The Characters On ‘Succession’ Love Wearing Plain Black Hats


The Rundown is a weekly column that highlights some of the biggest, weirdest, and most notable events of the week in entertainment. The number of items could vary, as could the subject matter. It will not always make a ton of sense. Some items might not even be about entertainment, to be honest, or from this week. The important thing is that it’s Friday, and we are here to have some fun.

ITEM NUMBER ONE – This is a fashion blog now

Succession is a show about power. Power in business and power in relationships and the way one wields that power to get what one wants, whether it’s by strong-arming someone weaker or flattering someone stronger and using it all to achieve your almost exclusively personal and selfish ends, collateral damage be damned. It is a show about manipulation and domination and crushing your enemies and even your friends if their interests do not align with your own at the moment. It is, to be sure, all of that. But it is also a show about hats.

Bad hats, specifically. Weird plain black ones that have no logos or markings on them. Hats that you almost never see a person wear on the street in real life. They love these hats. They wear them all the time. Especially Logan, the patriarch played by Brian Cox, and Kendall, the doofus failson played by Jeremy Strong. I am not the first person to notice these hats. Everyone notices the hats. But I am the one writing this paragraph, so let’s press on.

Here is Kendall in one of the stupid hats.


Here is Logan in one of the stupid hats.


It is, to put a reasonably fine point on it all, a whole thing. And it’s something you can’t stop noticing once you notice it the first time, or once some stupid guy on the internet brings it to your attention. (Sorry.) (Kind of.) They look like hats you would wear to try to go undercover or blend in but would result in someone looking at you and your weird black hat and being like “that guy over there in the weird plain black hat sure looks suspicious.” They look like hats you would wear to scope out a bank you plan to rob the next day. They look like hats a creep would wear in a live-action kids’ movie. They’re not good hats.

And guess what: They’re back. The first teaser trailer for the upcoming fourth season dropped this week, and if you were wondering how long it would take for someone on the show to pop up in a plain back hat, you got your answer pretty fast. Like, right away. Because this was pretty much the first shot of that sucker.


And then moments later, Kendall and his siblings were shown striding across the runway of a private little airport and, yes, there he is in his weird spy hat.


It’s important to note here that other stuff happens in the teaser. Lots of it. The last season ended in chaos with the family splintering and various members declaring war on each other and my sweet boy Cousin Greg getting yoinked around by everyone like a gangly little ragdoll. This teaser… well, teases how that’s all going to go down. I’m legitimately very excited to see how it all plays out when it comes back.

But… I mean, come on. How can I be expected to focus on any of that when Kendall has on his stupid plain black hat and is doing whatever the heck he thinks he’s doing here?


Three notes in conclusion:

  • It is my position that Kendall wears the plain black hats because he has seen Logan wearing them and he is so desperate to be respected by/like his father that he has adopted this aspect of his personal style either by choice or subconsciously
  • I hope they introduce a charismatic and powerful new character this season who wears plain unmarked hats that are bright red, if for no other reason than to see if Kendall starts wearing plain red hats, too
  • Hats

Thank you.

ITEM NUMBER TWO – Shoutout to Lloyd Morrisett

Lloyd Morrisett passed away this week. There’s a decent chance that name doesn’t set off any bells in your head. But even if you weren’t familiar with the man, you definitely knew his work. Lloyd Morrisett was one of the driving forces behind making Sesame Street, like, a thing. He was a psychologist who worked for a big-money non-profit and he went to a dinner party in 1966 and basically pitched the framework of the show to a producer of public television named Joan Ganz Cooney. His idea went something like this: Kids can memorize crappy ad jingles when they’re fun and set to music, so why can’t we do that with stuff that actually promotes education and other useful stuff? Lloyd was a smart dude.

“I said at one point in the conversation, ‘Joan, do you think television can be used to teach young children?’” he said in an interview on “BackStory,” a podcast about history, in 2019, “and her answer was, ‘I don’t know, but I’d like to talk about it.’”

The idea was intriguing enough for Mr. Morrisett, along with Ms. Ganz Cooney, then a producer of public affairs television programming, and others to begin brainstorming about creating a program for preschoolers, particularly poor children who were likely to fall behind in the early grades, that would educate and amuse them.

Even if that’s all he did, it would have been something. That’s… it’s a really good idea. Especially for the 1960s, when half of the ads on television were for cigarettes. But that wasn’t enough for Lloyd. This guy had the follow-through. He and Joan Ganz Cooney saw this sucker through with a combination of fundraising and savvy political maneuvering.

At Mr. Morrisett’s request, and with money from the Carnegie Corporation, Ms. Ganz Cooney traveled the country interviewing educators, animators, puppeteers, psychologists, filmmakers and television producers to produce a study, “The Potential Uses of Television for Pre-School Education.” That study became the blueprint for “Sesame Street.”

This is really cool. What a legacy. Think about this the next time you’re having dinner with your friends. Some crazy idea one of you has might end up changing the freaking world. I say “you” and “your friends” here because me and my bozo cronies are usually just talking about various ways the Philadelphia Eagles have brought us joy and/or wronged us. We can’t leave this one up to me.

There was probably a better video to put at the top of this section than the one of Elmo freaking out on his nemesis Rocco. I don’t know. I really like it. Even today. As a fully grown adult. So… there it is. Thank you to Lloyd for that, too.

ITEM NUMBER THREE – Good show doing special episode

We have discussed Harley Quinn a few times now. There’s a simple reason for that: It is so good. It’s an adult animated series on HBO Max that takes everything you know about the world of Batman and smashes it in the face with a pie. Harley and Poison Ivy are a couple. Joker ran for mayor on a platform somewhere to the left of socialism. Bane is a big dumb idiot and I love him a lot. It’s a good show.

This is the teaser for its upcoming Valentine’s Day special. I watched the screener for this thing earlier in the week and I feel confident telling you that it is one of the stupidest things I have ever seen, which I mean as the highest compliment I know how to give. I really need everyone to watch this just to see the journey Bane goes on. Watch the rest of the show, too, if you haven’t. There are three seasons so far. You can bang through the whole thing in a week or two if you commit a little bit. You will not regret it. Jim Gordon and his Bat Signal bits have taken up residence in my brain in a way very few things from very few comedies have. I know I post these screencaps every time I mention the show but I’m going to do it again anyway.


I feel great about it.

ITEM NUMBER FOUR – More like craptocurrency, in my opinion

Cryptocurrency never made sense to me. It always seemed like this weird nebulous concept that people got really excited about for… like, reasons? I tried to wrap my head around it a few times. I’m a reasonably bright dude. I have a law degree in a closet around here somewhere that has about an inch of dust on it, which I realize as I say it does not do a great job of making my case that I’m a reasonably smart guy. For a couple reasons. But whatever. I’m not the one on trial here. Cryptocurrency is.

Which brings me to this clip of Bomani Jones on Late Night With Seth Meyers. Bomani Jones is one of those guys who is so smart and good with words that he can make weird nebulous confusing stuff sound simple. That’s what he’s doing here. He’s explaining cryptocurrency through the lens of its sudden flooding of the sports world via endorsements and naming rights and all of it. Watch it now. It’s maybe the best explanation of the whole thing I’ve ever seen. It makes it all seem so obvious now. Which it probably should have been all along. And he uses the word “dorks,” which more people should do while discussing boring economic principles.

Very useful and informative. I know I just said this is a fashion blog now but it is also educational. A blog can be two things.



So here’s what happened.

I saw this tweet earlier in the week…

… and it changed my entire life. Look at that cast list. Look at the character names. Look at, like, all of it. It’s incredible. It was one of those things where I simultaneously needed to know everything about it at once and nothing else about it ever. Real risky situation. Because there was a chance of more gold being out there for me to find with a little sifting… but there was also the chance I could ruin something perfect by researching the fun out of it. That happens to me sometimes. I get too excited and I start clicking and everything goes to hell. A dilemma.

But I pressed on and I am glad I did because I saw this entire paragraph on the Wikipedia for the game.

In May 2002, The Starlight Children’s Foundation, chaired by Steven Spielberg and General H. Norman Schwarzkopf announced the educational CD-Rom. It was developed using input of an advisory team of national pediatric asthma experts. The making, funding and distribution of “Quest” was assisted by Home Shopping Network, Technicolor, Ivy Hill Corp., ImagEngine Corp. and GlaxoSmithKline, and it was described as “widely distributed”. It was made available for free at the National Library of Medicine’s Virtual Asthma Exhibit. In November 2002, the developers received a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) adolescent and school health program, allowing them to distribute the game to school nurses at more than 30,000 elementary, middle and high schools free of charge. Due to a grant from The California Endowment, the game was included in a distributed Asthma Tool Kit. In 2007, Starlight converted the game to a web-based platform.

Steven Spielberg and Norman Schwarzkopf teamed up in 2002 to make a CD-ROM game about asthma and they got Shaquille O’Neal and Kelsey Grammer to voice characters in it. This is… it’s remarkable. I’m kind of speechless here. I’m also kind of angry that I did not know about it until now. How did I not know about this until now? Where was I the last 20 years? Where were all of you? Why didn’t any of you tell me about this? Why isn’t this the only thing you told me about? Why isn’t it a live-action movie that was directed by Steven Spielberg and starred this exact cast? I’m so mad at everyone now.

This is what I mean about ruining something by researching it. I went and made myself furious. Jesus Christ.


If you have questions about television, movies, food, local news, weather, or whatever you want, shoot them to me on Twitter or at [email protected] (put “RUNDOWN” in the subject line). I am the first writer to ever answer reader mail in a column. Do not look up this last part.

From Pete:

I have two questions about Poker Face that I need you to answer. The first: Did you create this show in a laboratory? The second: Assuming you did, how long until the Muppets show up?

Pete, this is a good email. Partially, because it allows me to link to my review again and partially because it allows me to link to my thing about how I want the Muppets to be in the next Knives Out. To be clear, though: I did not create it in a lab, even if “the Knives Out guy made a mystery of the week show where Natasha Lyonne plays a hard-drinking Columbo with a 100 percent accurate lie detector for a brain,” sounds like a thing I would make in a lab. You can tell because the Muppets would have already been in it. I wouldn’t risk wasting time like that. Too much can happen. You need to do the important things first.

It also lets me direct everyone to this thing Rian Johnson said about Natasha Lyonne’s cameo as herself in Glass Onion during an interview with Screenrant:

Well, you want to hear a twisted web? Try and untangle this. She is Natasha in that she’s in her trailer on the set of Poker Face. If you look at her background, it’s her trailer. She’s in between takes when we’re shooting Poker Face. I just said, “Get on the Zoom real quick and do it.”

So, I have no idea how you untangle that. I guess in the Glass Onion universe, Poker Face is a show that’s being shot. I’ll have an episode of Poker Face on the background in the next Benoit Blanc mystery, maybe.

I love all of this very much.


To Hawaii!

One of the world’s most prestigious and storied surfing contests — dubbed the “Super Bowl of Surfing” — went forward Sunday in Hawaii for the first time in seven years with towering wave faces and a gigantic swell that was expected to grow throughout the day.

I need to be clear about two things here:

  • The fact that I am disabled and used a power wheelchair is about fourth or fifth on the list of reasons that I did not enter this big-wave surfing contest
  • You have to stick around to see where this goes

Moving on.

The event — alternatively known simply as The Eddie — is a one-day contest held in Waimea Bay on Oahu’s North Shore only when the surf is consistently large enough during the winter big-wave surfing season from mid-December through mid-March. The wind, the tides and the direction of the swell also have to be just right.

This is just more context. Google “The Eddie” if you want more information. Mostly, I just need you to know that there are five full paragraphs like this before we get to… this.

On Sunday, the sets were already big, with the swell expected to grow as the day went on, and an estimated 60,000 people packed the beaches and surrounding area to catch a glimpse of the spectacle. One huge wave swept onto the beach and hit a family, sweeping a baby under a house, but the child was not injured, Hawaii News Now reported.

Two notes here:

  • It is funny to me in ways I cannot fully articulate that this article dropped “baby carried away by wave, washed under house, survived” like 60 percent of the way through a story about surf dudes riding tsunamis
  • There is a non-zero chance that this baby either was invincible before this or became invincible because of it, like maybe it’s an origin story for how he becomes a superhero eventually, with the power to control the seas and everything in it

Am I saying this baby is Aquaman? No. Of course not. That would be crazy. But am I saying this baby could become Aquaman?

I’m not not saying it.

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