It’s official, Succession’s Shiv is the worst of the worst

It’s official, Succession’s Shiv is the worst of the worst - 2nd November 2021


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While the Roy men are unashamedly awful, Shiv (Sarah Snook) wields her niceness as a weapon.CREDIT: HBO/FOXTEL

By Thomas Mitchell

Warning: this story contains spoilers for the latest episode of Succession.

It’s a testament to the cultural impact of Succession that audiences love to debate who is the worst member of the Roy family. In much the same way that “which Sex and the City character are you?” was once a staple question at dinner parties (or more accurately, bottomless brunches), arguing over the most despicable Roy has become fan fodder.

You might find most people gravitate towards Roman (Kieran Culkin) first, and he’s an obvious choice. Petulant, entitled and incredibly creepy, Roman very nearly killed a bunch of people with a failed rocket launch and barely batted an eyelid.

Then, of course, we have Kendall, the prodigal son. Kendall (Jeremy Strong) is also a popular pick, and it’s not hard to see why. Smarmy, condescending and a rampant egomaniac, Kendall says things like “F--- the patriarchy” without realising he is part of the problem. Oh, and he actually did kill someone (remember the car crash in season one?), something he semi-boasted about in this season’s premiere.

There will always be votes for Logan (Brian Cox), but he’s almost too outwardly evil to be in consideration, and Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) cuts more of a sympathetic figure than someone to be despised. He may hound Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) relentlessly, but this is a learned behaviour – the bullied becomes the bully. Put Tom in a room with anyone who isn’t Greg, and he’s toothless.

While you can make a compelling case for any of the above options, Monday night’s episode confirmed something I’ve long suspected: Shiv is the worst character on Succession.

Titled The Disruption, episode three ended with Shiv landing a blow so deafening that any chatter about the worst Roy will surely fall silent. Seeking revenge after Kendall upstaged her keynote address (he blasted the Nirvana song Rape Me during her speech), Shiv releases an official statement condemning Kendall’s recent behaviour.

Her letter drips with insincere concern for his wellbeing but is really just a scathing laundry list of Kendall’s failings: absentee father, misogynist, serial liar and relapsed drug addict.

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(The Sydney Morning Herald)