successiON (Jesse Armstrong) is a slow-burning, dysfunctional family comedy verging on Shakespearean melodrama from creator Jesse Armstrong (Peep Show, The Thick Of It). The new HBO series forgoes sexy narrative ploys with supreme confidence, rewarding your patience with – among other things – a media conglomerate’s thrilling board of directors meeting. Watching super-rich assholes ratify minutes can be surprisingly anxiety-inducing. Succession gawks at privilege and excess while taking its leisurely time to make us care – if we ever really do – about the selfish and conniving Roy clan (led by Brian Cox’s toxic Logan), whose obvious real-life counterparts are the Fox empire’s Murdoch family. The Roys can gnaw at your soul, which would be unbearable if the show wasn’t so funny. Executive produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay (who directs the first episode), the series is unrelenting with its humour: the laugh-out-loud kind; the dry and sarcastic kind; and the kind that gets caught in your throat because you realize how depressing it all is. Now streaming on HBO Canada. NNNN (Radheyan Simonpillai)
HBO’s Succession is unrelenting with its humour.