Q&A with Anna Golez on running your favorite Succession fan Twitter account, organizing 87,817 screenshots, and her Season 3 hypotheses
Today’s interview is with Anna Golez, who runs one of the most fun corners of the internet: @nocontextroyco, AKA the No Context Succession Twitter account. It’s basically a Newtonian law that no matter what the new cycle churns up, there’s always a perfectly relevant “Succession” screenshot to tweet out, so I got to ask Anna about how her screenshot management system, what it’s like to hit 100K followers, and of course, her favorite parts of everyone’s number one show.
So what’s the story behind starting @nocontextroyco?
Although my day job involves social media management, I started the account as a fan of the show in July 2019. I was searching on Twitter for any out of context “Succession” accounts that had a screenshot of Kendall's bathroom breakdown in the pilot (I was Going Through It that day and required the appropriate image to tweet). Most of the accounts I found only had a few tweets and were inactive, so I seized the opportunity.
Congrats on hitting 100k followers! What has the experience of watching the account grow been like for you?
I really never expected the account to get this much attention. At most, I was expecting a following of under 10K, because when I started the account, “Succession” wasn't popular as it is now. The moment I realized it was more than just an account for me and the few “Succession” fans I knew was when the creator Jesse Armstrong followed it (and this was in the early days, like two months after I started). Honestly, if nobody else had followed the account after that, I would have been happy.
Okay, so this is the nerdy process question I’ve always wondered about: How do you have all these screenshots, and how do you keep them organized so that you can tweet out exactly the right one at the right time?
I take the screenshots while watching the episodes. I changed the settings on my VLC media player so that I only have to hit one button on my keyboard to take a screenshot. I tried a program that automatically takes screenshots, but it took too much fiddling, so I scrapped that.
And I wish I had a cool answer to this, but honestly I just have the screenshots sorted by episode on my computer. If anybody has a better way or searching through and organizing screenshots, I would love to know, tbh! I did recently discover that I can open subtitle files on Notepad and use CTRL+F to find specific words instead of having to browse the 87,817 screenshots I have saved.
When there's something big going on, whether political or pop cultural, I'll get suggestions from friends or in my DMs, but most of the time, my brain manages to connect a “Succession” scene or line to some current event. I do look at the calendar to see if anything is coming up, like holidays or the US elections. I live in the Philippines, but I'm aware that the “Succession” audience and most of the account's followers are American, so I adjust what and when I post for them (can I just say trying to understand time zones when you guys practice daylight savings time has scrambled my brain).
Also, “Succession,” despite mainly being a show about a rich white family and their business empire, speaks a lot to what's going on around the world. And then there are just some weird coincidences, like when "30 to 50 feral hogs" was a meme and "Hunting," an episode where the Roys go boar hunting, aired around the same time. Could Jesse Armstrong and the “Succession” writing team have predicted something as specific as that?
What do you think it is about the show that makes it so funny to see out of context on our timeline?
If you're a fan, it's always nice to see just a bit of your favorite show on your timeline. But specifically for “Succession,” the writing is impeccable. It's a lot of really, really good dialogue. There are so many lines that are just extremely relevant to whatever situation you might be in.
It also speaks to why “Succession” is such a hit despite not seeming like a "relatable" show. The characters, their relationships and their problems are still deeply human. And while the Roys get themselves in outrageous situations, the way they react to these situations is so captivating and sincere that we can empathize or at least experience some form of pathos. If these characters and the lines they delivered were just hollow, empty caricatures, the screenshots would probably still be Good Content, but not hit the way they do.
What's going to happen when you run out of screenshots?
I don't think I will ever run out! I was worried about this when Season 3 got delayed, but there are still so many moments from the first two seasons that I have yet to publish.
I don't have anything that keeps track of what I've already posted other than my hazy memory. Although I plan on creating a spreadsheet similar to what Sopranos Out of Context (@oocsopranos) has done.
Let’s do some rapid-fire questions. How many times have you seen the show?
I would say I've seen the first season 3 times and the second season twice.
Which episode is your favorite?
The final episodes of both seasons are tremendous and objectively the best, but my favorite is "Austerlitz" (season 1, episode 7).
Do you have a favorite line from the show?
I say "this is nightmarish" (Greg, season 1 episode 8) to myself daily.
Which character is your favorite / has the best lines?
My favorite character is the number one boy Kendall, but the character with the best lines is probably Roman, because he will gladly say the wildest thing just to throw someone off. Although I have to shout out Shiv for delivering the best faces.
Finally, what do you think is going to happen in Season 3?
I feel like the truth of Kendall's car accident will finally come out, whether publicly or somebody in their circle will learn about it. I don't think Tom and Shiv are going to divorce. They'd either spend some time apart or be forced to put up a united front in the middle of this battle between Logan and Kendall. Connor will continue his campaign and it's actually (scarily) successful. Roman and Gerri are gonna go to Germany and eat each other.
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