There aren’t many TV shows I watch these days. On the odd occasion when I have control over what’s on, it’s rare I find something that has me engrossed and waiting for the next episode. That is until Billions came along.
Is the only program I watch EVERY week. I’ve not missed an episode since I first stumbled on it three years ago. Even when it means staying up till 4 am after my little Vampire has fallen asleep.
The show centers on two main characters. Bobby Axlerod, the young(ish) super rich, handsome CEO of a hedge fund and Chuck Roades the District Attorney who hasn’t lost an Insider Trading case. The two are locked in a battle. One to stay out of jail, the other to put his adversary behind bars.
I was brought up to play by the rules. No bending or stretching to suit my own ends! It is better to lose playing fairly than to win by cheating, was something I was taught from an early age. I was also taught that if you work hard you will reap the career and financial rewards.
Crime doesn’t pay and there is always a victim were others. So then why do I, like so many others root for the bad guy. Because let’s face it Bobby Axlerod is the bad guy. Making billions by bending the rules, some times, so far that you wonder they don’t snap!
White Collar Crime vs Blue Collar Crime
If you were to conduct a poll of ordinary people there would be a unanimous derision and disgust of Blue Collar Criminals. Quite rightly so. Rapists, murderers, violent criminals and drug dealers are all despised. There are victims to their crimes, many of whom suffer psychological effects long after the crime has happened.
I’m sure no one watches TV programs about these sorts of people and doesn’t hope they get caught in the end! There are some criminals that have an air of mystery that has surrounded them. The Kray’s for example. They have become cult heroes. Even though they were thugs and gangsters.
White Collar Crime though is a different matter. In many cases they are seen as victim-less crimes. Or perhaps it is because the victims are rich therefore deserving of what they get. So what, a load of rich people lose a few million because a hedge fund manager used insider knowledge to short the market, making his clients, and himself a fortune in the process.
The Prosecution Must Be Above Reproach
Is part of the reason we root for Axe over Chuck Roades the fact that we expect our lawmakers and keepers to be whiter than white? It’s OK for the crooks to bend the rules yet not for those trying to catch them?
Does he overstep the mark though? Is this what has me hoping Axe gets away with it?
Is It Something Else
Is it more the fact that I and possibly most other male viewers would want to be Axe? He has it all. The beautiful wife, the private jet and mansions. More money than he could possibly spend.
Chuck also has the beautiful wife and mansion. He also has the chance to move up the political ladder. Thus having power and status? If Chuck was played by a better looking character would I be more likely to want justice to prevail?
Besides the two main protagonist’s there are many other interesting characters. Each with their own stories Waggs, Taylor and Wendy (Chucks wife and Axe’s company psychologist)
I’m guessing that it is the secret yearning to be like Bobby Axelrod that has me hoping that come, the end of the series, which I hope isn’t for a few more seasons. Bobby Axelrod prevails over Chuck Roades and the DA’s office.
Do you watch Billions? Who are you hoping comes out on top?
Billions is available to watch on Sky Atlantic Thursday’s at 10 pm. You can catch up with Seasons 1 & 2 on Sky Boxsets.