overall, it’s a notable end point for this era of Apple TV+ programming.

Not long ago we were feeling dizzy Ted Lassoupset with the mustacheed life/football coach slapping the “Believe” sign and urging us to “be a goldfish” when facing life’s challenges. to cut It presents a grim outlook: We’ve screwed up, and there’s probably no escape.