By Emma Simonoff
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love “Succession.” In honor of its near-sweep of the dramatic Emmy categories last week, I’m dedicating this blog to the long and confounding career of the only Roy child not to receive a nomination, Alan Ruck.
You probably know Young Ruck from playing Ferris Bueller’s mopey-but-cute best friend. From when “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” came out in 1986 until today, Ruck has been in one episode of practically every show on television. You name it, Ruck shows up.
“Scrubs”? You bet your Ruck. “Cougar Town”? Ruck yeah. “CSI”? Ruck course. “NCIS”? Twice. “Greek”? Well hey Alan, long time no Ruck. “Sofia the First”? Ruck city.
Ruck is all over the place. He’s probably under your bed right now. So, why should I be surprised to see Ye Olde Ruck wooing Sutton Foster in ABC Family’s 2012 dance dramedy “Bunheads”?
“Bunheads,” brought to you from the creator of “Gilmore Girls,” had a short life, with just one season before it was canceled. With a name like that, the show was doomed from the start. I mean, who the Ruck knows what a “bunhead” is? As a “Gilmore Girls” girl, I thought I’d try it out. If you like dance and stuff, give it a shot. I love and fear Amy Sherman-Palladino, so, yeah. It’s good. I have no notes.
Foster of Broadway and, I guess, “Younger” fame — which I’m not afraid to admit I have seen — plays a Vegas dancer named Michelle Simms who Ruck’s character “Hubbell Flowers” (sick name) is in love with. She finally agrees to go out with him, gets drunk and — you guessed it — they get married and she goes to live with him in his cute small town. It seems like the show will be about Simms and Flowers falling in love and her falling back in love with ballet, etc.
But then: spoiler alert.
Hubbell dies. At the end of the first episode, while Foster and Emily Gilmore are swing-dancing to “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim,” Hubbell gets hit by a car and dies. Here I thought Ruck was going to be a main character on this show and then they go and Rucking kill him? What the Ruck! Justice for Ruck. Why can’t he catch a break? He deserves way more than to be killed off in the first episode.
This is why I thank Jesse Armstrong and the good people at HBO for casting him in “Succession,” a show that truly gets him.
In “Succession,” Ruck plays the pretentiously-unpretentious eldest Roy child with a multi-million dollar “ranch” in New Mexico and a for-hire girlfriend.
I believe that Connor Roy is the role Ruck was born to play. He’s weird and he’s funny and he’s a really bad guy. I’m not saying Ruck is a bad guy, because I don’t know him personally. All I’m saying is, he’s good at being a bad guy. Maybe even better than being a good guy. In “Succession,” Ruck has found a perfect fit. I’m happy for you, Al. You deserve it.