Billions: Full Season Discussion
February 10, 2016 3:07 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Season 1 Billions

Thought I'd put up a full season post since there didn't seem to be that much interest for an episode by episode discussion. If someone wants to make episode by episode posts please go ahead.
posted by roolya_boolya (10 comments total)
I like it, but like most Showtime shows I feel like I like the cast (Outstanding!!!) much more than the writing. How do actors of this caliber read scripts like this and decide, seemingly all together, that it's a great idea?

Lewis (reading from script) : "That stock's gonna pop like a prom queen's cherry... Uh... you said Giamatti's signed on for this?
posted by sweetkid at 8:38 PM on February 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

This show is definitely growing on me despite itself. I was wondering why, maybe it's the cast like sweetkid said. The characters are making me care about them. I have no idea what they're talking about with the complicated stock plays but I just treat it like science fiction.

Anybody notice some of the background music sounds a lot like The Knick?
posted by bleep at 5:30 PM on February 11, 2016

I watched the pilot and afterwards wrote an epic email rant about it to a friend. I'll spare you the entire rant but I'll summarize: the show starts with Paul Gianatti getting urinated on by a dominatrix but being forced to tolerate Lewis's hideous fake accent is the greater indignity.

I don't know. I have a relatively high bullshit tolerance. I think both Paul Giamatti and Damien Lewis are great actors. And I realize that pilots are tricky. But this one gave me little incentive to check out episode 2.
posted by kat518 at 8:57 AM on February 15, 2016

Episode 6 showdown was pretty magnificent. Despite amazing performances from both Lewis and Giamatti, Maggie Siff really stole the show.
posted by roolya_boolya at 2:00 PM on February 24, 2016

This show has gotten really good. I don't really want to spoil it, but holy shit on the reveal at the end of the most recent episode. It was pretty sad to see the (self-described, autocorrect said self-deceived, which may be equally accurate) idealist's mud wrestling end up being all for nothing.
posted by wierdo at 2:49 AM on March 15, 2016

Yeah that was pretty good. I think spoilers are ok in here as its full season discussion. It also seems clear to me that Chuck didn't take that job because he's way too obsessed with destroying Axe, and in this episode they went further to show how it's because of his obsession with his relationship with Wendy. I got a sense of that previously but now they came out with it. Also I guess Chuck didn't take the job because then there wouldn't be much of a show, lol. Chuck plays golf, Wendy quits Axe and goes off to do social work in comfort, something happens to Axe eventually, or not. Maybe he just makes himself out to be more of a bad guy than he really is because he likes feeling like Tony Soprano.
posted by bleep at 10:40 AM on March 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

I feel like the characterization has improved significantly since the beginning of the season. This week's episode really showed how all (well, most of, Chuck's dad is still pretty..single-minded) the characters do actually have multiple dimensions and multiple competing motivations. Conscience of a sort, even.

It was a little bit convenient how they were all showing the other side of their personalities in one episode, though. Still, an entertaining watch. I don't really look forward to it each week in the sense that I spend the weekend waiting for it, but I will watch it in preference to some other shows that were formerly first or second on my list, like The Americans, which has not been as good this season as in years past.

Somehow I just want to see Chuck and Axe scheme against each other week after week like the rat fuckers they both are. Ironically, I have more sympathy for Chuck than I do Axe despite how much the show pushes the narrative the other way, simply because it seems like he was pushed into his fuckery by his father. Axe lacks that excuse. He made himself the way he is. At least they both seem to own it.
posted by wierdo at 1:59 PM on April 4, 2016

Well that was a hell of a season finale. Can't wait until next year.
posted by roolya_boolya at 5:59 AM on April 11, 2016

In case anyone missed it, S2 premiered Sunday the 19th.
posted by wierdo at 9:46 PM on February 23, 2017

Just finished watching Season 1. My impression is that at this point in the story, Chuck is just not behaving like a chess player. He's not seeing any moves ahead - he gets some information, some lead against Axe, and he acts on it immediately, every time. Because of this, Axe only has to defend on one front at a time. Chuck is also attacking Axe directly, over and over again, and he's fighting a powerful organization designed to defend Axe. He's not really succeeding in weakening that organization in any way - Danny Caan is dead, but of natural causes. The Pouch is out, but he was never a key player like "Dollar" Bill. The Ionosphere kids are out of the firm, but still in Axe's pocket. Axe's own actions, like the 9/11 trades and The Punch have cost him outside investors, but he's bouncing back from that, and Chuck didn't capitalize (hah) on any of those opportunities. It seems like the only asset that Chuck has really managed to remove from Axe is Wendy, and that at huge personal cost.

If Chuck wants to win, he needs to learn to build up his assets and reduce Axe's. He needs to apply pressure on more fronts, not just via law enforcement, but in the media, business community, even among Axe's employees, inner circle, family.

Think about how things might have gone differently is Chuck had not blown up the $1.9 billion fine deal. He could have cost Axe his outside investors. Axe may claim that losing $1.9 billion doesn't matter to him, but it sure isn't nothing. A real judgement against the firm, against Axe himself and members of his inner circle, will create friction for them down the line, if they ever do need outside capital, or to maintain connections with legitimate authorities like the police, firefighters, banks, or foreign governments. It will also make it harder for Axe to charm, bribe, or cheat his way out of any subsequent misbehavior. The fine deal would also be a serious feather in Chuck's cap - it would give him credibility and influence with other members of government the next time he has Axe in his sights. Instead, Chuck went for the knockout far too early, he spent his best resources, put Axe on notice, and got nothing for himself.
posted by rustcrumb at 11:22 AM on June 3, 2021

« Older Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Pa...   |  Movie: The Castle... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments