Type keyword(s) to search


HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm and Succession are offering insight into the hearts and minds of rich old white guys

  • "What we see does not inspire confidence, but whether on TV or in life, it rarely does," Melanie McFarland says of Curb's Larry David and Succession's Logan Roy. "These bicoastal bookends to the premium channel's tentpole evening are emblematic of a season that's all about obscenely wealthy male Boomers." McFarland adds that as in real life, Roy "refuses to let the next generation take over because it would mean giving up that level of power, even though his main response to the federal investigators gathering at his gates has been, 'Tell them to f**k off.' This isn't because he knows what he's doing or that he's untouchable. From a distance it may sound like a giant's roar. Up close, we can see Logan has reached a point in his life when 'f**k off' could mean exactly that, or it masks fear and uncertainty, or it could be what's coming out of his mouth when he means to say, "I am having a stroke." Astronomical wealth buys him a favorable translation from the company he's in, which is why he surrounds himself with his power-hungry children and other sycophants. Larry doesn't quite occupy that stratum of wealth and power in Los Angeles, but the Seinfeld co-creator can stroll into Netflix with his best friend and manager Jeff (Jeff Garlin) and sell them a bland pitch without much effort. His proposed comedy is about, what else, another up-and-coming comedian based on a younger version of himself. This one moves in with his elderly uncle and does everything he can to accelerate his relative's demise. Hilarity is guaranteed to ensue because . . . look who's making it. It's unlikely that HBO would allow one of its shows to feature their main competitor in a subplot unless the larger storyline is designed to be a dig at them. Instead of guessing where David is going with this, it's better to consider what he's showing us now. Here is a man whose life runs on complaints about etiquette breaches and minor irritations, whose entire claim to fame is that nothing good ever comes of leaving your house. But this same guy can exhale a whiff of a passable concept and a production company with deep pockets will buy in, no questions asked. The other side to this is that both Curb and Succession depict power and wealth as costumes that camouflage frailty."

    TOPICS: Curb Your Enthusiasm, HBO, Succession, Brian Cox, Larry David