Critical Condition: Billions (S3)

Billions | SoHo, 8.30 Tuesday

➢ “Billions is about modern power dynamics in a way that no other TV show has really captured—the different ones between boss/employee, husband/wife, father/son, etc. And, within those dynamics, it’s about what we’re willing to give up today to get more of tomorrow … The writers of Billions understand the intersection of philanthropy, politics, finance, and family lives, and how they can poison and enrich each other at the same time. And, most of all, they give an incredible cast juicy characters on which to chew. The start of season three shows no signs that they’re going to run out of new meat soon.” —

➢ “Showtime’s wonderfully acted, frequently repetitive game of Manhattan cat-and-mouse doesn’t take another qualitative leap in its third season, but the drama remains high … What you can expect is the continuation of TV’s most successful penis-free depiction of non-stop penis-measuring and it has, perhaps, become even less symbolic than in the past. ” — The Hollywood Reporter.

➢ “Billions remains a shrewd investment, having ended its second season with a scintillating twist on the central cat-and-mouse game, and picking up pretty seamlessly where that left off … Once again, Billions distinguishes itself as an extremely smart, high-stakes chess match, where the principals play Monopoly with real buildings, and the combatants are so ruthlessly determined to win that they’re blinded to, or simply ignore, the collateral damage.” — CNN.

➢ “It’s true that the writing on Billions occasionally seems a little obvious, the acting a tad bombastic, and the visual aesthetic somewhat overly slick. But no other cable drama currently on TV is as adept at delivering red-meat conflict in a way that’s both playful and ruthless, with scores of quotable lines and a multitude of colorful, love-to-hate-’em anti-heroes …The risk of season three is that it takes the focus off the to-the-death battle between Axe and Chuck.” — Uproxx.

➢ “In its new season, Billions doubles down on the complexity and chutzpah of Chuck and Axe’s schemes, as the men grow more brazen in their desperation to take the other down … Billions doesn’t ritualise its own sense of importance like most prestige-TV productions, but rather plunges the viewer into an ever-expanding world, built upon cards, which is ruled by deranged cults of personality. The series is a wicked, decadent comedy about our impending apocalypse, its relativism suggesting a cheeky come-on as well as a parting attempt at some sort of clarity.” — Slant.

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