While Billions took a day off this Sunday, we stayed busy thinking about the highlights of the season so far. And here’s a Half-Time visit to all the things about this series that have made it a highlight of the cable TV this year so far.
When the Billions pilot first aired, I bemoaned the literalness of it all. The literal dick-wagging and pissing contests. Men literally horrified and driven to impulsive action by dogs getting fixed. But, even then when I called out the literal, the in-your-face straighforwardness of it all, I did not mean to imply that the show is simplistic or the writing patently obvious. Now, half-way through the season, I need to hammer home that fact: NOTHING about this show is obvious or easy. We’ve gotten more layers with every episode, more alternative readings of character motivations. We’ve had plot twists, but more interesting are the riveting psychological twists giving us new glimpses into what is driving these people to do what they do.
Damian Lewis was already an internationally known actor before Homeland. Yet, Homeland brought him big stardom, made him a household name, and it turns out some manhandling in the streets, too! Damian talksa bit about his post-Homeland fame in an interview with Buzzfeed: “It can be aggressive, that kind of adulation… People can go a little bit crazy, so there’s quite a lot of manhandling in the streets. Now I know what it must have been like to be Brad Pitt for an entire lifetime, ever since he did that scene in Thelma and Louise where he took his top off — I’m straight and that scene did it for me as well.”
Hmmm… So… you sort of know you have made it when someone tries to… I don’t know… pinch you on the street? 😀 But, seriously, when do you really know your show or your character has really arrived?
Fiction Friday is here again and what better subject than Bobby Axelrod?
**Disclaimer: Billions and its characters belong to Showtime. Not us. There is no profit or copy right infringement intended and absolutely no intention of saying that anyone from Billions stole our ideas in the unlikely event we accidently write something that comes to fruition.
A look inside the mind of a younger Bobby Axelrod stepping on to his road.
The buzzing of chatter in his ear is threatening to make him explode. His mother’s attempts to placate him and his father’s scornful derision. Neither are proving any easier to stand than the lackadaisical attitude of his friends whom he had abandoned a couple of hours ago in disgust.
He stands up abruptly, pushing his chair back and interrupting the all too familiar argument brewing between his parents about why he needed to go to further education anyway. His father’s attitude is worse than his friends. Continue reading “Formulation”
This episode halfway thru the season opens with a scene I didn’t expect to see until series end. That’s where we start and that’s where we’re taken, into an episode that feels like a season finale. I’ll get to that starting scene in a bit. First, we must draw all hands to deck, look up and witness the King. Axe climbs up on office furniture, his head nearly grazing the dropped ceiling, and he gives his troops a war speech worthy of Patton.
Yesterday we came under attack from an unscrupulous adversary…
Unblinking, unflinching, determined righteous passion. Despite the zeal, Damian somehow keeps the speech from being over the top. It’s a rapid spitfire rallying speech, then, just as rapidly, Damian draws the energy he just exerted right back in. It’s this masterful balance between release and stillness, between exertion and absorption. Wendy watches from the sidelines and she feels the rawness too. Witness her halted breathing, and the decidedly dilated pupils watching Axe on stage, then the averted gaze as he descends and walks past her, spent. I’m making this all sound vaguely sexual aren’t I. Well, probably because it IS.
I am sure that, by now, you have got to know me quite well. Yes, I’m a little bit (ok, ok more than a little bit) obsessed with Brody… All roads do not lead to Rome, they all lead to… yes, Bravo, to Brody!