‘Succession’ shows media dynasties are just families, only much worse

(CNN)“Succession” somehow makes the high-stakes machinations of self-centered, awful, filthy rich people a whole lot of fun. Like “Billions,” it feels like a series narrowly calibrated to the times, while offering juicy parallels to the life and career of Rupert Murdoch, capturing the Fox mogul — in spirit, not specifics or details — in a way another just-ending drama featuring him couldn’t.

Indeed, in one of the stranger pay-cable baton passes in memory, “Succession” begins its second season on HBO the same night that Showtime’s “The Loudest Voice,” a searing profile of the late Fox News executive Roger Ailes, airs its finale. While that limited series, based on Gabriel Sherman’s book, features the Murdochs only as supporting players, the HBO show clearly uses them and other powerful media families as conduits to explore the excesses of the modern age.



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