Nicholas Braun as Greg Hirsch, mild-mannered media conglomerate underling and family outsider
Canada to New York City, The day before Thanksgiving 2018
Episode: “I Went to Market” (Episode 1.05)
Air Date: July 1, 2018
Director: Adam Arkin
Creator: Jesse Armstrong
Costume Designer: Michelle Matland
Ahead of Thanksgiving tomorrow, one of the things I’m grateful for is that—if Succession had to end this year—the fact that it did so perfectly when the series finale ended in May. To commemorate the final year from this landmark series, let’s flash back to the first season as we joined the Roys for their annual Turkey Day celebration.
From the start of Succession, the anxious Greg Hirsch (Nicholas Braun), aka “Cousin Greg”, aka “Greg the Egg”, initially served as an audience surrogate as we were all collectively introduced to the world of the extremely wealthy and highly dysfunctional Roy family, led by domineering patriarch Logan (Brian Cox) as his children Connor (Alan Ruck), Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Roman (Kieran Culkin), and Siobhan (Sarah Snook) wrested for their withholding father’s favor… and the keys to control his media conglomerate, Waystar RoyCo.
The outsider Greg had never been part of their circle, thrust into it during Logan’s 80th birthday party when his mother—Logan’s niece—dispatched him to New York for a job after he was fired from one of a Waystar amusement park for getting high inside a mascot costume. Within a month, he’s got a job with the company that pays himself just enough that he needn’t sneak food out of the Waystar break room in doggie-doo bags anymore, and he can afford enough gas to power his three-year-old Hyundai to Canada (“with the healthcare and the ennui!”) and back to transport his grandfather Ewan (James Cromwell) to New York for Logan’s Thanksgiving dinner.
Greg: Happy Thanksgiving!
Ewan: Not for the Indians.
Greg: No sir! Nope… that is still true.
Tom Berenger as Sam Weber, jaded TV star
Beaufort, South Carolina, Fall 1983
Film: The Big Chill
Release Date: September 28, 1983
Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Costume Designer: April Ferry
As I prepare to gather with friends today for our annual Friendsgiving celebration, there’s a cinematic choice that perfectly captures the essence of fall, friendship, and the shared warmth of communal meals.
Despite not being centered around the holiday itself, The Big Chill has earned a place among many as a quintessential “Thanksgiving movie” with its autumnal setting, the camaraderie of old friends reuniting, and the soul-stirring soundtrack creating a nostalgic backdrop reminiscent of the season’s familial gatherings.
Beyond this thematic resonance, the film also offers a visual feast served by costume designer April Ferry’s array of early ’80s threads worn by its ensemble cast. Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Mary Kay Place, and JoBeth Williams star as college friends who reunite more than a decade after their graduation to mourn one of their group lost to suicide—portrayed by Kevin Costner, who was almost entirely cut from the film. Almost.
I recently had a request to explore Berenger’s style as Sam Weber, who was become arguably the most famous of his college pals, gracing magazine covers as the star of the Magnum, P.I.-like series, J.T. Lancer. Continue reading