‘Succession’ ranks top TV shows of 2019
If the ratings on a popular online website are anything to go by, it is also one of the best TV shows of 2019.
The series stars Brian Cox as the patriarch Logan Roy, who is at the helm of Waystar Royco, one of the pioneering media and entertainment conglomerates in the world. Of course, that means keeping up with a perennially evolving media landscape.
Amid the external threats, there is the internal strife. One person who is deeply affected by this is Siobhan “Shiv” Roy, played by Sarah Snook (These Final Hours, Predestination and The Dressmaker fame).
Cast as Logan’s only daughter, Shiv has three other siblings jostling to take over from their ailing father.
Commenting on the favourable response to the show so far, Snook said, “I think partly because of the divide at the moment, between the uber-wealthy and people on the poverty line, struggling to get by. This show particularly doesn’t paint wealth as aspirational. It paints it as: ‘We all have universal problems - the love of a parent or the validation of a spouse - and wealth to that is inconsequential’; you can be extremely wealthy and have that problem, or you can be very poor and have that same problem.”
If there was one thing that became painstakingly obvious while working on the show, the 32-year-old actress said it was the pitfalls of power.
She added, “It certainly doesn’t make you happy. You get to a certain point where you’ve got enough for your food, shelter and basic necessities, the prosperity of your children That’s probably all you need but we humans are specifically driven to more and more accumulation of whatever it is you’re pursuing.
For them, it seems to be wealth - or, at least, power. It seems that once you have enough wealth, the real commodity is power.”
Shiv is multi-layered. While she appears to be fun, she can be unwavering. And her vulnerability is wonderfully masked by her cunning.
The actress added, “She’s always trying to find the upper hand, in any way she can.”
Although Shiv gravitated towards politics instead of the family business, she was eventually reeled in, much to the chagrin of her siblings.
Breaking down the relationship dynamics with her brothers, she shares, “On a business level, she’s probably more connected to Kendall (Jeremy Strong). Then on maybe a friendship, silliness, sibling trust level, she’s probably more connected to Roman (Kieran Culkin). And, in some ways, she probably had Connor (Alan Ruck) raising her as a father figure, to a point, when she was younger. So she has uses or needs from each of the brothers, for different reasons.”
Then there’s her surprise marriage to Tom, played by Matthew Macfadyen.
“Yeah, a lot of people get confused by this union! I think it’s kinda great, in that it’s such an unusual partnership, but there’s some deep need between them. Without each other, they’d probably fall apart in some kind of way. With Shiv it’s less obvious that she needs him but, actually, really deep down, she does. We see that more in the second season; we see how he’s the only person she can actually be vulnerable in front of. He’s probably the only person who sees her off-kilter and a little bit out of control.”
Succession 2 is currently streaming on Showmax.