Season Four of the HBO drama Succession is underway and the writing is so good that I am memorializing some of it so it’s readily available later, especially the dialog around media.
Episode One: Munsters
Kendall, Shiv and Roman are off spinning up their own new media startup. As they spitball new concepts, the writers have crafted some cringe-worthy bon mots about what the Logan Roy offspring think is the future of media.
Branding slide for The Hundred: The global media start-up is a digital hub delivering all the essential information needed to navigate the now. The world’s leading experts provide humanity’s most invaluable knowledge in bespoke bite-sized parcels, designed to improve the lives of subscribers and the world in general. The antidote to the modem malaise of empty-caloried Input-overload.
Kendall: The Hundred is Substack meets Masterclass meets The Economist meets The New Yorker.
Roman: I feel like we said iconic, and you guys are leaning ironic.
Kendall: An independent bespoke information hub with the hundred greatest top writers, experts and minds in every field from Israel-Palestine to A.I. to Michelin restaurants. It’s a one-stop info shop, with high-calorie info-snacks.
Roman: It’s like a private member’s club, but for everyone. It’s like clickbait but for smart people.
Kendall: We have the ethos of a non-profit, but a path to crazy margins.
Logan Roy: What are people? They’re economic units. I’m a hundred feet tall. These people are pygmies. But, together, they form a market. What is a person? It has values and aims but it operates in a market. Marriage market, job market, money market, market for ideas, et cetera, et cetera.
Episode Two: Rehersal
Now that Kendal, Shiv, and Roman have made a play for the old media brand, Pierce Media, they bounce around some ideas on how to spiff things up.
Shiv: I gotta say, the upside is huge if we just broaden out and stop over-indexing to college professors.
Roman: Sorry, I just can’t seem to tear my eyes away from the bald man talking about NATO. I have a boner.
Kendall: So, my floaty kinda semi-pitch would be hardcore international news from global-global to hyperlocal. Maybe focus on Africa? Every day, just what is happening in Africa? The Maghreb. Sub-Saharan East, Sub-Saharan West. I would watch that shit.
Roman: You would not watch that shit.
Shiv: That sounds like Homework: The Show.
Kendall: The point is, it’s global reach. It’s a network that teaches you how to watch it.
Roman: Or, shove all your foreign report melatonin news hour info dumps in the daytime. Primetime, we go full Clockwork Orange, you know?
So good. Looking forward to what drug-addled craziness awaits this Sunday.