“TV’s Most Successful Penis-Free Depiction of Non-Stop Penis-Measuring”
by Daniel Feinberg | Hollywood Reporter | March 24, 2018
Showtime’s wonderfully acted, frequently repetitive game of Manhattan cat-and-mouse doesn’t take another qualitative leap in its third season, but the drama remains high.
Skippable pre-credit filler on many shows, the “Previously on…” recap montage is mandatory viewing for Showtime’s Billions. While your typical series might use that clip package just to remind you of the previous episode’s cliffhanger, Billions typically jumps around for refreshers on a dozen minor characters, some unseen for 10 episodes or more. Yes, if you have a Marilu Henner memory, it’s a guaranteed spoiler for which long-buried plot points are returning, but if you’re a more normal viewer it’s practically the only way to resituate yourself in a narrative that remains deliciously twisted but weirdly forgettable.
That gets to the root of my general problem with Billions, returning for its third season on Sunday (March 25) night. Despite an ensemble cast that ranks among the best on TV playing characters who are usually colorful and quirky and fun, the ponderous repetitiveness of what the series does with them is all-too-frequently mechanical.