“Billions”, a new series on Showtime, may gave the look of “Revenge” but some of the subject matter of “The Big Short”. The series was created by Brian Koppelman, David Levien, and Andrew Ross Sorkin.
As the Pilot (Jan. 17, 2016) opened, US attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamitti) lay on his Manhattan brownstone floor, shirtless, while a woman cigarette-burned his chest hair and then urinated on it. But soon we learn that the woman is his wife Wendy (Maggie Siff), as the couple enjoys S+M marital sex. At least his brain is larger than a chickpea.
Wendy is a psychiatrist who works with Wall Street high rollers whom Rhoades investigates. She makes eight times as much money as he does, and that would please Donald Trump. One of her clients, at least indirectly, is Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis), the only members of his trading firm to survive the 9/11 attacks. While big on philanthropy, he makes his billions on some legally questionable trading and shorting practices.
Much of the episode is actually shot on Long Island, with an estate right out of the “Revenge” series, but in winter, around super Bowl time, with plenty of snow around. Axelrod spends most of the time in his Hamptoms home and works there, having a highly elaborate safe and infrastructure in his home.
The official site is here. Showtime offers its own subscription service, by for Xfinity seems to cover it in a normal way. The episode, a full 59 minutes, is shown without commercial interruption, which is welcome.