• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 3, 2018
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Mark Dawidziak
    Jun 4, 2018
    90
    An intoxicating mix of wicked comedy and "Lear"-like tragedy. ... There's nothing all that likable about the Roys. They are a vain, petty and avaricious lot. But they are incredibly fascinating, thanks to the riveting performances and the razor-sharp writing.
  2. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Jun 1, 2018
    85
    Succession shares a lot of the corporate hard-ball sensibilities of Showtime's Billions, as well as its uncanny ability to make a thoroughly dislikeable set of perfidious and bloodthirsty characters completely entrancing.
  3. Reviewed by: Ben Travers
    May 31, 2018
    83
    After six episodes, Succession stops feeling like chunks of it are working and starts churning out more and more addictive content. ... So rather than wish for something to be cut down and fit into an old box, delight in watching this witty drama or black comedy grow into something new.
  4. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Jun 15, 2018
    80
    Succession is elevated by Cox’s turn.
  5. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    Jun 4, 2018
    80
    Succession is a funny, incisive portrait of the dynamics within a well-off family, but it’s also a cautionary tale about how dicey and unethical it is to employ too many relatives.
  6. Reviewed by: Melanie McFarland
    Jun 4, 2018
    80
    Armstrong finds a way to keep the Roys from being awful to the point of being unwatchable. Quite the opposite, once you get into the series.
  7. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    Jun 1, 2018
    80
    [Logan's] rude tenacity proves to be his only quality as the season shapes up. The dynamics of the internecine struggle--the squabbles, betrayals, and ad-hoc alliances--are primal in a way that would translate to any ancient clan or provincial enterprise. But the persuasive texture of this portrait of extreme wealth is distinctly contemporary.
  8. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Jun 1, 2018
    80
    [Succession] is sharply written and expertly played. The characters are individual enough to feel original, however much they may adhere to type, and Armstrong's dialogue, layered and overlapping at times in the manner of Robert Altman, nicely models the way people talk around things, the poker game that is human conversation.
  9. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    May 31, 2018
    80
    Its writing is the making of Succession, a 10-part romp not without its flaws--the soap-opera element is strong--but one without a dull moment.
  10. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    May 31, 2018
    80
    Given the complicated nature of the subject matter, Succession has navigated its launch in impressive fashion.
  11. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    May 30, 2018
    80
    It’s off to a more interesting start than several recent HBO shows (I’m looking at you, “Here and Now”) and the pedigree of the cast and crew should keep the production engaging. We’ve always loved to watch the high and mighty fall in fiction, and seeing the Roys collapse under the weight of their own underhanded machinations should make for an unexpected summer diversion.
  12. Reviewed by: Allison Keene
    May 30, 2018
    80
    The joy of seeing them all plot against one another and lay traps and sometimes fall into them themselves often rivals the best machinations of Lannisters, Targaryens, or a Littlefinger. Most of the characters in Succession suffer from a litany of faults: arrogance, greed, ignorance, cowardice, selfishness, delusions of grandeur, but the show has a potent combination of virtues that makes up for these sins.
  13. Reviewed by: Dan Fienberg
    May 29, 2018
    80
    You won't wish yourself a part of this family, you may not emotionally invest in their internal conflicts, and you certainly won't root for anybody, but there's ample entertainment in watching these thin-blooded titans self-destruct.
  14. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Jun 1, 2018
    75
    The new HBO drama had the potential to collapse under the weight of its negativity, and that could still happen in subsequent seasons. But the first seven-episode round is solid, and occasionally soars, behind the strong direction and writing.
  15. Reviewed by: Randall Colburn
    Jun 1, 2018
    75
    Succession doesn’t have a tonal problem, necessarily--the comedy and drama mostly complement each other—but rather a fundamental challenge: making some really shitty people the kind you’d want to visit with week after week. The series, then, is best appreciated not as a glimpse into the lives of media moguls and unsavory billionaires, but as a high-stakes family drama, one whose fights, backstabs, and reconciliations have the potential to ripple throughout the world.
  16. Reviewed by: Liam Mathews
    Jun 8, 2018
    70
    Succession, HBO's new drama series with a comedy pedigree, is a combination boardroom and family drama spiked with acidic humor that will make you grateful for your own dysfunctional family. You all may be broke and screwed up, but that's better than being a Roy.
  17. Reviewed by: Sophie Gilbert
    Jun 4, 2018
    70
    For the first half of its 10 episodes, Succession struggles to fill space, relying on imaginatively filthy dialogue and increasingly absurd scenarios to pad out the minimal action and character development. Midway through the season, though, the show finds its dramatic footing. It’s a test in patience, but a rewarding one.
  18. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    May 31, 2018
    70
    The tone of the pilot makes jarring shifts, but episode two settles into a comfortably arch take on the hubris and egocentrism shared by members of the Roy clan.
  19. Reviewed by: Daniel D'Addario
    May 30, 2018
    70
    Succession, indeed, is at its best, and its most purely enjoyable, when it pushes past the temptation to be fun alone.
  20. Reviewed by: Richard Lawson
    Jun 5, 2018
    65
    Any discomfort we feel about enjoying the show means Succession has succeeded, stoking a needling internal (and now external) conversation about the masses’ ideological relationship to the oligarchs pulling levers above our heads. If that is indeed what the show is trying to do, a begrudging hats off to Succession.
  21. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Jun 4, 2018
    60
    Very watchable but totally missable: not urgent, not escapist, and not even the best premium cable show about hugely entertaining rich people. ... But the show is not quite scathing or indicting enough to bring a sense of urgency to its study of the super-rich.
  22. Reviewed by: Bruce Miller
    Jun 4, 2018
    60
    In comparison to [FX's Trust], “Succession” doesn’t hold up. It doesn’t have the same production values or theatricality. This is “Dynasty” without the costumes, “Arrested Development” without the overt comedy.
  23. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Jun 1, 2018
    60
    The balance shifts away from satire and toward drama as the season progresses. ... It’s an uneasy combination, and while the two sides of the show’s split personality are executed well--the creator is Jesse Armstrong, who worked on the great British comedy “The Thick of It”--they don’t amplify or enrich each other in the way that was presumably intended. You can sense both sides being reined in, especially the satire, which can’t go for broke in this context.
  24. TV Guide Magazine
    Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    May 24, 2018
    60
    A slick but often hollow vehicle. [28 May - 10 Jun 2018, p.17]
  25. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    May 31, 2018
    58
    Succession makes it clear that the Roys are not especially nice people. They are also, alas, not especially fascinating. Pink slips for everyone.
  26. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    May 31, 2018
    50
    At first engaging, then slowly, inexorably, Succession turns into work.
  27. Reviewed by: Darren Franich
    May 29, 2018
    50
    The actors all got different memos. ... Succession is some kind of success, if the point is to prove the Murdochs are boring as hell. [1/8 Jun 2018, p.78]
  28. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Jun 1, 2018
    40
    Underwhelming in both execution and intent. ... Its occasional attempts at wryness result in a choking dryness, with the only levity coming from the arrival of a green and gullible cousin, Greg (Nicholas Braun), who attempts to ingratiate his way into this inner circle of snakes. The overall tone of cruelty is difficult to overcome.
  29. Reviewed by: Kelly Lawler
    May 31, 2018
    37
    Dull, dreary and dubiously written, Succession isn't much of a success. ... It's just a group of vacuous rich people shouting at each other, probably not making much of a sound.
User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 25
  2. Negative: 4 out of 25
  1. Jun 17, 2018
    10
    Best TV show of the year, so far. Among all these fantastic shows with robots and dragons, this is a breath of fresh air from the HBO.
  2. Jun 9, 2018
    9
    I am glad I did not give a lot of weight to the prior reviews. Normally if a show or movie does not get a minimum 70 I pass and this one wasI am glad I did not give a lot of weight to the prior reviews. Normally if a show or movie does not get a minimum 70 I pass and this one was at 69. I was very entertained by the engaging first episode. Brian Cox is one of my favorite character actors but the rest of the cast playing his family and associates are also quite good. Full Review »
  3. Jun 5, 2018
    5
    Very underwhelming. Each character is more clichéd than the next: The Murdoch old-lion figure, who still has all his cunning despite hisVery underwhelming. Each character is more clichéd than the next: The Murdoch old-lion figure, who still has all his cunning despite his decrepit health, the anointed heir who has daddy issues, the immature bouffon of a little brother who prefers to laugh at everyone than accept taking responsibilities for his incompentence, the older brother who retreated to a ranch to avoid the rat race, the daughter that went into politics to prove she can do it alone, the consigliere who thinks he is part of the family...
    Probably as realistic as an episode of Dallas or Dynasty in the 80's.
    HBO, this is summer, but come on....
    Full Review »