Picture this: A highly flawed family, intent on scheming, backstabbing and inflicting general misery on one another. Sound familiar? Perhaps it calls to mind your experience of the first lockdown last year? For us, however, it heralds the return of television’s most fraught, fearsome family — the dysfunctional dynasty at the heart of Succession.
The world is abuzz with speculation, anticipation and (for the realenthusiasts) agitation at the upcoming release of Succession‘s season three, with the recent release of a teaser trailer pouring fuel on the super-fanned flames.
That’s right, gents; everyone’s favourite wealthy, toxic family is back with a bang, courtesy of HBO — and we’ve got everything you need to know right here. (In the unlikely chance that anyone out there hasn’t yet tuned into this blackest of supercharged Shakespearean comedies, beware of spoilers…)
Firstly, allow us to refresh your memory…
If you’ve managed to resist the allure of this glossy, elegant, nail-biting show thus far, we’d recommend catching up as soon as you can. But if your post-lockdown diary is bursting at the seams and you simply don’t have the time, allow us to catch you up on what you’ve missed.
Succession centres on the enormously wealthy, powerful Roy family, who head up a leading media empire (one that it’s impossible not to compare with the Murdochs, although Jesse Armstrong, who pens the show, has maintained that the show is not a direct dramatisation of the real life media mogul). The family — and media empire — is headed by Logan Roy, a modern day King Lear played by Brian Cox; and the meat of the show is found in the various attempts by his family (two sons and a daughter, not to mention various cousins and in-laws) to be the one to take the helm upon either his resignation or his death (they’re not too picky).
“A TOTALLY UNEXPECTED TWIST…”
So that’s the premise. As for where we were at the end of Season 2: Logan had just been publicly stabbed in the back (in true Successionfashion) by eldest son Kendall (Jeremy Strong). If you’re new to the show, you might think this sounds like standard Succession fare (and in backstabbing terms, you’d be right); but it was a totally unexpected twist — for reasons we’ll reveal a little later on…
Then completely clear your diary for autumn
While we don’t have an exact date yet, we can confirm that the long, long wait to find out just what, exactly, is going to happen between Logan and Kendall following that explosive cliffhanger will end this autumn, when the new series is due to start. And quite right too; because autumn is the perfect time to hunker down and binge watch a series (especially one rife with edge-of-the-seat drama and lavish elegance to the last degree).
It’s been a lengthy wait — no thanks largely to the ever-present pandemic, which snaked its tendrils into the filming of Succession, as it did everywhere else — but it seems everyone’s favourite family dynasty really will be back on Sky Atlantic later this year. And from the trailer, you can expect to witness cupboard doors being pounded, threats being issued, shots being downed, chests being beaten, desks being overturned and promises of vengeance being issued through gritted teeth from the confines of luxury cars and skyrise offices.
Expect to see both old and new faces among the cast
Firstly, most of the original cast will be returning to our screens this autumn; and just as well. We all need some normality after what has been a tumultuous time for us all; and seeing our favourite warring dynasty doing their usual sparring in a desperate bid to take control of the family media empire could be just the post-pandemic tonic we all need.
But as well as our old favourites — Brian Cox’s Logan, Jeremy Strong’s Kendall, Matthew Macfadyen’s Tom — we can expect to see some new faces gracing the lavish interiors and glamorous backdrops that make up the Roys’ exclusive world. Alexander Skarsgård, for one: as reported by Variety earlier this year, he’s joining the crew as Lukas Mattson: “a successful, confrontational tech founder and CEO”. Presumably, you’re more than familiar with Skarsgård’s previous roles — Big Little Lies and The Little Drummer Girl among them — and this new role looks set to send his star credentials soaring ever further.
Prepare for the ultimate showdown
Right; now we’re back to the totally unexpected twist we mentioned earlier. Kendall exposed the dodgy dealings of both his father and the company at a televised press conference, and effectively promised to take his father down; which was the last thing viewers expected to see, due to Kendall’s puppet-esque status in the family business (cue gasps all round). Plus, Logan had knowledge of some grim happenings in Kendall’s past (to do with a waiter dying in Kendall’s car en route to an illicit drug deal) which it was understood he’d cease to keep to himself if ever Kendall refused to toe the line.
But exposing his father and the toxic dealings of the company at a televised press conference didn’t exactly fall under the heading of ‘toeing the line’; and so if nothing else, we can expect to witness a full on showdown between Kendall and Logan as we head into Season 3. The trailer starts with Kendall grimly asserting “You are Kendall Roy. You are f**king Kendall Roy”, to himself — and such an utterance hints at significant drama en route. As for where the rest of the family stands? That remains to be seen; but from the looks of the trailer, they’re as nonplussed as the audience.
As for the rest? That would be telling…
We wouldn’t want to give everything away in one fell swoop; and the show’s creators are keeping the drama cards very close to their chests, in any case, with the exception of the teaser trailer. that would ruin the actual viewing experience, which is the last thing we’d want to do. But it wouldn’t be Succession without the usual sweeping, decadent backdrops. Previous episodes have seen the characters swanning around on various lavish forms of transport (we’re talking helicopters and yachts, to name just two), hashing it out at shooting parties and celebrating at famous castles; and with a brief shot of (what looks to be) Italy cropping up in the trailer, we can expect the Season 3 locations to be as gobsmacking as ever.
As for the rest? You’ll have to wait and see. Here’s hoping all your questions will be answered (what exactly is Magda’s deal, anyway?), your style will benefit from the copious tips on offer (remember, gents, you don’t wear deck shoes to the office — save them for the yacht), and your appetite for tense, violent family drama in the most glamorous of settings will be well and truly sated.