HBO’s 'Industry': It's Like 'Succession' & 'Euphoria' (But Better)
Updated: 2 days ago
"It’s hard to make money off your passions unless your passions making money"
Succession has officially ended, and who knows when Euphoria will be back? It's the perfect time to get hooked on HBO's (Max) exhilarating series, Industry.
Industry first premiered in 2020 and is only two seasons with a third currently in production. The HBO Max original series follows the lives of young bankers breaking into London’s fast-paced world of financial investments as they compete for full-time positions at the fictional Piermont & Co. Bull markets and selling stocks. High-rise London offices and complicated client meetings. What could easily be a boring concept is instead captivating thanks to a strong ensemble cast and intense drama between sex-fueled, drug-riddled young adults infused into each episode.
Behind this simple premise lies deeper, sometimes darker themes representative of modern social, political, and economical issues: racism, classism, sexism, mental health, agism. It’s a marriage between those other HBO shows, Succession and Euphoria, in this sense. And while that marriage may be toxic, it’s exactly what television needs right now.
There are also obvious connections amongst these shows. Succession is a tale of how to make money and keep it as we move into a new age with the promise of progress. Euphoria is one of drugs, sex and young relationships and the thrill of seeking that feeling of, well, euphoria. Consider what takes place on the trading floor the morning after yet another Kendall Roy breakdown. The stocks at Waystar RoyCo plummet. Now take these high-stakes and infuse a bit of Euphoria in there (the show, not the feeling itself). It’s difficult to sell stocks in the thousands after staying up all night taking drugs and partying.
Here, you have the perfect concoction of what makes Industry so compelling. Because there is something very human about watching these characters rise and fall and rise - and undoubtedly fall again - thanks to their hubris and self-destructive tendencies. Industry shows us just that through the lens of recent graduates still prone to foolish decisions and a strive for financial success. Gen-Z has officially entered into the workforce.
Who’s It About?
Everyone is out for themselves. After all, the employees of Piermont & Co. are out to make money and build their legacy. But they need to work together in order to do so. Amongst a large ensemble cast, seasons 1 and 2 primarily focus on four distinct characters.
Harper Stern (Myha’la Herrold)
An arguable protagonist of the show, Harper Stern is a young American woman brought on to the sales team at Piermont & Co. She is private about her upbringing and life in New York, but we know that her educational background is muddy. Surrounded by colleagues who grew up privileged and connected, Harper’s achievements at Piermont & Co. is that much more impressive - what will she do with this success?
Yasmin Kara-Hanani (Marisa Abela)
She may have started out as an overachieving recent graduate from a privileged family, but over the course of two seasons, Yasmin successfully crafted an image for herself that went against what others expected of her. Fluent in over five languages, Yasmin started on the Foreign Exchange Sales desk but her personal interests and toxic work environment leads her towards other opportunities. And in the process, her actions make a profound statement on the state of women in the workforce.
Robert Spearing (Harry Lawtey)
The fratty type, if Oxford University had frats on campus. An attractive, well-educated young man from a working-class family. He may come off as somewhat of a douche and spends his time outside the office clubbing, doing drugs, and fucking any women who falls for his boyish charms and good looks. But with growing responsibilities and developing feelings for Yasmin, Robert shows how much he truly cares for his work and relationships. If only he could care about himself the same.
Eric Tao (Ken Leung)
Like his subordinates (and eventual colleagues), Eric is a highly flawed character. He knows the game. His long-standing relationships with clients proves that. But when he begins to mentor Harper on CPS desk, it becomes apparent that the student may know more than the teacher. Eventually, Eric will need to learn that it’s time to move on or work with the new kids. Though with his short temper and eagerness to make sales, Eric may very well be his own enemy.
Season 3 (What We Know)
It was confirmed back in October 2023 that Industry will move forward with a third season, currently in production. Little else is known about the third season. But it was confirmed that Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington will join the cast as Henry Muck, CEO of Lumi, a green tech energy company working with Piermont & Co. before going public. Think: Elon Musk type. (Interestingly enough, this will be the second tech CEO Harrington has played in recent years, following the Apple TV+ mini-series Extrapolations).
Other than that, all we have to go on is speculation. Predictions of sorts, like how Harper observes and anticipates societal trends before completing million-dollar sales. Industry has depicted a steady progression in the world of financial investments. The first season shows a new class of recent graduates eager to learn from their superiors and make a name for themselves. But they soon realize that the old ways of doing business are no longer feasible; there is a shift beginning to take place.
Season 2, fresh from the real and fictional pandemic, proves that this shift is, in fact, happening. Things are quickly changing. Out with the corrupt and ill-intentioned, moving away from shady relationships and quid-pro-quo investments. If this trend continues, season 3 might actually show how Piermont & Co. is making real change in their world by investing in companies that will do just that. Perhaps that’s where Harrington’s Muck comes in. Here’s to hoping this new client is working with good intentions. Past clients of Piermont & Co. certainly were not.
Of course, money is a powerful thing. No one can predict the lengths Harper, Yasmeen, Robert, or any of the other seasoned financiers might do to gain it. With that, this is HBO. Like Succession and Euphoria, the show’s intrigue comes from its shock factor. How much pain and turmoil can these characters undergo before truly breaking? Can they overcome it? This isn’t just about the money. Or the drugs. Or the love. It’s a lifestyle. It’s an industry.