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BILLIONS, an Amazon original series about our minds on billions


Amazon's Billions is intriguing, especially since most of us will never get to experience the life and mindset of a billionaire, just like we most likely won't experience the life of a murderer either. Billions goes deep and masterfully into the power-driven, adrenaline jacked world of the people in charge.

The show is two seasons in and I'm looking forward to what's happening next. If you haven't seen it the entire story revolves around Bobby "Axe", a billionaire with a sharp intuition and a predisposition for illegalities, and his nemesis, Chuck, the attorney journey who's used to winning cases, and in his obsession with justice and winning, he engages with similar illegal behavior, though under the a different umbrella. Between these two man, there's Wendy. She is Chuck's wife and Bobby's coach. She's puts people back together, both on a personal and professional level. Needless to say, the three have a lot in common, as their career is a huge part of their identities.

"When Billions Season 1 ended two things happened: In the narrative, Damian Lewis’ hedge fund manager Bobby “Axe” Axelrod and Paul Giamatti’s U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhodes growled menacingly at each other from the demolished interior of Axe’s formerly luxurious office space. You see, Chuck had convinced Axe there was a bug somewhere on his turf, forcing him to tear it apart himself; wasting time, effort, and anxiety for what amounted to be a decent, if not exceptional, prank.

Jim Harper would be proud, but “Billions” isn’t a comedy. We need to feel the weight of this supposedly high-stakes story, not laugh at it. Once Axe had finished tearing apart his fancy schmancy office, the two started spitting fire at one another, making threats and promises; tossing insults back and forth; exchanging ever-building anger at the very existence of their opponent. But they didn’t say or do anything revelatory. Their best insults were behind them — “Billions” may never top the line, “What’s the point of having fuck you money, if you never get to say, ‘Fuck you.'” — and they’d already declared war six episodes prior, when Chuck baited Axe into tearing up a massive settlement check. The second face-to-face meeting between our two leads only amounted to a hollow recreation of the first." " (Indiewire)


"A basic rule of TV survival is the introduction of compelling fresh characters alongside the regulars, and one of the newbies in Billions is Oliver Dake (Christopher Denham), an auditor from the Office of Professional Responsibility. With darting eyes, he arrives in the US Attorney’s New York HQ, seizing documents and testimony suggestive of malpractice. These will be taken to the Attorney General, who has summoned Rhoades to Washington, and seems likely to fire him.

Finding the harpoon aimed at him, Rhoades responds as any self-respecting public official would. He instructs his staff to identify an enemy of the Attorney General, who, if placed under investigation, could give Washington a conflict of interest in sacking him.

Rhoades, with dismay, and the audience, with relish, realise that Dake’s best bet for getting dirt on his target is to persuade Axelrod to go on the record about the stuff that happened in season one. So the investigator soon visits the modernist offices of Axe Capital, where a Henry Moore or Giacometti sculpture can frequently be glimpsed casually in the background, and where Damian Lewis also has a fascinating new character to swear at." (The Guardian)


"Giamatti is usually an entertaining actor, but he revs Chuck’s sputtering fury a little too high: in a few scenes, he verges on Foghorn Leghorn territory. The members of the larger ensemble are stronger, particularly David Costabile as the creepy consigliere Wags. But the bottom-line appeal of “Billions” is Axe, whose gleeful greed Lewis keeps just below room temperature. In less controlled hands, Axe might come off as smug as Martin Shkreli, but the show won’t let you hate him: he is a strategic genius, from a working-class Queens background. When he’s tempted to cheat on his wife (the excellent Malin Akerman), he says no with sensitivity and generosity. Inevitably, he’s the devil we root for. The characterization should feel terribly manipulative, a turn-off. It’s the opposite.

In part, this is because the show never takes itself all that seriously. In part, it’s because Damian Lewis is a handsome man with an angry smile, who keeps wandering onscreen in expensive boxer briefs. But, mostly, it’s because Axe is the most existentially free person in the show’s well-drawn universe of ambitious hypocrites. When one of his old employees “flips” and talks to the feds, his admiring description makes it clear that Axe is less a person than an Ayn Randian Übermensch. “What does Axe do?” Rhoades asks. The employee replies, “The real answer is: anything he wants. When you’re at his level, you’re more like a nation-state than a person.” The description reminded me, unnervingly, of the recent documentary “The Act of Killing,” in which Indonesian torturers brag about their sick acts, which they justify with semantics: the word “gangster,” they explain, comes from the word for “free man.” The world needs gangsters to act out our fantasies, they insist. For these guys, violent movies aren’t a cathartic hoot. They’re a blueprint for life." (New Yorker)

Check out the trailer below.

Tags:   news, trailer, television, Amazon, Billions

Related:   Billions



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