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

**UPDATED**

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 whose 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 *UPDATED*”

Marry, Shag, Banish – Billions Characters

It’s game time!

Marry, Shag, Kill is a popular game in which players are presented with the names of three celebrities. Of the options presented, you must pick one to marry, one to shag and one to kill. But instead of killing, we’d rather banish to an island and instead of utilizing real celebrity names, we will play using Billions characters. Each of us has picked one Billions character to marry, one to shag and one to banish. You can play along, too, in the comments section or during your next road trip or dinner party!

So welcome to Marry, Shag, Banish: Billions Characters Version! Let’s get started.

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Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis on The Moment with
Brian Koppelman

When he’s not running a show, co-creator of Billions, Brian Koppelman hosts a podcast called The Moment. Each hour-long session is a conversation about the creative process and pivotal moments in creative careers. Koppelman talks to people in various forms and stages of their creative lives about inflection points, the moments they sensed something shifted for them in their careers. Having listened to several of these conversations in his archive, its always a treat to hear how people get to live their professional dreams, be they restaurateurs, musicians, writers or actors. Back when he first publicized the podcast, I had this twee Twitter exchange with him.

On Tuesday, last week, it finally happened: Damian sat down with Kopp to talk shop. You can listen to this episode of The Moment wherever you listen to podcasts. (Links below)

It is a truth universally acknowledged (at least on these pages) that, with Damian, there is more than what meets the eye. Likewise, there’s more to be said than what you hear, especially when interviews go deep like this one did. I wrote about another longer interview on the subject of creativity: SAG-AFTRA.  This podcast covered similar ground, but touched on some things we’d never heard before. So, here’s a bit of reading between the lines of some highlights from The Moment.

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis on The Moment with Brian Koppelman”

Chuck Seniorisms by the Dozen, Part III

A Baker’s Dozen…and Then Some

You should know by now from my ‘Chuck Seniorisms by the Dozen’ Part I and Part II that Charles Rhoades Senior is one of my favorite characters on Billions. He is played by the extraordinary actor Jeffrey DeMunn, who comes from a theatrical family no less! Buffalo News reported in March 2019 that DeMunn’s father Jim DeMunn and stepmother Betty Lutes DeMunn were two cardinal figures for many years in the local Buffalo theater.

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Wags by the Dozen Part III

Wags Words of Wisdom – Season 4

Wags, and bracelets

Guess what time it is? It’s time for Wags Words of Wisdom, Billions season four. Did you miss our first two dozen that covered seasons one through three? Catch up by reading them here and here.

As I pointed out last time, Mike “Wags” Wagner, played by David Costabile, is my second favorite character on the Showtime hit series Billions-Axe being the first of course. Sure, he’s an acquired taste for some but we gladly claim Wags as our rapacious scumbag. He’s still that pinky ring-wearing, Michter’s whiskey drinking, vintage Mercedes driving, petite handlebar mustache sporting, sharp-dressed man with a childhood affinity for Yosemite Sam, as proven by his ass tattoo of said gun-slinging cartoon outlaw.

Wags continues to be the Chief Operating Officer at Axe Capital-that formidable attack dog, financial consigliere, valet, and leader of the minions. He’s the right-hand man to Bobby Axelrod and just as loyal as the unsullied soldiers are to the mother of dragons.

Continue reading “Wags by the Dozen Part III”