Succession, HBO’s biting satire of corporate power struggles at a family-run conservative media conglomerate, could have ended up just a simple parody of the Fox News empire—think VeepBut for the Murdochs. The series follows Logan Roy, the pompous, profane and imperious leader of the Roy family. He is currently on his way out, and searching for a replacement. He is supported by his children Shiv, Kendall and Roman. A rotating cast of functionaries at high levels, including some who may be on the cusp of the throne, supports him.

The show doesn’t care as much about mocking conservative Fox News politics, which they view largely as a simple business proposition. It is more interested in showing the flaws in well-paid coastal elites who live in miserable and pathetic luxury lives that they want to preserve.

The Roy children have a variety of un-self-awareness and are essentially unscrupulous: Roman is a weasley suckup, Shiv is vain and shallowly left-leaning and Kendall is weak-willed and a former drug addict. Connor is a bumbling trust fund loser who clearly has no political aspirations.

They are often not as skilled or competent as their human handlers. Although the Roy children are somewhat more capable than them, they spend most of their time trying to avoid responsibility and blame. They don’t want to take responsibility for any actions they may be held responsible.

Thus, Succession is not so much the story of a powerful right-wing news operation as it is a spoof of America’s self-obsessed, self-dealing elites, in which a brash and abusive (yet ambitious and successful) patriarch finds himself handing the reins to a feckless younger generation that has no real goals beyond avoiding risk.