Monday, January 18, 2016

Review: Showtime's Billions

Billions is a new drama about a billionaire (Axelrod) played by Damian Lewis who cuts a lot of corners, has inside information on stock trades, and revered among middle class New Yorkers.  His only problem is a prosecutor, played by Paul Giamotti, who wants to bust him for inside trading.  The case is the kind of case that advances political careers which is why Axelrod is such a target.  The first show in the series aired last night.  The story introduced the main characters.  Besides Axelrod and the prosecutor, there is Axelrod's wife who comes from humble beginnings and enjoys her new social standing, threatening others to keep it all in tact.  And then there is the prosecutor's wife, a psychiatrist who works for Axelrod's hedge fund company.  She is used as a life coach and motivates brokers who feel they are in a slump.  Her husband (Giamotti) wants her to quit her job because he is getting ready to arrest Axelrod.  She gets her hours reduced.  She and her prosecutor husband like kinky sex.

My Review: I love both of these actors and had a feeling they would pick a great script to star in.  Besides the acting, the story was good.  Most shows do not go into much detail about the Bernie Madoffs of the world, but this one made the effort.  
I don't know much about high finance so a few scenes were a little confusing, but it didn't matter.  I figured out something illegal was going on.  The show was a glimpse into the world of ambition and greed.  
Despite the gaudy display of wealth that Axelrod symbolizes, I found myself liking him.  He doesn't just consume.  He also saves those who are about to go under.  For instance, his favorite pizza restaurant was about to close, and he prevented that from happening because he liked the owner and the food.  In another scene, he gave the children of former partners who died in the World Trade Center full scholarships to college.  He has a Robin Hood flair.  Conversely, Giamotti likes to view himself as a 'superman' ridding the world of greedy investors.  He is far from altruistic.  He and his father set a scene showing how serious he is at busting greedy traders for the sake of the press.  I look forward to watching this on Sundays.  5/5 Stars

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