Succession is an American drama television series created by Jesse Armstrong. The series centers on the Roy family, the dysfunctional owners of Waystar RoyCo, a global media and entertainment conglomerate, who are fighting for control of the company amid uncertainty about the health of the family’s patriarch, Logan Roy (Brian Cox). In October 2021, the series was renewed for a fourth season, after critically and commercial successful seasons.
As the title suggests, the big question that drives the Succession story along is simple – who will succeed the senior Roy as head of Waystar RoyCo? Kendall (Jeremy Strong), the pathetic heir apparent who spends most of the series fucking up? Roman (Kieron Culkin), the spiky sexual deviant who somehow falls backwards into his father’s graces? Or Siobhan aka “Shiv” (Sarah Snook) the ambitious progressive who fights tooth and nail for advantage against her siblings?
There are other peripheral actors with their own axes to grind, their own lily to gild and the series does a good job in weaving these characters into the dysfunctional Roy family tapestry. From Conner (Alan Ruck), eccentric eldest son to Greg Hirsch (Nicholas Braun), ultimate hanger-on Roy cousin, Tom Wambsgans (Matthew MacFadyen), Shiv’s husband, a somewhat castrated lap dog and the rest of the corporate lackeys, there is enough of a dog-eat-dog mentality amongst the characters to keep things nasty and tasty constantly.
Be warned though, these characters – primary or secondary – are all unlikable. They are equally selfish, cruel, vindictive, insincere and self-aggrandising for most of the series. It is almost impossible to find any redeeming features amongst any of them. In this respect, the characterisations come across rather cardboard and unrealistic. Presumably, this is a comment about the rich and powerful in the USA, the ugly one percenters that are so entitled to be almost inhuman.
Succession is a bit of a freak show – giving the 99% a glimpse into how the American wealthy behave – and chances are most viewers will find Succession’s collection of evil freaks entertaining and repulsive at the same time. It’s very much like watching a train wreck. However, the one narrative flaw inherent in the premise – the key question highlighted earlier – will sooner or later lead the series down a dead end. It would be interesting to see how season 4 shakes up this particular dynamic after the possible changes in the status quo at the end of season 3.
In the final analysis, Succession is definitely binge-worthy. Outlandish plots, competent performances and a definite guilty pleasure for one percenter hate! Highly recommended!
Now streaming on HBO Max.
… still there’s more …