The first two seasons of Succession were fantastic. But it needs to move on. It’s at that tipping point a lot of TV shows seem to arrive at when their initial story is exhausted and it’s time to transition to something else. That’s when we find out if a show has staying power.
Take Lost for an example. Live Together, Die Alone really marked the demarcation between the survivors of Flight 815 finding ways to live on a deserted island and a more expansive universe of characters, timelines and conflicts. And,yeah, millions of viewers checked out as the story got increasingly hard to follow. But that transition is what earned Lost—and most long-running TV shows—the later half of its run. Without hatches and flash forwards the characters on Lost would have had nothing to do, and you can only discover so many things in one jungle before we all wish they would have just drowned on Michael’s boat.
I fear we’ll have the same wish for Succession if they don’t resolve the battle for the top job at Waystar Royco soon. We had two tremendous seasons of the Roy family’s C-suite tug-of-war. Kendall’s atom bomb of a press conference to close season two set up perfectly to resolve the fight at the start of season three and transition the show to what comes next.
Instead it’s slowing down. So far this season we have one entire episode telling the immediate aftermath of Kendall’s presser and another focused on the four Roy siblings arguing in a bedroom. This is boring. It’s time for the story to give us something else so the show can take us to a point in the future when we say “Remember when Succession was just about which of the kids would take over the company?”
We’ve seen all there is to see of these characters in that framework. If they don’t get to a new storyline fast we’re going to get bored and this wonderful show is going to fall off the map.