Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em Podcast
Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em Podcast
74. "Succession" with Caitlin Flanagan

74. "Succession" with Caitlin Flanagan

The great family drama comes to an end, and we bring in the Atlantic essayist to talk privilege and parenting, menace and beauty, and the real tragedy of the show

Devastated! Satisfied! The HBO series “Succession” had its finale, and Nancy and Sarah could not wait to discuss with Atlantic writer and essayist extraordinaire Caitlin Flanagan, who joins Smoke ‘Em to “sit shiva” for the Roys. Discussed:

  • Who saw the ending coming?

  • The “failson” that was Kendall, and why does Sarah want to fix him?

  • The louche character of Roman, nihilist

  • Shiv meets the fate of her mother, her worst fear

  • Why the Greg theory of victory was never gonna wash

  • A father’s love: The real narrative drive of the show

  • “It takes three generations of American life to make a Shakespeare scholar”

  • Freud’s repetition compulsion

  • The funeral episode and the speech that was Nietzsche meets The Fountainhead

  • Shiv and Tom: “A change has come / she’s under my thumb”

  • That nasty Jeremy Strong profile in the New Yorker

  • Why “privilege” is a shallow metric to talk about a human life

NOTE: We had tech problems! There’s a lag after Caitlin’s answers that wasn’t there in real time, and at one point we lose Nancy, though she comes back. Forgive us. We were too excited, and Sarah hasn’t met her techie boyfriend yet.

Caitlin Flanagan


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Episode Notes:

Caitlin Flanagan in The Atlantic

‘Succession’ Nailed the Unreal Way We Live Now,” by Kurt Andersen (New York Times)

The “Elizabethan painting” in the back of the limo:

On ‘Succession,’ Jeremy Strong Doesn’t Get the Joke,” by Michael Schulman (New Yorker)

Farewell, Kendall Roy,” by Michael Schulman (New Yorker)

Jeremy Strong: That Profile Felt Like ‘A Profound Betrayal,’” by David Canfield (Vanity Fair)

Why Do So Many ‘Succession’ Fans Think They Can Fix Kendall Roy?,” by Becca Holland (Collider)


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Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em Podcast
Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em Podcast
Journalistas Nancy Rommelmann and Sarah Hepola on what's burning through the culture right now. Flirtatious banter for serious times.