Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions & Bangers: Showtime’s High Finance Drama is a Stealth Love Letter to Music – May 3, 2020
Becoming Fluent in the Musical Language of Billions
by Al Shipley | Complex | May 3, 2020
At a time when TV prestige dramas often have 90-second opening credits with an epic theme song and lavish visuals, Billions on Showtime has an unusually short and simple title sequence: an ominous aerial view of Manhattan, soundtracked by a queasy low electronic pulse, in and out in about 15 seconds. The show’s score and theme music is by Eskmo, an electronic producer associated with labels like Ninja Tune and Warp Records, who puts moody, unobtrusive beds of sound under the dialogue-heavy show about powerful hedge fund manager Bobby Axelrod, his company Axe Capital, and the public officials trying to catch them breaking the law. But Billions, which returns with the Season 5 premiere on May 3, has gotten increasingly flashy with its nods to music since the Season 2 scene that featured a lengthy discussion of Jeff Tweedy and Jay Bennett’s creative chemistry in Wilco.
Increasingly, Billions has been rife with moments where music didn’t just provide an emotional backdrop but memorable dialogue. “Dollar” Bill Stern (Kelly AuCoin) belted out the opening verse of Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City” when Axe Capital hatched a plan involving “the chicken man” who sets prices in the poultry industry. Politician Chuck Rhodes (Paul Giamatti) air drummed to Al Green and offered a critical breakdown of 1977’s The Belle Album. And when Attorney General Waylon Jeffcoat (Clancy Brown) tried to intimidate Rhodes’s corrupt father into a confession, he said that he has a witness “singin’ like Hank Williams the elder, tellin’ us all about your cheatin’ heart.”
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions Is Back, and It’s More Billions Than Ever – May 3, 2020
Season 5 Interview with Co-Creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien
by Sam Schube | GQ | May 3, 2020
If it seems like the verbal acrobatics on Billions could only have come from a kind of writerly mind-meld, that’s because they do. Co-creators and showrunners David Levien and Brian Koppelman met at 15, and have spent the intervening years precision-honing their blend of gee-whiz plotting (Ocean’s 13) and subculture deep-diving (Rounders). Billions, their turbocharged take on the Wall Street machers running the world and the law-and-order types trying to reel them in, represents the apotheosis of both. (The journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin is also credited as a creator.)
On the one side, Damian Lewis’s Bobby Axelrod, a made-it-from-nothing master of the universe with a taste for Metallica and cashmere hoodies. On the other: Paul Giamatti’s New York AG Chuck Rhoades, the rule-bending lawman with a taste—as made public last season—for BDSM. Orbiting them is a scenery-chewing bunch of character actors, joined this year by Julianna Margulies (a professor with a bestseller about the female orgasm), Frank Grillo (a he-man painter), and Corey Stoll (Mike Prince, a billionaire investor whose conscious capitalism rankles Axe). In other words: it’s all still extremely Billions.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Introducing ‘Behind the Billions’ – May 2, 2020
Behind the Scenes Podcast on Spotify
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | May 2, 2020
Introducing ‘Behind the Billions!’ Co-creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien give a behind-the-scenes look into Billions season five. After each episode’s airing on Showtime, the podcast will unpack the writing of the script, exclusive stories from production, the ideas behind the music cues, and much more on the Spotify app. The 12-episode podcast season will also include interviews with cast and crew members as well as bonus podcast episodes devoted to inside stories from Billions hosts: Brian Koppelman and David Levien. Spotify link here.
Introducing 'Behind the Billions,' a behind-the-scenes look at 'Billions' Season 5, cohosted by @DavidLevien and @briankoppelman! After each episode's airing on Showtime, the podcast will unpack the writing of the scripts, production stories, and more.https://t.co/tDD6dPK0HV