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Servant: M. Night Shyamalan promises darkly comedic Weekend at Bernie's homage in next episode

By Tara Bennett
Servant Season 2

With today’s release of “Espresso,” the sixth episode of Season 2 of Servant, the AppleTV+ show is hurtling towards the finale as the existential battle between delusional thinking and reality continues to be waged inside the Turner household. And the return of creepy Uncle George (Boris McGiver) to the narrative only raises more questions about Leanne’s (Nell Tiger Free) plan for Dorothy (Lauren Ambrose), and the religious nanny’s ultimate purpose in the whole story.  

Creator M. Night Shyamalan and his Servant cast appeared at today's Television Critics Association virtual winter press day for AppleTV+ to talk about the recent revelations presented in the series. In particular, the tone of the series has gone all-in with its farce-like physical comedy sequences as Dorothy, Sean (Toby Kebbell), and Julian (Rupert Grint) make some dire choices under their roof.

“The comedy is something we’re all proud of,” Shyamalan told the reporters. “All four of these actors are so strong with physical [comedy]. I can come up with comedy that leans into that physicality. Like for Episode 7, I pitched a Weekend at Bernie’s episode involving comatose Uncle George. It’s right on the line with broad comedy.”

As a writer and director, Shyamalan added that he’s found a lot of comfort in writing more dark comedy into his scripts. “From The Visit on, it’s just my sweet spot to explore being scared, uncomfortable, and laughing at the same time.”

While the mysteries at the heart of Servant continue to slowly unspool, Shyamalan commented on what he’s trying to get to the bottom of thematically with the series: "As I get offered [projects] and think about what I want to do, the drive behind the piece is always asking myself why get up in the morning?”

While entertaining audiences is still core to his ambition, he said Servant’s concept was inspired by a documentary he watched about a dad who accidentally left his young child inside of a hot car. “This show is about me working out how can it be that a benevolent entity in the world [God] can let something like that happen to Dorothy. Within the show, I ask the right questions and don’t have to give all the answers. But underneath it all is me having a conversation about how to process things that feel meaningless and the impact it has in our lives.”

Will Dorothy’s manic search for her dead son, Jericho, ever give her closure? Or will the situation hit a tipping point from which she can morally never return? It remains to be seen, but Servant Season 3 starts shooting next week, so answers are coming.

New episodes of Servant drop every Friday on AppleTV+.