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On Succession and taking a big swing: no ...

On Succession and taking a big swing: no spoilers

Apr 18, 2023

Do you watch Succession? Have you watched the episode everyone is talking about yet? I won't spoil anything here. But I will share what I appreciate about the episode everyone is talking about.

The writer and producer Jessie Armstrong took a big swing. He made a choice most people would be too scared to make. He subverted expectations.

When the episode ended, the writer in me did a slow clap. What a satisfying experience to watch the episode unfold. What a surprise in a world where there are so few surprises.

It takes guts to make the biggest, boldest choices in life. It takes confidence and vision to do the hardest thing. The thing that would cause people to doubt you and try to make you second guess yourself.

It made me think about how I can take the biggest swings possible in my work. It made me think about my life and choosing what isn't formulaic or expected.

Armstrong's decision is an example of risk bringing reward. In addition, his choice to end the hit series in its fourth season is a shrewd decision. He could have kept the show going due to its popularity for financial gain. Instead, the story and its audience came first.

Two of the main themes of Succession are capitalism (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and greed. Mr. Armstrong didn't let those themes infiltrate his artistic choices. Good for him. He created an episode of television that fired on all cylinders and blew the viewers' minds. It paid off to think outside the box. Quality matters over quantity. We need examples of that to remind us to do it, too.

Whether you watch Succession or not, I hope this serves as your reminder to "go big," "do the unexpected," and "go with the choice that scares and excites you."

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