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I can’t be the only one who suffers box-set heartbreak

Bryony's obsession with the HBO series Succession has reached worrying heights
Bryony's obsession with the HBO series Succession has reached worrying heights Credit: Illustration Isabelle Maroger

With the second series finished, Bryony has a Succession-shaped void in 
 her life – and it’s not the first time she’s been left bereft at the end of a TV show

I really need to talk to you about Succession. Have you seen Succession? Why haven’t you seen Succession? Go away and watch Succession, and then when you come back, slack-jawed and stupefied by its brilliance, we can talk about Succession. Forget Brexit, the Royal family and Wagatha Christie: Succession 
is all you will want to talk about. Succession is all you will be able to think about. Succession, Succession, Succession. Have I mentioned I’m obsessed with Succession?

If you haven’t watched Succession (are you mad? Why haven’t you watched Succession?), then let me explain. Succession is an HBO drama about an absolutely appallingly 
behaved media dynasty called the Roys, who may or may not be based on the Murdochs. It’s written by 
Jesse Armstrong, co-creator of Peep Show and Fresh Meat, Will Ferrell is an executive producer, and it stars the likes of Brian Cox, Kieran Culkin and Matthew Macfadyen, all of whom are utterly hateful, but in the most magnetic of ways. I mean, it’s awful to watch. Awful. And yet you can’t stop yourself, because… well, frankly, it makes you feel better about the fact you have no money. 
It makes you feel grateful that you live a sometimes tedious life of school runs and supermarket trips and saving to go to Center Parcs.

Rich people, as we have all known for some time, have absolutely no 
 redeeming qualities other than their money. Succession transports you 
 to another world by private jet and my God, it’s INCREDIBLE, but in the most horrific, Machiavellian way, and at the end of it all you’re relieved you get to take the bus home to your two-up two-down, where the only creatures sneaking around are the dogs after your dinner.

At the heart of it – and weirdly, there is a heart, because why else would you come back? – is Kendall. Oh, Kendall! Kendall is the oldest Roy son from patriarch Logan’s second marriage, and the sometime heir to the throne, but he’s also a drug addict and, like many people, my relationship with him is a little tricky. As an addict myself, I often want to clutch Kendall to my heaving bosom and stroke his hair, saying, ‘There, there.’ And other times I want to lock him 
in prison and throw away the key. But mostly, I cannot stop googling think pieces about him. And there are a lot of think pieces about him.

But look, Kendall isn’t real and Succession is just a TV show, yet here I am obsessing over it in a column like it actually matters. Like it’s an integral part of my life. I wonder, do you have a TV show like this, one that wormed its way into your heart and mind, and left you devastated when it had the audacity to end, as if you might have hobbies and interests outside the television that could fill the gaping void left?

This isn’t even the first time I’ve suffered box-set heartbreak. I had 
 a terrible case of it at the end of Breaking Bad, and the first series 
 of Stranger Things had me wailing into my sofa, wondering what I would do in the year or so I had 
to wait for season two. It could be worse. I could be invested in a good TV show that turns out to be a really bad TV show, which is what happened with Game of Thrones. Now there’s eight years of my life I’ll never get back. Still, Succession won’t do that to me. It’s too slick and tight 
to let me down. Just get back to me when you’ve watched it. I mean, why haven’t you watched Succession?