New York’s Owners On Who They Are in ‘Succession’
Logan Roy, Lawrence Yee, the waiter who drowned — the answers came fast and furious from owners — but so did the no-comments
The HBO show “Succession” is not about real estate. … Or, is it?
Certainly, “Succession” is about a prominent New York family (whose real-life inspirations rhyme with Shmerdoch and Shmedstone); it’s about familial politics; it’s about ego; it’s about money; it’s about power.
It sure sounds like a plausible real estate show.
Of course, no, the Roy family is in media, not real estate. But the switch could have been executed with very little editing. One of the things that makes real estate such an interesting topic (especially in New York) are the family dynamics. Great wealth is handed down from generation to generation. Sometimes it is bickered over, divided and sold off. Sometimes it is compounded and becomes a legacy that renders its heirs inordinately influential people.
“Succession” probably captures those battles, triumphs and head games better than any other show on television.
To be sure, the characters on “Succession” — from the cold, mercurial patriarch Logan; to his wackadoodle son Connor; to Logan’s feckless heir Kendall; to his giggly, immature son Roman; to the shrewd sister Shiv; to his cringing, bumbling nephew Greg — are at best strange, but more often selfish and cruel. They’re certainly not figures to emulate.
But everyone who admires the show (even us humble journalists) have daydreamed about who we are in its bizarre pecking order, or how we’d react if we were beholden to a moody Scottish tycoon for billions of dollars. When asked which character he identified with in the “Succession” universe, Brookfield’s Ben Brown answered, “Only the flawed ones.”
Got it — all of ’em.
A majority of CO’s owners did not cop to watching the show.
“Never seen it,” said Will Blodgett. “From what I heard, it would make me lose faith in humanity. I love humanity.” Well, then, no, you shouldn’t watch “Succession.”
“I don’t relate to any of those characters,” said Marx Realty’s Craig Deitelzweig. “People often say I remind them of Harvey Specter from ‘Suits.’ ”
“I got bored after the first season,” said Michael T. Cohen. (Quick: Where’s our fainting couch?!)
Many identified with the more minor characters: Jason Alderman likened himself to Ewan Roy, Logan’s irate brother; Douglas Durst said Lawrence Yee, the founder of Vaulter who holds the Roy family in massive contempt (it’s a good answer); Jake Elghanyan said Gerri, the company’s general counsel who is herself an adept player of family politics (also a good answer); one owner said the catering waiter who accidentally drowns at a Roy family event. (Well, he was at least less morally culpable than the rest. The only really wrong answer would have been Tom, Shiv’s half-bullying, half-suck-up husband who no normal person could possibly like.)
But a few were willing to admit their fascination (and affection) for the main attractions.
“Kendall Roy,” said Aurora’s Jared Epstein of the heir apparent to the Roy throne.
“Logan Roy — building something from scratch,” said Tawan Davis. (Finally someone will admit this!)
“I suppose I am most like the father, Logan Roy,” said Jeff Gural, adding, “but I’m nowhere near as conniving.”
“I guess it is the CEO as I look forward to my two children playing a larger role with increased responsibilities in our organization,” said John Catsimatidis.
“Logan Roy,” answered Keith Rubenstein. (Without elaboration. Like a boss.)
Of course, “Succession” impacted some of our owners in more tangible ways.
“While they filmed season three in the Woolworth Tower Residence and I personally enjoy the show, I’m like none of the characters,” said Alchemy’s Ken Horn.
Max Gross can be reached at email@example.com.