It’s hard to believe Emmy voters haven’t watched “Billions” on Showtime.
Today, as ballots go out for nominations, all voters have to look seriously at “Billions” for Best Drama, Best Actor in a Drama Paul Giamatti, and Supporting Actors Jeffrey DeMunn, David Costabile and Corey Stoll.
More importantly almost, it’s the writing from Brian Koppelman and David Levien that sings with erudition, movie references, business jargon, and language all its own. If “Succession” is considered a great show, “Billions” is every bit its equal.
During its run — now coming into its 7th season — “Billions” has received nothing from the Emmys. Not a single nomination. The only possible reason for this is that Showtime does nothing for this show. They renew it, and then leave it to for itself. There have been so many missed opportunities, particularly with departed star Damian Lewis and guest star Nina Arianda, who should have received awards during their runs.
Besides Koppelman and Levien, the most egregious Emmys omission has been Paul Giamatti. A past Oscar nominee, Giamatti is also an Emmy winner. He has three other nominations. But nothing for “Billions.” As Chuck Rhoades, Jr, the on again off again New York District Attorney, Chuck is a force of nature. Formerly involved in BDSM, Chuck is a glorious construct of Ivy League upbringing and down low Tammany Hall politics.
Giamatti steals every scene he’s in, which isn’t easy because Giamatti is always working with top level people like Maggie Siff and Condola Rashad. No one on “Billions” is a slouch. They’re speaking golden dialogue composed of inside jokes, Greek philosophy and Springsteen lyrics. But they’re also echoing the greed of Wall Street, the venality of politics in the 21st century, in satire worthy of Upton Sinclair.
My advice: watch the last two episodes of Season 6. They will make you want to watch more and more, until you’re hooked and must see the whole series. Showtime’s lackadaisical approach be damned.