The Rundown is a weekly column that highlights some of the biggest, weirdest, and most notable events of the week in entertainment. The number of items will vary, as will the subject matter. It will not always make a ton of sense. Some items might not even be about entertainment, to be honest, or from this week. The important thing is that it’s Friday and we are here to have some fun.
ITEM NUMBER ONE — The boys are back in town
Oh heck yeah, it is Billions time again, baby. The Showtime series about despicable hedge fund boys and the morally bankrupt government officials who are chasing them is back for a fourth season this weekend. I’m so amped up about it. I love this show so much. It’s a little messy and very fast and I hate every character on the show and you can put it all straight into my veins. You know how you feel about Game of Thrones? That’s how I feel about Billions. Billions of Thrones. I don’t know how I should feel about that but I stand by it.
I’m not joking about hating every character on the show. Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis) is a sociopath who will trample anyone or anything if it means making a single extra dollar. Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) is a goon who will do the same for a conviction. They’re flip sides of the same coin, really, one a broken wealthy man who came from nothing and fills the hole in his soul with money, the other a broken public servant who came from wealth and fills the hole in his soul with influence. I’d happily spit on both of them if I saw them on the street.
I also love them. Look at the way Axe drinks water.
Look at Chuck going full Giamatti.
God, they’re so intense and terrible. I must know all of their stories.
It’s not just them, either. Everyone else on the show is a borderline irredeemable jerk, too. Wendy is occasionally the show’s moral center but also seduced Mafee and framed an oncologist to avoid jail time for something she very much did. Wags is a charming heathen and David Costabile is a damn prince but that character would run you off the road if he was late for a Knicks game. Taylor is at least semi-conflicted but is still kind of a jerk. Dollar Bill is a huge jerk. Sacker is a jerk. Connerty is a putz and a try hard but also a jerk. Even Mafee, my sweet gangly boy, is a proud lacrosse doofus who failed his way into a seven-figure finance job, which makes him a jerk by definition. I’m sorry. These are the rules.
In fact, you could make an argument that the only non-jerk on the show is the Russian oligarch played by John Malkovich (John Malkovich is on Billions!), because at least he wears his evil nature with pride.