Who are the Roys?
Meet the Roys, who are essentially the Murdochs, but also aren't, because they are also the Redstones, but also aren't, because dashes of other media titans are tossed in. At the top of this fictional totem pole is Logan Roy, played by veteran actor Brian Cox. Logan is perpetually flirting with the idea of handing off control of his company to one of his scions, but is never fully willing to relinquish his ironclad hold. The stroke he suffers in the pilot episode only seems to strengthen his resolve to maintain in power, his latest wife, Marcia (Hiam Abbass), by his side. When the series begins, his son Kendall (Jeremy Strong) is the apparent heir, but his father's intransigence and his own natural pull towards self destruction leads him to mount an insurgency and fall back into old patterns of drug abuse. Logan's other son Roman (Kieran Culkin) is a loudmouth do-nothing with severe sexual hang-ups. His daughter, Shiv (Sarah Snook), appears to be the most centered of the bunch, pursuing a career as a political consultant. She marries Tom Wamsgans (Matthew Macfadyen), a midwestern outsider with a boisterous spirit and an undeniable weird side, who is desperate to make good at Waystar. Tom takes good old Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) under his wing. Greg, bless his soul, is a fuckup nephew of Logan's who enters the family's orbit after vomiting out of a mascot's face at a Waystar theme park, and somehow becomes everyone's gopher. Finally, there's Connor (Alan Ruck), Logan's eldest son, a dilettante who has been living on a ranch and dating Willa (Justine Lupe), an aspiring actress/escort. Connor ultimately decides he wants to run for president despite no qualifications whatsoever.
But who else should I pay attention to?
Gerri! Gerri! Gerri! Sorry, I love Gerri (J. Smith-Cameron), who is senior counsel at Waystar Royco and somehow manages to come off as level-headed and just as deranged as everyone else in her tolerance of the Roys' high jinks. Her relationship with Roman in the second season is unhinged. There's also Frank (Peter Friedman), long-abused one-time Chief Operating Officer of Waystar, who is unceremoniously fired in the first season. He'll be back though. And then there are the enemies -- namely, Stewy (Arian Moayed) and Sandy Furness (Larry Pine), who helped Kendall try to stage a coup against his dad last season. You'll also want to recall Lawrence (Rob Yang) who runs a Vice-type publication named Vaulter that Kendall brings into the Waystar fold, and remember these two hook-ups: Nate (Ashley Zukerman), the colleague with whom Shiv had an affair, and Tabitha (Caitlin FitzGerald). Tabitha's situation is a little complicated. She made Tom swallow his own load at his bachelor party, but then started dating Roman (they aren't having sex, though, because of his many issues).