“Succession” wraps up its third season on Sunday, the culmination of a season that has found the delightfully despicable cast of characters grinding their gears through corporate and geopolitical machinations, with the interpersonal interactions among the Roy dynasty somehow even more deliciously nasty and brutal than ever. This season has showcased bravura acting from the cast, along with a fun rotation of guest players, including Hope Davis, Adrien Brody and Alexander Skarsgard.
If you haven’t joined the “Succession” train and want to get caught up, well you’re only 28 episodes behind. If you’re already “Succession”-obsessed, you may have a desire to seek out more from the show’s creators and stars.
Start with series creator Jesse Armstrong, who collaborated with Armando Iannucci on the BBC series “The Thick of It,” which satirized the inner workings of the British government. Running from 2005-2012, the series is available to stream on Hulu and BritBox. They later worked on a spinoff film, “In The Loop,” the wildly funny political comedy sending up both the U.S. and U.K. governments, which would provide the comedic ethos for Iannucci’s HBO series “Veep.” “In the Loop” also co-stars David Rasche, who plays Waystar CFO Karl Muller on “Succession.” Rent it for $2.99 on all digital platforms.
“Succession” is a bleakly funny dark comedy, and the center of the bleakness is Jeremy Strong’s Emmy-winning performance as constantly striving and constantly failing Roy son Kendall. Strong made a splash as a fast-talking finance dude in the 2015 film “The Big Short,” directed by Adam McKay, who is the executive producer of “Succession” and brought Strong in to read for one of the brothers Roy. Watch “The Big Short” on Pluto TV with ads or rent it for $2.99 on all major platforms.
The youngest Roy, rapscallion Roman, is played to naughty perfection by Kieran Culkin, who you may or may not recall as Cousin Fuller in his brother Macauley’s 1990 Christmas classic “Home Alone” (on Disney+). Culkin had his own big break in the titular role of the 2005 Burr Steers film “Igby Goes Down” as a boarding school bad boy opposite Claire Danes, Ryan Phillippe and Susan Sarandon. Watch that one on HBO Max or $3.99 rental.
Aussie actress Sarah Snook embodies the brutalist glamour of Roy sis Shiv (as sharp as her moniker), but in a supporting role in the 2016 Kate Winslet-starring “The Dressmaker,” she played the ugly duckling transformed by fashion. Stream it on Amazon Prime. English actor Matthew Macfadyen co-stars as Shiv’s eternally abused husband Tom Wambsgans, and yes, that really is him as Mr. Darcy opposite Kiera Knightley in Joe Wright’s 2005 version of “Pride & Prejudice.” He’s also splendid in Wright’s 2012 adaptation of “Anna Karenina.” Stream both films on HBO Max.
Who could forget Alan Ruck, before he portrayed presidential aspirant Connor, was of course Matthew Broderick’s neurotic best friend Cameron in John Hughes’ 1986 classic “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (streaming on Paramount+ or $2.99 rental). He also makes an impression in the 1994 Keanu Reeves action classic “Speed,” as one of the bus passengers (stream it on HBO Max).
Roy patriarch Brian Cox is a veteran stage and screen actor with too many films to suggest, but if we had to pick two, one choice would be Michael Mann’s 1986 serial killer thriller, “Manhunter,” in which Cox memorably plays Dr. Hannibal Lecter (before Anthony Hopkins), which is available for a $3.99 digital rental. Or go the other direction and watch “Super Troopers,” the supremely silly 2001 comedy in which Cox plays the hilariously frustrated Captain O’Hagan. Rent it for $3.99 on all platforms.
Nicholas Braun, who plays the beloved Cousin Greg, had another memorable 2021 role in the indie hit “Zola,” playing the hapless boyfriend of Riley Keough’s conniving character. Watch it on Showtime or rent it for $4.99 elsewhere. Interim Waystar CEO Gerri is played by the iconic stage actress J. Smith Cameron. She’s also in her husband Kenneth Lonergan’s misunderstood masterpiece “Margaret,” starring Anna Paquin and Roman himself, Kieran Culkin. Rent it for $3.99. Finally, Arian Moayed, who co-stars as Kendall’s fair-weather friend Stewie, gets to show his softer side in the excellent second season of “Love Life,” now streaming on HBO Max.
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