Cape Town - "This is the thing about being rich: It’s fucking great," says Matthew McFadyen in HBO’s latest hit, Succession, a show that suggests just the opposite in its skewering of the Roy family, one of the biggest media and entertainment conglomerates in the world.
McFadyen, in a slimy, sycophantic role miles away from Mr Darcy in Pride & Prejudice, is joined by a stellar cast that includes Emmy-winner Brian Cox as the aging patriarch Logan Roy; Hiam Abbass as his third wife; and Golden Globe nominee Kieran Culkin, Jeremy Strong, Alan Ruck and Sarah Snook as the children in the line of succession.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT:
The Roy family – Logan Roy and his four children – controls one of the biggest media and entertainment conglomerates in the world, Succession tracks their lives as they contemplate what the future will hold for them once their aging father begins to step back from the company. Set in New York, the show explores themes of power, politics, money, and family.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:
WHAT THE RATINGS SHOW:
Streaming exclusively on Showmax, Succession is currently at number 32 on IMDB’s Most Popular TV chart, has an 82% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and has been hailed as everything from "my favourite show of the summer… the only thing I’ve been able to think about" by Vox to "King Lear for the modern media age" by The Telegraph. Appropriately for a show about the 1% of the 1%, Succession’s credits boast an embarrassment of riches.
WHAT THE CRITICS THINK:
There’s a tension in Succession between its comedy and its drama. Vulture pitched it as, "Having Veep withdrawals? Try Succession… another HBO comedy that also combines whip-smart dialogue, a killer ensemble cast, and a cynical look at the intersection of politics, corporate business, and mass media."
But Succession doesn’t sit as comfortably within the comedy genre as Veep does. Rather, as Slate pointed out, "It’s a comedy and then it’s a tragedy, in the same show, but not at the same time… The show’s ethos: To gut you while you’re laughing."
Similarly The Guardian warns, "The writing is savage, the dialogue sharp and foul-mouthed. Although funny in places, it is also scary, as any drama peopled by monsters ought to be."
Not that Succession fits neatly into the drama genre either. "The show is a lot more fun than it might look," says Vox, praising the way it "expertly strikes a balance between humour and heartbreak."
The genre-bending result is one of the most acclaimed series of the year. As The Hollywood Reporter says, "Succession is spectacular... sharp, cutting, wonderfully acted... Each new episode is more darkly funny than the one before."
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