Critical Condition: Succession

Succession | SoHo, 8.30 Wednesday


➢ “If Succession was cut down to a half-hour comedy, it would be an apt successor to HBO’s vicious, outgoing political satire, Veep. It’s got the same satiric spirit and vulgar insults, this time applied to Manhattan’s business district, yet the added minutes bring context for its devilish characters. Jesse Armstrong’s new series takes a bit of time to find its groove; the stakes within the Roy family business — a massive media and entertainment conglomerate, not unlike those run by the Murdochs or the Hearsts — initially dull the series’ incisive points about grown children corrupted by their obscene wealth.” — IndieWire.

➢ “There is almost nothing predictable in Succession, a darkly scintillating drama about a great and famous media mogul and the ambitions of his adult children—barely a word about political influence, whispers in the ears of presidents, social impact or any of the rest we might expect, today, from a series about a powerful tycoon with holdings around the globe. Instead, this ferociously satiric series sets its sights on a family at war, siblings in a struggle with one another and with their formidable father.” — Wall Street Journal.

➢ “Succession starts off at a deliberate pace, and the nastiness of the characters and the austere chilliness of their interactions don’t always click comedically. There’s also a very real ‘Why the heck am I supposed to care?’ fatigue that I won’t begrudge anybody for feeling. The show gets stronger as the writers recognise the power of just putting these people in a room and letting them be awful to each other …  You won’t wish yourself a part of this family … but there’s ample entertainment in watching these thin-blooded titans self-destruct.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

➢ “Succession is its own disappointing creation, imbalancing awful broad comedy with awful mawkish drama: Hooker jokes and health scares, lame bro-banter alongside instrumental montages of sensitive thought-staring … The weird merger of satire and sensitivity results in an atonal misfire.” — Entertainment Weekly.

➢ “Succession is primarily a straightforward family-dynasty melodrama, wrapped in chilly but ostentatious displays of wealth and favoring overheated profanity as a communication method. The balance shifts away from satire and toward drama as the season progresses … The stakes don’t feel high enough, partly because the strong element of satire leaves us with the nagging feeling that everyone involved is a lightweight or an idiot.” — New York Times.

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