The Subtle Art of Convincing Your Friends to Watch Succession: A Dialogue

EXT. PARK – DAY

(YOU and your FRIEND are going for a walk outside. Suddenly, there’s a lull in the conversation. This, you realize, is the perfect time to plug in a recommendation for your favorite T.V. show: HBO’s “Succession”.)

YOU: “Hey, have you seen ‘Succession’?”

FRIEND: “No, but I’ve heard of it/No…isn’t it that business show?/No, but I’ve been bombarded with memes about Cousin Greg or whoever the fuck and color me interested.”

YOU: “Oh my god, you haven’t seen it?!? It’s so good! You have to watch it! Basically, it’s about–wait, do you know who Rupert Murdoch is?”

FRIEND: “No, of course not. Nobody knows who that is, Nandini. What an awful way to start this off.”

YOU: “Shut up, you know I have to excessively research everything I watch. Anyway, it’s about this company called Waystar Royco and the super rich family that owns it. The patriarch, Logan, is awful and abusive but he has a stroke in the first episode–”

FRIEND: “Wow, okay, spoiler alert.”

YOU: “It literally happens in the first episode! How is that a spoiler alert?”

FRIEND PRICK: “I don’t know, I just wanted to interrupt you.”

YOU: “Jesus. So he has a stroke, right, and it kind of sets up this battle between his kids and the people in their lives over who’s going to take over the company and gain the most power. And they’re all awful to each other and constantly saying ridiculous things like “buckle up, fucklehead” and “my meat puppet stopped working.”

FRIEND: “Hold the phone. Why would I want to watch a show about awful people?”

YOU: (irritated) “Because a show about nice and happy people who hold hands and skip in meadows together is boring and unfunny?!”

FRIEND: “Okay, I guess you have a point. But why is ‘Succession’ the superior awful people show? Why shouldn’t I watch ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ or ‘Wipeout’?”

YOU: (deep sigh) “‘Succession’ is not just a surface-level sitcom about ‘awful people.’ It’s a sharp and biting satire of the modern day news cycle, absurd wealth and toxic family dynamics. But the thing is that it also explores each of those topics with deep care and nuance. It doesn’t need to rely on gimmicks or cheap cop-outs to be thrilling and fascinating. Most of the drama and suspense comes from the dialogue between characters; what’s said, what isn’t said and everything that hangs in the space that surrounds words. It’s Shakespearean. There is no good or evil anymore. There is only power and the chaos that follows lack of power. Morality is simply a veil to save us from madness.

FRIEND: “Nandini, let go of my shirt! Why are you so passionate about ‘Succession’?”

YOU: (insane) “BECAUSE MATTHEW MACFADYEN WAS ROBBED DURING AWARDS SEASON! HE IMPROVISED THE TOMGREG FOREHEAD KISS!!! IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A BALL TAP BUT HE CONSTRUCTED AN INTRICATE RITUAL!!!”

FRIEND: “I understand all of those words separately but not together. Have you been drinking coffee past 12 again? You know that caffeine does something to your psyche in the afternoon.”

YOU: (deeper sigh) “I apologize for my behavior, FRIEND. It was most irregular. I just…I just really want you to watch this amazing show.”

FRIEND: “Can you sell it in three words, kid?”

YOU: (deepest sigh) “Fine. Greyscale ‘Arrested Development’.”

FRIEND: “Well, sign me the fuck up.”

YOU: “I really need to get better friends.”

(EXIT STAGE LEFT)

 

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