The problem with Succession's half-baked class politics

The show might not hate super-rich people as much as you think it does

Cast of Succession on HBO.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Sylverarts/iStock, Courtesy of HBO)

Does Succession hate the super-rich? Does it really?

This should be an easy question to answer, given the cruel and petty loathsomeness of the show's protagonists, a reckless gang of vindictive, comic sociopaths. But if you make it past the pilot — in which, among other things, middle-son Roman tears up a million-dollar check just to mock a working class child — you will suddenly realize that you've started to sympathize with these extremely bad people. Over the course of that first season, you will find yourself following Kendall's quest to be his father's son with interest — even rooting for his takeover(s) to succeed — and you'll laugh at Roman's jokes; you will feel for passed-over daughter Siobhan, clearly the smartest of the lot, and you may sympathize with Greg and Tom, the show's most hapless and out-of-their-depth characters. You will probably even catch yourself grudgingly respecting the family patriarch, Logan Roy, for his steely, unsentimental empire-building resolve as he shakes himself out of illness to seize back his kingdom. You will do this because, like it or not, they are the show's protagonists; if you keep watching, there is no alternative.

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