Type keyword(s) to search


Apple's product placement tarnishes Servant Season 2

  • The Apple TV+ thriller from M. Night Shyamalan stretches Apple integration to its breaking point in Season 2, says Ben Travers. "Servant is set in one location, whether the story justifies it or not, and in Season 2, the clearest reason not to leave the house seems to be it’s better advertising for Apple," says Travers. "Much has been made about the various Apple policies dictating how and how often the Cupertino company’s wares are featured onscreen. From the deluge of product placement seen in Apple originals to a mandate that villains in any movie, made anywhere, can’t be seen behind a Mac, the tight-lipped tech giant has been carefully constructing its brand image for decades now. (What a flex it was when the very first shot of the very first Apple TV+ series depicted an iPhone before any human face.) But in Servant Season 2, that not-entirely-subtle-but-convincing-enough branding tarnishes what’s otherwise a very lovely show to look at. Over the course of seven episodes provided (out of 10), I can’t tell you how many key scenes are shown one screen removed, where the camera (run for two episodes by M. Night Shyamalan) frames a TV, or an iPad, or an iPhone, or all three, further distancing the audience from where the actual activity is taking place. Worse still, it forces characters to come up with increasingly elaborate reasons to stay inside, like, say, starting a pizza delivery business. Dorothy does that because she’s hoping to get a peek inside someone’s house, but rather than the traditional, more active, more viewer-friendly option — going to the house and sneaking inside — they choose a passive, slower, and altogether less believable course. And it doesn’t end there. Much like New York is a character in Sex and the City, Apple products become their own character in Servant. The family huddles around a glowing screen, watching in horror at events happening elsewhere; news reports blare from every corner of the house, remotely moving the plot along; Julian often carries an iPad while walking in front of the living room TV, conducting two FaceTime calls at once: one through the tablet, the other thanks to an Apple TV set-top box."


    TOPICS: Servant, Apple TV+, M. Night Shyamalan, Apple, Product Placement