Billions at Split Screens TV Festival

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”

From the Trader’s Desk: “Risk Management”, Episode 1 Season 2 of Billions

Welcome to “From the Trader’s Desk” for the 2nd Season of Billions! The original concept of these posts was to recap of 2-3 episodes from my point of view as a trader, and to help with any confusion with “fin speak”. However, “Risk Management” was so meaty; I had to dive right in. So now, without further ado….

”Trading is gambling, legalized gambling.”

source: Showtime

Damianista will tell you that I told her that on one of our first meetings. I think she asked me how I got into the financial industry, and I told her I loved to gamble, and this was a way to do it legally.

How fitting then is it that we open Season 2 with Axe sitting at a racetrack! Now, I’ll admit, I didn’t know it was Yonkers Raceway. I thought it was Belmont Park, a place my grandfather would take me to as a kid. Axe tells Bach “this place made me”, and I totally get why. Continue reading “From the Trader’s Desk: “Risk Management”, Episode 1 Season 2 of Billions”

From the Trader’s Desk: A Review of Season 1 of Billions – Capturing the Essence of the Hedge Fund World

Hello from the “Trader’s Desk”!

As we get ready to enjoy the second season of Billions, we thought we would introduce our upcoming new series “From the Trader’s Desk” with my review of Season 1.

“From the Trader’s Desk” will be my take on what’s going on in the show (and a little fact checking) from the point of view of a Wall Street trader. I hope you enjoy reading it as much I enjoy writing it! Now, without further ado…

“Those who can, trade; those who can’t, prosecute.”

source: Showtime

That phrase came to mind once I knew the synopsis of Billions. Hedge Fund Titan (Bobby Axelrod) vs. the US Attorney (Chuck Rhodes). It’s a scenario that’s been playing out on Wall Street for some time. The players change, but the song remains the same.

I’ve spent my whole career on Wall Street; working my way up from a back office clerk to finally running my own money. So, I come into this show not only with the knowledge of the terms and situations, but also with the perspective of the hedge fund world. Continue reading “From the Trader’s Desk: A Review of Season 1 of Billions – Capturing the Essence of the Hedge Fund World”

Billions at TCA17

The Billions cast and show runners were all present and accounted for at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. We gathered some fine tidbits from the various people and places covering this industry event yesterday as well as a look at the first official trailer for Season 2, premiering on Showtime, Sunday, February 19 at 10pm.

(L-R) Actors Paul Giamatti, Damian Lewis, Maggie Siff, Malin Akerman, David Costabile, Condola Rashad and Toby Leonard Moore and creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien of the television show ‘Billions’ speak onstage during the Showtime portion of the 2017 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Langham Hotel on January 9, 2017 in Pasadena, California.

Continue reading “Billions at TCA17”

TOP Damian Lewis Moments 2016:
Billions at PaleyLIVE New York

I cannot agree more with Variety critic Maureen Ryan who writes the following about Billions as she includes the show in her Best 20 New TV Shows of 2016 list:

source: Showtime

“Too many dramas these days, even modestly ambitious ones, mistake plodding glumness and a dour tone for seriousness of intent,” but Billions doesn’t make that mistake. Paul Giamatti, Damian Lewis, Malin Akerman, David Costabile and Maggie Siff all gave fierce, wry, committed performances as high rollers in the Manhattan financial elite, but “the most salient fact about Billions may be that it’s funny. Sarcastic asides, humorous insults and well-targeted quips are folded into it like truffles in a plate of handmade ravioli.”

Well, firstly, I approve this message as a huge truffle fan! And, secondly, believe me, it is truffle-level delicious to be in the same room with Billions cast and creators discussing the show. What an incredibly brilliant bunch! Lady Trader and I were very lucky to attend Billions Season 2 Sneak Peek and Discussion Panel at Paley Center in New York early December and we cannot thank enough for an hour full of intelligence, wit and laughter! Continue reading “TOP Damian Lewis Moments 2016:
Billions at PaleyLIVE New York”

The Physicality of Bobby Axelrod in
Billions *UPDATED*

This post is long overdue. I blogged about “American” Damian Lewis more than a year ago talking about Damian’s freaking good American accent that could, in fact, fool people about his nationality. As I was writing that post in July 2015, first pictures from Billions set popped up online. I shared them inviting everyone to meet the new “American” Damian: Bobby Axelrod!

source: justjared.com
source: justjared.com

What do you see in these pictures? I see a good looking American guy! As soon as we see the pictures, JaniaJania and I speculate about what makes Damian look American: She says it may be the haircut. I say it may be his relaxed posture with legs apart and hands in pockets.

Continue reading “The Physicality of Bobby Axelrod in
Billions *UPDATED*”