Forgotten 2000s Sci-Fi Gem is a Must-Watch for Severance Fans

Forgotten 2000s Sci-Fi Gem is a Must-Watch for Severance Fans
Image credit: Apple TV+, FOX

15 years later, it's finally time for this show to return to the top.


  • This underrated series was canceled before season 2 was wrapped.
  • With so many parallels, it is almost guaranteed that Severance fans will love this show.
  • All these years later, it was clearly ahead of its time.

When it comes to movies, 2009 was one of the best years ever for the sci-fi genre. With the release of the rebooted Star Trek, James Cameron 's Avatar and District 9 all in the same year, sci-fi fans were certainly in for a treat.

Among these releases was a criminally underrated series with an ingenious concept and a morally questionable, futuristic story about technology and the control of the human mind.

Dollhouse - underrated and ahead of its time

In a top-secret facility, highly skilled men and women are imprinted with different personas, including memories and skills, to complete missions for their wealthy clients. There's no comparing this series to Charlie's Angels or any other secret agent show, as the men and women in the facility, known as 'Actives', are people for hire and have their memories wiped to a blank canvas upon completion of their "mission".

In the series, we see Echo, one of the top Actives, played by Eliza Dushku, imprinted as a man's dream date, a blind religious woman, a master thief, a midwife, and more, all for the sake of her missions. It is a fascinating journey to follow, but also one that cannot last forever, as the Actives begin to glitch, their trapped souls yearning for freedom.

By the time Severance came along in 2022, the plotline of having one's mind erased was nothing new, but the series gave us a surreal take on it all. The show follows Mark S., an employee of a mysterious biotechnology company that separates its employees' memories between work and home through a program called Severance.

When Mark enters the work building, he has no memory of his personal life, who he is, or who his friends and family are. When he leaves the building at the end of the day, his personal memories are restored and he has no recollection of his work day, his coworkers, or even what he does.

The memory wiping genre

From Men in Black and their tiny memory erasers to some episodes of Black Mirror, we have seen many different instances of technology being used to alter people's memories, and as the years go by, there are times when the idea feels all too real.

Severance fans will love Dollhouse for the overarching theme, but there are many other parallels between the two. Both shows start slowly and build up to a reveal that catches the audience off guard, which is refreshing in an era where directors are quick to jump to plot twists for dramatic effect. Both shows also force viewers to consider the moral implications of the increasingly manipulative effects of technology as they root for the main characters to break free.

Was Dollhouse wiped from our memories?

Perhaps it was the competition at the time, as 2009 saw the release of now-iconic teen dramas like The Vampire Diaries and Glee, or perhaps Dollhouse presented a concept that was too far ahead of its time in an era of case-of-the-week style series and easy-to-watch soapies.

With a Tomatometer score of 71% and an overall audience rating of 84%, Dollhouse was consistently praised for its provocative and promising concept, along with a satisfying and thought-provoking conclusion after its abrupt end with Season 2. It was unfortunate that the show was canceled due to low ratings, but today's viewers can decide for themselves whether that was warranted, or simply appreciate the concept for what it was and what it could have been.

Inevitably, sci-fi fans will continue to look forward to future releases that comment on the troubling line between technology and control of the human mind. But while fans look forward to Severance's upcoming Season 2, they can also look back and pick up a forgotten show with mirroring themes and a concept that was years ahead of its time.