Film & TV

Summer TV Picks #5 – Succession

Daisy Forster

Over the last week I’ve rewatched both seasons of HBO’s hit series, ‘Succession’. Despite winning two Emmys for its first season and being nominated eighteen times for its second, I haven’t heard this show talked about much in the UK.

Dripping with sass, incompetence and corporate corruption, this show is not one to miss

The series follows a fictional American family who are ‘loosely’ based on media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his family. Following the patriarch, Logan Roy (Brian Cox), suffering from a stroke at the end of the first episode, his four children battle for succession of his multi-billion dollar corporation. Dripping with sass, incompetence and corporate corruption, this show is not one to miss. 

Perfect for fans of Peaky Blinders and Suits, Succession is a wonderful amalgamation of corporate antics and dysfunctional family life. Keiran Culkin is hilarious as the outrageous and incompetent Roman but still manages to portray the lostness and insecurity of Logan’s youngest son. Jeremy Strong is heart breaking as Kendall, the leader of the four siblings who battles drug addiction. Sarah Snook is so delectably detestable as Siobhan, the youngest and only sister of the Roy family who works independently from the company but also has her own conniving agenda. These three siblings, who are simultaneously intent on destroying and in utter adoration of each other, are all completely revolting in their own way. However, the show is cast so skilfully that you can’t help but care for each of them.

It feels like an invasive insight into the out of touch, back-stabbing lives of American Royalty

Lets talk about Matthew Macfadyen. Pride and Prejudice (2005) is my favourite film of all time and Macfadyen plays Mr Darcy in a brilliantly vulnerable way. His performance in Succession, as Siobhan’s bullying, social climbing and hysterically inept boyfriend is truly a testament to Macfadyen’s versatility as an actor. To go from an incredibly perceptive and lovable portrayal as Mr Darcy to being completely unrecognisable as the frankly sexually repulsive Tom shows him to be, in my opinion, one of the most underrated actors of our time. 

The script (curated by Jesse Armstrong) is witty and intelligent with a fabulous attention to detail. There are so many details of plot and characterisation that are never fully explained, forming this intricate web that brilliantly mimics real life and has endless potential for future series. It feels like an invasive insight into the out of touch, back-stabbing lives of American Royalty. 

The show is written so expertly and cast so perfectly that you really become truly invested in the characters

One of my favourite things about this show is the music; it seems to fit the mood perfectly and always makes my dog howl, which is always a bonus. Finishing Succession made me feel lost, I just wanted to start watching it again. The show is written so expertly and cast so perfectly that you really become truly invested in the characters. It feels like an insight into a mysterious different world. Its scary how much power a singular family can have over a country (the best scene is when Logan leaves the president on hold), especially when the family is as disgusting as the Roys. I just look forward to the next series!

Daisy Forster

Images courtesy of Gary Sanchez Productions via IMDb. Image use license found here. No changes made to these images.

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