HomeEntertainment‘Succession’ struggles to pick up slack Brian Cox left behind

‘Succession’ struggles to pick up slack Brian Cox left behind

Published May 29, 2023

BY FLINT NACHBAR

The HBO dark dramedy series “Succession” has returned for a fourth and final season full of drama and jokes, but it struggles to keep up with the first three seasons, almost dwarfed by their shadows. 

In its last season the viewer returns to watch the Roy family, who run a multi-billion dollar media company, fall apart after the death of the patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) causes his three children to fight for control of the company. Although they try to work together to replace their father, problems arise when each of the three children, Siobhan (Sarah Snook), Kendall (Jeremy Strong) and Roman (Kieran Culkin), have different ideas on how to move forward.

Season 4 of hit HBO show Succession does not carry the same weight as it once did. (courtesy of HBO)

 

Like the prior seasons, Season 4 focuses heavily on character development, as billionaires struggle with relatable problems like family and marriage issues, and although each character is well written and gets even more developed over the course of the season, no one character is likeable which makes it difficult to sympathize with their struggles.

Besides a strong growth in character development, the plot of Season 4 feels slightly dry and unoriginal, as many storylines are recycled and overdone. Furthermore, the absence of Cox is noticeable because he was such a driving force for the show, and after his departure partway through the season, it feels like remaining episodes are missing some of the weight the show used to carry.

Despite this it is still a fun watch with witty, fast-paced jokes and dialogue, as well as great chemistry between the characters, and there is something endlessly entertaining about watching horrible people make selfish decisions. 

As the season progresses, it is clear writers struggle to keep the show entertaining and fresh as they run out of ground to cover, and everything that takes place has been seen before. Characters who were important pieces of the story, such as Greg (Nicholas Braun), the young and ambitious cousin to the Roys, become nothing more than a way to get a quick laugh, and Tom Wambsgangs (Matthew Macfadyen), Siobhan’s husband, becomes so spineless that it feels like he becomes a caricature of himself.

Although “Succession” needed a fourth season to successfully finish the Roys’ saga, carrying their story onto a fifth season would be a mistake and could tarnish the show’s golden reputation. 

7/10

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