Some thoughts on”Succession”

By Caitlin Kelly

Start with the bizarre, crashing theme music by Nicholas Britell, for which he won the 2019 Emmy for Outstanding Main Title theme. Insistent, discordant, it signals the emotional chaos to follow.

If you haven’t yet seen it — now that Season Two has ended — it’s worth your time. We’ve watched both seasons twice. It follows the fortunes of the Roy family, led by 80-year-old patriarch Logan Roy, whose favorite phrase, growled, is “Fuckoff!”

He has four children by two previous wives: Connor, the oldest, who lives in New Mexico on a ranch and does nothing, and Kendall, Siobhan (nicknamed Shiv, and how it fits!) and Roman, who jostle hourly for their father’s favor and power within his global media company.

Other characters include Geri, the company lawyer and Marcia, the mysterious Lebanese stepmother and Greg, gangly and gormless…or is he?

Here’s an interview with the costume designer.

You don’t have to be a journalist (like me) or come from a father who delights in manipulation (ditto) to enjoy the show. It also offers a peek into the fly-private, driven-everywhere, never-touch-money lifestyle of the .00001 percent, where Shiv, dismissively referring to a six-figure sum says: “It’s only money.”

The four adult children are a mess: Kendall’s a cokehead; Shiv’s marriage to Tom is a sham; Connor wants to be President and Roman…who knows? But their competitive in-fighting for Logan’s approval is both sad and understandable…they have no other measures of value. None of them have children or, apparently, any friends. Papa means everything.

It’s both fascinating and sad to see spoiled, wealthy adults so deeply tethered to their father and his every move. Hmmmm, sound familiar?

They have no other identities, no other sources of joy, power or connection. Every surface gleams, all sweaters are cashmere, all meals served on costly china.

It’s also an interesting look at the challenges of managing a global business empire and the secrets that can destroy it.

Check it out!

6 thoughts on “Some thoughts on”Succession”

  1. I could kick myself for missing Succession when it aired on Sky TV (to which I have a workaround subscription from our home in France). I had somehow assumed it was yet another over-the-top American ode to wealth, whereas it seems to be much more layered. Will keep an eye out for reruns.
    One of the huge frustrations in the EU is access to content. Between Netflix, Amazon Prime, Google Play, Itunes…it’s hit or miss. You can get programs in certain countries but not others — the rights are all negotiated per market. I hear about shows in the UK or US, for example, and sometime we get them, sometimes we don’t (I’ve thought of pitching a story on this BTW but not sure of the right outlet…). Ironically, while I’m willing to pay and can’t always find it, in the meantime, the kids somehow manage to stream their shows for free!

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