Kendall Roy holds a mirror for the American elite

Rohan Goswami, News Editor

The third series of “Succession” picked up right where it left off — the aftermath of Kendall Roy’s Judas-esque patricide attempt and the birth of Kendall’s new identity as a Piana-clad, Balmain toting, Hudson Yards social justice warrior.

His dictum to his publicist brings to mind a drugged out hedge funder-turned-local-activist attempting to make conversation at a Bywater house party.

“I’d like my Twitter to be off the hook. This could all get super earnest, so I was thinking about hitting up some BoJack guys, some Lampoon kids, just to smash that s***?”

Jeremy Strong’s masterful portrayal of a daddy’s boy gone bad incidentally captures a phenomenon that has swept the American elite over the last few years — performative activism.

The activism Roy practices, though, is far from the ritual pageantry that individuals of all stripes engage in the aftermath of tragedy.

Roy suborns faux outrage — over sexual assaults, murders, “the bad ones,” as Greg Hirsch calls them, that his family firm has covered up — to justify his betrayal and attempted corporate coup.

Needless to say, for anyone who has finished the latest series, he fails. Miserably. Totally. In glorious Kendall-esque fashion. 

His abortive coup left viewers without the catharsis that many had hoped for —  the successful toppling of the king, of the new blood ascending to the throne. 

The showrunners and writers of “Succession” deserve due credit for Kendall’s storyline, even if it seemed at moments to be a remix of Kendall’s continuous tomfoolery

But gazing up — or down, if you’re Connor Roy — at the American elite, one has to wonder if the writers of “Succession” really had to scrape the barrel that deep for inspiration.

Witness a Dallas Cowboys heiress and the commissioner’s wife supposedly commiserate with the plight of women in the NFL while simultaneously sympathizing with the plight of men who are “afraid to be in a meeting by themselves with another woman.”

Look at Rupert Murdoch, alleged real-life parallel to Logan Roy, telling shareholders that former president Donald Trump needed to “leave the past behind,” even as his employees and talent peddle narratives about the Jan. 6 insurrection that prompted howling from liberal and conservative commentators alike.

Perhaps one’s eye could meander over to Gibson Hall, where administrators decry the damage that climate change has wrought across the globe and pluck the heartstrings of parents (and, sotto voce, donors) while accepting gifts from multinational oil corporations and their heirs.

No, it doesn’t seem as though the writers of “Succession” needed to look very far for inspiration. Perhaps, though, they needed to look no further than Saint Charles Avenue.

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