Why I dislike Succession on HBO


Succession is a highly rated and successful show on HBO and I recently began watching. It garners 93% on the Tomatometer from Rotten Tomato critics and 81% approval from audiences. The show is equally highly rated on IMBD with a score of 8.6. It has two Golden Globes and nine Emmy awards in the first two seasons.

My personal perusal of reviews and audience reaction confirms these numbers with sentiment for the show running quite high. People seem to love the storyline, the acting, the directing, the sets, just about everything to do with Succession.

I Hate it

I hate Succession. I’m certainly not telling people who love the show they are wrong. I understand I’m merely three episodes into the third season of Succession and my opinions are based on extremely limited information. Still, I can barely make it through an episode.

Just because I don’t like a show is no reason it shouldn’t be successful. I find most of the blockbuster movies made today to be awful and they make hundreds of millions of dollars. If you like it, so be it. I don’t and I’m going to tell you why, because that’s what I do.


Succession tells the story of media and entertainment mogul Logan Roy along with his family. It is billed as a Dark Comedy although, in the episodes I’ve seen, I don’t recall laughing a single time.

I’m not going to dive deep into what makes a show good or bad but if you’d like my thoughts on that, take a look at this blog.

The Dialog

The first thing I hate is the writing. It isn’t so much terrible as it is untrue. The dialog seems written more toward what the audience expects the characters to say and do instead of what the actual characters might actually say. I find it almost universally unbelievable.

I find Kendall to be particularly implausible considering his educational and family background. His historical references don’t make sense. Ok, he has self-doubt and struggles with wanting to be liked. Could you do that with subtleness rather than hitting the audience over the head with a sledge hammer every single time he opens his mouth?

Shiv takes a minute of hemming and hawing and umming and uhhing to speak a line of dialog. I want to kick her in the shin, spit it out!

Roman’s lines seem written for a thirteen-year-old, and I apologize to boys that age for the comparison. “Ha ha, I said fart,” is about the crux of it.

Greg’s bumbling is so pronounced and severe I don’t even believe he’s human.

I could go on but I’ll stop there.

Scene Structures

The scenes come fast and furious but I see no connection from one to the next. Is it an hour later? The same moment but a new location with different characters? A week later? There’s no rhythm to the show. It’s just one scene after the next, each seemingly with the sole purpose of a one liner at the end hoping for a laugh. Spoiler, I didn’t laugh.

So many things happen that make no sense I can’t even begin to get into it all. I’ll give special mention Shiv’s big speech. Why was there a panic when Kendall came into the building? Like they weren’t expecting it? How incompetent are they?

Then Kendall suddenly comes up with a great plan to ruin Shiv’s speech by playing loud music. He sends a lacky out to buy equipment at the last second. Someone runs hundreds of feet of wire, interfaces with a receiver, and the master plan goes into effect.

Let’s discount this should take an hour at best and mention a hundred people see all of it happening and can’t call security? Can’t unplug the speakers? Utter nonsense. This happens all the time in this show. I’m constantly taken out of immersion and into stunned incredulity at the stupidity of it all.


I can’t blame the actors because the dialog is so bad. Credit to Brian Cox as Logan, Alan Ruck as Connor, and J. Smith-Cameron as Gerri as remotely believable in main roles. Most of the good acting performances come from bit players, probably because their lines aren’t written with audience approval in mind.


I find the show painful to watch. I’m not immersed in the world, I’m shaking my head at dialog that makes no sense, scenes that come out of nowhere and return to oblivion after a stupid one liner. Everything is rushed, pushed, shoved, harassed, and jammed into place. There is no reflection, no pacing, and hardly a likable character. An hour seems like a day. It’s painful.

Bring the hate, you lovers of Succession. I can take it.

Tom Liberman

19 thoughts on “Why I dislike Succession on HBO

      • I totally dislike it as well- you are not alone. I appreciate good acting , writing & cinematography. Unfortunately, Succession has none of the above. It leaves me with such a sad feeling of how low humanity ,or lack there of, sinks . It’s also disturbingly annoying.

  1. You are right on the money with the choppy dialog It’s one thing for one person to have that issue , but every family member it is truly painful to watch. I like it less with each episode. Season one started out big and is quickly sliding down the drain

  2. Thank you . I am so relieved that I am not alone. I found this show like those terrible paintings that are horrible and nobody has the courage to say it.

  3. I dislike all the family members and the way they treat each other but I keep on watching. Need to see who will survive. Personally I dislike the Shiv character as much as Logan’s. Kicking in the shin isn’t enough. But I want to see them both fail and was truly rooting for Kendall.

  4. Three seasons of “which egotistic incompetent adult-child will the sociopath narcissist choose to put the final nail in the coffin of his antiquated business? Let’s get the camera man wasted and try to film the answer. Write as much cowardly and indirect dialogue as possible.”

  5. Well, I found your blog after searching “I don’t like Succession”. Friends told me to just watch 3 episodes and I’ll like it. Or better watch 5-6 and…Nope. I finished the first season and I’m not watching the next. It’s terrible. If I could like at least one character but I don’t.

  6. I came to this site hoping I would find someone who feels the same way about Succession as I do. Tom, I agree with every word you wrote. There is not one character who has any redeeming qualities at all. If I wanted to watch people I find despicable, I’ll turn on the evening news. I have a lot of friends who love the show. God Bless ’em. I’m done with it.

  7. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this. Succession is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. It’s absolutely baffling that ANYONE likes it. The dialogue makes me insane; no one in the world speaks like this. I detest every character. How on earth does this have good reviews???

  8. The dialogue is what we non-Coast people call “New Yorky.” There’s no lyricism, no space between lines for nuance, no ambiguity of intention. The Roys are what they are and they will not change. They are pieces in a game, each assigned relative power according to their position on the board. And, while you can move a chess piece, a chess piece can’t move you.

  9. Agree! agree! agree! It’s characters and storyline are repellent and don’t evoke one jot of empathy or interest. Pathetically unimaginative and boring, a sad comment on the American fixation with materialism and egoism.

    • Agree! I can’t stand the show. The storyline has zero redeeming value, and the characters are simplistic and tedious. I was starting to question my sanity until I googled “I hate Succession,” and Tom Liberman’s review popped up.

  10. I searched for “I hate Succession” after I watched episode 3 of Seaon 3. Relieved to find I was not alone! Spot on review. The dialog is absurd, the characters pitiful. The writers have failed to show 1 reason why anyone would voluntarily choose to be part of the family business. Zero joy. Non-stop angst. If there was anyone remotely believable it might be worth the watch. But there isn’t.

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