Succession (2023) Series: Tragedy Hits Super Rich Roy Family

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Succession is a contemporary family drama. As this show ends, the tragedy hits the super-rich Roy family. Thus in its wake, this show has left death and lots of destruction in the way.

Before getting past the finish line, the wealthy global family is hit by a rude interruption in the family succession plans. However, in this era, we are witnessing many more cases of successful succession planning by international business houses owned by the family. However, that did not happen with the Roy Clan succession case.

Therefore, mind you it was not an ending that the Roy Household was fiercely battling for.

Instead, we witnessed the emotional and mental destruction of the next generation of the Roy family members, as the series ended.

That is a present-day version of the Shakespearean tragedy.

Synopsis of the Succession (2018-2023) Series

In season one (1), we learn – when Logan Roy (Brain Cox) head of one of the world’s largest media and entertainment conglomerates, decides to retire, each of his four grown children – Connor Roy (Alan Ruck), Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong), Siobhan “Shiv” Roy (Sarah Snook) & Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin) follows a personal agenda that doesn’t always sync with those of their siblings or of their father.

Then in season two (2), Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) deals with the fallout from his hostile takeover attempt and guilt from his fatal accident. Meanwhile, Siobhan Roy ~ Shiv (Sarah Snook) stands poised to make her way into the upper echelons of the company; Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin) reacquaints himself with the business by starting at the bottom, and Connor Roy (Alan Ruck) launches an unlikely bid for president.

Ambushed by his rebellious son Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) at the end of season two, Logan Roy (Brian Cox) begins season three (3) in a perilous position, scrambling to secure familial, political, and financial alliances. Tensions rise as a bitter corporate battle threatens to turn into a family civil war.

The sale of Waystar Royco to tech visionary Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) looms ever closer, provoking angst and division among the Roys in season four (4) and final season of Jesse Armstrong’s Emmy®-winning series. As the siblings anticipate the prospect of this merger, the ensuing power struggle finds them grappling with what their lives will look like after the deal.

Spoilers Free Review of the Succession (2018-2023) Series

The introduction

Succession Show is a modern contemporary (check the spoilers shared below) tale about the super wealthy and politically powerful family – the Logan Roy family. As they own and control one of the biggest media and entertainment companies in the world. So, one could envy or admire the high-flying lifestyle of Logan Roy’s family as depicted in this show, viz. big mansions, penthouse apartments, luxurious vehicles, private yachts/helicopters/jets, high-end fashions, et cetera.

In addition, all of the family members were leading an extravagant and luxurious lifestyle fit for a billionaire.

So, on the surface, viewed from a distance, the lives of Logan Roy’s family members seemed to be full of happiness and contentment.

But is it really the case?

We loved its layered script and the theme music by composer Nicholas Britell

Well, the show creator and the scriptwriter scratched the surface with this dramatic series.

However, they took us on a behind-the-scenes look into the lives of wealthy families and the inner dynamics of the members of the opulent Roy family. And it was brilliant indeed.

In season one of the show, the ageing father Logan Roy (Brian Cox – check his picture above) begins to step back from the media and entertainment conglomerate they own and control. From then onwards, everything begins to unravel at a hectic pace. More so, as important members (Connor Roy, Kendall Roy, Siobhan Roy, and Roman Roy – check their pictures below) of the Roy family think about their destiny.

However, all of them decide to push their agenda, fulfil their private ambitions, chart their course, and plan their future. Therefore, it the about the family intrigue and power play.

Additionally, most of its dramatic scenes are very well complemented by its fabulous background musical score. Furthermore, the music composer and performer Nicholas Britell has won the Emmy award for this theme music for Succession Show. In fact, the said music has been declared as one of the all-time great TV theme music.

Theme music video link of Succession Show on Youtube ~

Meet the four key characters of this family drama

Connor Roy and his story

However, their world changes when their father Logan Roy decides to step down from the company. Henceforth, that single incident – giving up the leadership position in a rich and influential (culturally and politically) company led to some kind of frenzy akin to shark-infested water. The eldest son, Connor Roy stays away from the corporate rat race to head their family-led corporate business house and instead tries his luck in the political arena, but he is not a serious player either in the corporate or political worlds.

Kendall Roy, Sioban Roy, Roman Roy and their stories

Above all, the remaining trio – Kendall Roy, Sioban Roy and Roman Roy fiercely battle it out among themselves to take control of their family-owned businesses and take the position occupied by tough-old nut Logan Roy. Explicitly, as one of the lines in this show said, most of the members of the Roy family are messed up.

In addition, Logan Roy admitted in this show that his children are “not serious people.”

Also, Roman honestly admits that “we are bullshit.”

Therefore, we have to nod in agreement with all of these assessments.

Family-owned corporate houses are changing

In today’s family-owned corporate houses, we are witnessing much urgent and detailed use of Succession/Replacement planning, which often involves passing on ownership of a company to someone else – either a competent member(s) of a family or a specialist professional manager(s) hired from outside.

Hence, we must admit that we found this fascinating family drama to be addictive as there is no serious planning to hand over the reins of the conglomerate.

The conclusion

In case you take a much deeper look at the content of this dramatic show then you might notice its perceptive and razor-sharp satirical attack on the absurdities of family-owned multinational corporations in the capitalist world of today. Thus, the Succession Show, the tragic drama or should we call it a tragicomedy, came to an end with lots of heartbreaks for Roys.

Now, we are still conflicted about its sad and inevitable ending. Especially, in the grim and bitter Succession war, Logan Roy’s family lost decisively this ownership war.

It was indeed a tragic loss for the super-wealthy and very powerful Roy Family in the business ownership war.

Markedly, this tragic tale about the billionaire Roy family is a perfect reminder that Money Can’t Buy Peace and Happiness.

And we hope that people will learn important life lessons by taking a closer look at the fate of the Roys.

Ratings of the Succession (S1, S2, S3 & S4) Series

SeasonsFM ratingsRotten Tomatoes ratings Critics’ Consensus / Rotten Tomatoes
S14.35/589% Tomatometer &
82% Audience Score
Peppering its pathos with acid wit, Succession is a divine comedy of absolute power and dysfunction — brought to vivid life by a ferocious ensemble.
S24.45/597% Tomatometer &
90% Audience Score
Succession returns in darkly funny form, with sharp writing, exceptional performances, and a surprising new level of sympathy for some of television’s least likeable characters.
S34.50/597% Tomatometer &
89% Audience Score
Fans already buying what Succession is selling will be pleasantly surprised to find its third season in crackling form – even if it gets a little too real from time to time.
S44.55/597% Tomatometer &
90% Audience Score
As compulsively watchable as ever, Succession’s final season concludes the saga of the backbiting Roy family on a typically brilliant — and colourfully profane — high note.
FM & Rotten Tomatoes ratings – Succession series

Spoilers Alert – brief information about the Succession series

Focus on the fate of the key characters and the ending of the show

The Roy family lost control

The sale of media conglomerate Waystar Royco to tech visionary Lukas Matsson gets through in the end. So the members of the Roy family failed to retain control of their business empire. In addition, one could see that their future looks to be fairly and increasingly uncertain. Then perhaps, maybe, the glorious past of the Roy Family might threaten to ultimately destroy them in the future.

Show creator Jesse Armstrong

Show creator Jesse Armstrong explained the fate of key characters, “Roman Roy ends in a reductive, brutal way as he drinks at a bar; Shiv Roy ends in a terrifying, frozen, emotionally barren place in her non-victory as CEO Tom Wambsgans’ wife, and for Kendall Roy – this will never stop being the central event of his life, central days of his life, central couple years of his life. Maybe he could go on and start a company or do a thing, but the chances of him achieving the sort of corporate status that his dad achieved are very low, and I think that will mark his whole life.”

Actor Jeremy Strong (Kendal Roy)

Jeremy Strong shared further about the fate of his (Kendall Roy) character, “I felt that the journey through this was winding the bow back as far as it could possibly go to reach its final target, which is someone who has finally lost everything. He’s lost his father… lost his morality…He’s lost in a sense his soul… He’s lost his brother and sister, he’s lost his children… He’s lost love, and he’s lost his ambition, which is a defining thing in his life.”

Actor Matthew Macfadyen (Tom Wambsgans)

Show creator Jesse Armstrong talked about Tom Wambsgans’ character, “Tom has always been subservient. Now he has this status, but his status is contingent. That’s kind of what the whole episode has been about. Shiv’s status is as all the kids are — secure. It’s secure in a financial sense. She has billions of dollars. She has wealth that could never diminish, whatever happened to the world. And she also has a name, which will sort of haunt her and make her interesting, to a certain degree, for the rest of her life, and that can’t be taken away from her. Whereas Tom’s position could be taken away in the click of her fingers.”

Actor Alexander Skarsgård (Lukas Matsson)

Alexander Skarsgård (Lukas Matsson) explained further about Tom Wambsgans’ elevation to the CEO position, “Tom so desperately wants this position. [Lukas] knows that he can lean into that awkwardness and explore and have fun with it, and he needs to have a sycophant in that position; someone who will be his little lap dog and do exactly what he needs. Tom has proven himself worthy.”

Reference: Apple Podcast.

The fate of Logan Roy in the show

Actor Brian Cox (Logan Roy)

Logan Roy (Brian Cox) fights with his family members. Carrying so much hostilities and negativities, Logan has many health issues. Moreover, away from family, he ends up dead on the bathroom floor of his private jet, in a lonely way, not surprisingly.

The fate of Connor Roy in the show

Actor Alan Ruck (Connor Roy)

Connor Roy (Alan Ruck) is a son from Logan’s first marriage. So, he is the half-sibling of Kendall, Shiv and Roman. But, he never showed any positive intent towards the business empire and even his political forays failed.

The fate of Kendall Roy in the show

Actor Jeremy Strong (Kendall Roy)

Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) is Logan’s eldest son from his second marriage. Moreover, he desperately seeks his father’s love and attention with his rebellious child-like antics. However, he is a real tragic hero. For this reason, he loses big-time at the end.

The fate of Siobhan Roy in the show

Actress Sarah Snook (Siobhan Roy)

Siobhan Roy (Sarah Snook) is Logan’s only daughter. Even so, she is a serious contender for taking over the reins of the family-owned company. However, her best-laid-out plans come unstuck, so she decides to compromise.

The fate of Roman Roy in the show

Actor Kieran Culkin (Roman Roy)

Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin) is Logan’s youngest child. However, he is a man-child. Although, like his elder siblings, he too wishes to step into the big shoes of his father. But for the leadership position, he is not a serious player. So, he does not get it. Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) is Siobhan’s husband, Logan’s son-in-law and a perpetual outsider in the Logan family circle. But, mind you, he is a proverbial dark horse. A chameleon. A survivor. A winner at the end.

The fate of Tom Wambsgans in the show

Actor Matthew Macfadyen (Tom Wambsgans)

Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) is Siobhan’s husband, Logan’s son-in-law and a perpetual outsider in the Logan family circle. But, mind you, he is a proverbial dark horse. A chameleon. A survivor. A winner at the end.

Succession series versus the King Lear book by William Shakespeare

King Lear

In the Shakespearean tragic tale, ageing King Lear divides his entire kingdom among the two daughters who sweet-talk him. On the other hand, King expels his third daughter from the nation, who adores him. Later on, both of his eldest daughters rebuff and renounce the former king. Consequently, Lear loses his mind and gets lost in a storm. At that time, his estranged daughter returns with an army to help win back the country. However, they lose the war. Lear, all his daughters and more perish in the end.

The fictional Roy family & the real-life Murdoch family

Although the show creator Jesse Armstrong categorically denies the similarities between the billionaire media moguls Logan Roy (fictional) and Rupert Murdoch (real-life), one can find quite a few similarities among the family members of the two families.

Roy Family & Murdoch Family

(a) Both Roy and Murdoch are ageing but very wealthy and powerful white men running a global business empire consisting primarily of media corporations. Reportedly both face similar succession challenges.

(b) Both Waystar Royco (fictional) and News Corp. (real-life) are owned by foreign-born owners Roy (Scotland) and Murdoch (Australia), respectively. Both multi-billion media houses lean towards right-wing politics/politicians. In addition, Waystar Royco owns ATN (fictional) and News Corp. owns Fox News (real-life) in the USA – incidentally these two news channels lean towards the Republic party.

(c) Both Kendall Roy (fictional) and Lachlan Murdoch (real-life) worked under their father in their respective media organizations. Besides they are groomed for the future.

(d) Both Siobhan Roy aka Shiv Roy (fictional) and Elisabeth Murdoch (real-life) are affluent and beautiful blonde ladies, who have stepped out of their respective families’ shadows and achieved success in their careers.

(e) Both Roman Roy (fictional) and James Murdoch (real life) are the younger brothers of the heir-apparent elder brothers. Reportedly both of these characters are always bickering and in disagreement with their elder brothers.

Posters of the Succession (S1, S2, S3 & S4) Series

Key details of the Succession (2018-2023) Series

Original languageEnglish
Age-RestrictionsUA (15+)
SeasonsFour (4)
EpisodesTen (10) Episodes – Season One (2018)
Ten (10) Episodes – Season Two ( 2019)
Nine (9) Episodes – Season Three ( 2021)
Ten (10) Episodes – Season Four (2023)
Thirty-Nine Episodes = Four Seasons = Total
Show CreatorJesse Armstrong
CastBrian Cox, Jeremy Strong, Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook, Matthew Macfadyen, Alan Ruck, Nicholas Braun, etc.
TaglinesTake what’s yours.
Every Family Has Its Traditions (S 2).
Make Your Move (S 3)
About the Succession series.

Trailers of the Succession (S1, S2, S3 & S4) Series

Succession (Season One) Show
Succession (S1) – official trailer | HBO | YouTube.
Succession (Season Two) Show
Succession (S2) – official trailer | HBO | YouTube.
Succession (Season Three) Show
Succession (S3) – official trailer | HBO | YouTube.
Succession (Season Four) Show
Succession (S4) – official trailer | HBO | YouTube.

Major Awards won by the Succession (2018-2023) Series

Awards NamesAward Categories (& Awards Winners)
Primetime Emmy Awards2019 Winner – Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series – {Jesse Armstrong – For Nobody Is Ever Missing (2018)}

2019 Winner – Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music – (Nicholas Britell)

2020 Winner – Outstanding Drama Series

2020 Winner – Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series – Jeremy Strong – For playing: “Kendall Roy”.

2020 Winner – Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series – (Andrij Parekh – For the episode “Hunting”)

2020 Winner – Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series – (Jesse Armstrong – For the episode “This Is Not for Tears”)

2020 Winner – Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series – Cherry Jones – For playing: “Nan Pierce”. For episode: “Tern Haven”.

2022 Winner – Outstanding Drama Series

2022 Winner – Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – (Matthew Macfadyen – For playing: “Tom Wambsgans”).

2022 Winner – Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series – {Jesse Armstrong (written by) – For “All the Bells Say (2021)”}
Golden Globes, USA
2020 Winner – Best Television Series – Drama

2020 Winner – Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series (Drama – Brian Cox)

2022 Winner – (Best Television Series – Drama)

2022 Winner – Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama (Jeremy Strong)

2022 Winner – Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role on Television (Sarah Snook)
2019 Winner – Best International Series

2020 Winner – TV Craft Award (Writer: Drama – Jesse Armstrong)

2022 Winner – TV Award – Supporting Actor (Matthew Macfadyen)
Screen Actors Guild Awards
2022 Winner Actor (Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series)
Awards won by the Succession Series

If you like a unique kind of Family drama like the Succession series from the USA, then do check out the Peaky Blinders show from the UK.

Featured & Other Images: Succession Show | HBO.

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