There's been plenty of discussion over whether the acclaimed HBO series is a comedy or drama. "Why do the funny parts of Succession not feel like 'relief,' but rather a core part of its identity?" asks Mac Rogers. "Fortunately, there’s an answer: It’s because Succession is one of the very few serious prestige dramas to depict power the way a half-hour comedy does. In a typical prestige drama, power is deployed via byzantine schemes by cunning, Machiavellian geniuses. The serious television power broker is a calculating figure who knows all the angles and is owed all the favors: Scandal’s Olivia Pope, House of Cards’ Frank Underwood, Power’s Ghost, Peaky Blinders’ Thomas Shelby—schemers who see 10 steps ahead and anticipate their enemies’ movies. Half-hour comedies see power, and those who have it, quite differently. This is the world of the Bluths, of Selina Meyer, of Ari Gold and David Brent. In comedy, powerful people are unqualified jackasses who lurch from crisis to crisis, staying on top, sometimes barely, through a combination of luck, money, entrenched status, and pure meanness. They often imagine themselves to be strategic savants but always end up haplessly bluffing their way through boondoggles of their own making. That’s a perfect description of the Roys on Succession. It can be hard to see at first, surrounded as they are by the trappings of luxury and the elegant lighting of a top-shelf drama, but the Roys are, well, a bunch of clowns. They tumble obtusely through every storyline, frantically attempting to appear brilliant in front of adversaries who clearly see right through them, and sometimes lose anyway."