I was pretty impressed with Succession considering the commercials looked obnoxious. We really don’t need any more television shows about rich people, despicable or not. Skewering the rich and pointing out how selfish they are hasn’t been insightful for over 15 years in TV, for over 50 years in film, and for 100s of years in literature.
In that regard, I never felt Succession brought anything the table. It never attempted to say anything insightful about being rich in America. And frankly I don’t want to hear anything about what its like to be rich in America (fictionally or not). Highlighting them is akin to making the same overheated jokes about Trump as president. Yes, these opinions are sort of true to life and it feels good on a very superficial level, but it seems to come from a place of weakness. Power rarely comes from toothlessly ridiculing the powerful. It comes from elevating and humanizing the disenfranchised. Not to be a cliche white guy who watches too much television, but The Wire is a far better indictment of wealth in America than any of these shows about rich people.
Anyways, I don’t think Succession really cared about any of this. It is ultimately just a family soap opera, a dark version of Dynasty. The show lived and died on the set pieces where the ridiculous family members interacted with one another. The strength of the series is the performances. Tom and Shiv are particularly great characters, the series is worth checking out just for them.
I honestly don’t know if the show has much else to add with a second season, though. The season finale nicely tied everything up. The foreshadowed political plotlines seem like a misstep and particularly redundant considering the show is already way too close to Veep.