Writing styles

‘Severance’ Creator Says Writing a Fake Self-Help Book Was ‘Me Purging All the Stupid I Have’

One of the most popular aspects of “Severance” is its global build, with Apple’s success drawing rave reviews for creating one of the weirdest settings on television. The Lumon company is known for being bland and mysterious, with its “separated” employees who split their consciousness in two and spend their working lives in a sterile and joyless environment. But that only increases the importance of the touches of detail that the creators chose to add.

One of the few ways Mark (Adam Scott) finds life in the cold walls of the severed wing is by reading “The You You Are”, a corny self-help book written by the real-life brother-in-law of his character, Ricken. (Michael Chernus). The book is utterly ridiculous (much like Ricken himself), and fans enjoyed watching Mark apply the nonsensical platitudes to his very real issues. Apparently, series creator Dan Erickson does too.

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Erickson recently explained his process for writing the goofy book to Vulture, calling it one of his favorite parts of working on the show.

“If I could, I’d be writing the books and in-universe material all the time. I also really enjoy writing the show, but I think that’s my favorite thing to do,” Erickson said. Ricken’s book is much more of a stream of consciousness than anything else, because I don’t see Ricken as a great rewriter or even a great proofreader of the things he does. With Ricken, it sort of spills out. This is me purging all my stupidity, but somehow it comes back. It’s so fun and so ridiculous.

While Ricken’s character isn’t “cut” like most of the show’s protagonists, Michael Chernus has become a fan favorite for his role as the scene-stealer. Erickson agrees with fans who can’t imagine any other actors in the role, and he said he only found many of the funniest lines in the book once he could imagine Chernus. saying them.

“Especially once Michael [Chernus] got cast in the role, it just got so much easier,” he said. “Because I was just sitting at my desk and doing a little impression of Michael and trying to get into that headspace, and then everything would come.”

Season 1 of “Severance” is currently streaming on Apple TV+.

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