Succession ending on season 4 has been explained by the show’s guiding light. The HBO drama series, which premiered in 2018, has been a major hit for the network. It follows the Roy family, the group behind the successful company Waystar RoyCo, who are all vying to take the place of their father Logan Roy (Brian Cox) when it becomes clear that his health won’t allow him to run the place forever. The ensemble cast of the series includes Hiam Abbass, Nicholas Braun, Kieran Culkin, Matthew Macfadyen, Alan Ruck, and Sarah Snook.
The New Yorker recently sat down with creator and showrunner Jesse Armstrong to discuss the impending Succession season 4. He explained that the decision to end the series did not come lightly, but “there’s a promise in the title” of the show. They were reaching that point in the story and he decided not to let the show spin its wheels and become a looser version of itself, instead opting to create something “muscular and complete.” Read his full quote below:
You know, there’s a promise in the title of “Succession.” I’ve never thought this could go on forever. The end has always been kind of present in my mind. From Season 2, I’ve been trying to think: Is it the next one, or the one after that, or is it the one after that?I got together with a few of my fellow-writers before we started the writing of Season 4, in about November, December, 2021, and I sort of said, “Look, I think this maybe should be it. But what do you think?”And we played out various scenarios: We could do a couple of short seasons, or two more seasons. Or we could go on for ages and turn the show into something rather different, and be a more rangy, freewheeling kind of fun show, where there would be good weeks and bad weeks. Or we could do something a bit more muscular and complete, and go out sort of strong. And that was definitely always my preference.
It’s Best When Shows Like Succession End On Their Own Terms
Those who love Succession will be disappointed by what seems to be a premature departure from the airwaves. However, Armstrong’s reasoning makes sense. It is far more important for a beloved show to tell its story properly rather than be kept on life support until audiences tire of it.
HBO recently learned this lesson with Game of Thrones season 8. The fantasy series, adapted from the Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R. R. Martin, was immensely popular and seemed too big to fail. However, the show went on so long that it eventually progressed past the currently published novels and concluded with a season that alienated fans with a few big dramatic plot swings that were deemed generally unsatisfying.
Running for too long is a huge danger for television dramas, which can wind up increasing the stakes too far beyond believability while searching for new storylines after years on the air. However, this can also happen with comedies like How I Met Your Mother, which ran for so long that its central premise got stretched too thin and fans fell out of love with its final season. Armstrong is making the decision not to allow this to happen to Succession, which will likely allow it to remain a hit in the eyes of all its fans rather than fizzle out and risk disappointing them.
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Source: The New Yorker