Categories Billions Print Media Review

Billions: Super Antiheros – April 24, 2018

The Superhero Show About Finance and the Tale of Two Warring Goliaths

by Rachel Syme | The New Republic | April 24, 2018

Billions reckons with the inflated egos and muddled ethics of Wall Street.

The first season of Billions premiered in January 2016— eight years after the collapse of the subprime mortgage market and eleven months before a self-proclaimed billionaire was elected president. This was the sweet spot, timing wise, for a bombastic prestige drama about the world of money. In 2011, the sharp and enraging documentary Inside Job, which charted the corruption that led to the financial crisis, won an Oscar. In the winter of 2016, The Big Short—a sermonizing, big-budget Hollywood comedy about reckless bankers—was nominated for Best Picture. The mea culpas had been issued, the bad actors identified, and although only one person officially went to jail, the coast looked clear for new stories of Wall Street and wealth.

Of course, in the wake of the crisis, a showrunner could not simply rehash the old Gordon Gekko formula for a modern audience. Slickness was no longer glamorous but gross; very few Americans had an appetite for captains of industry slurping down midday martinis at the Capital Grille. Instead, the three creators of Billions—the longtime writing team of Brian Koppelman and David Levien, along with The New York Times’ financial reporter, Andrew Ross Sorkin—took a populist genre and grafted it onto the honeyed, moneyed lives of the rich and infamous: They made a superhero show about finance.

Continue reading Billions: Super Antiheros – April 24, 2018

Categories Billions Print Media Review

Showtime’s Billions Maintains Creative, Clever Energy – March 22, 2018

 The Intersection of Philanthropy, Politics, Finance and Family, and How They Can Poison and Enrich Each Other at the Same Time

by Brian Tallerico | Roger Ebert.com | March 22, 2018

Source: Showtime

There’s a flow to “Billions” that’s not quite like anything else on television. The quick pace of the dialogue is often reminiscent of prime David Mamet—as is the examination of male power roles—but it’s also a refreshingly modern show (you might want to bone up on what cryptocurrency is before the new season). The first two seasons built to the kind of wonderful climax that justified any plot holes or narrative speed bumps in the nearly two dozen episodes that came before it. They gave fans the feeling that the writers of the show had been working to that moment from the very beginning, and that “Billions” had just moved to another level in the pyramid of quality TV. I’m happy to report that the third season maintains that high quality level. The breakneck pacing of the end of season two can’t be maintained (and we wouldn’t want it to be), but the characters have arguably grown even richer and more complex as the team behind this show explores how its two power players respond when that power is stripped away by the systems around them.

That pair is U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) and financial genius Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis), mortal enemies in every possible way. For two seasons, the two played three-dimensional chess, moving pieces around as Axe attempted to avoid prosecution by Chuck, who sacrificed everything to get his man. The unfolding drama introduced us to a number of key players in the world of Rhoades and Axelrod, including their wives, Wendy (Maggie Siff) and Lara (Malin Akerman). Wendy happened to work for Axe, pulling her between the two power players. And we also met key soldiers on both sides of the war, including Bryan (Toby Leonard Moore), Wags (David Costabile), Sacker (Condola Rashad), Chuck’s father (Jeffrey DeMunn), and Taylor (Asia Kate Dillon). I’m being intentionally vague about how all of these characters intertwine because the joy of “Billions” is in how the show’s creators define the complex relationships within the construct of their show, and you really should catch up if you get a chance.

Continue reading Showtime’s Billions Maintains Creative, Clever Energy – March 22, 2018

Categories American Buffalo Media Print Media

Damian Lewis is Accompanied by Proud Wife Helen McCrory as They Celebrate the Opening Night of his Play American Buffalo – April 28, 2015

Damian Lewis is accompanied by proud wife Helen McCrory as they celebrate the opening night of his play American Buffalo

After shocking fans with his radical new moustachioed look, Damian Lewis took to the stage for his West End play American Buffalo’s opening night on Monday.

Continue reading Damian Lewis is Accompanied by Proud Wife Helen McCrory as They Celebrate the Opening Night of his Play American Buffalo – April 28, 2015

Categories American Buffalo Media Print Media Theatre

Damian Lewis and John Goodman Head Up This Starry West End of David Mamet’s Classic Play About Small Time Crooks – April 28, 2015

Damian Lewis and John Goodman head up this starry West End of David Mamet’s classic play about small time crooks

by Andrzej Lukowski – Time Out London – 28 April 2015

It would be mean, cheap and generally a bit dickish to say that Damian Lewis’s big post-‘Homeland’, post-‘Wolf Hall’ return to the London stage is overshadowed by some comedy facial hair. Nonetheless: if you think the above photo of his moustache is a bit on the distracting side then seriously, you should see the thing live.

David Mamet’s classic 1975 play ‘American Buffalo’ is a three hander, and in Daniel Evans’s enjoyable but busy production, Lewis, rising Brit talent Tom Sturridge, and old American hand John Goodman each sort of do their own thing to entertaining if not entirely cohesive effect.

Continue reading Damian Lewis and John Goodman Head Up This Starry West End of David Mamet’s Classic Play About Small Time Crooks – April 28, 2015

Categories American Buffalo Media Print Media Theatre

American Buffalo Proves the Perfect Vehicle for Welsh Director – April 28, 2015

American Buffalo proves the perfect vehicle for Welsh director Daniel Evans

Homeland star Damian Lewis and American actor John Goodman have teamed up for the London production

by Philip Fisher – Wales Online – 5 April 2015

In the hands of Rhondda-born actor/director Daniel Evans , David Mamet’s gritty drama American Buffalo about small-time cons in Chicago 40 years ago is the perfect star vehicle.

The cast of three consists of Homeland’s Damian Lewis , a major star on both sides of the Atlantic, John Goodman of Roseanne and Coen Brothers movie fame plus Sienna Miller’s real-life partner and up-and-coming movie heartthrob, Tom Sturridge.

Goodman plays Donnie, the affable but gullible proprietor of a junk shop that he probably believes is an antique store. Designer Paul Wills not only fills it with worthless detritus but wittily has much more of the same symbolically suspended above the hapless trio.

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Lewis is unrecognisable but excellent as Teach, a wannabe gangster with Shaft-style 1970s facial hair and evil inclinations.

Read the rest of the original article at Wales Online