Categories Billions Review

From the Trader’s Desk: S3 E1 The King Without a Crown – March 30, 2018

Uneasy Lies the Head that Wears the Crown

by Lady Trader | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | March 30, 2018

Source: Showtime

Greetings from the Trader’s Desk!

Before I dive into the episode, I would like to thank the writers of this episode, Brian Koppleman and David Levien. As a New Yorker, kid of the 80’s and a trader, I can tell you they bring the realness of all three of those things of which I am and hold dear. From the mid-town Manhattan office of Axe Capital, to the setting of my favorite place for pierogies, (Veselka) to having real hedge fund managers (Marc Lasry of Avenue Capital and Michael Platt of BlueCrest Capital Management) at the idea dinner, a line from the movie that changed my life (“Wall Street”), to a beautiful view of the Freedom Tower, they continue to not just make this one of my favorite shows, but bring it home so authentically. By Season 3 some writers would be phoning it in, but they certainly don’t.

Continue reading From the Trader’s Desk: S3 E1 The King Without a Crown – March 30, 2018

Categories Billions Review

Billions on Showtime, 3:01: Tie Goes to the Runner – March 28, 2018

Billions is dissecting the anatomy of self-interest, single-minded adherence to self-determination. All in the body and mind of Bobby Axelrod. 

by JaniaJania | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | March 28, 2018

Source: Showtime

Billions Season 3, episode 1, long time coming, eh? Let’s skip the pleasantries and get down to it, shall we?The nation has turned, so Chuck walks warily to meet his new boss, wondering if he still has a job. Newly appointed Attorney General Jeffcoat circumnavigates into the biggest case in NYC right now: Eastern District vs. Bobby Axelrod. He tells a folksy tale of horse husbandry and goads Chuck with the raging sting of being the primer for the mare that Dake ultimately gets to fuck. (I believe the AG just called Bobby Axelrod a female horse.) Then he suggests, if Chuck wants to keep his job, he’ll want to look kindly on future Wall Street shenanigans. Tie goes to the runner in both baseball and in the high stakes gambling of the capitalist enterprise.

Don’t call a man out on a win.

Axe Capital has moved from their old digs to swanky Manhattan and Taylor is rallying the troops for new ideas to present to an annual hog show of hedgies. Dollar Bill wants none of it, he wants Axe’s assets unfrozen and his sensei back where he belongs. He’s chomping at the bit to get back to kicking financial sector ass in the name of his hero and mentor.  The gambling force is strong in this padawan.

Continue reading Billions on Showtime, 3:01: Tie Goes to the Runner – March 28, 2018

Categories Billions Print Media Review

Billions is Back and Still More Fun Than Your Favorite Peak TV Drama – March 27, 2018

“Exceptionally well-plotted, well-acted, and gloriously, hilariously unbridled”

by Winston Cook-Wilson | Spin | March 26, 2018

Source: Showtime

The opening aerial shot of Manhattan, the throbbing electronic soundtrack that eerily fades in–suddenly, my troubles disappear like a dirty million wired to an offshore bank account. It is time for a new episode of Billions, the most enjoyable show on television if you enjoy things like it. The Showtime series–a bro-finance melodrama in the rich tradition of Wall Street, Glengarry Glen Ross, and Boiler Room–isn’t exemplary because of its innovativeness or depth of artistic vision, but it perfects the basic elements. It’s exceptionally well-plotted, well-acted, and gloriously, hilariously unbridled. It takes the thematic trappings of prestige TV as loving source material without deifying them too much. The result is a kind of platonic ideal of the average premium-cable hour-long drama in an age where there are far, far too many of them.

The key to Billions’ appeal is that it is both complicated in its particulars and, on an overarching level, deadly simple. The show feels dense in the moment, given the fact that the majority of the dialogue steeped in trader jargon, legalese, and outlandish extended metaphors. It provides the same uphill battle to figure out what the fuck anyone is talking about that makes the first few episodes of The Wire or Deadwood a hard sell for some. But the conflict is compellingly meat-and-potatoes at its core: The plot revolves around a long face-off between two impetuous and powerful men.

Continue reading Billions is Back and Still More Fun Than Your Favorite Peak TV Drama – March 27, 2018

Categories Billions Print Media Review

New ‘Billions’ Season: The Show About Power And Money You Should Be Watching – March 27, 2018

“Billions is TV’s most compelling fable about wealth and power in modern life”

by Eric Deggans | NPR | March 27, 2018

Be warned: The review below contains plenty of spoilers about past and present episodes of Billions.

The biggest problem Showtime’s Billions has: It’s a show that is way too easy to underestimate.

At a time when income inequality and the struggles of the middle class are front-page news, it’s tough to lionize a show about a millionaire U.S. attorney in an all-consuming personal and professional grudge match with a billionaire hedge fund owner.

One guy, billionaire “hedgie” Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis), is a ruthless, self-made business titan who jumps on a private plane with his buddies to hang out with the band before a Metallica concert. The other guy, U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades Jr. (Paul Giamatti), is a scion of old New York money who bunks at the Yale Club when his marriage is on the rocks.

This seems like the definition of 1 percenters’ problems dressed up as a TV series.

And yet, Billions succeeds, not only because it’s a great drama about compelling characters, but also because it’s the TV show about power in America that we all should be watching right now. Continue reading New ‘Billions’ Season: The Show About Power And Money You Should Be Watching – March 27, 2018

Categories Billions Print Media Review

Billions Recap Reality Index: Season 3, Episode 1 ‘Tie Goes To The Runner’ – March 27, 2018

Reality Index

by Staff | Comfortably Smug | March 26, 2018

Source: Showtime – Photo Illustration: Jaclyn Kessel

The recap is back! Welcome back to the Billions Recap Reality Index, where we tally a list of events from each episode and rank on a scale of too real to fail or as fake as a toxic asset’s triple A rating, scored on our wholly subjective point system.

This week we provide you with due diligence on the first episode of Season 3, “Tie Goes To The Runner.”

When we last saw Axe and Chuck, they were both crawling from the rubble of Chuck’s pyrrhic victory of vaporizing his father’s portfolio and his own trust to lure Bobby into shorting the Ice Juice IPO. With his fund under federal investigation, his marriage in shambles, and future completely uncertain, we begin season three with Axe at his lowest point, and Chuck working to make sure this time there’s no escape for Axelrod.


Continue reading Billions Recap Reality Index: Season 3, Episode 1 ‘Tie Goes To The Runner’ – March 27, 2018

Categories Audio Billions Broadcast Media Podcast

Billions Syllabus, Complete with Podcasts – March 27, 2018

Sit back, relax, and take a big slurp of Ice Juice — we’ve got everything you need for a new season of Billions

by Staff | The Ringer | March 26, 2018

Showtime’s financial drama Billions returns this week, and The Ringer has (forgive us) billions of different ways to prepare. From deep dives on past seasons to interviews with showrunner Brian Koppelman, this is your guide to making the most of the new season. Check in every week for a new Recappables podcast, which will break down the latest episode, and weekly recaps crowning the “The Best, Most, and Worst” of Billions Season 3.

Continue reading Billions Syllabus, Complete with Podcasts – March 27, 2018

Categories Billions Print Media Review

Billions Season 3 Premiere Recap: The Teaser & The Stud – March 26, 2018

Just How ‘Woke’ Billions Wants Us to Believe Axe Capital Is

by Molly Stout | Refinery 29 | March 26, 2018

After two full seasons of Billions, we are still no closer to choosing sides. In this extravagant chess match between Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) and Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis), we’re somehow still rooting for both of them to knock over the other’s king-sized ego. Or, as Axe suggested in the thrilling season 2 finale, for both of them to end up in check. Since the show’s beginning, we’ve found qualities to admire in each man: Bobby’s scrappy Yonkers childhood and ability to turn a stadium’s lights off with the God-like snap of his fingers, and Chuck’s gastrophile trivia and love of Winston Churchill first-editions. And neither man is evil enough for us to pledge allegiance to the other.

Even the characters we used to unabashedly cheer for are giving us pause. Lara Axelrod (Malin Akerman) has always made it clear, to Axe and to viewers, that she isn’t a trophy wife. She enjoys the money and the power Axe’s career has given her and the boys, but she’s still just a working-class girl at heart who loved Bobby long before he made his first million. But last season, Lara told Bobby that she wouldn’t run from the government with him. She even tried to buy off Orrin Bach (Glenn Fleshler) to counsel her on what she would get in a divorce. Then there’s Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon). It’s hard not to like the efficient, confident Taylor, but they ultimately chose the dark side of private planes, $26,000-a-month penthouses, and climbing the dirty corporate ladder, eventually telling Bryan Connerty (Toby Leonard Moore) that they don’t believe in souls. Even Wendy Rhoades (Maggie Siff), our favorite overpriced therapist, gave two distinctly different hugs to the men in her life last season. The one with Axe felt real, yet she returned home to Chuck.

Continue reading Billions Season 3 Premiere Recap: The Teaser & The Stud – March 26, 2018