Succession series 3 review: Kieran Culkin’s best work yet as the comedy-drama finds new depths

succession all the bells say kieran culkin jeremy strong sarah snook brian cox

Going into the third series, the big question was what exactly the fallout to Kendall’s press conference would be, and whether his public accusations would be enough to oust his father. They weren’t, in the end, and in hindsight that shouldn’t be a surprise: Succession is a show where the super-rich will never have to suffer the consequences, and it’s certainly not a show where Logan Roy will ever lose. Of course the Department of Justice Investigation quickly fizzled out; of course Logan Roy handpicked the next President of the United States. That’s the world they live in.

What Succession is good at, though, is exploring new depths within that status quo. Take Roman, for instance, because this third series is Kieran Culkin’s series in the same way the first was Jeremy Strong’s or the second was Sarah Snook’s. Which is to say, it’s not that the show focused on Culkin at the expense of the rest of the cast this year – you only have to look at the career-best work Matthew Macfadyen has been doing week on week to see that it’s not – but rather that they’ve pushed that character further than before. That desperate, strangled appeal to his father – “Love?” – is Culkin’s best performance on the series so far, but it’s not one that’s come from a fundamental change to the character or anything like that. Instead, Succession (much like its characters) takes things to their absolute extreme, and indulges in the possibilities that represents.

A short review of Succession series 3, looking specifically at the season finale All the Bells Say. I’ve really enjoyed Succession this year (as has been the case every year), so it was nice to get an opportunity to write about it.

What’s also particularly notable about this review, though, is that it was my first proper piece of writing for NationalWorld, where I am the new TV and Entertainment Writer! It’s a full-time position, which is pretty neat – the first full-time writing job I’ve ever had, in fact. I’ve got one last freelance piece due to be published, and I’ll still write things for this blog from time to time, but otherwise what that means is that for the foreseeable future all of my writing (reviews, interviews, articles, all sorts) will be housed over at NationalWorld – and that there’s going to be a lot more writing going on too, which is pretty neat.

Nice note to end the year on, really. And, in a neat bit of symmetry, it’s almost six years to the day since my first piece of writing was published over at Yahoo.


Inspired by Real Events: The Serpent, The Investigation, and true crime drama

You can find more of my writing about television here, and follow me on twitter @morelandwriter.

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