Keep in mind the “golden age” of TV concept?
It was an idea that arguably kicked off with The Sopranos in 1999 and bought rolling with reveals like The Wire, Misplaced and Deadwood within the mid-2000s. Large-time productions that might match Hollywood by way of finances and scale.
However that was just the start.. Towards the top of the last decade it was Breaking Dangerous and Mad Males, later it was and The Strolling Useless. Finally, the concept tv performed second fiddle to the cinematic expertise started to erode and collapse.
Tv was king.
However the golden age of TV by no means actually ended. It simply saved going to the purpose when the phrase golden age stopped making sense. “Status TV,” or no matter you wish to name it, was simply the brand new regular: content material that pushed the boundaries of what was attainable. New concepts, nice writing, world-class performances. This high quality is baseline now. There are totally grown adults who’ve actually zero understanding of what it was wish to scramble for scraps through reveals like Twin Peaks or The X-Information.
For the final 20 years we have been swamped with unimaginable tv. Drowning in it.
The yr 2021 was the most effective for TV that I can bear in mind. Ever. Yellowjackets,, The White Lotus, Succession, Dopesick, Arcane, Midnight Mass. That is earlier than we even begin speaking in regards to the superhero reveals they maintain dropping on .
That is only one yr! ONE SINGLE YEAR!
Extremely, 2022 hasn’t let up. Which brings us — lastly — to the present I wish to speak about now:.
Severance is a sci-fi present on Apple TV Plus, set in a barely defined universe the place a course of known as “severance” permits workers to separate themselves into two discrete entities: A piece self, who exists throughout workplace hours solely, and a house self, who’s utterly divorced from work. The work self has no understanding or reminiscences of what goes on exterior the workplace, and vice versa.
At its core Severance is a excessive idea present acutely centered on exploring that authentic concept — of cut up lives and artificially enforced, bodily induced work-life stability. However regardless of its distinctive excessive idea, Severance additionally performs on the tropes established over the previous 20 years of status tv.
It operates on quite a lot of ranges. Severance is undoubtedly a “thriller field” present, like Misplaced. There is a central thriller to be solved, and the present drip feeds the viewers data, enjoying to the Reddit sleuths who love to determine the twists earlier than they unfold.
However Severance subverts that by additionally being… extraordinarily humorous. It by no means takes itself as significantly as a present like. It by no means wallows in its personal self-importance. In some ways Severance takes its cues from (but additionally parodies) reveals like The Workplace, which have fun the day-to-day grind of workplace life.
The casting of Adam Scott, who spent years on Workplace-like Parks and Recreation, performs a vital position right here and helps play up the disparity. Severance includes a stripped again, minimalist workplace very like the one you would possibly see on Parks and Recreation, however not all is what it appears.
That is what makes Severance particular. It will get to be compelling like Misplaced and humorous like The Workplace. It will get to wax lyrical in regards to the human situation, but additionally manages to parody the period it is a part of. In some ways Severance is the primary post-prestige TV basic. It does every part.
Severance is not flashy, it does not have to determine its greatness with self critical monologues or hovering orchestral soundtracks. It is a present that will get to have its cake and eat it. Severance is knowledgeable by the classics that preceded it however feels distinct from them. A present that swallows and digests every part we have been consuming for the previous 20 years and vomits it up as a completely shaped, barf masterpiece that subverts the kind of tv we have grow to be accustomed to over the previous twenty years.
But Severance is just one season deep. Promising reveals have fallen aside earlier than. Even a present as totally shaped as Severance may crumble beneath viewers expectations. They may screw it up.
However I’ve numerous religion in Severance. It has the instance of reveals like Misplaced and Westworld to study from. We all know what may go incorrect. If Severance retains its narrative tight, and stays true to what made the present so compelling to start with, we could possibly be witnessing greatness. On the very least, Severance is my favourite present of 2022 to date and — for my cash — one of the best present on Apple TV.