A quick note: this piece was written and posted prior to season three’s airing and suffice it to say, how I felt about the rankings below ended up changing. They’ve changed so much that I felt the need to go back and move some things around. Normally I don’t do this. Normally I stick to my guns and refrain from second-guessing. But season three was bananas so yeah, here’s to second-guessing.
THERE ARE BASICALLY three types of people in the world. There are those that watched Succession from the jump and champion it regularly, there are those that started watching the show, stopped because everyone on the show was terrible people, eventually came back around, powered through, and got hooked, and there are those people that watch the History Channel on Sunday nights. Such is the world we live in since the show premiered in June 2018.
I think it’s safe to say that the majority of people who ride with Succession fall into that second category. And in all fairness, this is because the show took some getting used to. I mean, most shows have at least one character the audience can root for and get behind. On Succession, that’s not always the case. Kendall Roy might be the closest to being that person, but I think that’s a designation bestowed upon him thanks to context. If everyone is a vampire, then I guess the one part-time vampire is someone worth supporting.
Succession was worth sticking around for though because the second half of the first season and the second season were amazing. The third season pushed the show into the conversation of best HBO shows ever. Gripping, tense, funny, and more, the show has operated on multiple levels throughout each episode. Succession makes you cringe one moment, laugh the next but wait, quickly cringe again and then wonder what you’d do with all that money and then wonder what exactly they’re talking about because you don’t know shit about business, laugh again, cringe again, think where Cousin Greg is and then hey! it’s Cousin Greg, laugh some, stare blankly, cringe, and so on and so on.
In short, watching Succession is exhausting.
But hey, it’s exhausting in the best possible way.
And now we’re ready for another go-round with the lovely Roy family as the show is set to kick off its fourth and final season. To celebrate, let’s talk about what really matters- drinking buddies, specifically, which character from Succession would be the best one to drink with. Now, I know this might be something of a race to the bottom as most of the characters on the show are some sort of terrible but listen, if you’re going to hang with someone terrible, might as well have a drink in your hand. And maybe an eye on the exit.
For the most part, the characters listed below are regulars or almost regulars. That one then eliminates Kendall’s high-powered attorney Lisa Arthur (a solid hang) as well as Logan’s PR stooge Hugo Baker (yeah, no thank you,) and The Wearer of Several Layers Josh Aaronson (sure, why not.) I’m also not adding Logan’s assistant/future baby momma because I’m not sure how I feel about her yet.
Okay. Now we’re ready.
16. Logan Roy
I’m sorry, but I don’t want to hang out with someone who scares the shit out of me, someone who has a penchant for staring straight down into my soul and if so inclined, might rip it out at some point. I like my soul and I like my dignity and with that in mind, I would politely decline the opportunity to have a drink with Logan. Although seeing as how I am very much afraid of Logan, I’d in turn be afraid to decline, so I would still go. But just know that I’ll be incredibly uncomfortable and nervous the entire time. I’d probably fake a phone call at some point but of course, he would know that I’m faking a phone call and bust me for it, and then I’d feel even more foolish and inadequate, and fuck, I’ll just have another drink, but now he’s bailing on me and you know, I deserve that.
15. Roman Roy
I’m all for a Roman redemption/finding the light arc this season but that’s not what this is about. This is about saddling up and drinking with someone and Roman just doesn’t come off as that great of a hang. He would make fun of me and like Shiv, be super condescending. Also like Shiv, he’d be eyeing up another port to steer towards too as well as constantly being on his phone because the Roys love swearing into phones and mumbling and grumbling about appearances and how something plays. I don’t have time for that. Of course, the only reason Roman isn’t ranked lower is that maybe you catch Roman on a chill day, a day where he’s actually tolerable and possibly even somewhat cool. Perhaps on that day, he might not be that bad to drink with. He’s a funny dude and there’s always potential there.
However, he’s kind of a sociopath and I think he might collect the skin of humans. I can’t be sure. Either way, I’m good here and if Logan didn’t scare the living shit out of me, Roman would be ranked last.
14. Siobhan Roy
If this was happening after season one, it may be a different story. I was kind of cool with Shiv back in those days. But alas, we were all so young and innocent back then. Times change, people change and Shiv isn’t just mean and condescending, she’s kind of annoying in the process. I do believe that Shiv is smart but I also believe she’s not as smart as she thinks and man, those are tough people to be around. Shiv would also be constantly on her phone and/or scanning the room to see who else was around and come on now Siobhan, that is just rude. Not that you care, though. Which is part of the problem.
13. Kendall Roy
I am not talking about wanna-be corporate hotshot Kendall Roy (i.e. the one we first met) and I’m not talking about the Theon Greyjoy/Reek-like Kendall Roy (i.e. the one from the bulk of season two) and I’m not talking about whatever the hell Kendall was in season three. I’m talking about the hip-hop-loving, chill, slightly subdued Kendall because that dude is someone who I could hang out with. I like hip-hop and would gladly talk Beastie Boys with Ken. We could talk about Nas too. That’s fine. There were definitely moments throughout season two when at least I thought Kendall was kind of cool. I mean, he was definitely in something of a fragile emotional state, and perhaps that could have played a factor, but still, I’m down with that Kendall just like Kendall is down with family therapy.
Season three really stripped away all of the layers of Kendall, showing off all of his different sides, exposing them all to the sun and what resulted in this wasn’t pretty. On the one hand, Kendall might be the most self-aware of all of the Roy kids but on the other hand, that just means he’s self-aware of how annoying, fake, and frustrating he is. Now, if the Kendall I originally wrote about was the Kendall we’re talking about, I stick with my original ranking (he was second!) But frankly, I don’t think that Kendall is home anymore.
12. Connor Roy
Oh boy, Connor.
The only situation where drinking with Connor Roy (who I don’t know if you knew this, was interested in politics at a very young age,) would work is if you were cool with playing possum. Meaning, just chilling and letting him roll. Let him talk, let him vent, let him explain his non-existent political platform, let him talk about his ranch and his podcast about Napolean. And just listen. Don’t add anything to the conversation; don’t even agree. Just be there. And finally, when he runs out of gas and shoves off, delight in the experience and know that you have a hell of a story to tell the next person you see.
11. Lukas Matsson
Yeah, I don’t know. Maybe? But probably not. His spot in Vienna looks sweet but I’m not sure impulsively jumping on a jet and heading to the seediest parts of Thailand is in my best interest and if Succession has taught me anything, it’s Gerri’s legendary advice to do what it’s in your best interests.
Lukas should maybe have been ranked lower.
10. Stewy Hosseini
All judging aside, early on when we met Stewy he was bombing lines of coke in the bathroom of a Starbucks in the middle of the day. Again, judgments aside. You do you, Stewy. It’s just that, at this point in my life, dude I don’t think I want to hang out with someone like that.
Also, he says a lot of words I don’t understand and it does kind of feel like he’s the kind of dude who sticks you with the bill after ordering the most expensive thing on the menu. I’m pretty sure he also wears turtlenecks, which is something I am judgemental of. Very much so actually.
9. Ewan Roy
I don’t feel straight-up strongly about a lot of things but the things I do feel strongly about are the following: the bush league baloney that was Deflategate, razor blades are too expensive, it should be easier to change plane reservations and I don’t want to quit cereal. Beyond that, I’m pretty even-keeled about things. However, I would add my love of Canadians to the list because it’s true, I love Canadians. Never met a Canadian I didn’t like and I’m from Maine. I’ve met a lot of Canadians. Probably thousands.
Now, old Uncle Ewan is definitely a little rough and tumble and a lot cantankerous and crotchety but he’s also Canadian. There is nothing else that matters. Even if we drink in silence, it’ll be fantastic silence because half of the silence is coming from a Canadian and as has been previously mentioned, Canadians are the best.
You generally need to wait out the ones who know where the bodies are buried because if you give it enough time, especially if booze is involved, the vault is going to start to open up, and with it, stories, secrets, and more. That’s why I think it’d be fun to throw back some glasses of wine with Gerri. Get rid of that veil of secrecy and she’ll have some stories to tell. Let’s get catty, Gerri. I don’t even really like wine but I’m willing to make exceptions here. High-class cocktails? Even better.
7. Marcia Roy
Gerri would have those palace intrigue stories that are super juicy but Marcia is likely to have some real-life, I’ve seen some shit stories and those barely edge out Gerri’s stories. Do we even know where Marcia is from and didn’t once she talk about murder? Not that she had committed murder, but it was something along the lines of ‘where I’m from, you could get murdered for that’? I feel like she did and I feel like I’d want to know a bit more about what it is she’s talking about.
If you’re around someone and they casually say something along those lines, you don’t walk away. You pull up a chair, grab a drink and see where the night takes you. Oh, and be polite. We are talking about murder. #safetyfirst
6. Tom Wambsgans
Tommy, Tommy, Tommy.
A real peach he is and by all accounts, a good dude. There aren’t many sympathetic characters on Succession but Tom might be the most sympathetic of the bunch even though it’s not like he’s completely innocent. He does run the Roy’s version of Fox News and you know, that’s not great, at least not in my opinion. And while I’m not opposed to hanging out with Tom and I don’t know, talking about how everyone in Minnesota seems to have both a hunting cabin and a fishing cabin, he’s just not my first choice. He’s too much of an emotional wildcard, too liable to get weird and awkward with things and make jokes the bartender doesn’t get and then would look at me like I should get them, but I don’t get it either and now it’s just uncomfortable all around.
I’m sorry, Tom. It’s not you, it’s me.
And it pains me knowing that I bet he’s heard that before. But hey, congrats on stabbing your wife in the back for the sake of professional (and emotional) growth!
5. Karolina Novotney
Who is Karolina, you might be wondering? Well, she’s the no-nonsense head of PR for Waystar Royco. She’s a straight-shooter, a quick-thinker, and a dynamic custodian left to frequently clean up after Logan and his family. Good gig if you can get it, am I right? No, no I’m not right. It sounds like a terrible job and like Gerri, Karolina has some stories to tell and I’m here for them.
It should be clear at this point that behind my somewhat stoic demeanor is a person that is not above listening to someone talk about some delicious drama.
4. Naomi Pierce
Naomi Pierce should maybe be higher on this list. I mean, when we first met her, she and Kendall got drunk and accidentally started up a helicopter. You know, because rich people just have helicopters lying around their yards like I have bubble wands and hula hoops. Later, Naomi tags along with Kendall on the Roy Family Yacht O’ Tension and despite the aforementioned tension is pretty chill about things. Naomi operates at different speeds and I appreciate that. She seems like a good hang, up for some mischief but down for some easy living on a yacht full of monsters. Nice little combo.
Frank and I are going to drink IPAs and talk about baseball history and it’s going to be sweet. We’ll probably split some calamari too. Can’t wait.
2. Cousin Greg
You thought Greg would be higher, didn’t you? You expected Greg to be higher, didn’t you? You want Greg to be higher because Cousin Greg makes sense to you and on a list of your making, you would have Greg higher. Cousin Greg could possibly be in the top spot for you.
And sure, that’s fine.
But for me, it is not to be said but only because A) I feel strongly about the character ranked above him and B) Greg is cool but is he good hang cool? I’m not so sure. Greg might be better for a road trip or to shoot the shit with while waiting for a meeting to start. I’m just not sold on Greg’s potential as a top-three drinking buddy.
So it is.
1. Willa Ferreya
Willa might be the most normal person on Succession and yes, that’s a big reason why she’s number one. Like everyone else, Willa isn’t completely innocent, although her guilt is largely guilt by association. But if we’re keeping score, she’s not racking up many points, which is a good thing.
But there is a normalcy to Willa, mainly because she’s not really from the Roy’s world. At least I don’t think she is. We actually don’t know much about her beyond her past employment, her current employment as a playwright, and her totally normal reaction to reading bad news.
That might not be a supernormal reaction, you know, throwing an iPad off of a yacht, but the sentiment is pretty common. I’ve thrown my phone across the desk twice today.
The struggle is real these days, kid. And because of that common thread of struggle, you could seemingly have a normal conversation with Willa. She is the logical choice to be at the top of this list. Willa is real and NO ONE ELSE on Succession is, at least not as far as my definition of real goes. Like, if you were to complain about student loans, I feel like Willa would understand that. I bet she’s an Elizabeth Warren fan too and would appreciate the fact that I bought my wife a Warren coffee mug a while back.
She probably has one too.
Or she did. She probably keeps it hidden these days. Connor Roy is basically Elizabeth Warren’s definition of evil and everything wrong with the country.
It’s true, girl. But don’t worry. We can still have a nice evening.
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