This new show produced and mostly directed by Ben Stiller, who seems to be an unlikely person to take on a role of something that has almost no humor in it at all.
I am going to ruin some key elements of the overall plot here, so be warned
Severance is a unique kind of horror show and to me it seems a lot like an episode of Black Mirror but made 7 hours long instead of just one. I enjoy that Black Mirror condenses their stories, but there are some episodes in that series that were so good that I would have liked to have seen more about the story. Severance is almost exactly like a Black Mirror episode in that it focuses on how technological advances might seem great at first, but they are actually contributing to a very dark decline of society.
Severance is about an apparently experimental workforce where upon entering the office something associated with a implant chip makes the workers completely forget who they are in the outside world. They don't know their name, they don't know anything about their outside life. They have no distractions and can focus entirely on their work. When they clock out, the chip reverts and they have no recollection of the work that they just finished doing. The person who does the work has no idea what the life on the outside is like and vice versa. This point is shot home by the fact that when we go into first person view they get in the elevator and the doors close, only to have them open again inside the office again. While the person with the chip actually did, in fact, leave the office and go home to their outside life, the person in the office, who is the same person, has zero recollection of any of it.
For those of us that hate our jobs, this kind of sounds perfect.... well, at least for the person who is living the life that exists only outside of the office. However, for the person inside the office brain, this would be an absolute hell even though it is in fact, the same person.
This point is nailed home when one of the characters decides that she doesn't want to work there anymore and requests to be released, which she and everyone else were told was something that they were always allowed to do. However, to do so requires the approval of your outside world self in order for it to happen.
The management says that "if you don't want to work here anymore, all you have to do is not turn up tomorrow." However, we find out as the show carries on that this is very unlikely to happen since your outside world person doesn't have any idea how unhappy you are with your job and the fact that it is still them that is also trapped there. The way the system is designed is that your outside world self no longer has to deal with work life though, and for them, this is a dream come true.
This says a lot about human nature. In one of the episodes one of the characters manages to send a video to her outside world self and explaining with tears in her eyes how miserable she is at her job. Even though the person that she is talking to is actually herself, the outside world self shows zero care about this being the case. She responds in the video to tell herself that "I am human, you are not."
It's this sort of selfishness that leads a lot of the world to turn their backs on the suffering of others. I suppose we are only one step away from turning our backs on our own suffering as well, provided that we don't actually have to feel any of it.
As our work lives become more and more specialized and less interesting I think that is is a reality for a lot of people who have modern-day jobs that their work isn't at all interesting and could even be considered soul-crushing. So if you had an opportunity to not even be cognitively aware of what your job even entailed but still get paid for it, and the only part of it that you even remember is entering the building, would you not take that opportunity?
it's creepy as hell when you think about it a lot.