Entertainment

An Ode to the Delicious, Evil Food in 'Severance'

The coveted egg bar, melon bar, and waffle party look delicious AND sinister.

Apple TV+
Apple TV+
Apple TV+

One of the most chilling details in Severance-the Apple TV+ thriller series about office employees who undergo a procedure that separates their work life memories from their home life memories-is how it satirizes the systems of rewards and benefits employers dole out to their worker drones to add some excitement and motivation to their dull existences. The Lumon overlords treat their employees like children, offering little prizes, deemed “perks,” to the innies working in the Macrodata Refinement department to keep their attentions occupied and away from such frivolous questions as, “What the hell do we even do in here?”

One of the best perks the office employees can get is food-whole tables full of it that the workers of MDR receive whenever they’ve done something praiseworthy, like welcoming a new member of their team or completing their mysterious monthly quota. In the second episode, the team gets a “melon bar” made up of small cantaloupe and honeydew balls served inside carved-out melon bowls. In the eighth episode “What’s for Dinner?” they’re rewarded with an “egg bar” of hard-boiled and deviled eggs-“The egg bar is coveted as fuck,” Zach Cherry’s Dylan excitedly explains-after which they choose which member of their team will experience the honor of a “waffle party” inside the hallowed halls of Perpetuity.

Apple TV+
Apple TV+
Apple TV+

Their banquets are tasty and soft, nonthreatening yet infantilizing, the type of foods that would excite a 6 year old more than a working adult. That’s what they are, after all: The innies of Lumon are as children, innocent and new, their knowledge untainted by the experiences of the outside world. The foodstuffs of Severance-and the group photographs and the rituals dedicated to the founder Kier and the laser-etched desk tchotchkes and the Music Dance Experiences-are strategic distractions to keep the employees motivated and away from pondering questions of their own existence, like giving a child a snack to keep it occupied on a long car trip.

But, like children, the innies of MDR figure out a way to use the adult-engineered distractions to their own advantage. Like a child secretly defying authority, Irving (John Turturro) smushes one of the deviled eggs inside the office’s book of Keir scripture, an enormous bit of onscreen character development to show how far he’s strayed from his fundamentalist fanaticism about the vital importance of work and rules as mandated by Lumon. Irving, Dylan, Helly (Britt Lower), and Mark (Adam Scott) conspire together to send one of their team members to the waffle party to keep him in the office after hours and available to activate the “overtime contingency” that Dylan had briefly experienced, remotely freeing the innies temporarily into their lives in the outside world.

The food of the show looks tasty on purpose, just like the inner offices of Lumon, with their grass-green carpeting and friendly-looking analog tech, are meant to look like an inviting place to work. Like the innocents in the Garden, the employees of Lumon are tested daily with temptations large and small while their workplace strains to keep them trapped inside, watching the shadows of the flames on the cave wall rather than turning around and seeing the fire for themselves. By the final episodes, though, instead of defying their temptation, the characters of Severance use the egg bars and waffle parties to suit their own ends.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat.

Emma Stefansky is a staff entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @stefabsky.

Entertainment

Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.

Victoria

Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.

Queensland

BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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