What’s with the Hype for ‘Succession?’ Quiet luxury, finance bros, breaking familial cycles – what other reasons make HBO’s latest hit show so appealing?

The show revolves around the Roy family who Logan Roy currently heads. The almighty Roys are the family behind the renowned media and entertainment empire Waystar Royco, which becomes the object of desire for all the siblings. As their father Logan starts to age, as the title suggests, the four children start to race against one another to be the chosen inheritor of the family business.

The four Roys fighting for the throne are Kendall, Shiv, Roman and Connor. Kendall is characterized as the favourite son that is keen on pleasing daddy-dearest, however, is flawed with a sense of emptiness and the curse of self-awareness. On the other hand, there’s Roman, the wild child of the gang that lives by his own means. Although he might come off as sleazy and cocky, his cunning properties actually resemble the business-savvy mentality his father possesses. Then there’s Shiv, who isn’t directly involved with the family business and instead is making a name for herself. Compared to the other siblings, Shiv is more progressive than the rest and is keen on breaking her father’s patterns which becomes crucial in her motives.

What's with the Hype for 'Succession'

Image courtesy of HBO.

Now the show’s plot which mainly revolves around the fight for the familial throne also features plenty of other side stories. Still, all of them will reveal the difference and developments of the power dynamics between the siblings. Every few episodes audiences will feel like they know which Roy is leading the race and then in an instant, they’re back to square zero. There’s a type of ripple effect that happens throughout the show’s plot, where every action is met with consequences, however, these consequences will only unfold after some time in moments where you least expect it. With the characters all being so tight-knit with each other, there are also hidden motives and implications that lie beneath the surface.

The show’s aesthetic has also created buzz for the show on its own. There’s a raw essence to the way the show is shot, including shaky zooms and quick camera pans. This gives a sense of voyeurism when audiences tune into the show – feeling like they’re eavesdropping on conversations they’re not supposed to be part of. Even in terms of the show’s general aesthetics, the sets present in the show are more often than not desaturated and paired with soft dim lighting – making luxurious environments seem bland and subdued. Fashion-wise, the characters are also donning casual lowkey looks instead of glamorous high-fashion costumes – which also amped up the hype for the quiet luxury boom.

In a general scheme of things, all characters aren’t exactly the most likable bunch with the crew all sharing the common traits of being out of touch and un-relatable to most audiences. But despite the obnoxious and pretentious traits that these characters ooze, people can’t seem to stop watching. Perhaps it’s due to the casualness and naturality that are put into these characters that make the show not seem like a glamorization of the wealthy, or perhaps it’s because each character is so painstakingly imperfect that people have grown a sense of fascination over them. To draw a line between the different factors of what makes Succession the show it is today, a common denominator is that the show blandifies the luxurious lifestyle. Although there have been many works of media that tell about the downsides of wealth, Succession offers a take that feels more unfiltered and raw. (Text Vanya Harapan)