======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ==== ======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ====
If you haven’t been watching Succession on HBO, you are beyond missing out. It’s one of the best television shows on right now — besides Very Cavallari — and I highly recommend a binge session.
Succession centers around the fictional Roy family and the company, Waystar/RoyCo, which the patriarch of the family, Logan Roy, rules with a ridged and clenched iron fist. The family is full of manipulators and schemers, but there are a few loveable douchebags characters. With the ins and outs of the relationships of a highly privileged and fucked up family on full display every Sunday night, no dynamic is greater than two characters, in particular, Tom and Greg. Tom is the doofus-type significant other of the Roy family daughter, who just wants to be accepted; and Greg (a.k.a “Cousin” Greg) is a distant great nephew/cousin of the family, who (desperately) just wants a job. Both Tom and Cousin Greg are outsiders and dimwitted outsiders at that. Both want to be in the family so badly it’s sometimes painful to watch. Tom is the only one (almost) in the family to give Greg a little attention, dangling the bait in front of him, and sweet Cousin Greg, the little guppy that he is, takes it every time.
Not only are Tom and Cousin Greg (soon-to-be) extended family members, they also employed by the family company; in fact, Tom is Cousin Greg’s direct superior. Tom, a major doofus who somehow gets a promotion Tom spends most of his time trying to prove his worth in a weird, goofy panic. He uses Cousin Greg as his whipping boy and basically bullies him any chance that he gets. At every opportunity, Tom cuts Cousin Greg down, and he does so exceptionally well. Whether it’s a comment under his breath, his maniacal laugh, an eye roll, or hand gesture, Tom consistently breaks down Cousin Greg’s psychological well-being. Everything Tom says seems to cut into the core of Cousin Greg’s personality and the situation Cousin Greg finds himself in. Truly, the lines Tom delivers with deadpan seriousness are masterpieces, some of which I am sliding into my own back pocket, to be saved for the appropriate time and place:
“You need any help, seriously any help, any advice, you know, just… don’t fucking bother.”
Wow, tell me that you’re not going to save this for the day that you’re fifteen years into your job and you get assigned some young buck intern. As soon as the kid breathes in your direction the wrong way, you just know this line is slipping out. Personally, I think this also makes for a great message in a graduation or good luck card, but that’s just me.
“Hey, don’t fuck it up.”
Again, this is some really great words of wisdom, some Hallmark type of encouragement for a really big event.
“Forgive me, but are we talking to each other on the poop deck of a majestic schooner? Is the salty brine stinging my weather-beaten face? No? Then why the fuck are you wearing a pair of deck shoes, man?”
As we all know, shoes make the man, and only a few other things are as disgusting as beat up boat shoes. Good for Tom on beating Cousin Greg down for this.
“That’s the death pit, Greg, take a look. Go ahead: You’re family.”
Exposing someone’s greatest weakness or insecurity is a classic defensive move. Exploiting someone’s weakness or insecurity for your own gain is practically evil. There is nothing that Cousin Greg wants more than to be in the family, and Tom uses this to try to help his own desperate self get ahead.
And on and on it goes. Every week it’s something snappy from Tom to poor Cousin Greg. They both play the loveable dipshit so effortlessly: Cousin Greg continues to look at most situations he’s put in with his big, naive, doe-like eyes. He’s bewildered by his boss at times, and usually frustrated, frightened, and slightly broken by the things that he has to do to appease Tom. Meanwhile, Tom, always wanting the upper hand and the easy way into the family, continues to taunt darling Cousin Greg and use him to no end:
“Where you sitting, man? In the basement? Out by the dumpsters?”
“You little fuckin’ turducken. You squeal? Did you bitch me out, pigman?”
“Don’t make it a big deal, Greg; you’re not a big deal, Greg. A chimp could do it, a little chimpanzee.”
“You probably have quite an uneducated palate, so let’s go out, and I’ll teach you and I’ll show you how to be rich. It’ll be fun.”
“I was an outsider once. A young guy from St. Paul, alone, in a big city, and it was hard, and you create this kind of protective shell, but underneath we’re all just little nudey turtles.”
“Oh, Greg, go for it, Greg! Suck on those big white fuckin’ dicks, you pervert!”
“Greg, you greedy piece of shit… oh my God, Greg, you total coke whore.”
“Buckle up, fucklehead.”
“Greg, I’m having the time of my life,” only to get the response, “This is nightmarish.”
Welp, Cousin Greg, it might be your nightmare, but watching you stammer out a response to Tom pretty much makes my Sunday nights less insufferable. Some would probably call what Tom says verbal abuse, but I call it good television. .
Image via YouTube / HBO