TV Review: ‘Billions’
If you are immune to the many charms of Paul Giamatti’s work, and the endless ways in which his “Billions” character displays intelligence and irritation through a series of perfectly deployed glares, this tale of high-powered hedge-fund players and the lawyers they battle may not be up your alley.
Giamatti plays Chuck Rhoades, a well-to-do U.S. Attorney for New York who feels compelled to rein in Wall Street excesses, with Damian Lewis as Bobby Axelrod, a hotshot mega-billionaire who can’t resist throwing his might and money around in ways that make for bad P.R., and bring scrutiny from law enforcement.
That description raises the question of whether you’ll be able to work up any sympathy for the one-percenters locked in combat in this slick series.
Many regular folks who’ve witnessed the frightening fallout of some of Wall Street’s high-stakes games may find that the subject matter itself is a dealbreaker. Just about every character in “Billions” has, at the very least, a trust fund and a few million in the bank — but many have substantially more.
Whatever their headaches, the day-to-day lives of these hedge-fund guys, especially Bobby, make Don Draper’s lifestyle look like a monk’s.
And it is a guys’ enclave. Especially in its first few episodes, “Billions” presents one of the whitest and most male casts in recent memory, which is notable in part because TV has become markedly more diverse in the past few years. In the first six episodes, there are a couple of scenes featuring a female trader whose boldness is regarded very differently from that of her male peers, and there are grindingly obvious — and not always successful — attempts to give the women in the narrative something to do other than work for or be married to the men.
Read the rest of the original article at Variety