Categories Billions Poll Print Media

10 top TV shows of 2018 – Dec 30, 2018

Billions: “Superbly Crafted, Slyly Written, Magnificently Acted Drama”

by Mark Davidziak | The Cleveland | December 29, 2018

For the last few years, more and more of the high ground in television has been claimed by the streaming services. But, let’s face it, that’s mostly meant Netflix, which, in terms of quality, has established itself as a worthy rival to such cable channels as FX, AMC, Showtime and HBO.

But 2018 may be remembered as the year that Amazon Prime shoved its way into the quality discussion, more than earning a spot at the table reserved for TV’s stellar programmers. Year-in-review top-10 lists are, without question, highly subjective exercises at best, but it’s certainly indicative of Amazon Prime’s success that three of my selections belong to the streaming services: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Homecoming” and “A Very English Scandal.”

Yup, there’s a new heavyweight contender in town, and 2018 demonstrated that reality in compelling fashion. It’s the year that Amazon truly arrived. But that’s not to say Amazon has put a lock on the crown as undisputed champion. AMC, despite the continuing droop in ratings and quality for “The Walking Dead,” also had an extremely strong year. And, like Amazon, AMC has three spots on my top 10 list: for the ever-intriguing “Better Call Saul” and two very different newcomers, “The Terror” and “Lodge 49.”

Yet none of those shows deserves the No. 1 spot in my estimation. That august ranking belongs to:

“Billions” (Showtime): This shamelessly underappreciated and overlooked drama has become the “Justified” of its time – a superbly crafted, slyly written, magnificently acted drama all but ignored when it comes time for awards and, well, top 10 lists. And this year’s third season was the best yet. The high-stakes Manhattan chess match continues to put the brilliant focus on the intense, often-ruthless rivalry between U.S. Attorney Charles “Chuck” Rhoades Jr. (Paul Giamatti) and billionaire hedge fund manager Robert “Bobby Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis). The third season got an added boost by the elevation of Jeffrey DeMunn to series regular and guest appearances by Clancy Brown as Attorney General Waylon “Jock” Jeffcoat.

Read the rest of the original article at The Cleveland

Categories Billions Poll Print Media

Sean T. Collins’s Eight Best TV Shows of 2018 – Dec 28, 2018

Billions: “A Whip-Smart, Drum-Tight Financial Thriller”

by Sean T. Collins | Decider | December 28, 2018

Weird ‘Flix, but okay: 2018 saw a certain streaming behemoth finally achieve the approximate cultural reach and clout the Big Four broadcast networks still enjoyed as recently as a decade ago. Unfortunately, the level of artistic quality and risk-taking roughly followed suit.

But even the algorithm-assisted return of TV monoculture—you can have any flavor you like, as long as it’s a flavor our data indicates you’ve enjoyed before—couldn’t stamp out the hard-earned gains television has made as an art form since Tony Soprano woke up that morning 20 years ago. Shows predicated on the idea that challenging your audience is a vital part of entertaining that audience, even if it’s an audience you have to will into existence in the process, are still out there.

Television can still make even a jaded viewer sob with sorrow and joy, recoil in suspense and terror, stare in silent (or shouting!) awe at the sheer emotional and aesthetic audacity of it all. Between them, the eight shows below did all that for me and more.

#5 – Billions

In the immortal words of Qui-Gon Jinn, “There’s always a bigger fish.” Billions, a show full of characters who might drop that quote into a conversation with only a hint of irony, demonstrated the truth of this maxim all season. Long the story of the Ahab vs. Moby-Dick conflict of ambitious federal attorney Chuck Rhoades and his hedge-fund-king nemesis Bobby Axelrod, the show’s third outing spent its first half watching Axe extricate himself from the brilliantly planned trap Chuck sprang on him during Season Two, with Chuck’s wife and Axe’s close friend Wendy Rhoades as the fulcrum for the escape.

But all the while, Bobby’s brainiac protege Taylor Mason (nonbinary actor Asia Kate Dillon in a role all the more groundbreaking for its matter-of-factness) and Chuck’s hang-em-high boss Attorney General Jock Jeffcoat (Clancy Brown, looming and drawling like a bizarre High Plains Frankenstein) were moving closer to springing traps of their own. Season’s end saw the one-time arch-enemies in an alliance against their new foes—and Brian Koppelman & David Levien’s whip-smart, drum-tight financial thriller hit new heights of both entertainment and insight into the world of the One Percent.

Read the rest of the original article at Decider

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The Best TV Shows of 2018 – Dec 20, 2018

Billions Can Keep Going Forever

by Playlist Staff | The Playlist | December 19, 2018

It was, as we’ve discussed already, a great year for movies. It was perhaps a less great one on TV, at least on the surface. There were more scripted shows than ever once again, but with some heavy-hitters skipping a year, and a few high-profile disappointments (Hi, “The Romanoffs!”), it was hard not to feel that the ageless TV vs. film debate came out of 2018 with a point on the movies board.

But all that said, if the thrill of the Peak TV years has perhaps worn off, there were still hours and hours and hours of greatness across multiple networks and genres in 2018. Some great shows got even better. Some new arrivals produced debut seasons that were among as promising as any in recent years. And there were surprises and hidden gems galore. Maybe it was a great year for TV, now we think about it.

Below you’ll find The Playlist’s 25 favorite shows of 2018, from Facebook-hosted grief dramas to animated satires to kids-on-the-run to existentially-wracked hitmen and more. Take a look at the list below, and let us know your own highlights in the comments.

Continue reading The Best TV Shows of 2018 – Dec 20, 2018

Categories Billions Trailer Video

Billions Season 4 Teaser Trailer & Release Date – Dec 19, 2018

You Gotta Pick Sides

by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | December 19, 2018

It’s finally here! It’s what you all have been waiting for – the Billions season four teaser trailer! Billions season four will premiere March 17, 2019 at 9:00 pm ET. Enjoy:

Continue reading Billions Season 4 Teaser Trailer & Release Date – Dec 19, 2018

Categories Billions Poll Print Media

The Best TV Shows of 2018 – Dec 13, 2018

Billions Makes the List!

by Ben Yakas | The Gothamist | December 13, 2018

In 2016, over 400 television shows were aired or released. In 2018, that number has jumped to at least 555, which we know thanks to this handy spreadsheet made by Liz Shannon Miller. The Netflix-ification of television is truly upon us: the networks have a desperate desire to compete with the streaming giant, and they’re doing so either by throwing every idea against the wall and hoping it finds an audience, or by launching their own streaming services… with limitless capacities for more content.

And television isn’t just exponentially growing with new programming—any show with any sort of core fanbase could be brought back to life as a reboot (Murphy Brown, Charmed, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), spin-off (The Connors, Young Sheldon), or whatever hybrid monstronsity Kevin Can Wait turned into became before it was mercifully cancelled. There are over 20 more such zombie shows coming in the next year, with unlikely reboots of Conan the Barbarian, Gone Baby Gone and…The Bone Collector? Like the Greyjoys are found of saying: “What Is Dead May Never Die” (also, “Shut Up, Theon”).

Continue reading The Best TV Shows of 2018 – Dec 13, 2018