Saturday, February 6, 2016

Billions: Your go-to series for 2016!

Billions is an American drama series created by Showtime. Damian Lewis is starring as Bobby Axe Axelrod, a hotshot billionaire hedge fund mogul. He is seen as a powerful individual overseeing his own capital portfolio management company by the name of Axe Capital.

Academy award nominee Paul Giamatti is starring as Chuck Rhoades, a virtuous federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York trying to bring down Axelrod’s empire. It all begins when Chuck Rhoades, through his liaison with FBI, gets wind of information regarding shady transactions and insider trading practices taking place at Axe Capital, through which they make their billions.

Photo: IMDb

Billions ultimately comes down to a battle of egos between two powerful men. One has financial muscle while the other has the power of law coupled with support from the bureaucracy. Superfluous unchecked wealth, manipulation, gluttony and corruption amalgamate to form a drama worth watching. Personal side stories and agendas of secondary characters in the drama add to the intriguing charm of it all.

Case in point is Maggie Siff, playing Wendy Rhoades, wife of the federal prosecutor. Interestingly, she is employed at Axe Capital as an in-house performance coach cum go to psychiatrist for Axelrod and his employees. Other than just being his psychiatrist, she is a rather close confidant of Axelrod as well. This makes for an interesting plotline leading to a conflict of interests in some of the most pivotal characters in the series.

Photo: IMDb

Another powerful character is Lara Axelrod (Malin Akerman), the loyal and power-driven wife of Bobby Axelrod. She is portrayed as a woman who would go to any lengths to save her husband’s fortune and she makes sure that no harm comes to her husband’s unblemished reputation or money.

This isn’t just another vain and hollow television series representing massive amounts of money, mansions and cars; rather it highlights factors such as greed in the upper echelons of financial districts such as Wall Street. A great script, along with talented actors, it gives background to the reasons that ultimately led to the 2008 worldwide recession.

Photo: IMDb

All in all, Billions is an entertaining soap opera which flaunts big money, corporate hunger and the notion of having ‘big’ money and getting away with it without having to face any sort of consequences, checks and balances.

Photo: IMDb

So far only three episodes have been aired, yet it has generated a huge amount of interest with an average of 6.3 million viewers worldwide. Courtroom drama, private jets, fancy cars, naming historic landmarks and buildings after your name just because you can, name it and you’ll have it in the form of Billions. Showtime has already renewed it for a second season, proving the probable potential of the show.

Wall Street based TV shows and movies, such as the Wolf of Wall Street have shown what it’s like to live a life of great pleasure but Billions takes it to a whole new level.

I would rate it an 8.5 out of 10.

from The Express Tribune Blog

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