Succession why should you watch a show about awful people?

I thought we all hated the rich?

Succession is a show on HBO Max about three siblings squabbling for control of Waystar Royco when it becomes apparent their father Logan Roy can no longer lead the company.Logan has to decide which one of his incompetent kids has the killer instinct to carry on his legacy. Basically, the Murdoch family – Fox News TV show.

Why would anyone want to watch Succession?

Because it’s freaking brilliant.

Awful people make for great drama

If you’ve begun Succession, you may realize in the first four episodes that these are not nice people. Logan Roy (Brian Cox) is loud, brash, foul-mouthed, and inconsiderate of people’s feelings. His tag line is to literally tell people to fuck off so he can hash out a scheme to squash a PR disaster or to acquire a company.

Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) is shown as the clear and apparent successor to Logan, except there’s one problem. In the first episode, Kendall fumbles negotiations for a tech company by paying way above the asking price. Kendall proves himself to be an incompetent negotiator and also demonstrates poor leadership decisions which result in Logan having to bail him out.

Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin) is instantly unlikeable as he tells a little boy playing baseball, “If you hit a homerun, I’ll give you a million dollars.” When the boy strikes out, Roman laughs and tells the boy tough luck. Logan, embarrassed by Roman’s actions, sends his personal bodyguard to give the family hush money.

Shiv Roy (Sarah Snook) is the only female of the Roy siblings. She’s more involved with political organizations and initially seems to want no part of the Waystar corporation. A few episodes in, we quickly discover that Shiv thinks she’s smarter than she actually is and wants the top dog role even though she has no experience as a CEO.

One third photo split of Succession Kendall, Shiv, and Roman Roy siblings.

Even the in-laws, cousins, and step-brother have an ambitious awfulness to them.

Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) has married into the family through Shiv Roy. Like everyone who surrounds Logan, Tom asks if there’s any openings in Waystar Royco where he could assume a leadership position. When cousin Greg Hirsch (Nicholas Braun) shows up also asking for a job, Tom approaches Greg and has this weird conversation where he says, “Do you want to fuck me Greg? Huh? Do you want to have sex with me?” Which then leads to Tom saying he was kidding around but then he goes back to making gay jokes. It’s an uncomfortable exchange that doesn’t paint Tom in a positive light.

Connor Roy (Alan Ruck) the step-brother, odd man out of the Roy family. Odd ball, wacky, and deliberately left out of all Waystar Royco business deliberations. He’s a character that occasionally pops in to remind the audience how awful he is and how unimportant he is to the family.

Are you interested in watching Succession yet? No? I don’t blame you. Give me a second to make my case.

If you can stomach the first four episodes of Succession, episode five has the potential to reel you in.

I asked my wife, “If someone asked you why they should watch Succession, what would you say?” She couldn’t give me an answer. I couldn’t either, so I had to seriously think about why I was sucked into watching Succession.

It’s the drama.

Not only does Succession boast an all-star cast, excellent cinematography, intelligent dialogue, and well-researched politics. The drama of the show has the gravitational pull of a planet.

You would never think a show about company politics would ever be interesting, but somehow Succession manages to weave a compelling tale about backstabbing sycophants and back deal negotiations. All of the maneuvers used in Succession are true to life and well-researched by the writing team. If you don’t believe me, watch this video about a corporate lawyer explaining the tactics used to prevent a hostile company take over in Succession. Or read this article about what a Bear Hug is in investing.

Succession gives you a glimpse into the lives of the bourgeoisie

You can’t tell a story about a billion-dollar family without taking the audience into their lavish apartments, gorgeous glass-lined offices, private yachts, and exclusive invite-only restaurants. Succession gives you a taste of the luxurious lifestyle, one which Tom fully embraces as he chastises Greg for not wanting to eat illegally cooked bird brains.

Through Tom the audience gets to experience what it’s like to become “new money.” Tom indulges in the things that Kendall, Roman, and Shiv take for granted.

Succession will take you around the world and into places we common folk will never step into.

Yet, despite all their money, at the end of the day all the Roy siblings want one thing.

The attention and love of their father.

Even though their mom is alive and well, it’s their father they want respect from. Mom is a deadbeat, and they don’t really care what happens to her.

Succession has a constantly evolving antagonist

Unlike typical shows where the villain is a monster, a genius, or a group, Succession’s antagonists are created by who wants control. This can be in the form of Logan trying to control Kendall as his puppet. Or a rival company with plans to take majority control of Waystar Royco. Someone always wants control.

In the final season of Succession, conflicts that have been brewing since Season 1 finally rush to the surface. For the sake of sparing, you spoilers, I have skipped over the juicy details of what happens in Seasons 2 and 3. Let’s just say there’s some coverups involved, a dubious election, and a nasty civil war.

In conclusion,

Succession is an intelligent drama of backroom politics, backstabbing, and angling for a position closer to the throne. You may not think you have any interest in who controls a wealthy mega conglomerate, but Succession’s brilliant directing and writing will ensure it has your rapt attention. No, there really isn’t anything nice to say about any of these characters. All of them are two-faced and will say whatever someone wants to hear in order to get their way. But the way the drama unfolds is truly addictive.

I can’t really explain why I love Succession, I just know that it’s been a great ride. Definitely check it out and see what all the hype’s about.

Streaming on Max “formerly known as HBO Max.”

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Wilmar Luna

Couldn't be a superhero in real life so he decided to write his own. When he's not creating empowered female characters he can be found watching films, reading books, and playing lots of video games. Buy his books here: