Bobby Axelrod and Wendy Rhoades: A Special Relationship – Part V

“Damian tickles you and delights you with his charm and his wit.” — Maggie Siff

Well, while we already know how charming and witty Damian could be, it is still a treat to hear these lovely words from Maggie Siff, who along with Damian brings to life one of the most intriguing and complex relationships we have ever seen on TV. It is sincere and it is strategic. It is friendly and it is flirty. It is personal and it is professional. It is delicate. It is difficult. It is delicious.  And while I believe Season 3 has revealed there is no romance in it, it has also revealed there is real partnership. Bobby and Wendy find meaning in what they have built together and can draw the best out of each other. In case you have missed my earlier posts on these two, you can find them here, here, here, and here. Continue reading “Bobby Axelrod and Wendy Rhoades: A Special Relationship – Part V”

“From the Trader’s Desk”:
Bobby Axelrod – a Man and his Music

There are many things that Bobby Axelrod and I have in common: New York born and bred; working class backgrounds; very non-traditional road to Wall Street; our love of gambling lead us to our career paths. However, the one thing that has always been my favorite commonality is our love for heavy metal bands and their music. Heavy Metal is not the most well known genre of music, so let’s explore Bobby Axelrod and his music, and what it says about him.

In each season of Billions, at least one episode has featured a song and a t-shirt of a metal band that must be Axe’s favorites. The writers of Billions don’t do anything just to do it, so we know that these choices are there to tell a story, shine light on who the character is, and to set a tone.

Metal is very misunderstood: devil worship, drugs, biting the heads of bats, or just screeching guitars may come to mind if you say the words “heavy metal”. But, it is so much more than that! Last season, I used Black Sabbath lyrics to open (and in some cases close) my “From the Trader’s Desk” recaps. In most cases, if I hadn’t referenced it to Sabbath, you’d have wondered what philosopher or poet I was quoting. Metal lyrics are some of the best I have ever heard; they tell stories of pain, loss, confusion, success, etc. – lyrics that would certainly resonate with a young man from Yonkers who’s Dad has up and left, and whose home life is full of conflict. Continue reading ““From the Trader’s Desk”: Bobby Axelrod – a Man and his Music”

A Tribute to Everyone’s Favorite Billions Moment: The Fake Fight

“Pretend we’re having an argument.” —Bobby Axelrod

source: Showtime

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”

Luxury Bunkers, Cryo Chambers, Eating Ortolan: Things I Never Knew Existed Before Billions *UPDATED*

Damian Lewis talks about the current perception of billionaires and their wealth in an interview with Prestige Online:

“I think there’s a greater suspicion about billionaires and about wealth and accumulation of wealth. People are asking for the first time, “Excuse me, how did you become a billionaire exactly, because I just lost my house?” So I think it’s an interesting transitional point.

Having said that, I think there will always remain a certain rock ’n’ roll element to the guy with the money and the fast car.”

Continue reading “Luxury Bunkers, Cryo Chambers, Eating Ortolan: Things I Never Knew Existed Before Billions *UPDATED*”

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”