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' Succession ', drama and satire in a wealthy family

HBO series delves into the misery of a powerful media tycoon clan

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' Succession ', drama and satire in a wealthy family

Money doesn't give happiness. But to see effects of fortune in bosom of family Roy in series Succession produces in Spectator a great smile. Because re are many recent series on economic megalomania of today's society and one percent that lives off misery of ors. Billions and Trust are two of closest in time. But only Succession is able to make audience laugh.

Succession is not a comedy, although his author and showrunner, Jesse Armstrong, has devoted himself to it much of his career. So have ir producers Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, alumni of veteran Saturday Night Live sketch program. "But I knew I couldn't tell anything like that in typical half-hour format dedicated to comedy," Armstrong excuses. The "something like" referred to is a plot centered on Logan Roy, fictitious tycoon in front of a media conglomerate that arrived 80 faces problem of his succession among four children around him, each one more vain and conceited than previous. A story in 10 episodes (every Monday, on HBO Spain) that has just renewed for a second season and that, according to Armstrong, is loaded with "elements of daily, human comedy", but it would be impossible to count without weight of drama given underlying mes.

In middle is family. A dysfunctional collective that offers easy compared to arrested Development, a series in which this Briton says it has not been based. Most of m were inspired by Sopranos or two meters underground. and his own family. "It's not that my far is an ogre but in writers ' room we talk a lot about our families," he recalls.

But it's or clans that come to mind watching series. The Murdochs, Roberts behind Comcast, Trumps... "Let it be clear that although we have this family very present, idea is born before its preeminence," author explains. Beyond becoming a reflection of all se families — "and King Lear," Apostille Recalling classics — what Armstrong wants to show is effect of power and money on a family nucleus. And in today's society. "Succession is open to a second reading, that makes you reflect with each episode on big issues in sight behind anecdotes of this group of pampered by Fortune," he summarizes.

Behind this clan of conceited is perfect cast. Armstrong doesn't wear medals. Adam McKay was one who suggested Brian Cox as patriarch. and Jeremy Strong as that son that was going to happen to him. Both perfect, in ir opinion, to represent self-made man and new executive. In some way and despite great economic and character differences that separate him from his characters, Armstrong is able to find those sparks of humanity in all. Of course, with most identified is with cousin Greg, newcomer to family and looking for financial support of his uncle: "It is an outsider, someone who does not understand what hell is wrong with this family." And what has been hardest to write? "I would describe my weak point but let's say I'm glad Hiam abbass is such a good actress. Because it is clear that re is something very private but also secret in character of Marsha [current wife of patriarch of protagonist family], which perhaps we can reveal better in second season, "summarizes confirming line of succession of this series.

Opposite Poles

Actor Brian Cox is politically far from his TV alter ego. If Logan Roy is best example of brutal capitalism, Cox has always considered himself a socialist, a member of Labour Party, at least until Tony Blair took his fancy. And since n he is a great believer in independence of Scotland, only point he has in common with his character. "It's ironic that y gave Logan my birthplace, Dundee, in Scotland," he says. But despite great differences, Armstrong can not imagine anor in role, someone capable of destroying enemy without raising his voice and makes him laugh with his silences. "It's not me, it's all written," he accepts humble. "That's why I like television. Because so writers have more time to work on character, to look at all details and at same time re is room to surprise, to reinvent each episode, "he tops.

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