Remembering Nicholas Brody and His Muslim Faith

“You live in despair for eight years; you can turn to religion, too. And, the King James Bible was not available.” – Nicholas Brody

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

I was born and raised in a secular family in Turkey, a country that is predominantly Muslim. That is, even though I am not religious myself, I am very familiar with the Islamic traditions, rituals and norms. I am obviously coming out of the culture and have been shaped by it in ways that I am probably not aware of 🙂 Thus, I thought it would be neat to talk about Nicholas Brody, my most favorite fictional character ever on small screen, as a Muslim character in celebration of Ramadan!

Now, I am not an expert, not even close, about Muslim characters on TV shows; however, even if there had been a popular Muslim character on TV before Brody came along, I just don’t think there is any way she or he could beat him on any popularity scale. Continue reading “Remembering Nicholas Brody and His Muslim Faith”

Bobby Axelrod: The Boy Whose Dad
Never Came Back, Part IV

It is no secret I am fascinated by Bobby Axelrod’s backstory in Billions, in particular his family background. And the few glimpses we had into the life of young Bobby in Season 1 tempted me to think hard and deep about this man, who grew up in a broken home, and kick off the series “Bobby Axelrod: The Boy Whose Dad Never Came Back.” This series takes a close look at Bobby Axelrod’s human side mostly as a husband, a father, and a son. You can see the first three installments here, here, and here.

Bobby Axelrod is not someone I would hang out with in real life. He terrifies me exactly like he terrifies the actor who brings him to life on screen, yet I have come to sympathize with his story and loved some of his qualities over the first two seasons: He grew up in Yonkers in a working class family. His dad left home when Bobby was 12. Bobby had  to work as a paper boy and a golf caddy to make pocket money, played cards in friends’ basements and discovered betting at the racetrack. While he is now a self-made billionaire, Bobby did not forget where he came from. He is loyal to his past, his old friends, and Bruno, the only father figure in his life. Continue reading “Bobby Axelrod: The Boy Whose Dad
Never Came Back, Part IV”

Catching up with Bobby Axelrod:
Billions Comes to the Upper West Side!

While Billions Season 4 shoot starts in New York in the first week of September, we still have so much to talk about Season 3 and have expectations, hopes and fantasies for Season 4. So please stay tuned for our Billions posts, from thematic to personal to speculative, in the coming weeks and months as we follow the new season shoot as closely as possible!

As I mentioned a billion times before, Billions is my dream show! And not only because my favorite actor is in it, but also New York, from its landmarks to city parks to its distinct neighborhoods, appears as a cast member! As someone who feels the only home she has in the world is the city that never sleeps, I love it that the show is taking over New York, the big film studio that it is, and shooting all over the place, from Manhattan to Queens to Brooklyn to The Bronx to Long Island and to northern suburbs. I cannot thank enough to the show creators and show runners Brian Koppelman and David Levien for giving us a love letter to the city in Billions.

That said, one little problem I had until last October was, while they shot Billions all over Manhattan, they did not shoot a scene showcasing not only my but also Mr. Koppelman’s neighborhood, the Upper West Side, or as Lewisto and I love to call it, the Upper Best Side 😀 Continue reading “Catching up with Bobby Axelrod: Billions Comes to the Upper West Side!”

Desert Island Discs with NotLinda

Welcome to my island! We haven’t got much but what we have is the best! I’ve always loved music so for my Desert Island I’ll have to have

  1. Bad to the Bone – George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers. Straight on Rock-n-Roll. I saw him everywhere I could in the SF Bay Area back in the day. Loong, crazy shows! Do you have to Axe which of Damian’s roles he brings to mind? “Leave this one alone! I can tell by lookin’ he’s bad to the bone!”

Continue reading “Desert Island Discs with NotLinda”

Here Comes The Cheapest Man in America: “Dollar” Bill Stearn in Billions

We first meet “Dollar” Bill Stearn  in Billions Pilot where he tells Bobby Axelrod he is not uncertain that Axe Capital has to short Superior Auto. His boss agrees with his assessment while he calls him the cheapest man in America! And as we find out over time that Bill is a very colorful character from his two families to his love/hate relationship with Spyros, as well as a very loyal Axe Capital employee from his fake fight with Axe to him dropping his pants in front of Axe to prove his loyalty – Bill’s signature personality trait stands out as, well, cheapness! And the thing is the man has no problem with that. On the contrary, from his lucky dollar bill that he won in a poker game from Carl Icahn to the giant dollar sign in his garage, Dollar Bill OWNS his cheapness! Continue reading “Here Comes The Cheapest Man in America: “Dollar” Bill Stearn in Billions”

In Defense of Nicholas McGrade in Colditz

I love war. We’re still here. It’s like a jungle you survive. — Nicholas McGrade

colditz18

As much as we all LOVE LOVE LOVE Damian Lewis on this blog, our feelings for the characters he brings to life could be slightly different at times… Take Bookworm and me, for example. We agree to disagree on Nicholas McGrade 😀 Bookworm’s earlier blog post about the tale of the two Nicholases perfectly captures who those two soldiers, namely Nicholas Brody and Nicholas McGrade, are. Bookworm loves Brody and does not love, not even like Nicholas McGrade. And I… Well, everyone knows about me and Brody, but I have had a secret crush on Nicholas McGrade that I am happy to make public today.

When we watched Colditz with Lewisto, he did not like McGrade, either; exactly for the reasons Bookworm lists in her post. And, to this day, he claims I like McGrade because Damian Lewis plays the character and I would not like him otherwise. Maybe. Yes, he is probably right that I would not like McGrade if another actor played him because another actor would not be able to make McGrade as human as Damian does. Damian brings out the bad and ugly in McGrade as well as the good in him. The bad and ugly in McGrade is BAD and UGLY. On the other hand, the good in him is GOOD. McGrade’s a nobody that becomes somebody thanks to war. This is his chance and he will take it. He is quite HUNGRY for life and so he is ready to go the whole nine yards and a bit more to be what he wants, to do what he wants and to have what he wants. Yes, he is flawed. But he is not evil. So, yes, I love Nicholas McGrade and it’s all Damian to blame! 😀 Continue reading “In Defense of Nicholas McGrade in Colditz”