Why You Should Binge-Watch Succession, That Show Your One Friend Keeps Posting on Instagram

If you like masochists and falling in love, this series is for you.
by Anton Reyes
June 02, 2023
hbo / succession

(SPOT.ph) These days, you’d be pretty hard-pressed to find television series that everyone in all your circles have binge-watched. Gone are the days when the friend group would be able to talk about the latest episodes of Friends, Grey’s Anatomy, or even the later Game of Thrones. With streaming, the era of the monolith culture has pretty much gone away and the only “real” way to measure a show’s popularity is through how the streamer ranks the title on its own site.

Take for example HBO’s Succession, a series you may have seen the odd friend occasionally share a poster, out-of-context screencap, or fashion piece listing of on Instagram stories. The dramedy series, which debuted in 2018, has definitely grown a dedicated following over the years—its recent finale drawing in its peak viewership at 2.9 million viewers, according to the Wall Street Journal—but nothing close to the blockbuster numbers of HBO’s own The House of the Dragon and The Last of Us.


While all Succession fans have definitely been sucked into the world of greyscale “stealth wealth,” toxic character ships, and Shakespearean filler words, the fan base could definitely branch out to appeal to the more casual watcher, now that the series has wrapped up and begun its shelf life. As such, we pop open our playbook of arguments as to why one should start binge-watching Succession and commit themselves to empathize with the most despicable characters to have graced the small screen.

Also read: Is HBO GO Worth the Subscription?

Here’s why you should watch Succession on HBO Go:

The four-season arc of Succession revolves around the question: Which among Logan Roy’s four children will inherit his American media empire after his retirement or possible demise?

The contenders are the eldest son Connor (portrayed by Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’s Alan Ruck), who’s more interested in becoming President despite never having held any political office; the recovering addict Kendall (Jeremy Strong), who was promised the title ever since he was a child; the perverted masochist Roman (Home Alone and Scott Pilgrim’s Kieran Culkin); and the only daughter Shiv (Sarah Snook), who—as the name subtly implies—would stab her brothers and her husband in the back to get what she wants.

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All four children are determined to contort their whole lives and beings into gaining their authoritarian father’s blessing, his approval. Yet, the thematic truth of the series, made clear quite early on in the first season, is that Logan Roy (Brian Cox) wholly doesn’t care as to who will “succeed” him, as he cannot fathom a reality in which he’s not on top. And so, the four fun seasons of back-and-forth betrayals, shaky allegiances, and characters committing the most heinous—but…legal (with a question mark?)—deeds ensue.

The subtle smile Logan Roy (Brian Cox) gives when one of kids betrays him in Season 2 Episode 10, “This Is Not for Tears.” Not a spoiler; this happens a lot.
PHOTO BY hbo / succession

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It’s far from being an Asian-coded work of art, but this narrative of children trying desperately to make their parents proud and failing because their parents haven’t reconciled the failures of their own upbringing is definitely thematically resonant with widely shared Asian/Asian-American sentiments. (Thinkpiece-speak translated: Succession hits home for us HBO Go subscribers.)

Emotionally impactful, sure, but where Succession becomes challenging is how it gets you to feel for the most scummy of characters. The proto-protagonist Kendall regularly throws all goodwill out the window when any setback puts him on a path littered with self-destructive tendencies. Shiv girl-bosses her way into destroying the lives of pretty much everyone she works with. Meanwhile, every word out of Roman’s mouth, as literally described in the show, is “a walking lawsuit.”


On top of all of those character quirks, the Roy family is additionally guided by no political philosophy, despite owning the largest news and media organization in America. They care only about capital and winning arbitrary prizes. A large chunk of the second season revolves around Logan’s vendetta to buy out his biggest competitor just because his brother gets his news from there instead.

The power to put presidents into office and tilt the country on its axis being put into the hands of kids essentially playing with toys all sounds a bit too on the nose... However, Succession typically uses these storylines not as sharp social commentary but simply as a means to contextualize the world of the Roy siblings. With Succession, we strictly stay in the penthouses, board rooms, and erotic parties where these decisions take place. We don’t need to head to the street level or see how their actions affect “the common man” to know that these are bad people.


Yet, you’ll love them anyway. These characters will make the deepest observations and the most fragile confessions about family and love so that you’ll at least understand what they’re yearning for is genuine before the facade of all their delusions goes back up once they get another shot at winning.

From Season 3 Episode 9, “All the Bells Say,” wherein Kendall (Jeremy Strong) makes a long-awaited confession.
PHOTO BY hbo / succession

If anything, they’re fantastic characters to use as pegs for your next monotone fall and summertime sadness fit—or sigma male trillionaire grindset, if you’re into that. They will also say lines that are simultaneously well-written and also the most immature of replies a person could come up with. It’s great; definitely worth retiring your Peaky Blinder inspiration quote and Game of Thrones meme libraries for.

Essentially: it’s time to watch the first six episodes of Succession then message your Succession fan friend about how you should have started it years ago.

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