Entertainment » Television


by Michael  Cox
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Dec 5, 2018

"Succession" dances on a razor's edge between a Shakespearian history, like "Henry the Fourth," and a primetime soap opera, like "Dynasty." An array of partly inept, partly reprehensible people battle for an obscene amount of money and power in modern day America as owners of a global media empire attempt to settle on a leader. Not surprisingly, it's also a battle between a "lion in winter" and his uncertain heir apparent.

Brian Cox plays Logan Roy, the aging monarch of one of the biggest entertainment conglomerates in the world, Waystar Royco. Jeremy Strong is his Kendall his ambitious but unstable son. Though Kendall always planned to take over his father's role as CEO, his clumsy media image and cocaine problem have gotten in the way. When a stroke forces Logan to step away from the plate Kendall sweeps up to bat, but Logan still has some fight in him and won't let his son wear the helmet. With the game stalled, each member of the family must decide his or her loyalties.

Marcia (Hiam Abbass), Logan's current wife, stands beside her husband — beside, she has every opportunity to take advantage of his poor health and pull his strings from behind the curtain. Connor (Alan Ruck), Logan's eldest, has no head for business, but he certainly knows how to spend. Currently, he's hired himself an employee, a girlfriend who he'd like to make his wife. Logan's daughter Shiv (Sarah Snook) has a cutthroat career of her own in politics, but it's not enough to keep her out of Waystar's pockets. This manifests when she uses her daddy to secure a job her sycophantic fiancĂ©, Tom Wamsgans (Matthew Macfadyan).

All of these family members are hilariously horrible human beings, but Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin) takes the cake. And then he smashes it into the face of his "loved ones." He nasty, bitterly sardonic, and completely unbalanced; you wouldn't want to be near him, but he's fun to watch. And he's foiled nicely by the simple Greg Hirsch (Nicholas Braun), Logan's grandnephew. This guy has left his minimum wage job in an amusement park to seek his fortune in the family business.

The joy of this series is its wicked, biting humor and decadent characters. It's like watching a battle between a wasp and a scorpion, the competitors are particularly sympathetic, you don't root for either anyone, but you still stick it out to the end, wading in the bloodlust, captivated to see who will come out on top.

Blu-ray $35.98