The Showtime series Billions, now streaming on Paramount+, is a great viewing option for fans of Succession who want more of the kind of complex Intrigue and high-stakes storytelling that the series featured. Starring Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis, the series takes place mostly in New York and Connecticut, following a hedge fund manager, Bobby Axelrod (Lewis), as he rises in the world of high finance.
Now that Succession ahs wrapped up its run, fans of the series can stream Billions on Paramount+for a bit of the same intrigue.
Paul Giamatti plays Chuck Rhoades, a United States Attorney who is frequently attentive to Axelrod’s aggressive style and questionable tactics. Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan from 2009 to 2017, is the inspiration for Chuck Rhoades, with the series itself based on the real-life prosecution of financial crimes.
In particular, the first season of Billions is loosely based on the case of Steven A. Cohen of S.A.C. Capital Advisors, who was prosecuted by Bharara in 2013. The second season was inspired by the manipulation of US Treasury bonds conducted by Salomon Brothers in 1991. The cast also includes Maggie Siff as Wendy Rhoades, a former psychiatrist who has become a performance coach, Asia Kate Dillon as market analyst Taylor Mason, and David Costabile as Axelrod’s most trusted ally, Mike “Wags” Wagner.
Billions has won multiple award nominations during its seven-season run, including Satellite Award nods for Maggie Siff and Damien Lewis and Critics’ Choice nominations for Paul Giamatti and Asia Kate Dillon. As Dillon, a non-binary actor, portrays the first non-binary main character on American broadcast television, the series has been nominated for three GLAAD Media Awards for Outstanding Drama Series. The series has also garnered praise for its well-researched and nuanced representation of BDSM through Rhoades, who engages in scenes with his wife, Wendy Rhoades, and other women.
Portraying complex characters with rich personal lives and exploring the conditions and motivations behind their interactions around high-level finance and financial crimes makes this series a compelling watch for fans of densely structured dramas. Created by Brian Koppelman, David Levien, and Andrew Ross Sorkin, the series comes with an impressive writing and production pedigree. Koppelman is known for his work producing The Illusionist and as executive producer of Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber.
Billions has won countless awards for the cast, playing rich, deep characters that sometimes you root for, and sometimes you want to fail.
Billions’ other co-creator, Andrew Ross Sorkin, is the author of the bestselling book Too Big to Fail, for which he co-produced an HBO Films movie adaptation. Despite his involvement in films and television, Sorkin is not related to Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing. For his part, David Levien has a writing career that includes collaborating with Brian Koppelman on such projects as Ocean’s Thirteen, Rounders, Solitary Man, and The Illusionist.
The two primary stars of Billions, Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis, also bring great experience to the series. Lewis starred in the NBC series Life and is known for his work on the acclaimed HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. He also won a Golden Globe Award and a Primetime Emmy for his role as U.S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant Nicholas Brody on the series Homeland, which was also on Showtime.
Before Billions, Giamatti has built a career as one of the most acclaimed actors of his era, with character parts and leading roles in several major film and television productions that have won him multiple nominations and awards.
With two Emmys, two Golden Globes, and an Academy Award nomination, Giamatti has made an impressive leap from character parts in films like The Truman Show to leading roles, such as the title role in the John Adams miniseries, which won him not only an Emmy and a Golden Globe but also a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Paul Giamatti has had a long and successful career, and Billions is some of his best work to date.
Giamatti also portrayed Ben Bernanke in the film Too Big to Fail in an interesting connection to the world of financial crimes and series co-creator Andrew Ross Sorkin.
There are multiple reasons to be interested in Billions, including its writing, production pedigree, impressive acting roster, and significance for LGBT representation. If you are a fan of Succession and are looking for another engaging drama that follows a complex web of greed and power, you can stream Billions now on Paramount+.