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Series hit about media dynasty: This family eats the last remnants of the free press


"Dallas" with breaking news ticker: "Succession" tells of a family of publishers who aspire to market and opinion power. A strong example of how the entertainment industry is making politics.

Traditional newspapers, hip websites, scrapped local TV stations: As a whale continuously sucking plankton, the media company Waystar Royco is absorbed by the remnants of the free American press, which drives him in front of the huge mouth. The company is owned by media mogul Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and his children; The boys are already fighting over the succession, but the father has saved his hunger despite a heart attack. The old whale continues its rounds.

The clan of the aged Irish-born publisher Roy from the media dynasty satire "Succession" is reminiscent of that of the real aged Australian publisher Rupert Murdoch, who owns with his family significant parts of the US press - including the television channel Fox News, with whom he Over the last few years the public has sworn by a very liberal interpretation of the term journalism on Trump course.

The second season of "Succession", which will be seen on Sky from Monday, is working this political aspect in the struggle of Roy Royals for power and validity particularly strong out. The first season seemed a bit like "Dallas" with Breaking News ticker; there it was still about how the vermurkste, among themselves deeply divided Roy's offspring against the background of a dying press landscape on Oedipal coups and scoops from the clutches of the tyrannical publisher patriarch tried to free.

On a shopping spree through the US media scene

The new ten episodes are now focusing even more on how Roys' shopping sprees through the ailing US media scene affect the social climate. The insight comes just from the middle of the toxic clan: "If we have all the news, I wonder where I get my damn messages," says Siobhan "Shiv" Roy (Sarah Snook), the daughter of the house.

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HBO series: A toxic family

Shiv had started in the first season as a consultant to a Democratic presidential candidate who made life difficult for old Roy over regulators. That may have been Shiv's way of getting involved in intriguing the media empire, but as a spin doctor, she knows that politics lives off a vital debate.

So let's listen to her a bit more: "The American Republic is in a miserable state," complains Shiv as she probes the situation with a brother. "You have the Times, the Post, the editors at PGM and hundreds of angry women on Twitter, that's all, and now we're supposed to swallow the next one?"

Publisher scion on coke and crystal meth

The "(New York) Times" and the "(Washington) Post" really exist, the news channel PGM is a fiction of the serial creators. Unlike Roy's own news network, PGM is run by upright, incorruptible journalists; Even the cynical Roy children speak in reverence of the reporters there - who in turn have only contempt for the opportunistic publisher blanks left.

This is the tragicomic effect that permeates "succession": the more power the Roys gain through their often openly dirty business, the more contempt they receive. This is cruelly played out by Shiv's brother Roy (Jeremy Strong), the ketamine, coke and crystal-meth-dependent natural Roy heir to the throne, who wants to become a great publisher personality: No matter which trendy start-up he also buys - always show He is open to those whom he believes to possess, that they consider him a degenerate daddy boy.

And yet the company is growing steadily. And the upcoming marriage of the great gray whale Waystar Royco with the white knights of PGM would consolidate the market and opinion power of the empire for years to come, media crisis or no. The narrative art of this stormy celebrated in the US series is also evident in the fact that the mega deal seems completely credible. A merger of the fictitious companies Waystar Royco and PGM - that would be in the reality of a wedding of the arch-reactionary Fox News with CNN, the voice of liberal America.

Entertainment companies as political players

"Succession" shows in this way how fatal the media change could (or does) affect policy-making and pluralism. The producing pay-TV channel HBO ("Game of Thrones") is itself part of the big upheaval that it presents with the series. HB0 belongs to the entertainment company WarnerMedia, which in turn is linked to the news channel CNN, which is celebrated in "Succession" just a little clipped in the guise of PGM as a savior of free America.

The stronger the classic news media fades into the background, the more the entertainment companies become fellow players in the major social debates. A tendency that can also be seen in the development of Netflix, where Obama's documentaries with a clear political agenda mix under the binge watching addictive substance.

The sad and funny, highly condensed and highly intelligent society and political satire "Succession" tunes us to the new information age that could come after the big media change: Entertainmant is the new information program.

"Succession", Season 2, from Monday, on Sky Atlantic HD, Sky Ticket, Sky Go and Sky Q on demand

Source: spiegel

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