Well, it actually happened, Succession ended. And even though there was plenty of time to pre-grieve, as Roman Roy attempted to do with his father, that doesn’t make the loss any easier. A Logan Roy funeral-level meltdown could be lurking just below the surface for those who aren’t proactive in properly mourning the loss of the series. While there will never be another show quite like Succession, there’s one in the HBO family that comes pretty darn close. In the wake of such a major television loss, it’s time to binge Industry.
Mickey Down and Konrad Kay’s hour-long drama follows a group of young, recent graduates doing anything it takes to secure a spot at Pierpoint & Co., a prestigious financial institution in London. There’s Harper (Myha'la Herrold), an American trying to prove she has what it takes despite her lower-class background and less-than-desirable education; Yasmin (Marisa Abela), a well-traveled polyglot who comes from a sophisticated upbringing; Robert (Harry Lawtey), an Oxford grad more interested in partying than doing business; and Gus (David Jonsson), an intellectual with high expectations for himself. These four navigate transitioning into adulthood while being crushed under the pressure of one of the most volatile industries.
The Pierpoint rookies aren’t exactly the Roys. For one, they’re not related, and by the end of Season 2, none of them have a golden parachute to save them from their failures. But their bond is also forged in a toxic environment, and they all grow hungry for power, whether that be in their personal or professional relationships. Their bosses and clients are bad people whose despicable behavior comes to shape the core four at the center of the series. Harper in particular takes no issue with being as ruthless as possible, in part because the stakes are even higher for her — she can’t go back to the United States as a failure.
It’s those raised stakes that set Industry apart from Succession. Nearly every episode of Industry is as heart-pumping and anxiety inducing as Succession’s “America Decides,” with every decision made by the Pierpoint crew resulting in Earth-shattering consequences. But even though there’s very little to like about these similarly money-obsessed people , there’s at least slightly more incentive to root for them, which can mean cheering for them to rise in the ranks of Pierpoint by giving into deplorable tactics , or hoping for them to escape the financial grind to preserve their morality.
One of the other major differences between the two series is the amount of skin shown in Industry — the sex scenes are frequent and abundant, giving these characters even more opportunities to make bad decisions. In many cases, these encounters are yet another moral test, frequently crossing into inappropriate workplace behavior, and in that regard, create situations that parallel Roman Roy’s many instances of crossing the line. These are all characters who, despite their nuanced differences, approach the world in similar ways.
And like Succession, Industry’s cameras move with the action, the singular score sets the tone for each scene, and there are turns of phrase on par with some of Jesse Armstrong’s greatest quips. Harper’s boss and mentor Eric (Ken Leung) and her biggest client, Jesse Bloom (Jay Duplass), have particularly sharp tongues. Despite being a high-intensity drama, the writing allows Industry moments of pure comedy, with some of the funniest lines exchanged in the background on the trading floor. Those who watch with captions to catch every one-liner will experience the full impact of the series’s comedic power.
There’s even a possibility that Industry and Succession take place in the same universe. At the very least, Armstrong’s Emmy-winning series exists in the world Industry — in Season 2’s penultimate episode, Eric delivers a zinger comparing one of his colleagues to Kendall Roy. Was he talking about the character or the human who is well-known even across the pond? Maybe there will be more clarity in seasons to come.
Because that’s the best part about Industry: It’s not over yet. A third season is currently in production, adding HBO heavy hitters Sarah Goldberg (Barry) and Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) to the cast. That means at least one more season of high-stakes betrayal, indecipherable financial jargon, and dishonorable characters clawing their way to the top no matter what it takes. It’s like Succession never left.
Industry Seasons 1 and 2 are now streaming on Max. Join the discussion about the show in our forums.
Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R.