HBO’s ‘Succession’ Is the Perfect Guide to Getting Everything You Want in Life (Including Free HBO)
Succession, the caustic HBO family drama that follows a multigenerational media empire, is back for a second season. The Roys are everything you wish your family was (rich, successful, powerful) and everything you’re glad it isn’t (conniving, bitter, mean). Logan Roy (Brian Cox) is the intimidating patriarch of the family. He’s married to Marcia (Hiam Abbass), who is vying for control of the Roy legacy against Logan’s four adult children.
There’s Kendall (Jeremy Strong), the business-minded but drug-addicted son; Shiv (Sarah Snook), the unfaithful newlywed who prefers to work in the cesspool of politics over her family’s company; Roman (Kieran Culkin), the hyperactive, slimy loose cannon of the family; and Connor (Alan Ruck), a conspiracy theorist who lives with his hooker companion in a desert compound. Complicating matters are Tom Wamsgans (Matthew Macfadyen), a Minnesotan who married Shiv and is plotting to move up the corporate ladder; Greg (Nicholas Braun), an awkward and gullible cousin of the Roys trying to get his foot in the door; and Rava (Natalie Gold) who just wants to divorce Kendall already and take care of their kids.
Though each character is deliciously different and completely corrupt in their own way, they all share one common denominator: they want to win the game of capitalism and they will stop at nothing until they do. We imagined how each of these devious people would advise you on getting everything you want in life. Read their tricks of the trade below.
Cover Photo: HBO
Add ’em to the queue: 10 Amazing TV Shows Streaming Now That You Might Have Missed
Be ruthless. - Logan Roy
It's not personal, it's business, even in a family business. Logan is always looking out for the bottom line, and if he has to bully, verbally abuse, and manipulate all four of his children to stay in charge and in the black, he'll do it.
Life Lesson: Go boldly forth and don't take "no" for an answer.
Speak truth to power. - Marcia Roy
Marcia doesn't give a flying fuck where you think you are in the pecking order. Spouses trump children and that's that. She's no fading violet in the face of her husband's rages, either; she'll tell it like it is as if she has nothing to lose. It seems as though Logan appreciates her brutal honesty, even when it's directed at him.
Life Lesson: Say your piece, and say it confidently.
Fall in line, wait your turn, and suppress all emotion. - Kendall Roy
Kendall really, really wants to be in control. He's put in his time and waited patiently for his turn at the helm of the Roy family media conglomerate. Unfortunately, rule-following and obedience aren't always rewarded by the Roys. Kendall attempts multiple coups but always ends up as his father's favorite punching bag. He deals with the pain by getting high on cocaine and ketamine, which only lead to more problems that land him under his father's thumb again.
Life Lesson: Shut up, keep your head down, and follow orders. Someday your chance will come. Until then, try to stay clean and sober.
Think outside the box. - Roman Roy
If Roman has any education or business acumen to speak of, we can't tell. Still, he suits up and shows up on occasion (once just to jerk off on his floor-to-ceiling office window) but doesn't contribute much to the corporate culture, save for a sprinkling of ridiculous comments. But who knows? Maybe one day something useful will come flying out of his mouth.
Life Lesson: The only dumb question is the unasked one.
Don't let them see you sweat. - Siobhan 'Shiv' Roy
This fiery ginger has mastered the art of keeping cool under pressure. At least in public. In private, however, watch out. Shiv will cut you down to size and tell you where to shove it. She likes her grudges private and her pleasures behind closed doors (even if they're only closed car doors).
Life Lesson: What is discretion but dishonesty dressed up in a little good breeding?
Find an underling to take the fall. - Tom Wamsgans
Tom seems simple on the surface, but his deviousness runs deep. He knows that in life and in business, you're going to run into some shit. Sometimes you eat the shit yourself and sometimes you get someone else to shovel it for you. Either way, you bury the evidence. With cousin Greg on the scene, Tom no longer has to stomach every awful thing he uncovers in the Roy family business; he can schlep it off onto the eager-to-please Greg instead.
Life Lesson: So what if your problem-solving solution is illegal? It doesn't matter as long as you're not the one going down.
Switch loyalties as often as necessary. - Greg Hirsch
When everyone is out for themselves, alliances shift quickly. Greg, though an idiot in pretty much every other way, somehow knows how to appease whichever powerful person is standing in front of him at the moment but doesn’t commit to being anyone’s bitch. Not only that, he takes precautions to protect himself (like making copies of documents he’s been ordered to destroy). Smart moves, stoner.
Life Lesson: Be cooperative, but always watch out for No. 1.
Care about the things no one else does. - Connor Roy
Connor is the odd man out of the Roy family. He's pretty much useless in the business world, but he does care about the environment and the theater. He even gave a call girl a full-time gig as his companion. His heart is (kind of) in the right place even if his brain is woefully lacking.
Life Lesson: Don't be afraid to love the less popular, non-monetary things in life.
Marry up and get out fast. - Rava Roy
Rava is sweet, which is why it's a mystery how she ever ended up marrying into this family. It only took her two kids with Kendall to figure out that she made a major mistake. As her divorce slogs along, she's still willing to pop by for major events with the Roys, but she won't get involved in this dumpster fire of a family's drama. What a class act.
Life Lesson: Never wrestle with a pig. You'll get dirty and the pig will like it.