May I just say I will miss Sunday nights? My typical Sunday evening runs like this: I watch the show at 10pm and take notes. Then I watch for a second time and take more notes. Then I sit down and write. I typically go to bed as the sun rises. It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Writing for hours as if the world is waiting for my recap… But it is not about that… It is about the show and the thrill it gives me: WORTH IT! 😀 Besides, Billions is the ONLY show, other than Mad Men, to date, where I care about every single character. It does not mean I love them all, but I care about them all, which I think is the biggest achievement a show can ever have. I give standing ovation for all brilliant minds behind and in front of the camera and give special thanks to my husband for bearing with me for the last couple of months and letting me sleep until noon on Mondays.
A three in one special this week from your intrepid reporter. I was away across the merry pond having a merry time with limited vpn and limited time to spend on my usual pondering over the intricacies of this show. Was going to skip writing about Season 2 Ep. 9, 10, and 11 entirely, but once I returned home and caught up, the muse came rushing back and here I am with my bits on “Sic Transit Imperium”, “With or Without You”, and “Golden Frog Time.”
The circle of story around the unfortunate little upstate NY town gutted by Axe and used by Chuck for preliminary campaign photo ops has closed. Axe did what he had to do in Sandicot, and Chuck responded with whatever he could do, given the fact that his hands were also not entirely clean in the deal. Both Axe and Chuck come out the other end relatively unscathed. The only real casuality of the story is Bobby’s relationship with Bruno, his childhood father figure of sorts. But as Lara succinctly says: Fuck Bruno.
Welcome to “From the Trader’s Desk” and my recap of “Dead Cat Bounce”. (I’m just going to say this upfront: I hate that term, but only because I’m a cat momma!)
We open up at the Spartan-Ives sponsored “Thought Leaders” conference, which costs $3,000 to attend. These types of conferences are common, and can be market movers. Certain managers will mention a stock they like (or don’t) and it will move the stock price as they are speaking.
This blog has been a long time coming. Damianista and JaniaJania have been wishing to see it up for a long time. I wanted to wait until I had seen all 12 episodes before posting.
We had devoured all the early promos for the show and have been blogging about Billions for over a year. We attempted to get a feel for the characters as early as we could and this helped immensely as we discussed what we thought about Bobby and Wendy. Even early on, it was clear those two had a connection. After Naming Rights, we were having one of our discussions and I mentioned that I thought there was some Peter Pan in Bobby and Wendy. I was encouraged to investigate this further as Jania Jania said “Peter Pan is an archetype now…the boy who doesn’t want to grow up.” Investigate I have and there is a fair bit of Peter in Bobby. I am not saying this was intentional on the writer’s part, but that I had fun digging through the book looking for it. .
Quotes from Peter Pan by J M Barrie are in italics. The other quotes not in italics are from Billions.
Bobby and Dr Mojo/Peter & Wendy with sprinkles of lost boys and Tink
Bobby even has his own Wendy, (hereinafter referred to as “Dr Mojo”) and he has built his house around her.
“She knew of no Peter, and yet he was here and there in John and Michael’s minds, while Wendy’s began to be scrawled all over with him. The name stood out in bold letter than any of the other words andas Mrs Darling gazed she felt that it had an oddly cocky appearance.”
Dr Mojo’s mind seems to be scrawled all over with Bobby Axelrod and Bobby Axelrod is quite as cocky as Peter Pan. Dr Mojo knows what Bobby is, but she stays by his side for a very long time. She forgives his transgressions and mistakes.
“There’s a lot of humor in this — a lot of playfulness, which I was not expecting.” — Damian Lewis on Billions
Humor derived from life and delivered at the right time and place can make a TV show! And, I believe, it is Seinfeld that perfected the delivery of small but precise details of daily life on small screen! George double-dips a chip in a bowl of dip at a wake and you laugh not just because of what he does but also because you remember the guy who double-dipped at the last party you attended. Elaine’s new boyfriend is a serious close talker and you laugh because you remember the close talkers in your life. Jerry believes you don’t need any extra incentive to kill your dry cleaner and you laugh because you remember the last argument you had with your dry cleaner about the remaining stain on your favorite pants. These are the scenes that stay with you for the longest time because they all come from real life!
“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 Everybody’s Favorite Scene in Billions Season 1: The Fake Fight”