10 TV Shows Like Severance to Watch Next

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Severance is an exhilarating sci-fi-thriller following workers at Lumon, a biotech company. Lumon introduces “severance,” a process allowing humans to effectively split their personality into two: one for occupational purposes and the other for their personal endeavors. Macrodata Refinement worker Mark Scout (Adam Scott) finds himself investigating the ominous company and uncovers a web of secrets and lies that forever changes his perspective on his work-life balance and mental health.

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Since the end of Severance‘s premiere season, many await in anticipation for its second outing, with some forging connections to other shows. Be it in their shared discussions of technology’s impact, late-stage capitalism and the meaning of life itself, or in the amalgamation of suspense, speculative fiction, and thriller within their storylines, these 10 TV series will undoubtedly scratch the same itch as the beloved Dan Erickson creation.

Severance
Severance

Release Date
February 18, 2022

Seasons
1

10 Upload (2020-Present)

Upload is a sci-fi comedy taking place in Lakeview, a digital heaven, and follows a man named Nathan Brown (Robbie Amell). A 27-year-old computer programmer, Nathan’s age and mystery surrounding his death are sources of intrigue, especially for Nora Natony (Andy Allo). Entering its third season, Upload impressed fans and critics, with many considering it to be a “witty techno-satire” about mourning.

How It’s Like Severance

While Upload is more comedic than Severance, both shows discuss personal autonomy and memory. While Mark and Nathan may not remember pieces of their respective circumstances, their actions leave lasting impacts, regardless of their lapse in memory. For those in search of stories carefully illustrating the suspenseful connection between the unknown and the identifiable, Upload does a stellar job at offering audiences intrigue and comedy simultaneously. Stream on Prime Video

9 Westworld (2016-2022)

Westworld
Westworld

Release Date
October 2, 2016

Genres
Sci-Fi

Seasons
3

Westworld opens with Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood), a “Host,” or a biomechanical android tending to human tourists in the titular amusement park. The “Hosts” soon grow disgruntled with their superiors at Delos Inc. Throughout its four seasons, Westworld discusses free will, unchecked corporate power, and dehumanization, striving to solve long-held debates about artificial intelligence. Through Dolores’ disillusionment or former madam Maeve’s (Thandiwe Newton) epiphanies, Westworld begs its audience to consider the ramifications of gratification and exploitation.

How It’s Like Severance

While Westworld looks at humanity in the mid-21st Century, Severance feels closer to home. Nevertheless, both series document the relentless greed of corporations and their worrying entitlement. Lumon’s severance process echoes current conversations about toxic workplace environments and work-life balances. Meanwhile, Westworld looks at a newly created class of exploited laborers. Equipped with spectacularly suspenseful storylines and captivating performances, Westworld is more than worth the attention of fans of Severance. Stream on Max

8 Dark (2017-2020)

Louis Hoffman as Jonas, wearing a heavy, yellow raincoat, for Dark
Netflix

Dark is a German-language sci-fi drama that follows a small town named Winden, reeling from the sudden disappearance of a young boy. The mystery becomes a fixation for a teenager named Jonas (Louis Hoffman), who stumbles upon a slew of secrets that forever alters his understanding of the world. A dense yet intriguing series, Dark revolve around time travel, prompting its audiences to consider the interrelation between human beings, the impact time has on personal ambitions, and mortality.

How It’s Like Severance

While Dark has intricate world-building, the interrogation of technology’s relationship with the human condition and their various correlations is a major concept also explored in Severance. Time travel doesn’t play a factor in Severance, but both shows share thematic similarities. Dark unravels Jonas’ story of loss and grief, which ultimately motivates him to discover a deeper truth about Winden’s history and trajectory.

Likewise, in Severance, audiences take a closer look into Mark’s grief, how Lumon served as a distraction, and how said grief and disenchantment ultimately motivate him to effectively rebel against his superiors. With an expansive universe waiting for potential viewers to explore for the first time, Dark is an exceptional series that anyone with a semblance of appreciation for Severance would admire. Stream on Netflix

7 Mr. Robot (2015-2019)

Rami Malek as Elliot Alderson in Mr. Robot
USA Network

Mr. Robot remains excellent years beyond its series finale. The Sam Esmail creation follows Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), a cybersecurity engineer by day, and a budding hacker by night. Navigating the world with anxiety and dissociative identity disorder, the series chronicles Elliot’s difficulties with self-expression.

One day, he is approached by Mr. Robot (Christian Slater), the leader of an underground hacktivist organization planning to take down E-Corp, one of the largest companies globally (and Elliot’s employer). Over the course of its four seasons, Mr. Robot crafts poignant points on government surveillance, capitalism, and activism in a story that is ultimately about abuse and trauma.

How It’s Like Severance

Both Severance and Mr. Robot offer audiences admirable, morally gray characters with relatable trains of thought. Designed as outcasts, Mark and Elliot are often secluded from the world, but that does not prevent them from building a community, and using said companionship to resist their dehumanization. Both Severance and Mr. Robot also touches on grief and the importance of memory. In particular, Mr. Robot highlights how the online world offers refuge for people with mental health issues or who are disillusioned with the status quo. Stream on Prime Video

6 Black Mirror (2011-Present)

Black Mirror needs no introduction. Developed by Charlie Brooker, the sci-fi horror anthology analyzes technology and social media’s impact on everyday life. Producing monumental episodes like “Hated In The Nation” and “The National Anthem,” the Netflix series appears as a critique of technology. A closer, critical look, however, reveals the series’ intentions to be an analysis of human behavior. Technology may be the tool, but it is not the soul behind much of the series’ most admirable, morally ambiguous, and repugnant behavior.

How It’s Like Severance

While Severance focuses on one facet of technological advancement, Black Mirror looks at an array of inventions, offering audiences an entertaining piece — and time — for reflection. With memories subjected to manipulation in episodes like “The Entire History of You” and “White Bear,” the series cherishes remembrance and also critiques the disregard and manipulation of memory for personal or capital gain. Black Mirror remains an enjoyable and thought-provoking series, like Severance, inspiring years-long discussion. Stream on Netflix

Related:

20 of the Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy TV Shows on Netflix

5 Made for Love (2021-2022)

Cristin Milioti as Hazel in Made For Love
HBO

Made For Love captivated the hearts of many during its two-season run on HBO. The absurdist black comedy opens with Hazel, portrayed by Cristin Milioti, leaving her marriage of 10 years. Not only is she made to exit an actual bubble, but she also comes to recognize her ex-husband’s (Billy Magnussen) lack of boundaries. The absurdity here speaks to the troubling impact of technology on personal relationships.

How It’s Like Severance

The effective satire that is Made For Love has earned comparisons to Severance due to similar discussion on abuse, particularly how it is facilitated and justified. Technology may embolden said abusers, but it serves as the tool, not the source. Hazel’s comical yet earnest exploration of the world, her mind, and her interpersonal connections are not only enjoyable, but will surely speak to the pensive audience that came to appreciate the themes embedded within Severance. Stream on Max

4 The Leftovers (2014-2017)

The Leftovers begins in Mapleton, New York, two years after the “Sudden Departure.” A startling global phenomenon, the “Sudden Departure” saw 2% of the world’s population vanish into thin air. Officer Kevin Garvey Jr. (Justin Theroux) is one of many souls struggling to pick up the pieces after the fallout. Amidst strained relationships with the rest of his family, Kevin is focused on keeping the remaining aspects of his life intact. What begins as a look into a town reeling from a catastrophe becomes a poignant reflection on faith, community, grief, and hope.

How It’s Like Severance

While The Leftovers may not share glaring similarities with Severance, both shows explore grief. Be it during a cataclysmic event or a personal loss, feelings of rage and sadness take quite a toll on one’s mental state, as seen in both series. Throughout their respective runs, both shows illustrate the specific sense of loss and confusion many experience during tumultuous times. Coupled with a collective frustration with insidious institutions, these series tap into the imaginative and offers a glimpse into a better future. Stream on Max

3 Maniac (2018)

Maniac Netflix
Maniac

Release Date
September 21, 2018

Seasons
1

Set in a futuristic New York City, Maniac follows Anne (Emma Stone) and Owen (Jonah Hill), two people selected for an experimental trial. As the miniseries on Netflix progresses, both Anne and Owen are prescribed multiple drugs and are subsequently transported to hallucination-conjured dimensions. A spectacle in its own right, the visits peel the layers behind Anne and Owen’s respective mental states and the truth blossoms, leaving viewers with an enjoyable and eye-opening climax.

How It’s Like Severance

Maniac and Severance are both set in seemingly sterile environments, devoid of any personality. However, feelings of emptiness quickly erode when the leading protagonists enter. The experiments within Maniac are both abstract yet resonant. At a glance, the idea of an obscure experiment being relatable sounds preposterous. However, the central themes of Maniac are complementary to Severance‘s discussions about mental health. For a short detour into a world with striking visuals and poignant commentary, Maniac is worth looking into. Stream on Netflix

2 Devs (2020)

Sonoya Mizuno as Lily Chan in Devs
Hulu

Devs, created by Alex Garland, stars Sonoya Mizuno as Lily, a software engineer at Amaya, a San Francisco-based quantum computing company. Shortly after her boyfriend, Sergei (Karl Glusman), arrives at Amaya, the two are at the center of a devastating event, prompting Lily to investigate the company. In eight episodes, the miniseries expertly explores corporate corruption and mourning.

How It’s Like Severance

Whether it be Lily’s investigation into Amaya in Devs or the Mark-led expedition through Lumon’s inner circle in Severance, both series evaluate the inherent corruption beneath the surface of corporations’ sunny veneers. Throughout their respective arcs, both Lily and Mark come to realize the misery in their lives isn’t an individually-inflicted ailment, nor is it simply “bad luck,” but rather systemic practices ensuring the success of a few at the expense of the rest. For anyone with an interest in international plots, suspenseful mysteries, and satisfying science-fiction-inspired plots, Devs is a swift and satisfying viewing experience. Stream on Hulu

Related:

Devs: Why Alex Garland’s Sci-Fi Series Needs a Spin-Off or Second Season

1 Homecoming (2018-2020)

Julia Roberts as
Amazon Prime Video, 2018

Homecoming chronicles a seemingly innocuous veteran-support center. Heidi (Julia Roberts) finds pride in her work as a social worker for Homecoming, even four years beyond her leave. Once prompted to reflect on her time at Homecoming, Heidi soon realizes her memory of her time there doesn’t line up with the truth, and thus begins her own harrowing investigation.

How It’s Like Severance

Both Severance and Homecoming present undesirable truths to its audiences. While Severance‘s speculative approach feels close to home, Homecoming sends a louder echo back to its audiences. The mystery isn’t a bundle of suspense and spectacle, but rather a slow-burn that offers viewers eerily realistic depictions of labor, performative acts of aid, and the insidiousness of corporations. Much like Severance, Homecoming is a worthwhile exploration of interpersonal and collective relationships with the exploitative nature of everyday employment. Stream on Prime Video

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