'Succession' Season 3: Excellent Season, Disappointing DVD Release (Review)

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Succession Season 3 just heightened the intensity for an already outrageous series. It's the perfect HBO show, with an addictive storyline packed with twists and brilliant performances from everyone in the cast. The success of the series, both with critics and audiences, proves that HBO's magic touch hasn't been overshadowed in the age of streamers. For these reasons, the DVD release of Season 3, available on Tuesday, is all the more disappointing. It feels thrown together like an afterthought, with little effort put in to attract HBO subscribers to the physical edition.

Season 3 picked up right where Season 2 left off after Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) betrayed his family by telling the press that his father, Logan Roy (Brian Cox), was aware of the sexual misconduct at Waystar RoyCo's cruise division. Kendall's decision isolates him from his siblings Shiv (Sarah Snook), Connor (Alan Ruck), and Roman (Kiernan Culkin). He tries to expose the flaws in his family, so Shiv and Roman launch their counter-campaign to stop him. The walls are closing in everywhere, forcing the Roys to take extreme chances to keep the company under their leadership.

(Photo: Macall B. Polay/HBO)

While the main cast of Succession is uniformly excellent once again, Season 3 really popped thanks to the surprising guest appearances. Adrien Brody gives an excellent performance in one of the best episodes of the season, "Lion in the Meadow," as a Waystar shareholder with little confidence that Logan and Kendall can work together. Brody only popped up in two episodes, which was not enough. Hopefully, he appears in Season 4. The same can be said for Alexander Skarsgard, who comes in later as Lukas Matsson, the CEO of a streaming platform who instantly sees through Logan.

The home video release of Succession Season 3 shows just how little thought goes into DVD editions of TV shows now. First, HBO and Warner Bros. Home Video once again declined to release this season on Blu-ray, even though Season 1 got a Blu-ray release. Next, the days of casts and crew gathering to record episode commentaries and extensive interviews are long gone. The only extras in the set are Succession: Breaking the Narrative two-minute clips for "Mass in Time of War" and "Lion in the Meadow," which are the usual HBO clips of cast and writers telling you what happened in an episode without offering insight. There are also "Who Said It?" segments, where cast members guess which character said a quote, and "Roy Family Food Chain," which is a short clip of the cast joking about their characters. All of these are available on HBO Max, alongside "The Official Succession Podcast with Kara Swisher," which is absent from the DVD.

Succession Season 3 is great, but this DVD release is not. HBO and HBO Max subscribers can stream the series in high definition, so there's no reason to get this set because they would be watching the show in inferior, standard definition quality. Anyone not subscribed to HBO and HBO Max should still get this if they enjoyed the first two seasons though.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this PopCulture.com article. The opinions I share are my own.