We said goodbye forever to the highly dysfunctional Roy family of Succession on Sunday night. The series finale, “With Open Eyes,” drew a series high audience of 2.9 million viewers and spawned a thousand columns about how faithfully it sticks to the plot of Shakespeare’s King Lear, in which Lear’s three daughters die and the eldest’s spouse shares the kingdom with an outsider; recounting how it is possibly related to baseball player Bill Wambsganss’ 1920 historical feat (first unassisted triple play in the World Series); and coining the adjective “Wambsgansian,” where the Machiavellian-like scheming is less malevolently cunning and more servile and bumbling.
Created by Jesse Armstrong, the Emmy-winning HBO Original drama explores power and family dynamics between patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and his four children, Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Siobhan (Sarah Snook), Roman (Kieran Culkin), and Connor (Alan Ruck). Every season of the series is Certified Fresh with a series-average score of 95% on the Tomatometer.
Missing them already? Here are some series and movies you may want to watch next.
Why to Watch: Cutthroat corporate drama propelled this series to two Certified Fresh seasons so far and a renewal for a third season.
Description: Graduates from all walks of life compete for a limited number of available full-time employment opportunities at Pierpoint, a top investment bank in London. The graduates include Harper Stern, a Black upstate New York native who uproots her life in pursuit of success, despite having lied about the university she attended, Hari Dhar, a state-school graduate and child of Hindi-speaking immigrants, Augustus “Gus” Sackey, a gay Black British graduate of Eton and Oxford, Robert Spearing, a white working-class Oxford graduate who is eager to please, and Yasmin Kara-Hanani, a privileged, well-connected child of Lebanese parents with an underachieving, drug-addled boyfriend.
Starring: Myha’la Herrold, Marisa Abela, Harry Lawtey, Ken Leung
Why to Watch: Another showcase for corporate greed whose stars and smart writing earned four of its six seasons Certified Fresh badges.
Description: Wealth, influence, and corruption collide in this drama set in New York. Shrewd U.S. attorney Chuck Rhoades is embroiled in a high-stakes game of predator vs. prey with Bobby Axelrod, an ambitious hedge-fund king. To date, Rhoades has never lost an insider trading case — he’s 81-0 — but when criminal evidence turns up against Axelrod, he proceeds cautiously in building the case against Axelrod, who employs Rhoades’ wife, psychiatrist Wendy, as a performance coach for his company. Wendy, who has been in her position longer than Chuck has been in his, refuses to give up her career for her husband’s legal crusade against Axelrod. Both men use their intelligence, power, and influence to outmaneuver the other in this battle over billions.
Starring: Paul Giamatti, Damian Lewis, Maggie Siff, Corey Stoll
Why to Watch: A more literal adaptation of King Lear than Succession, the film’s cast dazzles.
Description: King Lear divides his kingdom among his three daughters — Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia. The kingdom and family soon collapse into chaos and warfare as Lear goes mad and tragedy strikes.
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, Emily Watson, Florence Pugh
Where to Watch: by subscription on Prime Video |
Why to Watch: Akira Kurosawa’s take on the Lear saga is a film classic with three Oscar nominations and one win.
Description: At the age of 70, after years of consolidating his empire, the Great Lord Hidetora Ichimonji decides to abdicate and divide his domain amongst his three sons. Taro, the eldest, will rule. Jiro, his second son, and Saburo will take command of the Second and Third Castles, but are expected to obey and support their elder brother. Saburo defies the pledge of obedience and is banished.
Starring: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryu
Why to Watch: King Lear comparisons aside, Succession has long been accused of being a thinly-veiled adaptation of the true story of media titan Rupert Murdoch and his brood of kids. This BBC docuseries — interestingly (not coincidentally?) — is one of the few titles about the media mogul and his empire available to stream.
Description: The incredible story of Rupert Murdoch’s influence on world events and the dramatic personal battle for power at the heart of his own family.
Why to Watch: An ailing titan must reconcile with family much like the Roys’ patriarch.
Description: As mayor, Tom Kane is the most powerful man in Chicago, where the constituents have a history of looking the other way as long as the job gets done. And Kane has gotten things done over several terms in office; he knows the backroom politics game in the Windy City and he plays it well. Yet despite his success, Kane leads an otherwise empty existence. He has no one to turn to when he’s confronted with the fact that he has a degenerative brain disorder. He’s estranged from his wife, Meredith, and daughter, Emma. Kitty O’Neil, Kane’s chief of staff, has her suspicions but plays the part of loyal employee, as does adviser Ezra Stone, who doesn’t ask any questions. That’s the way Kane likes it, of course, but he won’t be able to keep his secret forever.
Starring: Kelsey Grammer, Connie Nielsen, Martin Donovan, Kathleen Robertson
Why to Watch: Fans of Succession star Jeremy Strong will be thrilled to catch him performing in such esteemed company in a film by writer-director Adam McKay.
Description: In 2008, Wall Street guru Michael Burry realizes that a number of subprime home loans are in danger of defaulting. Burry bets against the housing market by throwing more than $1 billion of his investors’ money into credit default swaps. His actions attract the attention of banker Jared Vennett, hedge-fund specialist Mark Baum, and other greedy opportunists. Together, these men make a fortune by taking full advantage of the impending economic collapse in America.
Starring: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Brad Pitt
Where to Watch: by subscription on Prime Video | buy it on Vudu, Apple TV
Why to Watch: If suited anti-heroes behaving badly is to your taste, then this film from Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio should be right up your alley.
Description: In 1987, Jordan Belfort takes an entry-level job at a Wall Street brokerage firm. By the early 1990s, while still in his 20s, Belfort founds his own firm, Stratton Oakmont. Together with his trusted lieutenant and a merry band of brokers, Belfort makes a huge fortune by defrauding wealthy investors out of millions. However, while Belfort and his cronies partake in a hedonistic brew of sex, drugs, and thrills, the SEC and the FBI close in on his empire of excess.
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey
Why to Watch: This U.K. drama explores the far side of the succession struggle when a business titan dies and his family battles over his empire.
Description: Stephen Richards has built a cosmetics empire, but when he suffers a stroke, his family’s secrets and lies rise to the surface and the future of his multi-million-pound company is at stake.
Where to Watch: by subscription on Prime Video
Why to Watch: If you like your family business a bit more raw-knuckled, Steven Knight’s period drama tracks the Shelby family’s rise to power.
Description: Britain is a mixture of despair and hedonism in 1919 in the aftermath of the Great War. Returning soldiers, newly minted revolutions and criminal gangs are fighting for survival in a nation rocked by economic upheaval. One of the most powerful gangs of the time is the Peaky Blinders, run by returning war hero Thomas Shelby and his family. But Thomas has bigger ambitions than just running the streets. When a crate of guns goes missing, he recognizes an opportunity to advance in the world because crime may pay but legitimate business pays better. Trying to rid Britain of its crime is Inspector Chester Campbell, who arrives from Belfast to try to achieve that goal.