Succession Casually Beat A TV Record Held By The Office For 15 Years
“The Office” is easily one of the most successful TV sitcoms of all time. Airing for nine seasons, and starring the likes of John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Steve Carell, and Mindy Kaling, its mockumentary format — which chronicled the lives of those who work in a midwestern paper company, and spawned one of the most ubiquitous memes of all time, “that’s what she said” — proved profoundly influential.
Meanwhile, HBO’s “Succession” — despite being an exceptionally different series from the former — has also become a massive success. “Succession” is six episodes into its third season, and for those who haven’t seen it yet, the show has the same family thrills as “Dynasty,” with toxic family relationships only growing more toxic by the season.
In “Succession” Season 3, episode 4, “Lion in the Meadow,” two of the main characters have an emotionally charged moment which mirrors something that “The Office” did long ago … and takes it further. Less than a minute further, to be exact.
Kendall and Logan sit together for a record-breaking 48 seconds of silence
In an emotionally charged moment, Kendall and his estranged father Logan are left alone while one of their business investors has to take a call. The two men sit together in tense silence, letting their body language and facial expressions say everything without saying anything for a total of 48 seconds.
According to Mashable, this moment of silence is just a bit longer than a similar scene from “The Office” 15 years prior. In that episode, the famous “will they or won’t they?” couple Pam (Jenna Fischer) and Jim (John Krasinski) smile and stare at each other for 23 whole seconds after briefly discussing their relationship problems, no doubt making millions of people jump off their couches and scream “Just tell her you love her, already!”
However, while the similarities between these scenes in “The Office” and “Succession” is easy to draw parallels between, this isn’t the first time that non-dialogue has been used for maximum emotional effect, nor the longest in entertainment history. The classic Pixar film “Wall-E,” as Vulture points out, went a whole 35 minutes without a single stitch of dialogue (minus some of the robots saying their own names like mechanical Pokemon) yet still told a gloriously emotional story. There’s also the old Nickelodeon TV show “Are You Afraid of the Dark,” which used the clever silence trope in Season 4 Episode 4 “The Tale of the Quiet Librarian,” an episode about a spooky librarian with a magic box that sucks away sound, trapping noisy children in her silent library forever. And who can forget the Emmy-nominated episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” titled “Hush,” which featured a similar plot? Emotionally charged silence is one of the few tropes in TV and cinema that hasn’t been done to death, and is almost always masterfully executed. Here’s hoping we see more of it in the future.