Amazon Prime has a new category, "Celebrate Pride!", with a lot of movies and tv shows, some obvious (RuPaul's Drag Race), some not so obvious. What about Billions? All I know for sure is that there's a nonbinary character, and I surmise that it's about extremely rich people. So maybe some nice scenery.
I check out Season 1, Episode 1:
Scene 1: Chuck (Paul Giamatti), a chubby, bearded guy, is shirtless, bound and gagged. Sounds like my usual Saturday night. No, a dominatrix enters and puts out her cigarette on his chest, then urinates on him. I guess not. A little advanced for me, and no ladies, please.
Cut to New York, the U.S. Attorney General's Office. Lots of desks and people running around. A lady is reprimanding an underling: "This is a no f*-up zone. No Tinder at the f* office." She and another guy, Bryan (Toby Leonard Moore), are called into the Attorney General's Office: Surprise: the BDSM bottom!
(According to AusCaps, this is Toby Leonard Moore, so don't complain to me if they are wrong.)
Suddenly a third guy bursts in with a big case: "One of my grunts riding the Midas spotted a days-long buying spike." What does any of that mean? I looked it up: inside trading, which I've never understood. And the guy responsible is Bobby F** Axelrod.
Scene 2: Bobby Axelrod (Damien Lewis) in a sweatshirt, eating pizza. A blond lady asks him why he's so happy. He explains that the pizza here is "f*** good." But the pizza place is about to close due to financial difficulties, so Bobby offers to partner-up with the Italian stereotype owner. Nope: he yells "I don't want no f* charity." Why is it necessary to use that f*** word in every f*** sentence?
But Bobby insists: "Twenty year lease, and I'll cover the overage." I have no idea what overage is, and I don't really care.
Scene 4: Bobby at work: Axe Capital. His assistants, Ben and Mick (Daniel K. Isaac, left, Nathan Darrow) give him some boring, incomprehensible intel: "Electric Sun is controlled by Kazawitz, who also owns 19.3% of LumeTherme, backdoored through his stake in Southern Wind. You see that Block Trade last Thursday? That was Fortress cashing out their shorts." Huh? I was an English and Modern Languages major. Could we talk about Chaucer?
Heck with this. I'm fast forwarding, looking for beefcake or LGBT+ characters.
Minute 15: Bobby briefly in the pool.
Minute 23: Scenes of Bobby and Chuck with their heterosexual nuclear families: wives and cute preteen kids saying things like "Hey, Dad, do you want to throw the baseball around?"
And that's all. No major beefcake, no gay or nonbinary character.
Maybe they are introduced later. I'll check on Season 3, Episode 1.
Scene 1: The new Attorney General, a southern-fried good old boy, talking to Chuck (the chubby former Attorney General from Season 1). He recounts, that, when you're breeding horses, you send in a "teaser" to get the mare ready, then the "stud" to actually do the job. "You're the teaser with Dake prosecuting Axelrod. You're doing all the work, he's getting all the credit." Chuck says he doesn't care "as long as justice is served."
He switches to baseball metaphors: "If it's a bang-bang play, don't call out a man on a whim." I don't know what that means, so I look it up: a bang-bang play is a close call, in which a runner is barely thrown out. I don't know what that means, either, so I look it up: you've hit the ball and are running around the bases, but someone catches the ball, so you're out. I guess he wants Chuck to work on important cases and skip over the trivial ones. They exit into a room crowded with hundreds of suits.
Scene 2: Downtown. The nonbinary character, Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon), enters the snazzy offices of Axe Capital. Everyone is pissed that they called a meeting without Axe. A muscle guy not mentioned on Amazon X-Ray is especially pissed, yelling that "I f*** humped my f*** ass for one and a half f** hours into this f*** city, and we can't even do any f*** work, because the f*** assets are still f*** frozen." Well, that's one way to do an exposition dump. "And where the f**** is f*** Axe?"
Cut to Bobby Axelrod in a glassy upscale apartment the size of an airport terminal. A woman approaches. "Guys like you head to the City when their marriages fall apart. Are you planning to do any f*** work today? Because this is a f*** disaster." Geez, if I had a dollar for every f***...
Back to the meeting. Taylor tries to quiet the mob: "I get it. Every day you're on the sidelines, it's harder to make your numbers. But I guarantee that you won't fall below the hard deck." I don't know what that means, so I look it up: in flight training, the hard deck represents the ground level, so if you go below it, you've "crashed." How on Earth does Taylor expect audiences who haven't gone to flight school to understand that?
They give the group today's assignment: a Platinum Idea Dinner tonight, where hedge fund managers from across the City will be ready for...whatever it is these people do. I don't know what a hedge fund is, so I look it up: investors who specialize in high-risk deals in the hopes of getting huge payoffs.
If you have a choice of watching hedge fund managers or zombies, which will you choose? After all, economics is called "the dismal science" for a reason. I'm fast forwarding through this episode, too, see if there's any beefcake or same-sex romance.
Minute 35: The Russian and Turkish Baths (since 1892). Taylor and I think Todd (Danny Strong) getting slapped with willow branches. Todd asks: "Are you shopping offers on the Street?" I don't think this is a hookup.
Nope: cut to an apartment balcony, where Todd serves Taylor tea and says he needs someone to steward his firm while he's at the Treasury Department. Interested?
Cut back to the bathhouse, where a fat guy, cast on IMDB as Russian Bully (Damian Muziani), complains about Taylor sitting with their "tits" hanging out." Todd comes to the rescue, pretending that Fat Guy was talking to him, and suggesting "Maybe they turn you on." Fat Guy retreats.
Minute 52: Chuck from Scene 1 shirtless in a dungeon, being whipped by a dominatrix.
Holy f*, this was f*ing unwatchable. The endless boring conversations about finance laced with baseball and poker metaphors. The utter lack of same-sex desire or practice (being nonbinary is cool, but how about if they date someone?).
And the f**ing profanity! Are they keeping a tally? The one who says it most often in an episode gets a bonus?