Why HBO's Succession is a must-watch

It's about time the critically-acclaimed American comedy-drama series makes it to your list of shows to watch.


Photo credit: https://deadline.com/2019/08/succession-renewed-season-3-hbo-1202672468/

Priyanka Giri

Directed by Mark Mylod, this twenty-episode long series traces the life of the Roy family, owners of Waystar Royco- one of the biggest media and entertainment conglomerates in the world. The family struggles to gain control over the business as their father, Logan Roy, faces health issues but refuses to step down.

Several aspects of the show make it worthy of being added to our ever-increasing “to-watch” list. The theme song and episode scores bring out a whirlwind of emotions. One can feel the manipulation, strategizing, risk-taking and scheming as the Roys claw their way through the competition, trying to outsmart one another and impress their father. It is a war to win with almost no support and no trust - a do or die.

Recently, the show won four awards during the 72nd Primetime Emmys held on 20th September 2020. It won Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Directing, Best Actor and Best Writing.

Quoting a Stephen Dunn poem as he accepted the award for Best Actor, actor Jeremy Strong, who plays Kendall Roy, said, “All I ever wanted was a book so good I'd be finishing it for the rest of my life. This job is that for me."

The cinematography, impeccable acting and some of the best dialogues add brownie points. The show’s writer Jesse Armstrong won the Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series award for the Season 2 finale, which indeed left us at the edge of our seats with an expected-yet-unexpected cliff-hanger.

Logan has a cold sense of power and threatening aura around him, making us imagine the worst when anyone goes against him. Kendall, the oldest son, is a drug addict and recovering alcoholic, trying his best to impress his old man. The other three in line – Connor, with his skyrocketing ambitions; Roman, with his odd sense of humour; and Shiv, a determined political consultant, place the fans in a hate-love situation - hating all the characters from the bottom of their hearts but loving the show at the same time. The supporting characters play their roles equally well, contributing to the show’s success.

Succession teaches us some basic values as well. “Well, it’s just, historically speaking, when I’m betrayed, it’s usually you,” says Logan, teaching us about basic human flaws: how everyone is self-absorbed in wanting to reach their zenith and are ready to betray even their kin in the process.

“Here’s the thing about being rich, it’s great. You get to do what you want; the authorities can’t really touch you, you get to wear a costume, but it’s designed by Armani,” says Tom, Shiv’s husband. It teaches us about the world of business: it is a competitive world where one needs to be strong and determined to make it or break it.

“It gives you a sense of foreboding which is nerve-wracking, yet you still can’t take your eyes away from it,” said Pragnya, a fan of the show.

“What makes Succession such a compelling watch is its delicate balancing act between a satire on one-percenters and a Shakespearean tragedy on power struggles,” said Prahlad Srihari, a film critic for Firstpost.

The show, which has already established a strong fanbase, has left its fans to make up their own theories and decide the fate of the characters till it comes back with yet another rollercoaster of a season. Until then, make sure you catch up!

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