I have not talked too much about television here in the A&E section and I will do better, I’m sorry. There has been a ton of fantastic TV from the past year, and a few favorites include “I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson,” “Scenes From a Marriage,” UFC 268, “Loki,” and, of course, HBO’s “Succession.” Currently in its third season with two episodes remaining at the time of writing, “Succession” feels like it is in a league of its own from everything else on TV, and this season may be the best thing on HBO for a long time.
If you are not familiar with “Succession,” it is about a family, the Roy family, consisting of patriarch Logan Roy and his children Conner, Kendall, Siobhan and her husband Tom, their bumbling cousin Greg and Roman. The Roy family owns Waystar RoyCo, a media and entertainment conglomerate, that each member fights to gain control of after Logan suffers a health scare. The premise and character motivations are as simple as the title of the show, but there really is nothing else like it on TV right now. Despite the entirety of the show being dedicated to the business and stocks of Waystar RoyCo, the drama and story come from the characters, the dastardly things they are willing to do to seek their father’s approval as next in line to run the company and as his own plans to slowly pit his own children against each other for the fun of it because he is an evil man.
“Succession” is a very mean show. The first two seasons had a few glimpses into the dark and cavernous souls the Roy family has, but season three has fully opened the gates of Hell and is not afraid to show how barbaric these people are to each other. You think your family Thanksgiving was rough? Logan Roy hits a kid over the head with a can of cranberries. It was so awesome. That was in season one, but it was just the writers being nice to the audience. In season three the Roys are in full civil war mode and have collapsed after Kendall Roy played the blame game on a public stage in the finale of season two. Apparently the only proper course of action is to eviscerate and shame each other and destroy any credibility the others have on national television. With nothing holding the family back from public shaming, they go balls to the wall and do not hold back. Without spoiling anything, “Rape Me” by Nirvana is now even more uncomfortable than it was before and I commend “Succession” for weaponizing it. Season three has been relentless so far and while each episode progresses the story further each time with some good shocks in between, it always knows how to respond to itself which is not always easy. The second the piano keys of the opening theme hit, you know this episode will assault your feelings and it will be a good time.
“Succession” is some of the best TV you will see right now. It’s been a while since I have actually been excited to sit down weekly and watch a new episode of a show. “Succession” makes almost everything feel like a tension-filled nightmare. Mundane events like vacations, Thanksgiving and birthday parties are not safe from family politics or actual politics and everything is always uncomfortable. There is not much I can say about this show without getting deep into the details to try and sell you if you are not watching it. Season three so far has been an absolute blast and I am sad this season is almost over because it is wild. Watch “Succession” on HBO please.