“No, it’s torture!”
by Miles Surrey | The Ringer | May 11, 2020
Ever since HBO’s Succession came into our lives, it’s seemed to exist in a symbiotic relationship with Showtime’s Billions. I can’t recommend one without the other. Both series aim to derive a lot of drama, comedy, and pathos from the misery inherent to succeeding the world of finance, power brokers, and the justice system. Billions might glamorize the 1-percent lifestyle a bit more than its HBO counterpart, but they both underscore that being rich is a soul-draining enterprise. And sometimes these shows do the same things on screen—like watching characters indulge in some ortolan.
In the second episode of Billions’ fifth season, we have another sort-of shared event. Just as Succession Season 2 did a riff on real-life conferences/pseudo-retreats for the wealthy, like Davos, “The Chris Rock Test” provided its own equivalent, an event hosted by Bobby Axelrod’s newest foe, the performatively woke billionaire Mike Prince. (The conference appears to be named after Mike, because humility is overrated.) Somehow, that wasn’t the most absurd thing that happened in the episode—you’ll find out why soon enough. Let’s not waste another minute and dive into this week’s Billions superlatives.