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Brilliant Billions Season 2 Pays Big Dividends to Viewers – Feb 21, 2017

Billions Season 2 Review: When is Billions on Sky Atlantic in the UK? 

by Tim Glanfield – RadioTimes – February 21, 2017

For anyone who worried that Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti’s financial drama could become a failing stock in its second run, fear not, says Tim Glanfield.

After the screw-turning tension of the season one finale, Billions shows its confidence and class at the beginning of the new run by taking a step back from the cliff edge and allowing us to catch up with the characters.

We last saw US Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) physically facing off against billionaire hedge fund owner Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis) in the ruins of Axe Capital’s offices which Axe had torn apart in the fear that Chuck had bugged the place. Chuck had got inside Axe’s head, and with Wendy (Maggie Siff) no longer working as Axe’s in-house therapist (and having also left Chuck, her husband) it was hard to see how this spiralling and obsessive battle of egos was going to end in anything but Axe’s eventual downfall. After all, as Chuck reminds Axe, “there’s only one thing you should fear more than a man with limitless resources – and that’s a man with nothing to lose.”

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Categories Billions Print Media

Billions is a Cleverly Constructed Story of Big Money, High Stakes and S&M – May 12, 2016

Billions Starring Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti on Sky Atlantic

by Tim Glanfield – RadioTimes – May 12, 2016

Sky Atlantic’s new drama starring Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti creates a world you need to see more of, says Tim Glanfield.

Source: Showtime

Politics, power and high production values – you could be forgiven for thinking I’m describing the latest series of House of Cards on Netflix. Indeed, if you enjoy the glimpse behind the curtain of how the American elite live, love and lie that the poster child for streaming television offers, then you will love Billions.

The show revolves around a game of cat and mouse between billionaire hedge fund manager Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis) and US Attorney Charles “Chuck” Rhoades (Paul Giamatti).

Publicly Axe is the personification of the American dream, a generous and charitable self-made man who has overcome adversity (all his colleagues died in the 9/11 attacks) to rise to the top of American business world. Privately, however, he is using insider trading, bullying and bribery to keep his hedge fund way ahead of the pack.

Chuck Rhoades has suspicions that Axe is bent and as a public prosecutor with a passion for high profile takedowns of bad guys begins to become interested in Axe capital and their practices. But – and there’s a quite a big but – Chuck’s wife Wendy (Maggie Siff, best known to many as department store heiress Rachel Katz in Mad Men) is in-house psychiatrist and life coach at Axe Capital and has been friends with Axe for 15 years. When you take into account Wendy earns “eight times” what Chuck takes home and she and her husband enjoy a rather hands-on S&M dominatrix relationship when the lights go out, you have the set up for a very intriguing power struggle.

Made by US premium cable network Showtime (Homeland, Dexter), this is a show that oozes quality from every pore. In look and feel it shares something with recent BBC/AMC co-pro The Night Manager and in atmosphere certainly has notes of Homeland, which is of course reinforced by the main man again being a two-faced Damian Lewis.

From the classy acting to the tight scripts and beautiful photography, Billions quickly takes you inside a world that could easily be boring, but through gripping personal stories and punchy dialogue keeps you hooked even when people are talking in legalese or financialese.

Like all the best dramas (especially of this ilk from America), it creates a world that you want to inhabit. Yes, at times there is melodrama, and the glossy edges are occasionally a tiny bit too bright, but you can forgive any of that because you want to be there; a fly on the wall in the public prosecutor’s office and enjoying the opulent surroundings at the top of the financial pile.

At a time when big business and the uber-wealthy are increasingly under public scrutiny, it is no wonder that this show got commissioned. However, the creators have taken the simple zeitgeist and cleverly woven it into a really interesting show that often sees you gunning for the “dirty” billionaires whilst questioning the motives of those people purporting to uphold the law.

Will this change the way you think about the richest people in our society? Probably not. But will you keep tuning in to find out what happens next? I think so…

Billions begins in the UK on Sky Atlantic on Thursday at 9pm. All episodes are also available on Sky Box Sets 

Read the rest of the article at RadioTimes