Though it’s easy to say that one loves “Succession,” even the most die-hard fan of the program would be hard-pressed to pinpoint exactly what the tone of this TV show is. It’s not quite a comedy, and despite having so many harrowing moments, it’s also not a straightforward drama. What is “Succession?” That’s the kind of question the program’s creator, Jesse Armstrong, embraces rather than evades.
“We discussed lots of things on set, but with the tone of it, I don’t think it was ever a thing where we said, ‘Hey, Kieran [Culkin], this needs to be funny and sad, at the same time,'” Armstrong explained to Collider. “That’s just what he does. Brian [Cox], Jeremy [Strong] and Sarah [Snook] are tremendous. In the pilot, that scene where Brian is standing next to [Nicholas Braun] silently in the elevator, going up to the family lunch, he can mine a laugh or a comic response from an audience with no words at all and very little facial movement, which is extraordinary. … They’re a dream to write for. They can do pretty much anything, anywhere you suggest going, and they can make it true.” With talented performers like that, “Succession” has embraced having a tone as complicated as its principal characters.