The series finale of “Succession” gripped the nation on Sunday night, lighting up social media with fervent discussion about the fates of the Roy siblings and the future of Waystar Royco. Series creator Jesse Armstrong and longtime director Mark Mylod stuck the landing, leaving fans surprised, satisfied and ultimately wanting more.
The loss of “Succession,” as well as Bill Hader’s Hollywood hitman series “Barry,” leaves a gaping hole in the Sunday night television lineup, but if you’re jonesing for more content that might scratch the “Succession” itch, here are a few suggestions.
On Max, there are two recent series that touch on the same themes as “Succession” in different ways. First up, the financial drama “Industry,” which follows the young people who work at an investment bank in London. If you’re yearning for the austere office-core look of “Succession” plus the inscrutable business dialogue, as well as the interpersonal power plays, “Industry” may be the one for you. It also has a sizzle of steamy sexuality that wasn’t present in “Succession.”
But it’s the Max comedy “The Other Two” that shares an overlapping sensibility with “Succession” in terms of its media satire. Created by former “Saturday Night Live” head writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, “The Other Two” is the sharpest, and most brutal, skewering of the current media landscape. The comedy follows the Dubek family after youngest brother Chase (Case Walker) becomes Justin Bieber-famous after blowing up on social media. Mom Pat (Molly Shannon) follows suit with a talk show that results in Oprah Winfrey level fame and fortune. The titular other two siblings, Cary (Drew Carver) and Brooke (Heléne Yorke) are strivers desperate for fame, whose scheming always lands them in tragically absurdist scenarios. The third season just debuted a few weeks ago, packed with jokes and incisive observations about the vacuity of the media industry. A famous family with complicated dynamics and siblings who are always jockeying for power will slot right into that “Succession”-shaped hole in your heart.
One could also look to the influences of creator Jesse Armstrong, who got his start on the British comedy series “Peep Show” (streaming on Tubi and The Roku Channel) and the Armando Iannucci projects “The Thick of It” (BritBox) and “In The Loop” (Tubi, AMC+). But it’s more telling to look at how he pitched the project, after reading biographies of towering figures of media and money — Rupert Murdoch, Sumner Redstone and Robert Maxwell. Armstrong positioned “Succession” as “Festen-meets-Dallas,” referring to the 1998 Danish Dogme 95 masterpiece “Festen” (also known as “The Celebration”), and the blockbuster 1980s primetime soap.
“The Celebration,” directed by Thomas Vinterberg, takes place during a birthday party for a family patriarch and follows the emotional fireworks that ensue, captured with a riveting naturalistic aesthetic akin to the faux documentary style of “Succession.” “Dallas,” of course, kept audiences glued to every move of the Ewings, a Texas oil family, much in the same way audiences have hung onto the shifting alliances of the Roys. Stream “The Celebration” on the Criterion Channel, and “Dallas” on Amazon Freevee.
“Succession” also provided a look at the inner lives and lifestyles of the ultra-wealthy, and those who serve them. For more “eat the rich” material, look no further than, of course, Bravo. Not “The Real Housewives,” but rather, seafaring sister “Below Deck.” This reality show set in the world of international yachting will call back to the scenes of the Roy family aboard their own massive mega-yacht, but the upstairs-downstairs structure of “Below Deck” means this reality show is more like “Downton Abbey” on the high seas. We follow along with the crew of a mega-yacht as they welcome different groups of guests each week. “Below Deck” — which now also includes the spin-offs “Mediterranean,” “Sailing Yacht,” “Down Under” and “Adventure” — is the platonic ideal of a reality show because it has a little bit of something for everyone: a young, attractive crew of deck hands and stews who work hard and play harder, chef drama, exotic locations, nautical danger and, of course, demanding and clueless wealthy guests. If you’re missing the Roys, there are equally terrible and even more entertaining rich people to gawk at on every iteration of “Below Deck.”