As anyone can see from my AVI on Twitter (do people still call it that…?), I am unapologetically a BoJack Horseman fanboy. A couple months ago while looking for a new show on HBO, I binged the first two seasons of Succession before the Season 3 premiere. I personally connected with Kendall the most, but the last episode really hit home. As many pointed out on Twitter, the similarities between the penultimate episode of BoJack and Season 3 of Succession are undeniable, with Kendall drugged out and passing out in his pool the same way BoJack almost died.
They both have success that they doubt is legitimate, have done plenty wrong in their life, substance issues, and mommy/daddy problems out the wazoo. What separates Kendall from his siblings is he seems more conscious of all of this and wants to do good, or at least acts like he wants to, similar to BoJack as we hear in his internal monologue in one of my favorite episodes (Season 4 Episode 6).
The way Roman told Kendall this season “you’re not a real person” obviously cut deeper than any other of his wacky and nasty insults thrown around all series, but I think it’s deeper than him just telling Kendall he’s not a real person like the family frequently refers to “normal” people outside their billionaire circle.
The way I took it was it was more of an attack against his righteous crusade he was on against Logan and the company, with Roman reminding Kendall he’s not a good person, his crusade is a sham for his own ego, and this won’t fix any of his problems. Kendall always seems to be in this battle against himself more than anything else just like BoJack, but was never taught or learned the emotional skills needed to deal with his problems since he is so much more self aware and somewhat more adjusted to society than his siblings with similar issues, which leads to more problems for him mentally (ignorance is bliss, right?).
We see this constant up and down with Kendall throughout the show just like we see with BoJack, but most of the obstacles are in their own head or they create for themselves. The high of being the next in line to run Waystar/(almost) winning an Oscar can quickly turn into a downward spiral of self doubt, drug abuse, and depression. For most of the show, I haven’t been “rooting” for anyone, but I’m praying we see Kendall wake up from a near death overdose and turn things around and go back on a tear against Logan and the rest of the family. It’s clear Logan simply uses his kids as pawns in his chess match of business, so I’m Team Kendall here on forward. Oh, and if you’ve only watched one of these shows, give the other a shot. I promise you won’t be disappointed.