After seeing lots of hype in the media, I’ve been catching up with the HBO series Succession. The writers are there are expert at manipulating their audience. Their basic message is straightforward and not subtle.
The main characters – members of a family that owns a multinational media and entertainment empire – are horrible, selfish and self-absorbed. They treat everyone with contempt. But they reserve their true disdain for those outside the immediate family, in other words, those who are not super-rich.
Cousin Greg arrives bright-eyed and eager, desperate to ingratiate himself into the business. He meets Tom, who is also an outsider after marrying into the family. We’ve already seen Tom crave the attention of the patriarch, Logan, to the point of being sycophantic. And yet he still ends up the brunt of many insults as he struggles to fit in. Tom could be the perfect ally for Greg. And Tom appears helpful. On Greg’s first day, Tom tells him in a calm sympathetic tone, “If you need any help, seriously, any help, any advice … just, you know … don’t f***ing bother.” [Read more…]