Kendall Roy Is Actually Extremely Hot

Why do sad, rich boys fuck me up so much?

Kendall Roy Succession

Want more Junkee in your life? Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so you always know where to find us.

Kendall Roy from Succession is hot.

I’ve got a thing for sad rich characters — I can admit that. It’s my punishment for being pro Chuck Bass when I was 14 and didn’t know any better. There’s unfortunately been a long line of sad rich, often hot, boys in my pop culture past.

It’s pretty easy to spot a sad hot rich boy on TV: their parents are either dead or emotionally abusive, they’re well educated, boyishly handsome, and I’m pretty sure floppy hair is mandatory. All of this tends to make them pretty isolated and tortured, with a reputation for being a bit of a bad boy.

Mr Darcy was probably my earliest introduction to the sad rich boy. After which, there was a quick succession (lol) of the archetype: Edward Cullen, the aforementioned Chuck Bass and Nate Archibald, Logan Echolls, and even John Barton from Looking for Alibrandi.

And see, I’ve been hot for them all — but there’s been a void in this category for a while that Succession’s Kendall Roy has somehow, inexplicably, filled.

My teenage years were full of sad rich boys, but as I have grown up,  so has the trope. Kendall is no sad rich boy — he’s a sad rich MAN.

He’s still sad, and still rich, but the archetype has evolved. He doesn’t have the typical boyish hotness associated with the trope. And he couldn’t really be called a bad boy either: he’s too uncool. Those Lanvin sneakers in season 1? Come on!

Kendall Roy is not a great dude. He’s a shit husband, a worse father, and he does some terrible things to get ahead.

So — WHY is he still so appealing, even without these key traits? Why does he make me [redacted]? Why do I still want him to inherit my vast estates, if you know what I mean?

Let’s investigate.

*Contains spoilers for Succession season 1 and 2!*

Fashion Kendall

Starting with appearances — Kendall is an unlikely heartthrob: he’s unconventionally attractive and he’s full of contradictions. He has a deep, breathy voice, but he stutters and mumbles through most conversations. He’s extremely vulnerable, but has some of the best posture I’ve ever seen.

My favourite thing about Kendall is his fashion sense. His clothes scream money without showing any logos. He tends to be safe in his day-to-day workwear: well-fitting suits with a white shirt and no tie.

But his more casual looks are bizarrely experimental. In one scene he wears a puffy vest AND a puffy suit-style jacket. It has lapels! He’s two thirds the way to having a full puffy three-piece suit.

And I have to reference his infamous Dust meeting outfit — Kendall tries his hand at tech-bro smart casual by wearing an untucked graphic t-shirt, suit, and the ugliest sneakers I have personally ever seen. These are the clothes of a man in a downward spiral, and we really can’t hold that against him.

He’s also a lover of hats, perhaps influenced by Logan’s baseball caps. It’s the straw trilby that completes his super yacht look in the season 2 finale that finally convinced me that this man can truly wear anything.

There’s something about the confidence in which he wears clothes that makes him super hot. Even when it’s a custom baseball jersey with a bow tie.

Broken Kendall

A key part of being a sad rich boy is one’s ability to be very, very sad.

Kendall spends the best part of two seasons down in the dumps about not getting a kiss from daddy — his little puppy dog eyes holding the story of all the times Logan has royally screwed him over.

Unlike the rest of the Roy family, Kendall has a moral compass. He doesn’t always follow it, sure, but it is functional. He spends all of season 2 in a coke-addled, broken state, trying to deal with the fact that he basically killed someone.

We’re drawn to Kendall because he needs saving, and maybe we’re the ones that can save him?

Sympathy is such a huge part of humanising a character. You only need to look at Logan Echolls from Veronica Mars to see how feeling sorry for the poor little rich boy helps turn him into an (extremely) desirable love interest — conveniently wiping his misdemeanours, such as his history of paying homeless people to fight for his entertainment.

Even confident Kendall is tinged with vulnerability. Take the scene in the third episode of the first season, when Kendall is acting CEO and is trying to take control of Logan’s mysterious loan issue. There’s this incredible moment where Kendall tells the banking partner to ‘fuck off’, trying to imitate his father’s signature phrase, but his retort comes out flat with none of the vitriol that Logan imbues in it.

“i wanna be the daddy”

This inability to be quite as ruthless as his father is what continues to endear Kendall to the audience — he’s a puppy dog at heart.

Cocky Kendall

Rich characters are often played with a fair amount of smugness, but for Kendall there are only a few moments where he is confident enough in his decisions to be truly cocky.

After solving the company’s debt issue, Kendall takes his semi-estranged wife Rava to a fancy dinner. Now, if you’re not already convinced that Kendall has a certain appeal, this scene will truly push you over the edge.

One, he smiles like this:

This is possibly the dorkiest, yet sexiest grin I have ever seen.

Two, he speaks French, granted he says “all of the rabbit” but honestly, I’m vegan and I was dying to share all of the rabbit with him.

Three, he takes Rava back to his Upper East Side apartment, and well let’s say, there’s nothing like solving a multi-million-dollar debt issue to make you horny. I’ll have to try it some time.

Four, I would like to present without further comment, that the first sexual thing we see Kendall do is give head.

Succession is currently streaming on Foxtel Now.

Chloe Gillespie works for Junkee and she’ll have all of the rabbit with some Greg sprinkles. Her work is featured right here, on FBi Radio’s All The Best, and on a Tumblr she used to run about her parents.