series Rank the characters in "Succession" who is the best human being on this show?

Nate North

Business Member
indieBIZ
Here's a difficult challenge. How do you rate the character of person X, when everyone is objectively terrible?

I just did a watch through of the first 2 seasons as s3 starts, and, lol, I don't know if there is anyone on this show I would like IRL. Polotics aside, who is the best and worst human being amongst this nuanced group?

 

Nate North

Business Member
indieBIZ
I'll be interested to hear peoples thoughts on this. To be honest, I posted this because I couldn't figure it out. To me, looking at the characters in this series and trying to decipher who is the better person.... it's like a giving a squirrel a rubicks cube. I cannot fathom how to begin sorting out this spaghetti ball of bad character and convoluted circumstance built upon convoluted circumstance.

You know who helped fund this show? Will Farrell. The plot thickens, or thins, I can't even tell, lol
 

mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
I almost grit my teeth as I watch it 'cause there's literally no one to "root" for. But the writing and the acting are excellent, so I keep coming back.

I thought about your question as I watched the most recent episode last night. I decided (again, politics aside) that Roman Roy and Gerri (the lawyer) are the least awful people from my perspective. I find Tom (aka Shiv's husband) to be the worst. Cousin Greg isn't a bad person, just dumb as a brick and/or insanely naive. Shiv's so nakedly ambitious that I find her totally transparent and thus not totally awful :)

Your thoughts @Nate North ?
 

Nate North

Business Member
indieBIZ
It's a rare moment when I'm at a loss for words, but this question kind of did that to me.

I was going to say cousin Greg, as the least terrible. But it feels like he simply lacks the capability to become terrible, rather than being restrained by any actual character. I think if he was more intelligent, he'd be just another Ken.

Roman is an interesting choice. He's a twisted sociopath, but somehow comes out ahead of this group of paper thin souls, strictly on the basis of being more honest with himself and others. I've actually encountered this phenomenon IRL several times. My advice is to never start respecting a psychopath based on their bravery or honesty. It's real, and I had that reaction to it, but it has sometimes blinded me to the fact that those people will watch you drown in a river because they don't want to get their clothes wet saving you. You can't offset psychopathy with charisma, or some positive traits. I do think if I had to pick someone to be trapped in a room with for five hours, Rome would come out over Ken, in terms of being tolerable and entertaining. Still, hard to forget that time Roman told that poor kid he could have a million dollars if he made a home run. That behavior is super evil. If I saw someone do that in real life, I'd hate them forever.

Gerri is ok, I don't actually find too much fault with her. I don't see her as a good person, more of a neutral soul within a natively evil circumstance. I played a game once for a while called "Rebel INC." this game was designed based on real life statistics, and a central mechanic was corruption. It stuck very closely to historical data about how people grow corrupt as wealth builds inside system x. Long story short, an ethically neutral person driven by self interest is about as good as it gets at that level of finance. Inside the aforementioned game, you couldn't build a hospital without spawning about 15% corruption among employees, and the higher up you went in the structure, the worse the ratio got.

I actually think Frank isn't that bad of a person. He seems pretty average to me, coming from a history of working with corporate people IRL. Honestly better than average.

Here's a few interesting outlier cases. Karl, is the median for corporate types. Not too smart, not too evil, just kind of going with the flow. He doesn't play much of a role in the series, but to me, he's one of the more believable characters.

Connor Roy, I don't think he's the direct kind of evil, like storybook black hat evil. But he's perhaps the most realistic type of evil represented in this show. I meet 100 Connors IRL for every Shiv. This is a person taking 1000 times their share of the world, with severe Dunning Krueger syndrome, and just kind of oblivious about it all with only positive consequences for failing every possible test of intellect or character. A rich person perpetually failing upwards, and doing only passive harm, but on a large scale. I don't think he would ever intentionally harm anyone, but instead would build himself 12 mansions next to a homeless encampment under a bridge without it ever occurring to him that one might be in any way related to the other. I also ask myself when watching Connor, is this just Cousin Greg's life, if he didn't have the speech issues? I actually think that Greg is smarter than Connor at times, but his fumbling speech has him living at 1% of Connors life quality. IDK, maybe the same intelligence.

I guess if I had to give a single answer, it would be Frank. I can't remember him doing much that was actually wrong. Maybe I'm missing something.

As far as Logan Roy. That's probably the hardest one for me to figure out. Everyone else in the series is inheriting the corruption that comes with unearned money. Logan actually built the company and earned it. He's not a good person by any stretch, but he also has given a great deal, whereas every other character is just differing shades of taking. It's realistically complex. Look at the plotline of the murdered and abused cruise ship patrons/employees. "no real people were harmed" He turned a blind eye, and profited on the suffering of people he dehumanized based on low income, nationality, etc. Pretty evil behavior. At one point people are attacking him in the press, and he says "they don't care about those people either, they are just trying to use this to attack me for their own selfish reasons" and he's right about that. The show makes an interesting point there, he's evil, but the self righteous people that are attacking him are in their own insidious way evil as well. I'd say he's the shows most complex character. He should be in prison, but it's smart of the show to point out that even with that being the case, the people judging him aren't as ethically superior as they would like to paint themselves. Makes you wonder who is qualified to throw the first stone. Do you remember Roy Cohn?

In conclusion to this mini essay, I'd say that I think this show could have used a few good characters. The world is not without it's share of decent people, and I think it's actually unrealistic to paint everyone in shades of dark grey. I'd say a significant percentage of people I meet are actually more good than bad, and that's definitely not represented in Succession.

Given the length of this, I am assuming that this is the part where Indietalk lassos my first line about being at a loss for words, and then posts a gif of Dan Levy. lol.
 
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Nate North

Business Member
indieBIZ
It's not the greatest, but I've thought about it, and the real question is, what should the opening music for this series sound like? Opening music is such a big part of the identity of any series. Not to derail my own thread, but it's an interesting topic. Anyone want to post examples of times when the opening themes of different shows really improved or detracted? This should really be it's own thread. Hold on......
 

mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
Yikes! Just watched Episode 6 of Season 3, which I loved as a political junkie (party/issue preferences aside). But Tom seems dumber all the time as Roman comes into his own as the next generation's king maker. :)
 

Nate North

Business Member
indieBIZ
That plotline where they all start talking about making Connor president felt frighteningly close to reality as I've seen it.

Person 1 "we're super rich, who should we make president"

person 2 "I don't know, the dumbest guy in the room? Doesn't really matter since we're running the show anyway"

person 3 "He'd be a lot easier to manipulate than a smart guy"

person 4 "sounds good, I'll have my people call your people"

I get the disconcerting feeling that this conversation has happened IRL many times in history. Sometimes I think this is how leaders are selected more often than not.

As far as Tom, I never thought he was too bright, but this latest plot about the prison thing feels like he's shooting himself in the foot, and then considering shooting himself in the other foot to see if that fixes it. I feel like the family should just ship Connor, Tom, and Greg off to follow Jimmy Buffet on tour.
 
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