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If You're A TV Fan And Not Watching "Succession", You're Doing It Wrong; Oh And "The Boys" Kicks Ass And Should Be At The Top Of Your Shit-To-Do List

(WARNING: THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS HERE PIECE. SO YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.)

One of TV’s top two or three dramas returned to the airwaves Sunday night and picked up right where it left off, both chronologically and creatively. HBO’s current prestige show “Succession” is about a grumpy, ailing, and aging head of a mass media and entertainment conglomerate, Logan Roy (the always top-notch Brian Cox), and his conniving, bickering offspring who are each playing their own, backstabby angles to grab a piece of Daddy’s Billionaire Pie.

Season 2 kicks off in the aftermath of woofhead Kendall Roy’s (an excellent Jeremy Strong, per usual) Ted Kennedy impression that left a waiter dead because the waiter tried to be a good dude and help score a billionaire some toot. Oh, and it was at his sister’s wedding. And this was right after what was essentially a failed coup against his father. After the old man’s security team covers up Kendall’s manslaughter, he goes back into “recovery” by unwinding in an infinity pool overlooking what appeared to be gorgeous Icelandic terrain. But his bliss is soon interrupted when he is summoned to their family estate by dad, who now can fuck with Kendall even more given that he saved his ass.

The ever-manipulative Logan Roy calls for a fancy family dinner, ostensibly to discuss the future of Waystar Royco, a media titan on par with Disney and the house that Rupert Murdoch built, but I think it was really just to further fuck with his greedy-ass kids. Daughter Siobhan (Sarah Snook), lovingly referred to as “Shiv” by fam, is probably the, um, sharpest of the bunch but works for a POTUS candidate who is often savaged by her father’s network. Connor (Alan Ruck) is a Grade-A space cadet who has a better chance at hitting the Powerball than being put in charge of the multibillion dollar company his dad built from the ground up; in just 1+ seasons, Ruck has gifted us with one of TV’s truly great dipshits. Youngest son Roman (a hyperkinetic Kieran Culkin) is the wild card of the bunch. Though clearly intelligent, he can’t be relied upon to be, say, a normal person who behaves like an adult in a work environment.

By the end of the ep, Daddy Warbucks has promised one of his kids the keys to the billion dollar empire. But something tells me that it’s not gonna stick. But two characters in particular really put the cherry on top of this A-hole Sundae: Shiv’s husband Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) and her idiot cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) have some of the funniest scenes on the show when they’re together as the ladder-climbing Tom has basically made the always-nervous Greg his serf. Whether Tom is dumb as a fox has yet to be determined and Greg’s ‘snake it til you make it’ plotline has made for some hilarious moments as he is simply trying to cash in on the family name.

I was a little wishy-washy after the first few eps of “Succession” last year, unsure of what kind of show it was. By the fourth or fifth one, I was completely onboard. When I found myself laughing at this pack of entitled assholes (and remembered who the producers are), I realized “Succession” is more satire than anything else. The top-notch writing and fantastic ensemble acting make it a must watch each Sunday night at 9. Get on it. And that opening tune is killer.

I originally planned on inhaling Season 3 of Netflix’s excellent “GLOW” on Friday night because the first two seasons of the distaff grappler show were sharp, funny, endearing, and offered something that viewers weren’t getting anywhere else: an entertaining ’80s-set lady wrestler comedy/drama. Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin have each received well-deserved critical kudos and awards recognition for their work as pair of wrestlers who start off as rivals in and out of the ring. The diverse line-up of women in the wrestling show-within-the-show all do great work and each gets time to shine when their character gets a storyline (not unlike actual wrestling). And Marc Maron has turned in the best work of his career as the surly cokehead show director Sam Sylvia. I’ve already written about “GLOW” and it definitely gets my Rear-commendation. But I also got dozens of Tweets imploring me to watch Amazon’s “The Boys”, a show I knew absolutely nothing about.

I was a little apprehensive because a) frankly, I’m a little burned out on superhero content, and b) comic book efforts on the little screen haven’t approached anywhere near the success of those on the big screen. Regardless, I dove right in and it only took an ep to hook me in.

“The Boys” is about an eponymous rag-tag group of five vigilante-types that knows that the globally-beloved and corporate-owned superhero team known as the Seven is dirtier than a hippie’s feet and The Boys take occasionally aggressive measures to curtail the Seven’s generally shitty behavior. There’s also a boatload of history that intertwines The Boys and the Seven that comes frequently into play. Given that “The Boys” was based on a comic book series about morally ambiguous superheroes having their styles cramped, “Watchmen” was one of the first things that came to mind when I was watching and there are definitely some similarities. (I haven’t read “The Boys” but I read “Watchmen” and loved it). But “The Boys” for sure has its own voice.

This isn’t a simple good guys vs. bad guys comic. “The Boys” makes some of the heroes total fucking scumbags. I’m not talking flawed or human, I’m talking homicidal and rapey. We’re not rooting for the “hero” to get the bad guy, we’re rooting for the “hero” to get got. “The Boys” also doles out digs and subtext galore, some of it obvious and some more subtle. Corporate culture, in particular, gets delightfully skewered over the course of the excellent first season as do shopworn superhero tropes.

I hadn’t heard of “The Boys” just a couple of weeks ago. Today, I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a new show to watch. You don’t need to be a fan of comic book movies or super hero movies to enjoy it (though it doesn’t hurt).