Warning: spoilers for the hit American satirical black comedy-drama television series ahead
Easily one of the more intriguing watches that will instil within you a sense of anticipation and complete immersion, HBO’s Succession is a masterclass in brilliantly crafted television. Its engaging, but staggeringly real characters, played by an exceptionally gifted cast, and fast-paced storyline, make it a show for all seasons. With its latest instalment on the horizon on March 26, rewatching the same for greater context is an absolute must.
Presenting five reasons why you need to rewatch the show:
You can pinpoint all the instances where things go wrong for Kendall
Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong), the would-be successor of media mogul Logan Roy (Brian Cox), is a self-absorbed, insecure, pretentious flagbearer of cringe. This isn’t merely a concocted opinion but the very image that the showrunners seem to hope to convey.
Upon rewatching the show, from the very first instant, you can begin to map out how things begin to spiral downwards for Kendall, much to his own dismay but also due to many of his own actions.
While some may feel semblances of empathy for the man in his low moments, it is also a stark reminder of how privilege and power become blinding forces that lead to some form of internal revolt, upsetting the status quo of the family business.
You get a front-row seat to the Kendallization of Shiv
Even though Siobhan Roy a.k.a Shiv (Sarah Snook) has absolutely nothing to do with the family business, when Logan eventually tempts her with an offer to take over as the Chief Executive Officer, she oscillates between a yes and a no.
While she stalls to maintain a facade in front of her father, it is evident, from all that viewers already know about her, that the ex-political strategist wants nothing more than the opportunity to have a go at her father’s seat to prove her worth, given that she is the only daughter among three sons.
Thus begins Shiv’s journey of relentless mind games between her and her father, who flaunts his seat before her eyes as a tentative destination, flicking his hand back and forth as per his wishes.
Shiv’s eventual desperation to announce her role sets her down a similar path as Kendall in the first season, coloured with uncertainty, insecurity, and hastily made, seemingly self-preservatory decisions that end up gloriously backfiring.
Tom’s decision makes a lot more sense
From the get-go, it is made clear that Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) and Shiv share a wildly unequal position in their relationship. Tom is awkward, unsure of himself and his positionality in the Roy family, and often the butt of one too many unfair jokes that are clear-cut hits to his self-esteem.
Despite their eventual marriage, Shiv’s ill-treatment of Tom, her inability and lack of desire to be the partner he needs, and her unwillingness to involve him in “their” plans – all push him to the edge to carve a niche for himself and create an armour of protection that serves his interests.
His game-changing decision toward the end of Season 3 – perhaps one of the most pivotal plays for that point in time – begins to make a lot more sense as an act of necessary self-preservation, while also indicating that he is finally stepping into his own and breaking free from under Shiv’s shadow.
You get to relive the Tom-Greg camaraderie
One of the best parts about Succession is the sick, hilarious, confusing, yet intriguing equation that is shared between Tom and the Roy family cousin, Gregory Hirsch a.k.a Greg (Nicholas Braun).
Tom swings back and forth between being abusive toward Greg, incriminating him in a monumental scandal, and constantly belittling him, while also looking out for him when necessary and honing him into being a minion who will eventually grow a backbone as well.
In many ways, Tom is the toxic mentor Greg needs to inculcate him within the Roy family. Their numerous interactions add to the comic relief of the show and are as welcome as they are engaging. The duo is easily one of the best parts of the show, and a rewatch helps cement that recognition.
You understand the nuances of each character better
There is no greater explanation for why the Roys are the way they are than a thorough, deep-dive upon a rewatch. Each and every play and decision become clearer once you intimately begin to understand the nuances of each character, and a rewatch becomes imperative, given that missing details out is far too easy during the first watch.
Watching the show, a second time around also provides you with a fair bit of context and allows you to second-guess, retrace, and reframe certain opinions you may have formed the first time around. It allows for a more holistic, well-informed approach to the show as well.
Finally, a rewatch also allows you to fully appreciate the magnanimity of the entire production and the absolute brilliance of the cast that goes above and beyond to create an enticing, enveloping experience for its viewers.
Amidst news of cast drama and the release of Succession’s final season, if you’ve been going back and forth between finding your way back to the beginning of the show, this is your sign to do so. It is completely worthwhile, and will also serve as a great form of recall before Season 4 drops.
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Originally published at tribune.com.pk