Like some of the other reviewers, just seeing Brian Cox's name associated with this show, filled me with high hopes. Unfortunately, as soon as he uttered the first few lines of dialog, my hopes were dashed.
This has got to be one of the most poorly-written HBO "marquee" shows I've ever watched. Not only is the dialogue cringe-inducing, but they've literally hired the most annoying ensemble of actors I've ever seen in a single show to deliver those lines. Listen, I get that the characters are supposed to be unlikable, but I doubt seriously, that the direction given to the actors was "Ok, now I want your character to be the human equivalent of 'nails on a chalkboard', or a 'baby loudly crying nonstop', but that's the effect of the actors' portrayals. Well, actually, to be fair, the "wife" isn't annoying, and even the actor playing "cousin Greg", who while his character is annoying, he himself somehow manages not to be. The problem though, is that the other actors get most of the screen time.
As far as the story itself, it would've helped if they had allowed it to progress a bit before side-lining it using the tired trope of the "incapacitated matriarch/patriarch setting off nonstop bickering/squabbling amongst adult kids, vying for power", before the 1st episode's credits finished rolling. Or lacking that, HBO had spent a little more money hiring a more capable supporting cast.
I don't know, maybe I've just been spoiled by Showtime's Billions, because right now? Literally, rather than a serious drama full of gravitas, the show reminds me more of how "Arrested Development" might have been written as a drama.
In any case, given that Billions' season just ended, I'll give Successions another episode or two before throwing in the towel.
P.S. Before this show, I thought Parker Posey's "Dr. Smith" was the most annoying TV character of 2018, but after watching the second episode of Succession, I'm prepared to bestow the award on Kieran Culkin's "Roman Roy"...For the decade!
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UPDATE/EDIT - Ok, as promised I DID give it a few more episodes, and I have to admit, I've been pleasantly surprised by the improvement in the show.
Looking back, I think the problem was that immediately after Logan's illness, the story AND more importantly, the actors were confined to a small space, which didn't allow for much of a story beyond their constant bickering, and which served to magnify the individual actors' shortcomings.
Since then, having enhanced the show with the expanded story and intriguing subplots (not to mention setting Brian Cox loose to chew the scenery), AND giving OTHER actors more screen time, "Succession" has actually become a show I look forward to watching every week.
Thus, I've increased my rating from two to SEVEN.
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FINAL REVIEW EDIT -
I just watched the season finale, and I am to put it lightly, completely amazed and awestruck by how incredible this first season has been. Never, and I mean NEVER have I seen a series which started on such a low point, finish as one of the best series on TV. My mouth was literally agape, when the last episode's credits began to roll.
The one small quibble I had was that I again found myself yelling at the TV when Kendall Roy didn't completely obliterate his smarmy and weaselly brother Roman Roy, as he attempted to criticize Kendall for taking actions which were in part, if not completely a direct result by Roman's OWN ineffectiveness, and utter inability to be man. Beyond that, the episode was superb.
At THIS point in the series, I would rate Succession right up there with Showtime's Billions.
Therefore, I've again changed my rating, from 7 to 10, and enthusiastically look forward to next season!