“Pretend we’re having an argument.” —Bobby Axelrod
A good hour of television absolutely starts with good writing and I pride myself in calling Willie Reale, the writer of Billions Season 1 Episode 10 Quality of Life, a genius way before I find out that he is, in fact, one! I don’t know if you are familiar with MacArthur Fellowships also known as “Genius Grants” but Mr. Reale is a recipient of this fellowship “in recognition of his ingenuity in creating theater and theater education programs for young people.” Bravo!
Quality of Life, with Donnie’s memorial service being at its heart, has a number of moving parts; however, Mr. Reale delivers the story seamlessly with a number of timely back and forths between the memorial service and all else going on and the episode’s director Karyn Kusama perfectly translates the writing into action. And, in my humble opinion, Brian Koppelman’s tweet sharing with us that the fake argument scene between Axe and Dollar Bill was Reale’s idea alone deserves standing ovation for this brilliant writer! Continue reading “A Tribute to Everyone’s Favorite Billions Moment: The Fake Fight”
Gotta love it when a passing thought from one post leads to an entire new fully-fleshed-out post. I had remarked, during my two-week tour in London, I was reminded often of places I’d seen Damian in images and film. In particular, when I was walking from Shakespeare’s Globe west towards Blackfriars Bridge along the Thames Path I looked down to the river and saw the moss covered walls where Damian and Helen leaned and loafed for a photoshoot, as well as the pier under which Hector made a phone call in Our Kind of Traitor.
That bit of Proustian mind-wandering lead Damianista to the thought, “Hey, why not do a post where we follow along in Damian’s footsteps throughout London?” “Isn’t that a bit stalkery?” I worried. “Nah,” we both concluded. Happily, Damian knows we are the most harmless variety of stalkers he could ever have. So, here it is, a catalog of all the places and sites where we “saw” Damian, characters he’s played, and stories he’s been a part of in his beloved home town.
Time flies! Damian Lewis was the guest of celebrated Times Talks at Directors Guild Theater a year ago. And I would love to take this opportunity to travel back to that day to re-live the wonderful conversation Damian had with Cara Buckley, a New York Times culture reporter and celebrate the first anniversary of a beautiful friendship with Paige and Joyce with whom I clicked as soon as I met them in the line! Continue reading “Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis at Times Talks”
Dad is a word which can evoke a minefield of emotions simply because the word is personal to each of us and our personal circumstances will affect whether the word evokes positive or negative emotions.
Being a Dad (in real life) can be all kinds of difficult and rewarding. With Father’s Day approaching we take a look at Damian Lewis as an onscreen Dad.
“Love is the strongest power there is.” – J.K. Rowling
Probably because I lost my dad at a very young age, I am a true sucker for loving father-daughter relationships in fiction. So here goes a few of my favorite moments with Damian Lewis as an onscreen dad. Even though the characters in each relationship are quite different, there is an overarching theme: A lost soul who finds meaning in life through his love for his daughter.
Brody and Jess love story is over way before Brody returns home. Jess is in love with Mike even though she tries her best to start all over again with Brody. Chris, as much as happy to have dad back, is used to Brody’s absence since he was a baby when his dad left for war. Brody does not know his son, and seeing how close he is to Mike, does not seem to try his best to get to know him, either. So it is mostly Dana, his daughter, that connects Brody to family. I know Dana has never been popular with Homeland viewers but I love this independent, open-minded, headstrong young woman who LOVES and NEEDS her dad. She genuinely tries to understand the lost soul that Brody is.
Dana is the one who does not want to believe, but in fact believes, Carrie when she comes to tell Brody is about to do something really bad. And it is Dana’s LOVE for his dad and Brody’s LOVE for her that stops the suicide mission:
Perhaps not as sexy as the food or the music, nor as readily noticeable, is the backdrop of books used in a show. Shows that care about such things, like Billions, speak volumes with those carefully chosen volumes. It’s about setting the stage, providing props for the characters and the action. Most interestingly, the placement of books is about saying a thing or two about the character who owns them, in a language both visual and textual (if you look closely enough :)) Alternatively, barring such esoteric “meaning”, at the very least, books laying about can be fun Easter eggs that may say a thing or two about the folks who put the show together.
So, join me as we browse through the bookshelves of Billions.
It is a pleasure to see, in this golden age of television, new TV-focused festivals are popping up around us every year. IFC Center in New York recently launched its Split Screens Festival celebrating the art of television with a program curated by Matt Zoller Seitz, the editor-in-chief at rogerebert.com as well as critic for New York Magazine and vulture.com. The long-week festival had appearances by stars, producers, directors and show runners of several popular TV shows, including Billions!
Lewisto and I attended Close-Up: Asia Kate Dillon in Billions panel to see the brilliant Asia Kate Dillon, who brings Taylor Mason to life in our favorite show, and show creators and show runners Brian Koppelman and David Levien discuss the first gender non-binary character on TV and much more.
The evening started with the most pleasant surprise for us: we ran into wonderful Kelly AuCoin aka Dollar Bill who was in the audience. Well, Kelly and I had “met” online and we have been Facebook friends for over a year, and he also very graciously gave us an interview, but I did not meet him until that evening. And, yes, he is a great actor but he is also a sweet, sweet guy! Continue reading “Billions at Split Screens TV Festival”