Showtime has introduced a new show that is worthy of ‘tune in’ addiction. ‘Power’, ‘Empire’ have a new sibling called ‘Billions’.
The show surrounds U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades who goes after hedge fund king, Bobby “Axe” Axelrod. It airs on Sunday nights at 10pm EST.
Reason #1-Bobby “Axe” Axelrod is a hero you want to cheer for.
Bobby “Axe” Axelrod is a charming, charismatic 9/11 survivor who heads up Axe Capital, a hedge fund based in Connecticut. His generosity makes him a beloved member of the community – he pays the first year of tuition and board for all of the college-going children of all of his former colleagues who perished in 9/11 (the fund was formerly located in the World Trade Center).
Reason #2 Chuck Rhoades is the man you want to pity and hate at the same time.
All I can say on this one is ‘JR Ewing anyone?’ Chuck Rhoades, voice of The SEC, goes to a ruthless masochist U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, but Rhoades refuses to pursue Axelrod until he makes an error, not willing to sacrifice his perfect 81-0 record for prosecution of financial crimes.
Reason # 3 You get to see an all out fight with New York City as a the battleground.
When Rhoades hears that Axelrod wants to buy a heritage waterside property for $63 million, he considers moving forward against Axelrod, as the purchase would widely sour him to the public. Rhoades returns home to his two children and wife, Wendy, who works as a motivational coach/psychiatrist at Axe Capital. He offers Wendy a job as human resources head at GE, as he does not want her working at Axe if he decides to pursue her boss, and despite feeling as though she is being manipulated, Wendy entertains the possibility of leaving Axe (after a loud, profane argument in front of their two small children).
Reason #4 The real life struggle of relationship difficulties plays out realistically on screen.
The opening episode had Rhoades’ refusal to take on Axelrod, a SEC agent, Spyros, plants a reporter at a presser for Rhoades. The reporter challenges Rhoades’ ‘small win, no loss’ mantra, and Rhoades decides to bait Axelrod into buying the house to turn public favour against him. Axelrod is visited by an old friend, Dan Margolis, whose nervous nature makes Axelrod realise that Margolis is cooperating with the FBI. Axelrod dismisses Margolis from his office without incriminating himself, and goes to his fixer, Hall, who plans for Axelrod to frame a fellow trader, Steven Birch, should the need arise. Next, Axelrod invites the SEC’s planted reporter to lunch, and in a befriending move, alerts him to a shady deal that Birch completed recently. Axelrod and Rhoades finally come face-to-face at an investment conference, and their discourse is immediately adversarial, with Rhoades criticising Axelrod for milking his 9/11 survival for public worth. Axelrod decides to buy the house, but is later told by Hall that the FBI have now opened a case file on him.The opening episode sets up by pulling on your heart strings. It is a battle between two powerful New York figures.
This past week we saw Axe take an axe to the name of a building that most New Yorker’s know and rename it after himself. It is just good television.
Paul Giamatti is just fantastic in this role. He brings all the complications of good and evil to the screen.