When they premiered it, nine weeks ago, we already made it clear: ‘Separation’ had been quite a surprise. Aesthetically very original, with an intriguing plot, excellent performances and a unique and, at the same time, very traditional vision of the genre. You just had to sit back and wait if this production for Apple TV + by Ben Stiller (who also directs several episodes) was able to maintain interest throughout its first season.
And so it has been: many viewers will accuse her of “slow” because of the current rhythms of the series, forced to constant surprise and dramatic turn three times per chapter, which has accustomed us to a frenetic, almost hysterical style. But the dosage of information, the distribution of cliffhangers and moving relentlessly in a direction we still don’t know has been impeccable.
The only downside that can be put to this perfect first season is that, with the second just announced, we will have to wait a few months to find out how this story that mixes science fiction continues. vintage, corporate thriller and lysergic drama. Of course, he has finished on top and almost guaranteeing that, despite the most possible temptation, the second will travel along different paths than the first. I hope it doesn’t happen like this the second season of ‘Raised by Wolves’which also started innovating to finally lose much of the conciseness and extravagance that made its first batch of episodes stand out.
Without going into too many details, ‘Separation’ narrates how a group of four employees of a mysterious large corporation take advantage of a treatment that allows them to live an existence in which life and work are completely separated: when they go to work they do not remember your office life and vice versa. A work dystopia that cracks when an ex-colleague manages to escape from this dual life.
Less samba and more work
Undoubtedly, the most notable thing about ‘Separación’ is that it sets a tone and an aesthetic that not only does not abandon, but also expands with ideas as round and related to the general message of the series as “extra hours outside of work”. Everything abounds in an absorbing and very well spun critique about how our lives are completely devoured by salaried work, and the idea of splitting our minds in two only serves to certify that dependency.
The series also finds an appropriate way to multiply its fascinating lore in two ways: on the one hand, with the introduction of another department and the relationship that develops between two of the most notable characters in the series, masterfully played by John Turturro and Christopher Walken.
On the other hand, when they discover (in that way) the origins and philosophy behind the company, delving into a kind of sinister theme park on the figure of the founder, reproduction of his rooms included. All the details about what has happened in previous years between those four walls, like a war between departments, reinforces the basic connection with JG Ballardan essential author to prolong the aesthetics and philosophy of the series, and who is evoked without the need to quote him explicitly.
The year would have to come out very well and it would have to be very full of masterpieces so that we do not end 2022 with ‘Separación’ consecrated as one of the indisputable finds of the productions for streaming. Sharp, aesthetically indisputable, brimming with subversive messages, it also serves to definitively consecrate Apple TV + as one of the most interesting options on the audiovisual scene.
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The best science fiction series of the year is ‘Separation’ and its first season has just ended on Apple TV + in style