By Kelas Lloyd
One thing I always wonder when checking out activations at San Diego Comic-Con is if one is worth it if I haven’t seen the show on Apple TV. On the topic of the Severance activation, I can give that question a resounding yes.
If you’re going to this activation, you already have a reservation, but do note that later in the day they go, the more they run behind on the reservation times. This is due to them giving groups the time to really take in the experience rather than rushing them through. While it does mean you may wind up waiting quite a while for a later reservation, it also means that the wait will be worth it.
Step into a bizarre office world where you’re assigned a new name once inside because you’ve left your Outtie, your outside self, behind and “no longer remember” it. The names are very gendered, unfortunately, but they won’t be used outside of being given to you so it’s not a big concern. The experience is populated with actors who will interact with you, some stuff that is given away, and at least one secret easter egg that someone in my group got and didn’t know what to do with. Ask questions, chat with the actors, and enjoy yourself. If you engage, you’ll have a great time. If you’re not willing to engage then why did you wait in line for this?
I don’t want to spoil things, but I can tell you that this activation moved Severance from the “yeah, I’ll get around to watching it” list to the “first thing I’m watching when I get home” list. It was charming, quirky, odd, a little disquieting (though deliberately so), and delightful.
This activation is also mostly accessible. There’s one room where the actor is referring to images on the wall, but you can ask for them to be described. If you’re deaf or hard of hearing you will, unfortunately, need your own sign interpreter to participate fully, as there’s a lot of spoken dialogue. There’s elevator access, though, and the entire experience is on one plane with a solid surface and wide enough to accommodate a mobility device. There also aren’t rapidly flashing lights, though there is a moment when they flicker and there are some slower flashes in an office segment. There’s no crowding, no sudden loud noises, and no pressured rush. As far as Comic-Con activations and accessibility go, this is way at the top of the list.
In fact, when it comes to talking about lists, I would rank this activation as one of the top ones this year. There are other good ones too, but Severance ranks either first or second as far as experience goes in my opinion.
And it’s done its job by getting me interested in watching the show.
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