Written By GingersnapComments Off on AUDIO: Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti Relish Their Billions Battles – May 15, 2020
Resisting Urge to Overact
by Staff | Hollywood Outbreak | May 15, 2020
After a season in which their characters put past rivalries aside to fight a common enemy, Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti are back to being sworn enemies on Billions. With each passing season, the dynamic between Bobby Axelrod and Chuck Rhoads becomes more layered, nuanced, and complex, and the scenes between Lewis and Giamatti are always gripping, and often spellbinding. And while most of their storylines keep the characters apart, Lewis and Giamatti told us they always look forward to finding scenes in the new scripts where the two get to act opposite each other.
Listen to the audio at Hollywood Outbreak here then click on the media bar to hear Damian and Paul.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on From the Trader’s Desk: “The Chris Rock Test,” Billions S5 Ep2 – May 15, 2020
Prince Takes King?
by Lady Trader | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | May 15, 2020
Obsessed with fantasy, possessed with my schemes
I mixed reality with pseudo-god dreams
The ghost of violence was something I seen
I sold my soul to be the human obscene Megalomania – Black Sabbath
Happy Friday, and welcome back to the Trader’s Desk.
I’m not going to do a deep dive into the whole episode this week, but start off explaining what went down between Dollar Bill and Winston and what a Sharpe ratio is, some observations, then get into what was my favorite part of the episode – Axe’s fireside chat! The scene may have only been 5 ½ minutes, but it had me and my partner talking for hours.
What the hell is a Sharpe Ratio?
Poor Dollar Bill! He is in a slump regarding his book – (his trading portfolio) and is looking for an edge. Luckily for him, he just happens to notice on Winston’s terminal a strategy (algo) he’s running his own money on. Winston says his algo has a Sharpe Ratio of 3.64. (A Sharpe ratio tells us how well an asset’s return compensates us for the risk we take. When we compare two assets against a common benchmark, the one with the greater Sharpe ratio is estimated to provide us with a better return for the same risk – or the same return with a smaller risk.) That is a good number, because if you can get your strategy to have a Sharpe Ratio of 2 it’s particularly good. Bill wants in, but Winston tells him there is a capacity issue. If you put more money (in this case six figures) the strategy won’t give you the same positive returns. This can sometimes be a real issue. One of the strategies I trade has this capacity/scalability issue.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on The Unbeatable, Unstoppable, Unparalleled MVPs from Billions Season 5 Episode 2 – May 13, 2020
Billions MVP Awards for Season 5, Episode 2, “The Chris Rock Test”
by Gingersnap | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | May 13, 2020
Last week we awarded our Most Valuable Players for the season five premiere of Billions in a compilation post called our ‘Billions MVP Fanbook,’ which commemorates all those in honor of achievement for the utmost brazen, uber shameless, ultra scheming, unmatched bad asses to date – from sports references, music and tasty food to pop culture remarks, shocking twists and ultimate paybacks. Let us continue with that tradition as we award our Most Valuable Players (MVPs) this week.
Here are the Billions MVP awards for Season 5, Episode 2, “The Chris Rock Test.”
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions Superlatives “The Chris Rock Test” – May 11, 2020
“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.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Next Time on Billions Season 5 Episode 3 – May 10, 2020
Season 5, Episode 3: “Beg, Bribe, Bully”
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | May 10, 2020
Chuck returns to his alma mater to pursue an opportunity. Axe’s big venture is sidelined by a family crisis. Taylor asserts independence with a risky play. Chuck puts Wendy in an awkward position. Episode airs on Sunday, May 17, 2020 on Showtime.
To view more sneak peek photos, please visit our Gallery here
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Behind the Billions Podcast S5E2 “The Chris Rock Test” – May 10, 2020
A Behind-the-Scenes Look at “The Chris Rock Test”
by Brian Koppelman and David Levien | The Ringer | May 10, 2020
Before diving into S5E2, “The Chris Rock Test,” ‘Billions’ cocreators Brian Koppelman and David Levien discuss some parallels between ‘Billions’ and real-life billionaire behavior as well as how the location manager and prop master truly shined in Season 5’s second episode (0:30). Then they talk to Corey Stoll, who plays Michael Prince, about his character, joining an already established show, learning from his castmates, filming at Mohonk Mountain House, and more (36:40).
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions Season 5 Episode 2 Recap: New York Times – May 10, 2020
Step Up To The Mike
by Sean T. Collins | New York Times | May 10, 2020
Season 5, Episode 2: ‘The Chris Rock Test’
Welcome to the Mike Conference, named with characteristic humility by its founder, decabillionaire Mike Prince. It’s a place for fireside chats that double as vicious duels, for charitable acts that serve to ameliorate an exponentially larger number of uncharitable ones, and for the occasional late-night excursion to a strip club that doubles as a Wagner family reunion.
Yes, Wags discovers the hard way that his daughter (Wags has adult children?!) is a stripper, thus failing “The Chris Rock Test”that gives the episode its name. He gets over it, more or less. He wouldn’t be Wags if he didn’t.
But just as the Mike Conference was really about making deals, so too was Wags and Bobby Axelrod’s ayahuasca excursion from the season premiere a business trip (emphasis on trip). Bobby is aiming to move into the “psychoceuticals” sector, so he and Wags spend their off hours at the conference buttering up Simon Shenk (played by the “Ozark” and “Affair” veteran Darren Goldstein), who looks poised to become the next head of the F.D.A. Impressed with Bobby and Wags’s acquaintance with the shaman Bram Longriver (Henri Binje), he seems poised to greenlight the practice and thus line their pockets.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions Season 5 Episode 2 Recap: Wall Street Journal – May 11, 2020
Chess and Ayahuasca
by Paul Vigna | Wall Street Journal | May 11, 2020
There is a scene in Sunday’s episode of “Billions” in which guests at an exclusive conference are playing chess against a grandmaster (a cameo from real-world grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura). Tables are set up with boards, each person maneuvering and machinating while Nakamura takes them all on at the same time. Pawn threatens knight! King takes rook! Knight threatens king! Checkmate!
This is how “Billions” wants you to see every one of its characters: locked in a chess match, the best against the best, all at the same time. They don’t always win, though, and in “The Chris Rock Test” (written by Brian Koppelman and David Levien, directed by Lee Tamahori) one of the best loses.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions Season 5 Episode 2 Recap: Forbes – May 10, 2020
Axe Finally Met His Match
by Dana Feldman | Forbes | May 10, 2020
Not one to back down from a challenge, Axe finally takes Mike Prince up on his offer for a fireside chat at his annual charity conference but things for Axe Cappers do not go well…at all.
In “The Chris Rock Test” Axe (Damian Lewis) debates Mike (Corey Stoll) on his turf and under the exterior smiles, this chat is anything but friendly. Taylor (Asia Kate Dillon) is confronted by Oscar Langstraat (Mike Birbiglia), who tells them he doesn’t want his money with Axe, nor does he want to be associated with him, and if Taylor is, he doesn’t want to be associated with them either.
And, things for Wags (David Costabile) might just be the toughest of all when he’s confronted by his worst fears as a father. He realizes he’s failed the Chris Rock test after running into his daughter at a strip club where she works; he didn’t keep his daughter off the pole. Did we ever know he had children?