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A still from the teaser for M. Night Shyamalan's 'Servant'

Television

Looking back on M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Servant’

M. Night at his best?

Welcome to another installment of 31 Days of Halloween! This is our chance to set the mood for the spookiest and scariest month of the year as we focus our attention on horror and Halloween fun. For the month of October we’ll be sharing various pieces of underappreciated scary books, comics, movies, and television to help keep you terrified and entertained all the way up to Halloween.


Servant on Apple TV+ can be seen as M. Night Shyamalan’s return to form. After a fantastic debut that became a cultural phenomenon, the director quickly became a victim of diminishing returns. Even worse, people began to see him as a punchline. This has changed in recent years, but it seems every movie Shyamalan releases has a stigma attached to it. 

Television has offered him something of an escape. When it was announced he would be working on a series for Apple, people were excited. A psychological horror about a couple dealing with the loss of their infant was something of a throwback while still being fresh ground. 

The show has an interesting premise. Dorothy (Lauren Ambrose) and Sean (Toby Kebbell) Turner are a married couple who are attempting to cope with the loss of their infant son. Dorothy has taken it particularly hard. She becomes so attached to a reborn doll, she believes it is her deceased son. Things are complicated when the new babysitter Leanne (Nell Tiger Free) also treats the animatronic doll like it is a real baby. Soon, strange incidents begin occurring and everyone is forced to face uncomfortable truths.

The hype around Servant was not misplaced. The show is the creepiest on Apple TV+. It is atmospheric, keeps surprising the audience, and boasts some incredible performances. The series keeps giving audiences a reason to return. 

The second season proved that the first set of episodes were not just a fluke. Expanding on the mystery, Servant continued to keep viewers wondering what was going to happen next. (At times, it came dangerously close to stringing people along, but that is part of watching an episodic thriller.) Leanne has become a bigger part of the mystery and Nell Tiger Free has been up to the task. 

What does the future hold for Servant? Shyamalan initially stated he planned for the show to be six seasons. There has been no word on when the third one will air. Hopefully, the wait will not be too long since the show has proven to be entertaining.

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