A friend and co-worker has been bugging me about watching Succession for a while now. I had intended to, really. Adam McKay has become something of a master satirist of late since he stopped making dopey comedies with Will Ferrell. Brian Cox is always a welcome presence. What kept me from this for so long?
I needed to finish something first before I could get to something new. Maybe now my friend will leave me alone about all this…
As introductions go, I think I got everything I need to know. Family patriarch Logan Roy is getting up there in years, and he’s on his third marriage to Marcia Roy. He has one son from his first marriage, Connor, and three kids from his second, Kendall, Roman, and Shiv. Kendall runs the family business on behalf of his father and expects to get the job full time soon, but he doesn’t seem to have his father’s knack for anything. Roman is immature. Shiv, the only girl, is ambitious. Connor, a rancher, doesn’t seem to care to involve himself in the family business and defers to the others in a very laid back way.
I think I like Connor best so far. Oh, I am sure he is more than he’s let on so far, but the guy who doesn’t seem to care about the family company puts him a bit ahead of his siblings who all clearly do.
Meanwhile, there’s a cousin named Greg who got canned after vomiting through eye holes of an amusement park character who really wants to get some kind of job in the manager training program. He seems to get…something despite the fact his grandfather, Logan’s brother, seems to be a bit estranged with old Logan. So, you know this Greg guy is probably supposed to be the audience surrogate.
Now, all this isn’t going to get very far if someone doesn’t throw a monkey wrench into the works, so that happens when Logan, instead of retiring and handing the company’s day-to-day business to Kendall as everyone thought he would, instead opts to stay on, give Marcia (who Logan’s children don’t seem to like very much) a vote in the business and will get everything if Logan, celebrating his 80th birthday, dies. That would give Marcia two votes to each of the adult children’s one. Logan wants all his kids to sign off on the plan and agree to it. That…does not sit well. Connor shrugs and says he’ll do what the others decide. Kendall decides to double down on a deal he’s working on that seems to be falling apart and Logan doesn’t see the point of anyway. Shiv and Roman both object to Kendall’s plan to be co-COOs to his president. It’s a mess.
Made worse by the fact Logan suffers a stroke in the family helicopter while his children try to negotiate a new deal with him.
If anything, the show told us exactly what these people think of the little guy. During a family softball game, the Roys find themselves one player short. Roman calls out to some kid to join them, offering the kid a million dollars if he can hit a home run. The boy, the son of average folks, does get in a solid hit but gets tagged out at home plate…you know, what should happen to a kid playing against adults. The boy doesn’t exactly go home empty-handed. Logan gives him a watch, the same watch Shiv’s ingratiating boyfriend Tom gave the old man for his birthday.
That’s…rather callous. These people will be fighting over something that will affect themselves the most, but the fallout could be something that a quick hand-off of an expensive wristwatch may not be able to fix if at all. Let’s see where this goes from here…