The fam­ily fights are fresh as HBO’s ‘Suc­ces­sion’ re­turns

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - On Tv - BY JAY BOBBIN

Five Emmy nom­i­na­tions, in­clud­ing one for out­stand­ing drama se­ries, have made a sweet re­ward for the bit­ter in-fight­ing in the first sea­son of “Suc­ces­sion.”

The ran­cor con­tin­ues as the muchac­claimed HBO saga of power – cre­ated by Jesse Arm­strong, cur­rently an Emmy nom­i­nee for writ­ing, with fel­low ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Adam McKay nom­i­nated for di­rect­ing – be­gins its sec­ond round Sun­day, Aug. 11, as the mem­bers of the Roy fam­ily still vie for con­trol of their me­dia em­pire. Pa­tri­arch Lo­gan (por­trayed by Brian Cox) plays his own cards as his off­spring pur­sue ri­val paths in seek­ing the up­per hand.

Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, Alan Ruck and Kieran Culkin re­sume their roles as the Roy sib­lings. Os­car win­ner Holly Hunter is a ma­jor ad­di­tion to Sea­son 2’s cast, with Cherry Jones (“24”) and Danny Hus­ton new to the show as well. Re­turn­ing reg­u­lars also in­clude Matthew Mac­fadyen, Ni­cholas Braun, Peter Fried­man and Rob Yang.

“I ac­tu­ally was a lit­tle sur­prised by some of the re­ac­tion from ‘reg­u­lar peo­ple’ to it,” Ruck says of the ini­tial re­cep­tion “Suc­ces­sion” re­ceived. “There are so many shows, and maybe they find this more valu­able than some other things. It took about four episodes to re­ally de­ter­mine the di­rec­tion in which the show was go­ing to go; there were a lot of back sto­ries to set up, and a num­ber of peo­ple said, ‘Gee, I don’t know who to root for here.’ I have never had that prob­lem. If the peo­ple are in­ter­est­ing, I don’t care if they’re hor­ri­ble.”

Ruck rea­sons that his some­what in­de­pen­dent char­ac­ter Con­nor “is just as en­ti­tled as the rest of them,” though he’s a rel­a­tive in­no­cent. “He’s miss­ing a cou­ple of but­tons, but he’s not like the old man (Cox) or Siobhan (Snook), who have that killer instinct. And he’s cer­tainly not as quick as Ro­man (Culkin) or Ken­dall (Strong), but he’s a child of priv­i­lege and he en­joys the money.

“I’m fond of all of them,” notes Ruck – also known from the movies “Speed” and “Fer­ris Bueller’s Day Off ” and the sit­com “Spin City,” and mar­ried to ac­tress Mireille Enos (“The Killing”) – “but we have no idea where this is go­ing. We get our scripts pretty close to the time that we shoot. We don’t have a lot of prep time, but the writ­ers are so good, they keep re­fin­ing it un­til the last minute.”

Jeremy Strong (left) and Alan Ruck re­turn for Sea­son 2 of the HBO drama se­ries “Suc­ces­sion” start­ing Sun­day.

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