TV REVIEW: FAMILY TIES ARE TESTED IN HBO’S NEW FINANCIAL DRAMA ‘SUCCESSION’!

Succession is HBO’s new financial drama from Jesse Armstrong, best known for the U.K,’s Peep Show. The series follows the Roys, a mega-rich family for whom money is no object, who run one of the largest media conglomerates around. The battle is not only for money, of which there is plenty, but for power and ultimately, validation.

Logan Roy (Brian Cox) sits at the head of right-leaning Waystar Royco. In his eighties, having gone full throttle in the cutthroat waters of finance for decades, Logan’s world is changed as he stumbles into the night. Dementia is the culprit. This provides the jumping off point for the show as Logan’s offspring battle it out for supremacy at the company their father built. His decline spells their ascent, something the heirs are not as upset about as one might imagine, as they salivate over power.

Comparisons will undoubtedly be made to the Murdochs and their Fox media empire. Logan plays a Rupert Murdoch-like character, with his children perhaps standing in for the Murdoch heirs. It is not a direct line, but the connections are there.

SUCCESSION HBO

Oldest son Connor (Alan Ruck) provides much of the show’s comic relief, mostly staying out of the inner workings of the business. The same cannot be said for Kendall (Jeremy Strong) who sees himself as the rightful heir to the throne, wanting to modernize the business in the digital age. While addiction almost derailed him, he is ready to take the reins and hopefully gain some respect and approval from his ailing father. Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin) also fancies himself king of the castle, using his wit to hide insecurities as he also longs for his father’s approval.

Sister Shiv (Sarah Snook) is a feisty political consultant who takes no prisoners with a suck-up of a fiance, Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) who tries desperately to ingratiate himself to the family.

Logan’s third wife Marcia (Hiam Abbass) comes across regally. She is as loyal and protective as she is strong when it comes to looking out for her husband’s interests, acting as a go-between with his demanding children. There appears to be more than meets the eye with Marcia, to be learned later.

There is much at stake for this family financially, but more importantly perhaps, emotionally. The question is, what is the cost when the love of money encroaches on the wellness of the soul? Succession feels relevant in the political times in which we live and the series shows much promise as we explore the motivations and inner workings of these characters.

‘SUCCESSION’ AIRS ON HBO, SUNDAYS, 10 P.M.

PHOTO: PETER KRAMER/ HBO

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