Grey’s Anatomy had Meredith Grey and Christina Yang; Gossip Girl was the story of teen social rivals Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen; and Scrubs was goodnatured sitcom fun between J.D. and Turk, two dudes who somehow obtained their medical licenses. Whether besties, frenemies or soulmates, these television pairs are inextricably bound. Still, though, none of them compares to the most compelling duo on television right now: Tom and Greg on Succession.
Inspired in part by the Murdochs and the Redstones, with a dash of Kennedy-esque drama tossed in, *Succession is HBO’s tale of a wealthy media magnate and his four children, some of whom are just chomping at the bit to take over when daddy dies.
If you haven’t already watched the first season, hurry up and do that already. It might be tempting to compare it to Game of Thrones—and sure, on some basic level both are stories about the fate of an empire—but Succession is truly a tale for and about our own time. And, interestingly, the most fascinating relationship on the series is not between father and child, two siblings, or a pair of lovers (and how boring that would be), but among two almost ancillary members of the Roy family: Tom, married in via Siobhan “Shiv” Roy, Logan’s only daughter, and Greg, Logan’s bumbling nephew who comes from the side of the family that opted out of generational wealth.
Two outsiders, Tom (Matthew McFayden) and Greg (Nicholas Braun) have a dynamic that is deliciously depressing, wry, embarrassing, and somehow…sweet? With Tom teaching cousin Greg how to act rich (while also undercutting him constantly, and eventually embroiling him in drama that could not only end his career, but possibly his life), these two do make sense together. Felix and Oscar, who?
Tom must see something he recognizes in Greg, otherwise he wouldn’t chide him for filling a doggy bag of free office cookies and drag him for wearing boat shoes—and then give him some actually helpful unsolicited advice in one fell swoop. Nor would he trust him with classified company information. Tom plays with Greg the way a cat might play with a ball of string, but as innocent as Greg may seem, Tom needs him. And while cousin Greg is technically in the bloodline—he’s a Roy, by way of his cantankerous uncle—he can’t exactly pull rank on Tom, who is now married into the nucleus of the family, and clearly gunning for that C-suite position that gives him power over Waystar Royco, the media company that rules the world (and really belongs to Cousin Greg, frankly).
Fingers crossed that, when the second season of Succession premieres on August 11, we’ll be seeing more of this dynamic duo. May we be so bold as to suggest a spin-off?
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