One could not possibly think of two shows about workplace culture that are more different than 'Severance' and 'The Office'. But still…
'The Office' is a worldwide-renowned relatable classic that made us all feel like we were Jim and Pam's colleagues; while 'Severance' is a dystopian fantasy that makes us wish we would never become the colleagues of Mark, Dylan, Helly, and Irving.
The first show is light-hearted and humorous; the second one is unsettling and borderline disturbing – and yet, it seems that the former has influenced the latter in a pretty unexpected way. In particular, one character, Dylan, seems to be a local version of 'The Office's… Dwight Schrute.
"I love the show The Office, and it was hard not to think, 'Oh, [Dylan] relates a little bit to Dwight in a way'", reveals 'Severance' creator Ben Stiller to The Hollywood Reporter.
If you think about it, the parallel is not even that stretched: just like Dwight, Dylan boasts a bizarre sense of humor, and sometimes he even talks in a similarly mentor-ish kind of way. It's unfortunate, however, that Stiller did not really elaborate on the particular moments when Dylan, in his view, resembles the iconic 'The Office' character.
However, Stiller is not the only person to draw parallels between 'Severance' and 'The Office', despite the striking differences between the two shows. Recently, American TV host Stephen Colbert came up with a crazy mash-up of the two series that involved the actors from 'Severance'.
In the mash-up, Colbert brings the Michael Scott vibe into the macro data refinement department – and it immediately alleviates the unsettling feeling that pretty much every episode of 'Severance' delivered. In fact, if Lumon once employed a certain Michael S., he might have quickly dismantled the religious cult of the company pretty quickly.
Though, Colbert's take on the mash-up sees Irving as the one who resembles Dwight more – and honestly, one cannot argue: Irving is indeed obsessed with the company's rules and frequently fails with humor. In this case, Dylan could be his Jim Halpert, huh?