HBO’s Succession initially appears to be about a wealthy family whose children are battling to take over the family business: a global media empire. And it is, at its heart. But Succession is also a dark comedy — so much so that you don’t really even have to follow the ins and outs of the deals the Roy family is striking or who is in line to get everything in their father’s will. You can just kick back and enjoy the banter and satire of it all. If you’re a fan of the series, though, you probably wish the show would pump out episodes faster. Fortunately for all of us impatient viewers, we can watch other shows like Succession while we wait for our next dose of Roy family drama.
In a review for the long-awaited Season 3 after a two-year hiatus, Entertainment Weekly summed up the absurdity of it all. “For one thing, it’s nearly impossible to navigate an environment where no one says what they mean. (Sample dialogue: ‘I’m kidding. Or am I? I’m not kidding, am I? Or am I?’) More importantly, Kendall and his siblings have been trained since birth to compete in Logan’s emotional coliseum, battling it out for scraps of daddy’s love and approval. Competition triumphs over human connection every time,” Kristin Baldwin wrote of the show.
If non-stop drama, great dialogue, and a little snark are your thing, try watching these shows like Succession for your next weekend TV marathon.
Shows Like Succession
1. The White Lotus (2021- )
If what you like most about Succession is watching out of touch white and wealthy people talk amongst themselves, then White Lotus is for you. It all takes place at a resort in Hawaii, and a handful of VIP guests are forced to interact with each other. It’s all fun and games until someone ends up dead, of course.
2. Six Feet Under (2001-2005)
The family in Six Feet Under isn’t as wealthy as the Roy family, but they do run a funeral home as a family business. It’s a dark and sometimes sad show, but as the family processes each death, the passing of their own father, and day-to-day lives, you’ll be drawn into it all of the drama.
3. Billions (2016- )
This Showtime series about the founder of a hedge fund just screams Succession. It’s transfixing to realize exactly how much money — private jets to work! — people have and the depths they’ll go to protect it. The drama comes less from the family relationships and more from the central rivalry on the show: Bobby Axelrod against Chuck Rhoades, a U.S. Attorney who is determined to take him down. Emily Nussbaum wrote of Billions in the New Yorker, “Showtime’s Billions, a late-night snack of an antihero drama, set among finance weasels in New York and Connecticut, is the rare series that the term ‘guilty pleasure’ suits nicely. The show has barbed dialogue and a blind-item documentary interest in the lives of the ultra-wealthy, but at heart, it’s a pleasingly amoral caper series, a Wall Street fever dream, scored to ironic pop songs — more pulp than grit, with a streak of camp.”
4. Ozark (2017-2022)
Jason Bateman stars in this series about a family exiled to the Ozarks, where they get somehow mixed up in a web of crime, laundering money for a Mexican cartel. CNN wrote of the show, “Ozark started out as a sort-of poor man’s Breaking Bad, but has found its own tense, twisty identity.
5. Divorce (2016-2019)
Sarah Jessica Parker’s character isn’t mega-rich in Divorce, but the show is about the very upper class, a business, and trying to make family work. Come for the real estate of West Chester, New York — stay to watch SJP in a character as different from Carrie Bradshaw possible.
6. Queen Sugar (2016-2022)
After their father dies, three estranged siblings inherit his land and sugar mill. The series takes place in Louisiana, where the Bordelon siblings provoke a racial reckoning in their sleepy southern town. This show digs into the nuances of Blackness, family, and holding power in the South. Together, the Bordelons try to make a name for themselves and their family as they work to rebuild their community.
7. The Night Of (2016)
A young Pakistani American man goes out with a young woman. When the evening ends, Nasir finds her stabbed to death with no memory of what happened. After being charged with her murder, Nasir’s life is turned upside down. Through his experience, we’re shown the flaws of the legal system, how Nasir changes, and the horrors of Rikers Island.
8. Dynasty (2017- )
Dynasty is actually a reboot of a 1980s soap opera. The show centers around two of America’s wealthiest families, the Carringtons and the Colbys. The children are the cause of the most drama, and while the family thrives to keep their fortunes and families under control, they reveal that not all glamour is gold. This show is rife with over the top with drama, white-collar crime, and dangerous under-the-table deals that’ll leave you at the edge of your seat wanting more.
More Smart, Stylized Shows Like Succession to Watch
- Bloodline (2015-2017)
- Taboo (2017- )
- Boardwalk Empire (2010-2014)
- The Newsroom (2012-2014)
- The Flight Attendant (2020- )
- Yellowstone (2018- )
- Grand Hotel (2019)
- Dallas (2012-2014)
- Mad Men (2007-2015)
- Mildred Pierce (2011)
- Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000- )
- The Undoing (2020)
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017- )
- Veep (2012-2019)
- Little Fires Everywhere (2020)
- Blue (2012-2014)
- Enlightened (2011-2013)
- Brothers & Sisters (2006-2011)
- Filthy Rich (2020)
- Incorporated (2016-2017)
- The Sopranos (1999-2007)
- House of Lies (2012-2016)
- The Affair (2014)
- The Sinner (2017)
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