Netflix’s Succession-esque new show, A Man in Full, gets its first mysterious trailer

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The trailer for Man In Full (see below), Netflix’s new drama series, has dropped and it looks like it might just fill that Succession-shaped hole. The show is based on the bestselling novel by Tom Wolfe, who in cinema is perhaps best known as the author of The Bonfire of the Vanities – a misfiring adaptation of a powerful book. 

In this novel, and in this new Netflix show, a real estate mogul (Jeff Daniels) faces financial and political disaster as he tries to defend his empire from his many enemies. Daniel’s character Charlie Croker isn’t exactly sympathetic – he’s crude, rude and irrepressible – but he’s not going to go gently into that good night.

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The cast also includes Diane Lane as Martha Croker, Charlie’s ex and a woman who should never be underestimated, and Lucy Liu as Joyce Newman, a successful businesswoman whose crisis of confidence threatens businesses and friendships alike. And Tom Pelphrey plays the wonderfully named Raymond Peepgrass, a lowly loan officer with a chaotic life and a desire to be a much bigger deal, no matter what that costs.

Is A Man in Full one for the watch list?

We haven’t seen the show yet – the six episodes won’t be streaming until May – but if it’s as good as the book then it’s going to be very good indeed. A Man In Full is an ambitious novel that’s part satire, part state of the nation address, and it’s powerful stuff. 

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The New York Times reviewed Wolfe’s novel and said that the author “toys with human fears and anxieties the way a mischievous boy might play with a new chemistry set” and while “the book is as funny as anything Wolfe has ever written, at the same time it is deeply, strangely affecting”. 

Publishers Weekly said that it was “a dazzling performance, offering a panoramic vision of America at the end of the 20th century that ranges with deceptive ease over our economic, political and racial hang-ups and at the same time maintains a brisk narrative pace”. And for The Washington Post, “A Man in Full is an expansive, energetic, ambitious, bumptious book, flawed in much the same way its predecessor was, but big in the same way, too… it calls to mind the work of Dickens and the other great Victorians, embracing the whole gaudy array of human society”.

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A Man In Full premieres on Netflix on May 2, 2024.

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