Review of "Billions" on Showtime From The TV MegaSite
 

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Chuck and Bobby

"Billions" review by Suzanne 1/18/16
Airs Sundays at 10pm on Showtime

This is a drama about politics, law and wall street in New York. The show has two main characters: U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) and successful hedge fund manager Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis), nicknamed "Axe." Both men, and everyone in the show, really, are very complicated (which means, you know, screwed up).  Rhoades, who has S&M sex with his psychiatrist wife to relieve stress, wants to take down Axe, who's making a lot of money (not entirely legally). To make things more difficult, Rhoades' wife, Maggie (, Tara on "Sons of Anarchy"), works for Axe as a highly-paid performance coach.

It's Showtime, so of course there's nudity, some violence, and a lot of four letter words. That doesn't bother me, in general, but it does often seem gratuitous. Rhoades is ugly and slightly corrupt. He uses the law like his own personal weapon. He pretends to be very honest but he's very manipulative. He clearly enjoys the power. Yet he's the protagonist. The antagonist is Axe, who's handsome, smart, and likable, yet he's a gangster.

At times, the show is very funny because the people are just such jerks and they say outrageous things. It's really hard to know who to pull for because they're all scum. It's a great battle between the two men, and that's really the only reason to watch this. The dialogue is fun but also a little heavy-handed.  The actors are all top-notch, though. I won't be watching it, but if you really like to watch big, successful, rich guys battle it out, you may enjoy this. It's just not my idea of fun.

MORE INFORMATION:

BILLIONS is a bold, contemporary drama that explores worlds of ultra-wealth, influence and corruption as personified in two highly ambitious opposing figures: hard-charging, blue-blooded, politically connected U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) and brilliant, calculating, blue-collar billionaire hedge fund king, Bobby "Axe" Axelrod (Damian Lewis). Set amongst the Machiavellian machinations of New York City power politics and finance, BILLIONS weaves an intricate narrative featuring a high-stakes game of predator-versus-prey. Maggie Siff, Malin Akerman, Toby Leonard Moore, David Costabile and Condola Rashad also star. BILLIONS is created, written and executive produced by Brian Koppelman & David Levien (Ocean's Thirteen, Rounders) & Andrew Ross Sorkin (Too Big To Fail). The pilot was directed by acclaimed director Neil Burger (The Illusionist, Divergent), who also serves as an executive producer.

PRINCIPAL CAST INFORMATION:
· Condola Rashad as Kate
· Damian Lewis as Bobby "Axe" Axelrod
· David Costabile as Mike "Wags" Wagner
· Kerry Condon as Lara Axelrod (Originally Cast)
· Maggie Siff as Wendy Rhoades
· Malin Akerman as Lara Axelrod
· Paul Giamatti as Chuck Rhodes
· Toby Leonard Moore as Bryan Connerty

CREW INFORMATION:
· Andrew Ross Sorkin as CRTR/EP
· Brian Koppelman as CRTR/EP
· David Levien as CRTR/EP
· Neil Burger as DIR (Pilot)

"The Shannara Chronicles" is an epic television event based on the sweeping, best-selling fantasy book series by Terry Brooks. Set thousands of years in the future, the story follows three heroes, Elf-Human hybrid Wil, Elvin Princess Amberle, and Human Rover Eretria, as they embark on a quest to stop an evil Demon army from destroying the world.  The 10-episode first season of “The Shannara Chronicles” will premiere January 5 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on MTV, immediately following the return of fan-favorite, "Teen Wolf" at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. 
 
Episode 101/102 – "CHOSEN" PARTS 1 AND 2    
Thousands of years after the fall of Humankind, the Four Lands is in grave danger. The fate of the world rests on the shoulders of an unlikely trio: an Elvin Princess who dreams of a life outside of the palace walls, a beautiful, wild and wily Human Rover and a half-elf, who knows nothing of the great destiny that runs through his veins.
 
Having seen an apocalyptic vision of the world’s destruction, Amberle leaves the palace in search of answers. But when Wil and Allanon realize that she is the key to saving the Four Lands, they set out to
find the princess before the Dagda Mor’s Demons hunt her down.
 
“The Shannara Chronicles” stars genre favorites, John Rhys-Davies (“Lord of the Rings”) and Manu Bennett (“Spartacus”), along with young Hollywood stars-on-the-rise, Austin Butler (“The Carrie Diaries”), Poppy Drayton (“When Calls The Heart”) and Ivana Baquero (“Pan’s Labyrinth”).
 
“The Shannara Chronicles” is written for television by and executive produced by Al Gough and Miles Millar. Jon Favreau, Jonathan Liebesman, Terry Brooks and Dan Farah also serve as executive producers. The first two episodes were directed by Jonathan Liebesman (“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”). MTV is producing with Sonar Entertainment, which is also distributing the series worldwide. - See more at: http://thepub.viacom.com/sites/mtvpress/shows/pages/The-Shannara-Chronicles-.aspx#dvOverview
"The Shannara Chronicles" is an epic television event based on the sweeping, best-selling fantasy book series by Terry Brooks. Set thousands of years in the future, the story follows three heroes, Elf-Human hybrid Wil, Elvin Princess Amberle, and Human Rover Eretria, as they embark on a quest to stop an evil Demon army from destroying the world.  The 10-episode first season of “The Shannara Chronicles” will premiere January 5 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on MTV, immediately following the return of fan-favorite, "Teen Wolf" at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. 
 
Episode 101/102 – "CHOSEN" PARTS 1 AND 2    
Thousands of years after the fall of Humankind, the Four Lands is in grave danger. The fate of the world rests on the shoulders of an unlikely trio: an Elvin Princess who dreams of a life outside of the palace walls, a beautiful, wild and wily Human Rover and a half-elf, who knows nothing of the great destiny that runs through his veins.
 
Having seen an apocalyptic vision of the world’s destruction, Amberle leaves the palace in search of answers. But when Wil and Allanon realize that she is the key to saving the Four Lands, they set out to
find the princess before the Dagda Mor’s Demons hunt her down.
 
“The Shannara Chronicles” stars genre favorites, John Rhys-Davies (“Lord of the Rings”) and Manu Bennett (“Spartacus”), along with young Hollywood stars-on-the-rise, Austin Butler (“The Carrie Diaries”), Poppy Drayton (“When Calls The Heart”) and Ivana Baquero (“Pan’s Labyrinth”).
 
“The Shannara Chronicles” is written for television by and executive produced by Al Gough and Miles Millar. Jon Favreau, Jonathan Liebesman, Terry Brooks and Dan Farah also serve as executive producers. The first two episodes were directed by Jonathan Liebesman (“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”). MTV is producing with Sonar Entertainment, which is also distributing the series worldwide. - See more at: http://thepub.viacom.com/sites/mtvpress/shows/pages/The-Shannara-Chronicles-.aspx#dvOverview
"The Shannara Chronicles" is an epic television event based on the sweeping, best-selling fantasy book series by Terry Brooks. Set thousands of years in the future, the story follows three heroes, Elf-Human hybrid Wil, Elvin Princess Amberle, and Human Rover Eretria, as they embark on a quest to stop an evil Demon army from destroying the world.  The 10-episode first season of “The Shannara Chronicles” will premiere January 5 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on MTV, immediately following the return of fan-favorite, "Teen Wolf" at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. 
 
Episode 101/102 – "CHOSEN" PARTS 1 AND 2    
Thousands of years after the fall of Humankind, the Four Lands is in grave danger. The fate of the world rests on the shoulders of an unlikely trio: an Elvin Princess who dreams of a life outside of the palace walls, a beautiful, wild and wily Human Rover and a half-elf, who knows nothing of the great destiny that runs through his veins.
 
Having seen an apocalyptic vision of the world’s destruction, Amberle leaves the palace in search of answers. But when Wil and Allanon realize that she is the key to saving the Four Lands, they set out to
find the princess before the Dagda Mor’s Demons hunt her down.
 
“The Shannara Chronicles” stars genre favorites, John Rhys-Davies (“Lord of the Rings”) and Manu Bennett (“Spartacus”), along with young Hollywood stars-on-the-rise, Austin Butler (“The Carrie Diaries”), Poppy Drayton (“When Calls The Heart”) and Ivana Baquero (“Pan’s Labyrinth”).
 
“The Shannara Chronicles” is written for television by and executive produced by Al Gough and Miles Millar. Jon Favreau, Jonathan Liebesman, Terry Brooks and Dan Farah also serve as executive producers. The first two episodes were directed by Jonathan Liebesman (“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”). MTV is producing with Sonar Entertainment, which is also distributing the series worldwide. - See more at: http://thepub.viacom.com/sites/mtvpress/shows/pages/The-Shannara-Chronicles-.aspx#dvOverview
"The Shannara Chronicles" is an epic television event based on the sweeping, best-selling fantasy book series by Terry Brooks. Set thousands of years in the future, the story follows three heroes, Elf-Human hybrid Wil, Elvin Princess Amberle, and Human Rover Eretria, as they embark on a quest to stop an evil Demon army from destroying the world.  The 10-episode first season of “The Shannara Chronicles” will premiere January 5 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on MTV, immediately following the return of fan-favorite, "Teen Wolf" at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. 
 
Episode 101/102 – "CHOSEN" PARTS 1 AND 2    
Thousands of years after the fall of Humankind, the Four Lands is in grave danger. The fate of the world rests on the shoulders of an unlikely trio: an Elvin Princess who dreams of a life outside of the palace walls, a beautiful, wild and wily Human Rover and a half-elf, who knows nothing of the great destiny that runs through his veins.
 
Having seen an apocalyptic vision of the world’s destruction, Amberle leaves the palace in search of answers. But when Wil and Allanon realize that she is the key to saving the Four Lands, they set out to
find the princess before the Dagda Mor’s Demons hunt her down.
 
“The Shannara Chronicles” stars genre favorites, John Rhys-Davies (“Lord of the Rings”) and Manu Bennett (“Spartacus”), along with young Hollywood stars-on-the-rise, Austin Butler (“The Carrie Diaries”), Poppy Drayton (“When Calls The Heart”) and Ivana Baquero (“Pan’s Labyrinth”).
 
“The Shannara Chronicles” is written for television by and executive produced by Al Gough and Miles Millar. Jon Favreau, Jonathan Liebesman, Terry Brooks and Dan Farah also serve as executive producers. The first two episodes were directed by Jonathan Liebesman (“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”). MTV is producing with Sonar Entertainment, which is also distributing the series worldwide. - See more at: http://thepub.viacom.com/sites/mtvpress/shows/pages/The-Shannara-Chronicles-.aspx#dvOverview
SHOWTIME(R) PICKS UP NEW DRAMA PROJECT "BILLIONS"

Network Orders Its First Pilot Of The Year From Andrew Ross Sorkin, Brian Koppelman And David Levien

NEW YORK, NY - (March 13, 2014) - SHOWTIME has ordered BILLIONS, a new complex, contemporary drama pilot from a script by Andrew Ross Sorkin (Too Big To Fail), and Brian Koppelman and David Levien (Ocean's Thirteen, Rounders), who will also executive produce. BILLIONS is a fictional drama that focuses on the collision and, at times, collusion between an aggressive U.S. attorney in New York and some of the richest hedge fund billionaires in the country. BILLIONS marks the first pilot pick-up for SHOWTIME this year.

Andrew Ross Sorkin is an award-winning journalist and author. He is a columnist for The New York Times and co-anchor of Squawk Box, CNBC's signature morning program. He wrote the best-selling book Too Big to Fail: How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System - and Themselves (Viking, 2009), which chronicled the events of the 2008 financial crisis. He served as a co-producer of HBO Films' adaptation of his book in 2011. Sorkin is also the founder and editor-at-large of DealBook, an online daily financial report published by The Times that he started in 2001. He often appears on NBC's Nightly News, The Charlie Rose Show, Real Time with Bill Maher and many others.

David Levien and Brian Koppelman have written, directed and produced a number of critically-acclaimed projects including Rounders, Runaway Jury, Ocean's Thirteen, The Girlfriend Experience, Runner Runner - all which they co-wrote, and Knockaround Guys and Solitary Man, which they wrote and directed. Levien and Koppelman also served as producers on The Illusionist, Interview With The Assassin and The Lucky Ones. Levien has authored several novels including Wormwood, Swagbelly: A Novel For Today's Gentleman, City Of The Sun, Where The Dead Lay and Thirteen Million Dollar Pop. Koppelman is a regular contributor to Grantland, and also hosts the podcast "The Moment with Brian Koppelman."

 


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