Uneasy Lies the Head that Wears the Crown
by Lady Trader | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | March 30, 2018
Greetings from the Trader’s Desk!
Before I dive into the episode, I would like to thank the writers of this episode, Brian Koppleman and David Levien. As a New Yorker, kid of the 80’s and a trader, I can tell you they bring the realness of all three of those things of which I am and hold dear. From the mid-town Manhattan office of Axe Capital, to the setting of my favorite place for pierogies, (Veselka) to having real hedge fund managers (Marc Lasry of Avenue Capital and Michael Platt of BlueCrest Capital Management) at the idea dinner, a line from the movie that changed my life (“Wall Street”), to a beautiful view of the Freedom Tower, they continue to not just make this one of my favorite shows, but bring it home so authentically. By Season 3 some writers would be phoning it in, but they certainly don’t.
Continue reading From the Trader’s Desk: S3 E1 The King Without a Crown – March 30, 2018
Eight Reasons You Should Be Watching Billions
by Brian DeBrosse | Over, Over Two Shot | March 28, 2018
Billions, the Showtime series starring Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis, just came back for a third season on Sunday. If you’ve never heard of the show, it centers around Chuck Rhoades, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and his quest to take down Bobby Axelrod, a possibly corrupt hedge fund manager. The show helped the premium cable service snag its best debut ever back in 2016 when it premiered, and while the ratings have been solid, it’s safe to say the show has never driven the conversation in the way shows like Big Little Lies or Westworld have in the past.
And look, I get it, okay? It’s on Showtime, not HBO. Showtime’s track record lately has been… shaky at best, and they’re not known for sticking the landing. But they have given us some incredible starts to series. The first five seasons of Dexter, the first three of Homeland and Weeds… I won’t lie to you; sooner or later, this show may jump the Showtime shark and the main characters might end up prematurely dead or living in seclusion as lumberjacks. But as for right now, Billions is easily one of the best shows on television.
Here are the eight reasons you should be watching Billions:
Continue reading Why Aren’t You Watching Billions? – March 28, 2018
Billions is dissecting the anatomy of self-interest, single-minded adherence to self-determination. All in the body and mind of Bobby Axelrod.
by JaniaJania | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | March 28, 2018
Billions Season 3, episode 1, long time coming, eh? Let’s skip the pleasantries and get down to it, shall we?The nation has turned, so Chuck walks warily to meet his new boss, wondering if he still has a job. Newly appointed Attorney General Jeffcoat circumnavigates into the biggest case in NYC right now: Eastern District vs. Bobby Axelrod. He tells a folksy tale of horse husbandry and goads Chuck with the raging sting of being the primer for the mare that Dake ultimately gets to fuck. (I believe the AG just called Bobby Axelrod a female horse.) Then he suggests, if Chuck wants to keep his job, he’ll want to look kindly on future Wall Street shenanigans. Tie goes to the runner in both baseball and in the high stakes gambling of the capitalist enterprise.
Don’t call a man out on a win.
Axe Capital has moved from their old digs to swanky Manhattan and Taylor is rallying the troops for new ideas to present to an annual hog show of hedgies. Dollar Bill wants none of it, he wants Axe’s assets unfrozen and his sensei back where he belongs. He’s chomping at the bit to get back to kicking financial sector ass in the name of his hero and mentor. The gambling force is strong in this padawan.
Continue reading Billions on Showtime, 3:01: Tie Goes to the Runner – March 28, 2018
“Exceptionally well-plotted, well-acted, and gloriously, hilariously unbridled”
by Winston Cook-Wilson | Spin | March 26, 2018
The opening aerial shot of Manhattan, the throbbing electronic soundtrack that eerily fades in–suddenly, my troubles disappear like a dirty million wired to an offshore bank account. It is time for a new episode of Billions, the most enjoyable show on television if you enjoy things like it. The Showtime series–a bro-finance melodrama in the rich tradition of Wall Street, Glengarry Glen Ross, and Boiler Room–isn’t exemplary because of its innovativeness or depth of artistic vision, but it perfects the basic elements. It’s exceptionally well-plotted, well-acted, and gloriously, hilariously unbridled. It takes the thematic trappings of prestige TV as loving source material without deifying them too much. The result is a kind of platonic ideal of the average premium-cable hour-long drama in an age where there are far, far too many of them.
The key to Billions’ appeal is that it is both complicated in its particulars and, on an overarching level, deadly simple. The show feels dense in the moment, given the fact that the majority of the dialogue steeped in trader jargon, legalese, and outlandish extended metaphors. It provides the same uphill battle to figure out what the fuck anyone is talking about that makes the first few episodes of The Wire or Deadwood a hard sell for some. But the conflict is compellingly meat-and-potatoes at its core: The plot revolves around a long face-off between two impetuous and powerful men.
Continue reading Billions is Back and Still More Fun Than Your Favorite Peak TV Drama – March 27, 2018
“Billions is TV’s most compelling fable about wealth and power in modern life”
by Eric Deggans | NPR | March 27, 2018
Be warned: The review below contains plenty of spoilers about past and present episodes of Billions.
The biggest problem Showtime’s Billions has: It’s a show that is way too easy to underestimate.
At a time when income inequality and the struggles of the middle class are front-page news, it’s tough to lionize a show about a millionaire U.S. attorney in an all-consuming personal and professional grudge match with a billionaire hedge fund owner.
One guy, billionaire “hedgie” Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis), is a ruthless, self-made business titan who jumps on a private plane with his buddies to hang out with the band before a Metallica concert. The other guy, U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades Jr. (Paul Giamatti), is a scion of old New York money who bunks at the Yale Club when his marriage is on the rocks.
This seems like the definition of 1 percenters’ problems dressed up as a TV series.
And yet, Billions succeeds, not only because it’s a great drama about compelling characters, but also because it’s the TV show about power in America that we all should be watching right now. Continue reading New ‘Billions’ Season: The Show About Power And Money You Should Be Watching – March 27, 2018