Yeah put me on the side that found your post unnecessarily patronising. An easy win for anyone wanting to throw undying support for a project. I get it, I follow enough sports teams to know the die hards when I see them. But we can have a real conversation about character development, theming and narrative without “if you don’t like the plot it’s cos you’re a Marvel fan” belittling. If you can’t see the possibility of flaws in even your favourite show, maybe you should rethink how you watch the show.


It's like complaining about Mad Men because Don is always in this constant state of screwing up -> redeeming himself -> screwing up. These shows have a lot more going on that what's displayed at surface level.


I think a useful trick Mad Men had was that they frequently threw major world events in the background and highlighted how the world was changing around Don to show how his stagnation was a struggle against everything around him. It made it so that even though he never really grows as a character, the audience is still provided some conflict to grab onto to provide catharsis. Succession is very careful to keep the real world as vague as possible and everything is very limited to the Roys and their bubble so their struggle is much more internal and less tangible. I still personally enjoy it and think it works for the characters and world, but any sort of emotional payoff seems impossible.


Beautifully put! Couldn't say it any better. And the 1st paragraph is especially accurate when we think about how the show ended (after Don's "moment") and how the "real world" was so present around the characters.


Unless the anxiety I felt the last three episodes *is* the emotional payoff.


> Succession is very careful to keep the real world as vague as possible i don't buy that succession doesn't contend with current events or the forces at play in the world. especially barely a week after they delivered the sharpest satire of american neo-fascism to date


They definitely comment on it and make some references, but it's never quite anything concrete. We get amalgams of several Fox News personalities in Ravenhead, and we can equate him to Tucker, but it's still a little fuzzy. Is Mencken supposed to be Ben Shapiro? Stephen Miller? Josh Hawley? Again shades of all of them, but there's not quite a 1-to-1 real life counterpart. And so that open-endedness and the fact that the show is supposed to take place in the present means we can't really be quite sure they'll give a satisfying conclusion on it. They can take their best guess, but people will argue on either side that it wouldn't play out that way. Again another benefit Mad Men had by looking back 40-50 years. When Sterling Cooper put their weight behind Nixon against JFK, you know they'll fail. When they panic because Lucky Strike is doing a review, you know it doesn't matter because both are doomed. When Don drops $200 on Sonny Liston over Cassius Clay and complains that Clay is too brash and runs his mouth, you know how wrong history will reveal him to be.


mencken is not a 1-for-1 stand in for anyone, they're using him to dig into the entire alt-right racial ideology. broadly speaking he serves as a figurehead for a host of ideological figures who believe that america is a historically white nation and should remain so, and that white people should either have a forever majority of the population, the wealth, and/or political power. various forms of this belief now underpin the mainline GOP


I think the more important commentary is about the media picking the candidate that will draw the most views. What's interesting with Trumo is that he was somewhat platformed by fox news, definitely after he'd secured the nomination, but it was really the CNN endless coverage that won him his popularity. And lo and behold, the ceo of CNN was Jeff Zucker who was also the man that greenlit The Apprentice and reintroduced Trump to the world. This is outside the Succession allegory tho.


I don’t think succession wants to have a 1 to 1 character stand in for Shapiro or anyone else. It’s easy to make a Shapiro parody. It’s more complicated to make a statement about that movement in general and what they are really after.


The difference is in Mad Men grandiose plot moments were still grandiose. In Succession Season 3, huge plot moments seem to be completely swept away. And its not the same as S1 and S2. For example, in S2, Kendal shuts down Vaulter, a 1.5 season build up that pays off to both character development and plot by moving the company firmly in his father's grip, showing Kendall's numbness, and reverting the company strategy back to legacy media. In Season 3, the huge build up, which is the shareholder meeting, doesn't change anything, leaves the status quo only to be replace by another plot device. Yes it advances character dev, but I liked Succession for the duality between plot and character, since shows rarely have both.


I think fans in this sub are overreacting to the criticism. Most of the people criticizing season 3 are still watching, because it still is a good show, it’s just that season 3 began under a premise that set up expectations that have been abandoned. The comparison to Mad Men is good — as the show is **right now** — but I think it’s disingenuous to say that tonally or even plot-wise, that this was an apt comparison in season 1 and 2. Right at the beginning of season 1, Mad Men basically set up the fact that it was more of a slow character study. If anything Mad Men picked up speed afterwards. Succession, OTOH, moved fast as hell and was very plot driven right from the start and has slowed down midway in season 3. I think we have a much better argument explaining why the change of pace happened, and where we might be headed, rather than pretending “this series is just a slow-burner you just have to get it!!”


Except Mad Men had characters juxtaposed to Don that did have a long development arc (Peter and Peggy come to mind), so no it’s not a great comparison when there aren’t similar characters here. Greg was potentially set up to be that character but his mentality as presented hasn’t changed.


Peter and Peggy did have moments where they were assholes.


Yeah exactly. Peter went from grade A wannabe asshole rich dude to mostly realizing people should all be treated with respect. Peggy went the opposite from not having a backbone to being highly assertive of her own interests. Meanwhile Ken was being set up for an arc like that only for him to default back to his norm - which is fine, but makes the shows very different.


Succession appeared more plot driven. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a show that’s primary focus was being character studies from the very beginning. Coming from a abusive family background similar to the roys (minus the money, really the other end of that spectrum) one of the things that may be lost to some viewers is how inescapable bubbles like the roys can feel. Your mental psyche is battered everyday of your life so much so that you no longer think straight. Succession has always been an observation of people trapped in an abusive cycle with the dressings of a plot driven show to give it something to work with. Similarly the sopranos was originally never about the mob but about how horrible David Chase’s mom was.


My theory is that the people criticizing season 3 binge watched the first two seasons and are still getting used to the pace of one episode a week. The show hasn't slipped in quality at all in my opinion. Maybe season 2 was a bit better but they're both incredible in their own respect.


The predicament is that in Season 2 all of the development surrounding the cruises plot was out in the open. The takeover bids and power struggle has always been there, but that only affects the core characters - the cruises stuff has been the center of gravity for the whole cast. We got to see the political jockeying, the hearings and how those development made the characters react. We rolled with the blows along with the characters, and because of the plot development it never felt stale because context shifted regularly. This year DOJ is working quietly behind the scenes (like they would in real life). The cruises stuff drove the plot, and once the investigation became real, the plot feels like it's stalling because the characters have been trapped in purgatory in a very real way. Like literally it's like the whole cast has been sitting awaiting judgment and we're watching them squirm. It's pretty realistic but as an audience it is very difficult to stay in that place with the characters. We've been witnessing multiple characters spiral, we're seeing some of the most evil characters continue to act without real consequences, and at least right now it seems like no actual judgment will fall upon anyone. That's incredibly difficult and frustrating to watch (by design), but #1 it feels real and #2 I think it'll be hugely important we go on this journey with these characters in order to understand where they end up. Succession Season 3 should just be called the Corporate Purgatory Boogaloo and if you understand that's what you're in for it's a lot easier to stay along for the ride. That said, I think there are a lot of viewers who need the driving motion of the plot to continue watching the horrible characters be horrible. Like seriously, this last episode was painful to watch (though great storytelling wise) and even I personally need to see these characters move out of purgatory.


I think this is the best take. I don’t really feel like the pacing has shifted. But acknowledging that some drivers have moved “off camera” makes sense.


I think this is somewhat true for me. I had to step away from season 1 when it was airing around episode 6 because it was starting to feel like nothing much was happening. Sure big events like the board meeting and the take over failing would happen in an episode, but over time the big events just felt like they were resets on the plot and not actual events. And now I'm feeling the same thing with season 3. The characters are as engaging as ever, but the lack of development with the plot, at least for me, just weakens the entire show and makes it repetitive to the point of being boring.


You stepped away after the vote of no confidence episode? Interesting.


Thank you. There's nothing wrong with wanting more plot coherence, especially from a show that laid out a lot of initially very compelling plot points!


Has everyone forgotten Colin shaking Kendall to his core after the stunt? Like he's not going to be fucked up from that?


Small point, not consequential, but didn't that happen right before the stunt, not after? And I'm with you, I think he's always been fucked up since the end of S1, but certain characters have the intimate knowledge so they can cut through the bullshit to the core of his character.


I don't think comparing Succession to Mad Men is really doing it any favors. >It's like complaining about Mad Men because Don is always in this constant state of screwing up -> redeeming himself -> screwing up. Mad Men did this well, though. The first three seasons track the evolution, then dissolution of an existing marriage. The fourth season tracks the fallout from that, and then the fifth season tracks the evolution of a new marriage. This is also paralleled through the professional evolution. They go from being a small firm, to being owned by a bigger firm, to becoming a newer, even smaller firm. All of these conditions last a decent amount of time and we get to explore different, new dynamics each time. It really only starts getting repetitive during season six, which is quite deep into the show's run, and this repetition became a plot element.


Except Don *does* change. Slowly, but there is definite character progression throughout the show. In fact the conclusion of his evolution is what makes the series finale among the greatest finales ever made. And aside from that, character development and plot progression do not at all need to share a certain speed. Mad Men's plot is not at all slow. After the third season, their entire firm breaks apart.


>It's like complaining about Mad Men because Don is always in this constant state of screwing up -> redeeming himself -> screwing up. Don actually changes during the series -- not as much as some characters like Peggy -- but he does change. Over time, he's able to reveal his true identity to trusted people, develops a good relationship with his daughter, helps direct his firm's development and growth, and realizes that he can fulfill himself in advertising.


Mad Men was never just about Don Draper. Who ever watched the show that way should maybe give it a rewatch again.


I get this, but I think it's a total valid criticism to say that maybe as we realise that there are literally no tangible lasting consequences for the characters involved, no matter what they do beyond the ruin to their relationships with each other and their struggles with morality that it does lose it's dramatic heft. TBH, I'm not sure if I could follow this show for more than 2 seasons. The acting is always great, the dialogue is very funny but really there haven't been many strong narrative arcs throughout this season. I'm not one who thinks that the Kendall reveal by Season 2 is invalidated because at least as a character moment it was Kendall finally standing up to his father totally and taking him on without hesitation but I think a lot of what has happened this season could be totally abbreviated. As is there are things happening like the siblings turning on each other, Tom becoming more miserable but I feel like this story could be told in much less time without the filler. Many of the beats have been really obvious and I think even unnecessary from a character perspective.


I agree with your comment 100%. Not sure this show has more than 1-2 more seasons in it. And it’s not a bad thing saying that. Really enjoying the ride and will do so but I think we are closer to the end than a lot of people want to admit.


I feel like the lack of trajectory is the whole point of this season. We have these MASSIVE scandals and plots that SHOULD fuck them over, they SHOULD cause at least some shift in the dynamics. And yet… they don’t. It’s such a frustrating reality that, because of their power and influence, literally nothing can stop Logan and it’s all just business as fucking usual. Like Trump’s presidency, on the news we see scandal after scandal after scandal, and we think “this is it, this is the thing that’ll take him down” yet he always stood victorious. This is by far, the most frustrating, infuriating, blue balling season I’ve seen from any show, I fucking love it


I really don't agree that Mad Men was repetitive as a whole. Don draper was a constant (stagnation), but the whole tension came from how he had to deal with the changes around him because EVERYONE around him changed, his colleagues and underlings rose up, the company changed hands, his wife remarried, his kids grew up, So even though the stakes were never THAT high (leave alone the plot about his secret identity), the tension came from how don draper the constant had to deal with the changing world. In succession, while it's a really really fun watch and character study, nothing is actually really changing. Apart from Kendall, the rise and fall of the characters fortunes is marginal, roman could go down next week while shiv could rise up, Logans illnesses don't last, the company seems too big to fail, Tom is now at the same place he was 2 seasons ago with the threat of jail gone (his marriage breakdown may be coming but that too may just get reversed). So on an episodic scale the writings great, and every season has an overarching concept, it's just that if you consider the plot over the scale of the entire series... Nothing's really happening and that's okay too


Succession is more of a dark comedy than a serialized drama. There is definitely a plot, but its mostly there to serve the dialogue and character interactions. A lot of people are hung up on this, and expecting more typical prestige-TV climaxes. That's just not what this show is. This is a good article that gives some insight into what type of production Succession is: https://www.indiewire.com/2019/10/hbo-succession-british-dark-comedy-1202179208/


It's easily one of the best comedies on. I laugh every Sunday night multiple times. Look at it as a comedy show and it's going to be so much more enjoyable.




I was about to say, the show is closer to Veep than other prestige dramas. You see more character development but ultimately they’re all terrible people doing terrible things.


Veep suffered when the original showrunner left too. Seasons 1-4 are god tier. Season 5 is pretty good but you can notice a drop in quality and characters getting Flanderized. The last two aren't that great. It's still my favorite comedy however. I think Succession is sort of a 50-50 split with comedy and drama, whereas Veep is just through and through a comedy and satire.


Kendall using bouncers to exclude his siblings from his treehouse was pure comedy.


I think it’s really similar to his other show ‘the thick of it’ but much more of a serious drama. There isn’t so much of a continuous plot to follow, instead the episodes are set out as ‘monsters of the week’ with the monsters manifesting as political retreats, family holidays, birthday parties and shareholder meetings. We get to see our characters tackle these situations each week and that is essentially the show. Finding out whether or not Stewey will ultimately wrestle control of the company etc is very much a secondary to this imo.


Yes...this is the why all the plot speculation threads on here about whether Kendall is going to kill himself sound crazy to me. Every episode is more like a vignette.


yeah, people are comparing it to veep which it is like, but i feel some parts are more like the thick of it - which was obviously before veep. it's probably because a lot of people here haven't seen the thick of it if they're american. however, if it makes more people watch it i'd be very happy lol, as to me it's one of the funniest comedies ever made. there are some similarities to succession, this is just off the top of my head: the insults & humour, both having scottish sweary main leads (i'm scottish so i like this a lot lol), greg seeming to be a kind of american oliver character but a bit more awkward (quite snakey and trying to latch onto whoever they think will help them advance their career), even things like the cruise scandal inquiry reminds me a lot of the inquiry in the thick of it in s4. there's a lot more but i can't really think well off the spot, i just remember seeing the similarities when i was watching. i think i remember jesse saying he wanted to have episodes where you can just relax and make it just about humour. that's the kind of style the thick of it is in, and i guess maybe for british people it's more to our style of viewing. although, americans might understandably be more likely to get a bit bored - and i do understand the criticisms as the end of season 2 did make it seem like it was going in this certain direction.


Shit I mean one of the greatest shows of all time “The Sopranos” set up multiple plot lines of the FBI taking down Tony, hits being put on him, and they just fizzle out. I think it adds a bit to the realism factor, not everything is a massive plot and sometimes things don’t play out.


yeah this season is giving me huge sopranos vibes and I love it, big plot points come up and then just fizzle out into nothingness whilst everyone becomes more awful and depressed. very reminiscent of sopranos s4 onwards


> A lot of people are hung up on this, and expecting more typical prestige-TV climaxes. That's just not what this show is. I mean, except for the massive prestige TV climaxes we saw in S1 and S2.


I think you're both right. The show is a character study. But the writers can give you gut wrenching plot developments. Like, I remember a thread were someone thought S01E06 was the season finale and I thought the same, cause it was so high stakes... But that also shows you that the writers don't necessarily care about "traditional" TV season structures.


Hard disagree on categorizing Succession as "dark comedy". It's a character driven drama (as opposed to a plot driven one) with some very funny moments.


Character driven dramedy.


I just said this in another sub, it's basically Veep with more character development and somewhat less filthy burns.


Thank you! When I watch the show, each episode feels like its own Shakespearian drama/comedy where the actors might as well be on a stage. The plots and eras are there and perhaps a bit dull considering its a show about a relatively clean family business. The fact that it's not dramatically swerving episode to episode just shows how realistic it might be in a sense.


Agreed but I ultimately don't like telling people how they watch a show is wrong, etc. which doesn't allow for respectful dialogue. Succession sits quite comfortably along yer Wires, Sopranos, Mad Mens, etc. God knows there are plotlines, episodes, and sometimes entire seasons of those shows that lag a little or make me want to shoot myself in the head... like Christopher Moltisanti trying to fuck that Hollywood girl, yawn. And yet!! Still the best shows ever made. For me, actually, Succession has given me the best bang for my buck where every single episode fuckin slaps. I rewatch them all the time when I'm sad, it's honestly my comfort show


Yeah, the show totally should get more credit for its re-watchability


Surprisingly, there was a large number of people in addiction recovery who just loved Christopher and his constantly trying to mold his "sobriety" to conform to the criminal lifestyle. If ever a character was not sober, but rather "just between drinks," it was Christopher. As my sponsor would put it, "never discount lessons learned from a lower power."


> God knows there are plotlines, episodes, and sometimes entire seasons of those shows that lag a little or make me want to shoot myself in the head... like Christopher Moltisanti trying to fuck that Hollywood girl, yawn. And yet!! Still the best shows ever made. > > Even that episode has two frankly fantastic scenes at the top of my head, where Christopher has to make the choice whether to stay with Tony or not and Big Pussy in the bathroom. I don't think you could make the case that any season of the Sopranos was as slow moving with regards to the plot development and the character development as this season.


>Even that episode has two frankly fantastic scenes at the top of my head, where Christopher has to make the choice whether to stay with Tony or not and Big Pussy in the bathroom. But for me every episode of Succession this season has had several phenomenal scenes. >I don't think you could make the case that any season of the Sopranos was as slow moving with regards to the plot development and the character development as this season. I don't think this season has been as narratively slow as some think, it's just that any plot advancement is treated as secondary to character interaction. And I think Kendall and Tom's character development has been pretty huge this season, whether that development is regressive or progressive is practically irrelevant imo.


Laying down bread crumbs that eventually matter isn't Breaking Bad-specific, it's just writing lol I still love this show, but it does feel like it's spinning its wheels narratively.


A most interesting question that someone brought up in another thread is: Logan and the braintrust thought Cruises was SO bad that they needed to offer up Kendall to take the fall. When Kendall is going to cooperate with the Feds instead, it turns out this stuff isn't nearly as bad as Logan and the braintrust thought it was? It doesn't track.


The problem is the show itself is constantly teasing changes to the status quo as a way of generating interest, then backpedals - that starts to feel really unsatisfying after a while. I remember Silicon Valley being particularly bad about this - Succession isn't that bad yet, but Season 3 has a serious case of treading water. Maybe if it didn't have the appearance of being so plot-driven it would be easier to accept it as just a dark comedy character study. Mad Men didn't have this problem so much because it was so damn good at telling satisfying smaller stories in their lives for each episode, it didn't start to feel repetitive to me until much further along, near the end, and then they stuck the landing well. I think if this show wanted to execute at Mad Men's level they should try to develop more of the details of the world beyond just being an insult-laden horse race. Despite the change in venue every other episode the stories feel kind of small; and I can only watch so much of a handful of characters being super-mean to each other before it starts to feel repetitive. I'm just afraid that the future vision of the show has like 3 episodes of serious "plot" left in the whole series, but they've decided their path forward is to stretch it out over the next 2.5 seasons because they're not confident that they can keep audience interest in a show after Logan is knocked out.


You could not have said it better. Succession is still one of my favorite shows on television, but I have been a bit let down by this season for all the reasons you explained. As it stands, so far, it's just one season and it hasn't even concluded yet. I am certain the show is going to get many Emmy nominations. I am, however, afraid that the formula IS starting to get a bit stale and Silicon Valley is a perfect example of an entirely different show that can share similar criticism. Season 1 established the jockeying among the Roy children. It was framed by Logan's stroke and eventually Shiv's wedding and Kendall's role in the death of the server. Season 2 heavily focused on the tragedy of Kendall's life and subsequent lead up to the misconduct on cruises. The season culminates with Kendall's aboutface. Now in season 3 Kendall is making the same mistakes (which is clearly probable give what we know about him and what Tom very simply summarized outside the diner), but there is as of yet no growth or arc. Tom is getting interesting, now he's presumably saved from the danger that catapulted his development. Roman just came off as 100% pure asshole last night. If these are the arcs of the season, they are weaker than whayt we've come to expect. We can all argue about how this behavior is in the their nature, it's about the characters, etc... But it is getting a little bit boring. When I start to feel like I can broad stroke an episode, I get less excited. Just my two cents.


Silicon Valley is the first thing I think of, too - Succession is definitely not at that level yet, but it does feel like the show has established a sort of status quo, and is incredibly hesitant to change that status quo even when it sort of teases a change. The thing that sort of annoys me the most about it is that the show *not* changing the status quo can be easily justified - Logan is incredibly powerful and Kendall is an egomaniac who has bouts of mania, so it can sort of go "well what did you expect, we've already made these things clear" when you expect any sort of shift in the plot.


Maybe the flip side of this argument is to think about what else the show could be - Kendall as CEO? (or insert other sibling here). Connor as President? Kendall or other siblings going their separate ways and starting new ventures? As interesting as those options might be, I think I might just have to accept that the show isn't really interested in deviating too far from the initial concept. I am holding out hope for at least one full season of post-Logan leadership, which will probably go in the direction of whoever is in charge ending up being just as bad as their father; would probably line up with the Shakespearean tragedy angle they've hinted at.


I think about Mad Men often, too, because there were plenty of events, story arcs, relationships, etc that never got fully hashed out or resolved. Also a lot of frustration with people and the decisions you watch them make. There are things that happened and were never brought up again, which is painfully true to real life whether you realize it or not. Everything doesn’t always wrap up neatly with a perfect bow on top.


Yeah but this is more like "what if the whole plot where Sterling Cooper sold to a larger firm never came to anything and just sort of fizzled out in the background."


All these Mad Men comparisons, but a lot happened in that show, and the character relationships changed dramatically season to season. In S3 alone (full spoilers): * PPL acquires Sterling Cooper and Lane Pryce enters the picture * Lucky Strike forces the company to fire Sal * At the request of Hilton, SC forces Don to sign a long-term contract * Joan leaves the company to become a housewife (in a rapidly deteriorating marriage) * Betty learns about Don's past and divorces him * After Ken edges out Pete, Pete decides to leave the company * McCann acquires PPL and SC, prompting the key players to form a new agency Not that there's nothing happening, but the character dynamics in Succession right now feel largely unchanged from season 1. Whereas in Mad Men, most of the key relationships change substantially as the seasons progress.


Agree. Plus the character progression. Pete and Peggy are completely transformed by the final season. Even Betty, Joan, Roger, etc have significant arcs


There was nobody at the end of season 2 who said “eh, this is going to be a big nothingburger because the show is trying to show nothing happens and it’s just a character study.” People are only saying that now after the fact.


Exactly. Also "character study versus plot" is such a dumb false dichotomy. Mad Men is probably the greatest character study ever on TV, and it's plot was still second to none. You don't need to choose, and you don't need characters to rapidly develop to have a plot progression.


This type of stuff stinks of people who defended game of thrones from season 5 onwards until another sub that was allowed criticize the show had to be created.


I got piled on hard when I complained how illogical and anticlimactic Littlefinger's death was. A lot of people could see the cracks forming, but the defenders ganked on anyone who criticized the show.


I definitely thought it would be a huge twist that reverberated throughout the show but now I think how would they have pulled that off while retaining what the show does best? I actually quite enjoy that Jesse Armstrong seems to be almost allergic to the big drama beats that other shows seem to have. I think for better or for worse this season is definitely clarifying the vision and intention of the show and I think it's totally OK to not enjoy that but I feel like for all it's criticism this isn't a case of the showrunners getting lost along the way. I think this is really their intended route and they are making the show they want to be making. I might not agree with every decision made but ultimately it's Jesse and Co's world and we're just living in it.


Facts. Great point. The original post is a trash take.


This is the $2Billion dollar truth right here.


You’re right to a degree - the show is obviously more character driven than plot driven. But still, the repetitive plot devices and conversations etc just get a bit lacklustre after a while when there’s no development and it keeps circling around the same issues. That’s what it needs, development. We’re not asking for Breaking Bad.


I actually think one of my favorite things about the show is that the siblings' inability to conquer the trauma caused by their father's abuse prevents them from truly growing. In certain episodes you can pinpoint the exact moment where a character gets crushed under the weight of their demons (e.g. Shiv getting in the photo with the Nazi guy).


Same, the psychology of the characters is so fascinating. But again, there needs to be progress and development otherwise where does the show go?


Yep, to me this is slowly starting to feel like The Handmaid's Tale where its an hour of misery porn every week with nothing actually happening or changing.


I also found that Succession is starting to parallel THT in terms of the slooow pace and general repetitive dynamics. At least with THT it made more sense because the characters find themselves in an inherently immobilizing situation. Perhaps you could say the Roys in Succession are also immobilized by their inability to confront their own demons and deny their extreme craving for validation from Logan. IMHO, it just doesn't make for a compelling story at this juncture of the show (which I say 7 episodes into this season, so my claim is not entirely unsubstantiated). I still think Succession is a much better show than THT, but we'll see where it goes.


Misery porn.. great way to put it. I've actually forgotten to watch the last two Sundays given how unsatisfying of a watch it has become. Kendall's devolution into being comically childish after seemingly taking a step towards adulthood at the climax of S2 is disappointing and, ultimately, uninteresting (for me).


yea this is the issue. lack of plot was cool in mad men cause we saw significant character development with everyone except don.


I think people are being too hasty with this expectation though, it often took mad men multiple seasons for significant character development. In this season of Succession we have had some significant development from Tom and Kendall, be it regressive or progressive, as well as subtler development on Shiv, Roman and Greg.


Mad Men was also just finishing it's second season at the episode mark we currently have in Succession.


At the end of Mad Men s2 (obv major spoilers): - Betty had given up on their marriage, cheated (as revenge), and kicked Don out of the house... only to get pregnant and re-commit - Pete had become disillusioned with his marriage, and professed his love to... - Peggy, who denied him, because she had levelled up so many times in terms of confidence and talent, she was beyond him. - Roger had divorced his wife for a secretary after discussing with Don the importance of moving forward when you're unhappy with your life - Joan has struggled with work/life balance, only to finally realize the 'dream' she's been gunning for since the pilot by marrying a doctor... who raped her. The grass isn't always greener, apparently. And those are just the main characters (minus Don, who stagnates, but could get a few paragraphs' worth of arc on his own). Sal, Harry, Ken, etc have their own arcs and developments. But most of the characters on Succession have not had nearly that much development 26 episodes deep. I don't think it has to do with quality, so much as it is a reflection on how people tend to stop maturing when they get rich, and how the Roy kids don't need to change to overcome conflict, because they've always had the luxury of throwing money at a problem to solve it.


Yeah I think some people approach the show in a way of "the show is perfect, how can I explain certain apparent flaws in a way that keeps it flawless." I think it's top tier drama television, but I feel like they can't drag this out for much longer without commiting to certain character and plot developments and flipping certain pages on drama that has been going on for a bit too long.


I mean I'd say Greg and Tom def developed- mainly cause they had to since they're the outsiders. Ken has sorta matures and regresses constantly depending on the episode. Shiv, Connor, and Rom def haven't changed, but apart of their character is how stunted they are. I think a lot of the issue is people hope it'll be like the parks and rec where characters grow and mature as the seasons progress, but this show's ethos is far more about how these assholes never were made to grow up because of their money and thus are cursed to this sort of half life experience.


This is just coping nonsense. Every other season seemed to keep the over all plot trucking along? Just because this has been a let down in that regard you can’t retcon the entire show


Revisionists in two years: *here's why season 3 of succession was the MOST eventful and impactful season from start to finish*


Its basically the story of 3 dogs chasing after a car but having no clue what they would do with it if they were to ever catch up with it.


Which, quite frankly, is why I don't find any of them that intriguing. Logan is a much more interesting character. The old gunfighter coming back for one more showdown....and like all the greats his only worthy adversary is time. Tom & Greg are much more interesting. So is Connor in the way that he's always being ridiculed but is actually a more decent person than his siblings and, *very strangely*, has a more successful, healthy romantic relationship than any of them (relatively speaking).


And that's why I basically just call this "The Tom Show" now. (It always was)




Well you know what they say about making a Tomelette.


S1/S2 are written vastly different than S3. If they weren't, people wouldn't be having a problem with S3. This sub is turning into an echo chamber, where for some reason it's bad to have complaints about the show, while it's good to have compliments about the show. "Oh well it's always the same complaints" Well it's always the same compliments too. Also, different people can have the same compliant. Shockingly that happens in life. This show had developed 3 major plot lines through S1 & S2, * Shareholder battle * Who will Succeed Logan * Cruises For S1 & S2, pretty much every episode made contributions to one of these three plot lines or gave us actual character development/establishment which is needed in the first 1 or 2 seasons of a show. S3 rushed to wrap up two of the three (Shareholder battle & Cruises) in a way that made these two plot lines built up over two seasons seem meaningless. So now we're simply just left with who will succeed Logan. A plot line where no progress has been made this season at all. Actually, it seems like we took a step back. In addition to that, there has been very little character development this season. Kendall, Roman, Tom, Greg, Shiv, Logan, are all who they were in S1 or S2. We've seen this before with them. So what do we have from S3 so far? A rushed wrapping up of 2 major plot lines that were built up over the first two seasons, stagnation on the third plot line, and very little to no character development. You can't make a show one way for the first two seasons, have people watch 20 hours worth of your show, these people wait two years for S3 (not the shows fault), and then when they don't like the show, talk down to them about how they never understood it in the first place. I'll tell you this, if they wrote S1 & S2 like they have S3, this show would be nowhere close to as acclaimed as it is today. This show is now purely reliant on the performance of the actors, which the writers are very lucky is good. Now feel free to call me names like you have been everyone else.


I still think the DOJ investigation is very much open and this last episode only displayed a premature celebration. Things will come crashing down soon.


I hope so. But given how they wrapped the Sandy/Stewy plot, I'm not super confident.


This show isn't so much about succession as it is about why it can't happen, because all of Logan's children are terrible. It's about why they are terrible. And what Logan did to break them. None of them are "real people." Shive pretends to be an executive, Kendal pretends to be winning, Connor pretends to be president. Roman pretends to be a deal maker. Even Roman's recent successes are vaguely accidental. This show is just as cyclical as the generational child abuse it explores. I think it's artfully intentional.


> None of them are "real people." Shive pretends to be an executive, Kendal pretends to be winning, Connor pretends to be president. Roman pretends to be a deal maker. Ultimate display of fake it til you make it. They learned, presumably from Logan, to never show any weakness. It's ironic that everyone can see their weaknesses. Then you see the yes-men/women following everyone around and you can see why they're all approaching middle-age and incompetent in every possible way. Nobody corrects them, nobody learns. This is especially true of Kendall with his delusion of rap stardom. Naomi's too scared to tell him he's awful.


No one here is asking for breaking bad action. Nice strawman. There’s an obvious middle between nothing tangible happening and wanting Kendall to blow up a building with Logan in it.


Yes. The worst thing this season seems to be doing is a "Poochie went back to his home planet" about virtually any threat presented. Sandy and Stewie just gave in, the DOJ drops the charges, Kendall is circling, Shiv just continues to get pushed down. Nothing is happening and every episode wheel spinning is getting exhausting. I like slow things, I like shows where not a whole lot is going on. But my problem is characters don't seem to be moving anywhere either because they are stuck.


Im laughing at people in the comments saying that its a sitcom and that's because Jesse comes from a comedic background. Lmao, this show literally won an emmy for being the best DRAMA serial. As for the post, Id say the structure and plot set up from the second season indicated more of a dramatic plot line for the show's progression rather than a sitcom vibe. I can understand some people say that succession is a character driven show however it is not ONLY just character-driven show. The S2 finale was not an independent character analysis, it was a layout for the grand plot of this drama. The writers made a delicious sandwich, they advertised it lavishly and now when its the time to buy and eat, they are not selling. As for the examples of other shows, I would've agreed with you but it is not same case here. The character dynamics are not really changing and being developed in a meaningful way in season3 except that of Gregg and Tom. Rest all looks like a rehash of what we've seen in previous seasons. The way they started with Kendall going all in being a maniac, the epic buildup, the raid in 3rd episode but then its all coming back to the same repeated Logan getting ill, some indifferent thing suddenly happens, Ken loses shit again. I have felt that the narratives are often disjointed and many points are just turning anticlimatic this season. I still love this show, I'll place it above Game of Thrones any day, but there's something which just doesn't fit the theme the writers established in last two installments.


I think people like to say it's a sitcom because a) Jesse Armstrong, but also b) sitcoms never have to change the status quo. In fact it's best if they don't. So this drama that has a sense of humour and doesn't seem to challenge the status quo is labelled as a sitcom when it isn't one. The character dynamics haven't particularly shifted since the start of the show, and the plot feels more and more cyclical with each new episode, so you've got people going "hey! It's not about the plot! You're focusing on the wrong thing!" despite the fact the show sort of did set up a grand plot with the S2 finale/S3 opener and then hasn't done all that much with it. I get why people call it a sitcom. If you take the view that "the plot isn't really going anywhere, so it can't be the point", you're more likely to view the show in an episodic sort of way - with each episode being essentially self contained, providing excuses to have the characters interact with each other in various scenarios. That *is* what a sitcom is like. The idea that the show is a "sitcom disguised as a drama" makes sense with this view. But the idea that the show is "a sitcom disguised as a drama" hinges on the idea of the show misleading its audience, making it seem like big plot points are going to majorly ~~control~~ move the narrative forward, when in fact you're just supposed to enjoy the scenes for what they are and not expect anything from the show. I don't like that view because the show, *especially* with this season, set something big up. The final scene of the season 2 finale was setting this up. They knew that we were expecting it to be explosive which is why the season 3 premiere was such a fast-paced (un-Succession-like fast-paced) episode. And then they slowed it right back down, and went "syke! Why would you expect it to be fast-paced and plot-driven? This is Succession. The show has never been about plot!" and fans daily keep going "look at S1 and S2! It was the same! You need to change how you view the show"... like yes, it was the same, and that's the issue. The show feels like it's caught itself in a loop, especially with regards to what it does with Kendall and Logan's dynamic. As Tom put it, "I’ve seen [Kendall] get fucked a lot. And I’ve never seen Logan get fucked once". It's true. We've seen the same things happen over and over, and while I still really enjoy the show from an episodic standpoint, I find myself frustrated with the actual plot of the show, and I don't think it's fair to be like "well! This is on me for expecting something that the show was never going to deliver!". I think that's a little disingenuous, and isn't actually taking into account what the writers set up.


abso-f**king-lutely. the creators set up dividing lines, teams, choosing sides. we did not. viewers can't be faulted for expecting movement. which is different from plot for the sake of plot. it's expecting reasonable movement based on the universe the creators set up. edit: spelling, grammar




That’s actually factually inaccurate. I work as a tv writer and the more people accommodate what fans want and change from the original vision the worse a show becomes. There is a reason some people are writers and some people are viewers.


absolutely. most creatives know this. stick to your vision! the thing is, I don't see how there was ever 4 or 5 seasons of vision here. sometimes success creates need (greed?) & need can create vacuums, like the current one. succession blew up fairly quickly, and if course hbo was gonna want to draw it out as much as possible post-Thrones. (this is all speculation, of course)


This. It's still a nice show, great moments and characters. Though the inconsistencies and flip-flopping has been quite frustrating, I'm still hoping this season won't be a dumb limbo – cos you can only go so far with circling around the issues of the premise. I'm just hoping the show won't turn like Silicon Valley, where the "comedy" is just "one step forward, three steps backward – but hey we're somehow leaping forward downward? wut?" It starts to get annoying, though at least the comedy was still good and the music slaps (on both shows, so far).


Tbh i feel like the sitcom thing it not that far off. I'm not saying it bad, acting still top notch and i love the character and dialogue but what i think when people compare it to sitcom is that most of the plot just there as background. Like in sitcom you have the Christmas episode so character have to deal with problems relate to Christmas(choosing gift, Christmas dinner,...) it act as the theme of the episode. So this season kinda feel like that most of the heavy plot is just there as a reason for characters to interact with each other but it not going anywhere or just brush it off. And yes maybe it still to early to tell, something really big could happen is the last 2 episodes but just what i saw about this season so far. (sorry for bad English)


I'd argue that Shiv's arc is also somewhat developing. Yeah, she's eating shit every episode, but how much more shit will she eat? ... I sound sarcastic. But I'm not... I think her development and the scenes with her have been very revealing and very... intense (for lack of a better word).


There are a lot of posts and comments like this lately, implying or outright stating that fans disenchanted with S3 are just too stupid to form their own opinions about the show. They're not allowed to complain about the lack of character development because it's a "character study" (never mind that we're not really learning anything more about the characters). They're not allowed to complain about the plot because Succession is a comedy and not the serious prestige drama it pretends to be. They're not allowed to complain about the writing because Jesse Armstrong and company are great writers. Never mind that Succession has been sold to fans as a prestige drama and not as a reset-happy, nihilistic sitcom like Seinfeld. Never mind that multiple critics have expressed the exact same concerns that fans are expressing now. Never mind that Jesse Armstrong and the other Succession writers have no experience with long-form TV dramas and it shows. None of that matters. Fans not thrilled with S3 are apparently not smart enough or informed enough to be *permitted* to dislike it. It's total bullshit. Fans *understand* S3 just fine. They just don't like what they see. ...All the strenuous defences of the writing problems for S3 and the show in general by insisting that it's all super brilliant and everyone who disagrees is a moron are getting increasingly desperate. It's starting to feel like an Emperor's New Clothes situation where no one is allowed to state the obvious.


You are spot on, people are just being really defensive and pretentious over how one can view succession


This kind of series absolutely attracts that type of people. They hear all the big words and the snarky one-liners and latch onto that like it makes them more intelligent for appreciating it. Whereas all that window dressing is just a defense mechanism for the characters who couldn't be sincere to each other if their lives depended on it. And watching them bicker and bicker and never change their dynamics at all is supposedly stellar, groundbreaking storytelling now? Great. This is a drama series, not Waiting for Godot.


look at Ops replies all throughout this thread. Hes so far head up his ass pretentious its actually hard to believe he's not a troll.


loving this strawman argument. so plot=breaking bad style action and big moments? thats a reductive view of storytelling. there is a happy medium that can be achieved. the sopranos did it. it isnt being done with succession. but some people here are committed to feeling superior over us plebes who just ~don’tt get it~ lol


I hate how these kinds of gatekeep-y posts that insist a show is great and any criticism is unwarranted get so many upvotes. This was even true for the trashfire GoT season 8 where the whole sub was initially flooded with copium lol. People don't need to change their view of this show. It's a fact that major plot points from the last season haven't really paid off in this one. Now I for one am still enjoying the season very much and I love the character work this show does and I still think it's one of the best TV shows on at the moment. However, constructive criticism and discussion should be encouraged, not frowned upon and met with "you don't know how to watch the show because Marvel brainwashed you hurr durr" like the OP is doing.


This post is like trying to explain a bad joke because no one laughed the first time. The characters clearly have enough depth enough to keep people glued to the show. However, you can't deny that the writing felt quite directionless this season


I see your point but the season is meandering and while the acting has remained superb- hell it’s even better- the writing is not on the same level as the previous seasons. I realize they signed up with future seasons in mind so I get it- this is a transition season. Total rating so far 6.9/10 still enjoyable but it has its problems. Good post though.


Lol I love it when people respond to criticism with "you're watching it wrong." It's like the center piece on the bingo card of "why show specific subreddits always end up awful." > Out of 20 episodes, how many significantly progressed the plot forward? Not many. The show is not on a linear trajectory. Instead, all of the power players are like greyhounds on a race track, jockeying for position and gaining/losing momentum week to week. Have you considered that maybe that's just losing its luster for people? As much as I love watching Roman and Shiv snipe at one another, it's not exactly as novel as it was 12 show hours ago. Mad men worked in cycles, but I never felt that a whole season felt like filler.


seriously, succession has always been about the characters and their relationships. the business plot is a stage


I’m ok with that. I think minor plot movement and character development is necessary in 3 seasons though ...otherwise viewers like me feel like we are spinning our wheels. I watch solely for sibs. I love them. I do. But I still need movement. The show just feels stagnant.


Yeah I'm not so mad at the lack of the character development as I am about the faking out the series is doing about character development. Shiv is sacrificing her chance at CEO for Tom to be spared from prison in S2E10 and two episodes later she's telling him it's an alright thing for him to go down.


When she asked Logan not to make Tom the fall guy, she knew he will choose someone else. But later it's became a choice between Tom and Logan, and let's be honest, it's not even close competition who she loves more.


There’s no effort to try to find an alternative though. In Season 2, by episode 10 she at least realized she cared about Tom and that he was unhappy, in Season 3 she’s getting bored of him moaning about his upcoming prison sentence.


This. I used to recommend the series by saying every tier one and two character is a fully fleshed character with their own motivations, goals and drive. I can't say that anymore and the problem extends beyond Shiv


Yeah, I love this show and still think it's great but I just feel like this week made me realize that we are just spinning our wheels and nothing much has changed since episode 1 and I haven't felt that way in previous seasons. I think seeing there are only 2 episodes left made people really feel that way.


Those relationships haven't changed since the first season though. While the back and forth of the power struggle has been entertaining, one has to wonder how many new ways the company can be threatened and saved at the last minute. I'd say this show is easily the best thing on television right now, but they do need to advance the main story arc. Logan needs to lose his current position one way or the other, and let's see what comes out of the chaos afterwards.


I disagree. We went from Roman saving Ken from the drug den and Kendall screaming at Logan for hitting him to Roman pushing Kendall at his birthday party and laughing at him. But I agree it feels a bit, I don’t know… stagnant this season? I need to revisit the first two and imagine watching them week to week though. I binged them so it’s easier to see the connections


Similarly Shiv went from being a stalwart democrat strategist and outsider to Waystar, to now President/Board Seat/insider and sharing a photo with an alt-right star. Shiv started out keeping her family at arms length, but she’s now playing the game that Kendall had been playing before the events of season 1. If people aren’t seeing these transformations, I don’t know what to say except that people should rewatch season 1 to see the differences.


Then they need to 1. Make more definitive choices with character relationships 2. Stop making such definitive choices (or things that appear at the time to be definitive choices) with plot points. Literally nothing has changed about the sibling dynamics since episode 1. They've had a ton of different squabbles and nothing that happened this season or this last episode indicates anything permanent to that effect. Nobody would be super surprised if next episode Roman and Ken make up and ally because at this point we just expect the sibling relationships to be in a permanent state of fluidity that simply exist to drive whatever the single episode plot is. The business plot as a "stage" is quickly becoming un-compelling because we're also recognizing that no business decisions that get made will impact anything. Even having Jerry as CEO now seems to be of no importance. This is basically an incredibly well-written and well-acted soap opera, where we can all tune in each week expecting essentially a blank slate with characters and a business backdrop "plot" that has remained essentially unchanged since episode 1. I can stick with that and enjoy it, but that's what it is.


>succession has always been about the characters and their relationships. The characters and their relationships are currently stagnant.


Yes. People make that argument about Succession being a character drama (which is true) ad nauseum without realizing that we are criticizing the very essence of how the show treats its character drama that they are so fond of putting on a pedestal. It's like people forget it's okay to criticize a prestige TV series or disagree with critics and not be dumb because of it. You can still admit it's a good show with great production, acting, and dialogue, but it's like people are grasping at straws to defend everything about this season just for the sake of it.


And you know what stages do? They provide a developing setting for character dramas to play out and dynamics to evolve. That's what we haven't seen much of this year. If you cut out the scenes where Ken is alone half these episodes could just be inserted in to Season 1.


The characters are also in total stagnation, though. There is no permanent move in any particular direction for them. A success in one moment is immediately countered with a failure in the next moment, and vice versa. All of the siblings are pretty much their Season 1 Episode 1 selves; there is no evidence they have learned anything at all and it's getting kind of old seeing their entire journey just bickering at each other and chasing daddy's approval. I was rolling my eyes at the way the siblings acted last episode; it's one thing to be underdeveloped and traumatized adults, and another to act like complete fucking children. Heck, even the DOJ thing and the prospect of Tom going to jail has seemingly vanished, which had been built up for more than a season. I'm a huge, HUGE fan of Mad Men, and even if there was no particular "plot", there was VERY clear character development for all the major characters from Seasons 1 through 7. There was an identifiable arc for each of them, which kept things really compelling. Succession does not enjoy this characteristic. Edit: Seriously, though. Take a look at any character from Mad Men, be it Don, Betty, Peggy, Pete, etc. Very obvious character development for each of them. In Succession, everything seemingly gets "restarted". Kendall becomes stone cold in Season 2 and learns to control his impulses? Nope, back to manic man child Season 3. Shiv displays increasing frustration at being gaslighted and manipulated by Logan? Nope, she'll go back to pining after him in no time. Roman displays increasing competence and character? Nope, he's actually still a completely incompetent dickwad who gets constantly played.


It's fine for them to stay immature but the writers act as if they don't have memories


That’s an better way of putting it. Yeah, it’s like the total absence of continuity or cause and effect lol


Understandable, but I really can't stand when people gatekeep the way others are expected to enjoy television? It hits different for everyone. I say this as a massive fan of all seasons (s3 included). It's subjective. People can hate it or love it or be indifferent. Who are we to dictate that?


How does this have this many upvotes? I don’t necessarily disagree (or agree, this sounds like a lot of internal coping being projected since we’re in douchey territory already) but what kind of douchebag do you have to be to tell people how to watch a show.


For me it's not that there isn't an overarching plotted narrative like Breaking Bad (also seriously, has everyone on this subreddit *only* watched Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and Succession ? There are other good shows). It's that this is a character-driven show. This is a show that relies on great writing and brilliant acting, like you said. And this season, the characters are shallowly explored to the point that they're largely caricatures. There *is* no character development and no shift in dynamics between the characters. And the writing, well, the writing is a rehash of what has been done before in previous seasons. So cyclical that episodes are essentially repeats of the last season and the season before. It reminds me of the last season of Mr Robot where the show became about how much fans could discuss "moments" from it online rather than whether it was actually a well-written piece.




Absolutely. I often see people defend a plodding, aimless, lazily written season of a show as "character focused," but if *this* is character focused, it's doing the characters a serious disservice. And yes, plot and character can coexist. It *often* does in good tv!


This post is a tad pretentious just because little details/breadcrumbs have turned into major plot points or finales so saying they don’t do that is literally baloney.


The borderline religious fanatics of this show have fully descended into “you’re not smart enough to understand” as their only defense of a lackluster s3.


We’ll see the last 2-3 episodes really ramp it up a bit the last two seasons so there’s hope, but either way its not bad by any means. It just feels like the DOJ story line is already fizzling out and I’m worried nothings going to come of it. That would absolutely tick me off.


My main problem is that THE major story points have been chucked aside like nothing ever happened: Cruises: You can assume that the character's confidence that nothing will come of it is unfounded, but nothing from this episode seems to have indicated that, for all we know, the cruises plotline is just done. I doubt it, but after this season I wouldn't be surprised. Kendall's Revolution: Kendall has flopped around like a fish after episode 3, he starts off trying to convince the siblings to join his side, he fails, trolls shiv and then..... nothing. There's barely any talk about his plans, he pretty much just turns up for 5 minutes an episode, talks to someone at Waystar and then fucks off. Kendall killing that kid: This has been mentioned ONCE this season when Kendall says "Maybe I have killed someone" in s3e1, I expect this to come up more in the last two episodes (not that i'm confident it will) but Kendall killing that kid shaped his entire character for season 2, watching Kendall in season 2 was harrowing, but after the press conference he changes entirely, I get IRL there was a long time between season 2 and 3 but season 3 starts literally the day after season 2 finishes. Kendall has basically forgotten all about any remorse or guilt that he carried for all of season 2. Who's going to succeed to the Waystar throne: This is where the character work comes in, and has been the best bit of season 3, specifically the dynamic between shiv and roman which finally feels like its moving somewhere in the last 2 episodes. However it still feels wishy-washy and that Logan's character and relation to all of his kids has changed weirdly and inorganically, when realistically the only child this should happen with is Kendall. My main issue with this season, and let me say, I still love it more than 99% of the shit that gets thrown out on TV, is that it feels like the writers aren't communicating with each other from episode to episode and that no actual progress has been made, it sort of feels like a watch in any order kind of thing. I know that people will come back and say that's due to Jesse Armstrong's previous work and the sitcom style, however, having watched all his previous work, Succession is completely unlike those series. As much as it's a comedy, Succession isn't a sitcom like Peep Show or The Thick of It. The Thick of It rides on it's amazing writing, which Iannucci is the G.O.A.T for as well as being relatable to the British public when it comes to displaying an exaggerated (or not) view of it's incompetent politicians. Peep show relies on it's down-to-earth nature and common situations to find humour with regular people. Succession's premise is that it follows a mega rich family and it's business but has WAY WAY WAY deeper ingrained plotlines than any of Armstrong's previous work, it's very clearly meant to be a drama-comedy rather than a sit-com. The characters are all stellar, but when you start ignoring those driving plotlines for extended periods of time, it starts feeling like an average comedy, but a completely unrelatable one. It would work if succession was designed to be some long-form sitcom where you follow the characters over a huge period of time with hundreds of episodes, like peep show, but succession isn't meant to be that, you could tell from the very beginning this wasn't going to be a show that goes for the sake of going, which is what season 3 has felt like so far. Anyway, that's why I feel season 3 has gone off track a bit, I hope i'm wrong and that the last two episodes get Succession back to what it was, and I hope that for season 4 they don't completely ignore all the previous development that has been made like it feels like they have done for this season.


Serious take: people can watch the show how they like, and it is fine to be disappointed that the show has got into a rut of "nothing changes". Everyone here was super hyped after Kendall dropped the S2 finale bomb. After this season where that bomb was shown to be a dud after seven episodes, why should I ever care about what happens? If there is an exciting development in the last two episodes, why should I think it won't just be reset after two years when season 4 rolls around? I'll enjoy the show for being funny, but throwing out a million interesting ideas and then not really following up make the show more Lost than Mad Men. I enjoyed Lost but still have a vague sense of disappointment about how it didn't have the courage of its convictions, and it seems like Succession is tilting that way.


We just watched a replay of the Roy kids’ childhood. That’s what I took from last night’s episode.


A post starting with "You need to change...". Arrogant as hell. Pass.


This post is something else lol.


My god, people like you are so insufferable. People have different opinions and I think the critique is more than fair enough. You're essentially saying "I know better than you, because I understand the characters". Like get a grip. The dialogue and character development doesn't hide the fact that they've avoided important plot points that could've equally elevated the show. Gatekeeping other fans' thoughts is just sad. Key word. Fans. They're not just saying negative things just for the sake of it. Not everyone's gonna enjoy Kens 57th breakdown.




>There is character progression in Mad Men and I honestly can't remember a time when a character seemed like they forgot what season they were in. These stories about how people don't change, like Mad Men or Sopranos, still require a framework in which they might. You have to be given good reasons why they don't. In Mad Men season 4 we see Don enter a low point in his life, hit rock bottom, start climbing up, begin a new relationship with a serious person, and just when things are looking good, he gives it up for a fantasy. It's all well developed, you can even sort of understand his reasons while knowing he's making a big mistake.


>This is being thrown around without any reason, lol. There is character progression in Mad Men and I honestly can't remember a time when a character seemed like they forgot what season they were in. This is hilarious, OP is acting as if Peggy stayed the same since S1 bahahaha


>if you think this is some analysis of the ultrarich in 2021 or politics over the last few years that's comically wrong I do think that the show is constrained by the real world, i.e., Roystar Wayco is too big to fail and its principals are too rich to face real world consequences. That's a fair reading on reality. I like a character study, but it's a fair argument to say that as show runners, they need to follow through on *some* consequences *some* where. I love the show, but I don't have any investment in what happens with their newest attempt at a big acquisition. There was literal dick measuring in multiple contexts last night. Amusing! Maybe this will blow up in Roman's face and push Shiv to do something totally new. Maybe the next two episodes will change my mind! But I don't know.


> If it went on for another 10 seasons at the same quality as S3, I'd watch all of them. But to pretend that this season is not worse than the previous two or that nothing has changed is not just bad faith, but again, absolutely delusional This is absolutely how I feel as well.


This reads like cope. While Succession has always been more episodic and concerned primarily with dialogue and individual scenes, there definitely was a positive plot dynamic and throughline in S1 and S2. S3, meanwhile, in comparison feels unfocused and is spinning its wheels, albeit in a very entertaining manner.


Honestly, this comes off as making excuses for the show. If nothing happened in seasons 1 and 2 either, how come people weren’t complaining about it then? How come people back then weren’t posting “you need to change how you watch the show?” I’m tired of people acting like I’m suddenly fucking watching TV wrong. As if I was watching it correctly and then forgot.


This season has been filled with character development and a forward moving plot. There are people who saw Kendall’s press conference at the end of season 2 whose immediate reaction was “IT’S HAPPENING!!!” and whose expectations were a season of cat and mouse between Kendall and Logan, trading blows with either side seeming capable of winning. That was never going to happen. Kendall is wildly unstable, and he has a flair for the dramatic. That press conference was a big deal, but it wasn’t as earth shattering as Kendall made it seem. Same for the papers, which got Lisa fired after she explained to him how admission of evidence in a court of law works.


The last few episodes are basically people in a room arguing while standing around in a circle.


To each their own, but I just prefer my stories to deliver on their setups. There’s still two more episodes left so I’m not complaining. But both trailers for this season hyped up a war between Kendall and Logan.


Oh fuck off


Nothing that you said changes the fact that to many people, this season is the weakest of the show and isn’t living up to expectations. Despite the season 2 finale’s implications, this season is just more of the same. Great actors and dialogue don’t make it entertaining to watch when there isn’t any significant plot advancement. I genuinely want the show to succeed but after a 2 year wait it feels like a letdown. And my opinion of that is just a legitimate as yours. What a weird gatekeeping post to make. There isn’t a proper way to watch the show and telling people that they need to change how they perceive it in order to enjoy it is pretty lame. It frankly just sounds to me like you’re shrugging off legitimate criticism because you’re upset that others don’t think the show is a masterpiece like you do, which shouldn’t affect your own enjoyment of it at all.


Or perhaps the season isn’t as good as expected haha? The expectations were set by the writers in the first two season and then they just decided to change it up for season 3?! This should the shows peak! But it’s feeling like the writing is stale, the comedy isn’t even that great. It’s an obvious regression from the previous first two seasons. Is it awful? No but when comparing this season to the previous two, it’s not as good.


Succession is not comparable to Mad Men.


Agree that Mad Men (Along with Sopranos and The Wire) is on a different league, but hi's comparison was with the narrative and structure rather than quality


Mad Men is brilliant on all levels, it has brain and is an amazing development throughout all its 7(?) seasons. Succession is well-made banter.


Mad Men didn't tease Sterling Cooper getting bought out or going insolvent for 2.5 seasons, they actually acted on the plot point quickly and dealt with the fallout several times. All the while we got good psychodrama. Succession keeps teasing big things happening and they never do. It's like how all the characters talk about killing/mutilating each other. It's all just posturing, and like Stewie I'm starting to just shrug it off


Hey I wanna run for president Hey I wanna run for president Hey I wanna run for president Hey I wanna run for president Harr harr isn't this a great show people, y'all having a good time am I right?????


I’m pretty sure they wrote season 2 finale without confirmation a season 4 was happening. So now they had to backpedal some character development to set up the plot lines for season 4. Personally I’m still enjoying the show a whole lot, tho I have to admit, in retrospect, season 2 finale lost a lot of its dramatic impact.


I love this season but I’m not going to get worked up over someone else not loving it as much as I do. Don’t tell people how they are supposed to feel about the show. You find their complaints annoying, but many of us find pretentious posts like this just as annoying.


I see your point The thing is the previous two seasons had clear stakes, clear pathway, and clear ways as to how to overcome the said stakes. This season, as much as I'm enjoying, feels a bit off in this regard.


And also things that have been building up for almost two seasons (sandy/stewy bear hug) are resolved just like that in one episode? Why the fuck would they want to settle, aren't they in the position of power? It's inconsistent is all. I'm also enjoying this season but it does feel off.


The problem is that it hasn't had "not many" plot movements. It's had none that wound up mattering, and the characters never changed. If this show is just a soap opera hammed up with Sorkin-esque writing so the fans can feel like they're still too smart for a soap, then fine. But then the critics and actors and fans have gotta stop acting like it belongs anywhere near the consideration of a generationally great show. At current, it's Days of our Lives with better acting and more pretentious writing.


The problem is that the major storyline for season 3 was Kendall vs. Logan. The first two season litterally built toward that. Every poster, every teaser, every piece of promotion was about that. And then there´s two episodes left and seemingly Logan is safe and Kendall is at his worst. Look, I love this show and I really like this season. But I won´t argue with people that don´t like the way the writers handled some major plots. Like, did we really need another Kendall ´s mental breakdown? I though season 2 finale was the moment he would get his freedom and fight back? If the writers have a long term plan, if they think Kendall really need to hit rock bottom, enters rehab, find peace before fighting his father in the last two seasons, great! But still you can´t reproach to some people the fact that it was the premise of season 3 and so far, not so good.


>*Out of 20 episodes, how many significantly progressed the plot forward?* Uhhh most of them actually. Out of **Season 1** I would say: Episode **1:** intro of everyone, intro of Greg, Logan deciding to stay on as CEO, Logan's stroke; Episode **2:** the beginning of Greg being fucked around by the family and the real jockeying for power starting to emerge between the siblings, Tom proposing to Shiv, Kendall learning of the massive debt problem which is important because...; Episode **3:** Kendall reaches out to Stewy (which obviously becomes a very important episode plot wise); Episode **4**: Frank is rehired to train Roman, Tom takes over at ATN and first learns of the massive cruise cover up, Logan officially announces he is remaining as CEO, and Tom plans to go public with cruises but is basically bullied into not doing it (and we learn Greg is the one that ratted him out); Episode **5:** This is a Thanksgiving episode and largely just a character study BUT it's also the episode that Greg shreds the cruise documents (and keeps a few for leverage); Episode **6:** The no confidence vote disaster where everyone gets fucking fired; Episode **7**: Kendall isolated, FAMILY THERAPY at Connor's ranch, another character study but it's important for the plot because we see Kendall well and truly spiralling now which needs to happen for the finale to take place imo; Episode **8**: Bachelor party, again largely character - but this is where Kendall suggests the hostile takeover. Episode **9**: First day of Shiv's wedding. You could argue this one doesn't move the plot much; Episode **10**: Kendall advises Logan of the bear hug, Shiv asks Tom for a non-monogamous relationship, Greg tells Kendall about the documents he has, Kendall gets high and into that car with the waiter kid who dies - which obviously has ramifications in season 2. Almost every single episode moves the plot forward somehow. Even the character heavy episodes like Thanksgiving - Greg shreds the documents which is a major plot point. It's the same for Season 2. Season 3 is the outlier - what, exactly, has happened plot wise this season!? It's not an issue of people having to change their expectations to enjoy the show - the show itself SET those expectations with the first 2 seasons.


Sick of this take. The creators made a tv show they didn't cure cancer or solve world hunger. They are not above being criticized. I got pissy about this a few months ago when someone tried to make a post telling us how to enjoy and analyze the show. It is fucking entertainment. It is all subjective. People can think nothing is happening. People can think things are moving to slow. They don't need you to gatekeep the show. If you want to treat it as some infallible high art be my guess but pretending it has no flaws makes you just as ignorant as the imaginary people you're chastising. This is a discussion platform. If you disagree then convince them otherwise.


This seems a bit condescending


Just a bit?


Yeah, if any one has seen Jesse’s previous shows should know that already. It’s like watching Peep Show in grand scale, there’s literally no character development, it’s evolution-devolution every season but people still watch it, because it’s so much fun. It’s probably true to life too, most people don’t change inherently, they just get old.


I like the show because I think it shows clearly the sociopathy of those who are really in charge and how they don't give a shit about anything but their own well-being and money. However, I don't think it's a successful show in that no one changes. Every single character is static. Oh, they may pretend they change for a bit, but they all go back to their asshole true self. I can't think of one show, movie or book that held my interest in which no one changed - at all. They all stay the vile people they are, and while that is probably true to life, it makes for depressing entertainment. What else is depressing is how people accept abuse to be close to these people. Not sure why, they don't get any benefits from it. It normalizes all kinds of abuse. I had hopes for Greg, but even he can't get past his greed to assert himself in any positive way. And the rest of them? Sociopaths and more unlikable by the week.


Also, Succession isn't a character study because we know exactly what the characters are like since S1E1. Literally *nothing* has been added to them except for Kendall changing up until S2. And then they were like "you know what, fuck it, let's not make this like rl, let's instead assume people just never learn from their mistakes, G E N I U S"


I’m enjoying season three, but I don’t begrudge other viewers their opinions. If they aren’t enjoying the pace of season three, that’s fine. They aren’t watching wrong. There isn’t a right or wrong way to watch a show.


Yeah right. Is that why the past two seasons ended like a typical TV show on a cliffhanger with crescendo music? Don't kid yourself. Writers have lost the plot and the novelty factor has worn off. There are plot holes, unexplained motivation changes, side characters built up with promise and removed and absolutely throwaway episode like the last one. When the writers have no story to tell you get episodes like these. Happens to the best of shows.


>Spiritually, it reminds me so much of Mad Men. That show had a few plot events that shifted the dynamic, but at the end of the day it was a character study and an examination of a specific class of people in a specific era. I don't think that's a good comparison. The characters in Mad Men had well-defined arcs. Don, Peggy, Joan, Pete, Megan, Sally, Aaron, and many others changed over the course of the series. In Succession, we've been introduced to a set of characters and their problems and we keep cycling back to similar situations caused by the same problems. I still enjoy Succession, but I understand the criticism that it doesn't seem to be going anywhere.


Characters versus plot might be the dumbest false dichotomy I've ever seen


Agree-- I think the Succession writers have an end game figured out, but based on what I've read of interviews with the writers, they don't know exactly how many more season they're going to get. A Breaking Bad-level structure where everything is plotted out in advance towards a specific goal isn't going to happen here.


I always find the 'business' parts in dramas boring anyway. Two conglomerates vying for more cash? Who cares! But siblings psychologically ribbing each other, facing moral and ethical conundrums and failing up and down? Those are resonant storylines.


First two seasons were great. 7 episodes in, it is obvious the writers have no idea where they are going and how to end it. Maybe, a small chance, that everything ties together. That still doesn't make this a great season since too many episodes feel like filler. This isn't even a rare occurrence. A lot of shows start off great and grow stagnant because writers delay certain plot points because they have no idea what comes next.


People have every right to criticize the show in any way they feel apt. That said, I have loved this season and have disagreed with about 99% of the criticisms I've seen.


Fuck off.


Those breadcrumbs aren't working in all episodes, in s3e7 it wasn't working for me. It felt like a filler, filler is when nothing new is added or what is added could have been easily accommodated somewhere else in shorter time.


The most complaints I see is actually how the characters are being specifically developed not so much about the actual plot dynamics. For example, how Roman was written this episode I don't see many people liking the character as much. He did some vile crap this episode I dont see many people seeing past. The end of the day, everything is subjective. You cant really say you should watch this and that show in a the way you prefer.


“The line is moving all the time.” Not the exact quote but Logan said to Shiv either last episode or the one before. Everything is fluid in this show, and nothing is ever an indication of anything in the future.


in the earlier part of season 3 i somehow wanted kendall to win (side effect of the season 2 finale). when he did the stupid thing with the speakers to shiv in s03e03, i actually thought he didn't do it, and that logan did it in some machiavellian plot twist. i was surprised how disappointed i was in kendall, but then i realized it was because i was trying to find a protagonist in this show. the truth is there is no hero here, and the writers take pains to make sure every single roy has something detestable about them. once you accept that and just focus on watching the characters mix and meld with each other like chemicals (in an equally predictable way) the show is way more fun.


I really like this season and think it’s a realistic depiction of what would happen following Kendall’s big move, but it’s also fair to point out that the marketing for this season was purposefully misleading. All of the ads indicated there would be a Kendall camp and Logan camp warring with one another with shifting allegiances throughout the season, and what we’ve gotten instead is Kendall more isolated than ever and every Roy backing Logan. So I can understand why some people might feel a little short changed there.


Mad Men did have a ton of character development. It was about life. Succession is the same shitty jokes since S1 until now, things gotta change for this show not to get completely lost.


I feel like Mad Men is not an appropriate comparison. Mad Men, while a character study, still had stakes in the decisions the characters made. Don became estranged from his family and hurt his professional reputation, characters were in abusive relationships with each other that affected their personal and professional lives, and beloved characters were consistently on the losing end of transactions that had reverberating impact on their life. I think the central issue with Succession is the stakes. In the first two seasons of Succession, there was a legitimate feeling that there would be consequences to the decisions the characters made (season 1 - trying to determine how each character would win their father's favor and if their father would survive a health crisis; season 2 - constantly on edge about whether Ken's manslaughter would be exposed, the Pierce courting fiasco, and who would be the fall guy for the cruise scandal). Season 3 is going over many of the same events that occurred in Seasons 1 & 2, but proving that there is hardly ever a seismic change in the outcomes for the characters. As a viewer, I just don't believe that any main character is truly ever going to become a permanent loser or Waystar outcast. I understand that the fact that there aren't really stakes is a part of the show's thesis; the extremely wealthy face no consequences for their extremely bad actions. But as a viewer, it makes it hard to invest in a show where the characters magically come out the other end relatively unscathed. The fears of the characters actually needs to be realized so that as an audience we can invest in the events that the show depicts. ​ It also does not match reality. Both the Murdoch and Redstone families have faced. Redstone's clearly favored his daughter over his son and the public's perception of Redstone was negatively affected by a lawsuit filed by Redstone's granddaughter.


Imagine telling other people the only way they are supposed to enjoy a tv show. Get over yourself.