The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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Boardroom battles and family feuds: A review of “ Succession”

When “Succession” premiered on June 3, 2018, the world did not know that we were about to receive one of the greatest television shows of all time. “Succession” follows the Roy family and their company, Waystar Royco, a gigantic multimedia conglomerate. Loosely based on the Murdoch family of Fox News fame, the series spans four seasons trying to answer the question of who will succeed and take over as the next CEO of Waystar Royco.

That description does it very little justice. The writing and character development ultimately make “Succession” truly brilliant. Each character feels like a real person rather than a caricature; these flawed, borderline evil characters are not just evil. They are good (at times), they are sympathetic (when it is beneficial to them) and yet they are entirely human.

Logan Roy, the aging patriarch of the Roy family and the current CEO of Waystar, acts as the main character of the show. Logan is ruthless, conniving, and almost entirely unsympathetic, especially towards his children, Connor, Kendall, Roman and Siobhan. Logan is at the top of the company for a reason: he’s ruthless. He never takes no for an answer, even if this means destroying other people’s self-esteem and liveliness. Brian Cox does the near impossible when playing Logan; he’s able to take Logan and find the humanity in him. While Logan might appear one dimensional on the surface Cox manages to make Logan one of the most complex and intriguing characters on the show.

Perhaps my favorite character on “Succession,” though, is Kendall, Logan’s eldest son from his second marriage. Balancing between evil and benevolent and caring and selfish, Kendall’s main objective throughout the series is to escape from his father’s shadow… or is it to be his dad’s number one ally? You may never be able to tell where Kendall’s allegiance lies and I think this makes his character much more interesting. Even when Kendall seems to betray his father in an attempt to overthrow the company multiple times throughout the show, you can never tell if he’s doing it because he believes that Waystar is corrupt (which it is), or if he’s doing it just to prove to his father that he is capable of doing it. Most likely, it’s both. Jeremy Strong plays Kendall brilliantly throughout the show, deftly bringing these complexities to life and creating my favorite character in the show. 

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Before watching “Succession,” I always thought that TV shows needed lots of action to keep me engaged. However, this show proved me wrong. The writing proves you don’t need gigantic action scenes to keep the tension going. The character development in “Succession” can make even simple conversations just as nerve-wracking and tense as an intense action scene.

However, that’s not to say that the show is serious all the time. What makes “Succession” great is its ability to deftly balance comedic moments with dramatic ones. While “Succession” is one of the most intense, anxiety-inducing shows I have ever seen, it’s also one of the funniest. Not only does the show depict a monstrous media corporation, it also satirizes American media in general by pointing out how ridiculous these rich people can be, leading to some of the funniest scenes in all of television.

For the reasons above and many more, I implore you all to go watch “Succession” and form your own opinion. At times funny, sad and exhilarating, “Succession” is a show that everyone needs to see. 

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About the Contributor
Aaron Chin
Aaron Chin, Arts & Culture Co-Editor

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