BILLIONS: SEASON SIX
Starring: Corey Stoll, Paul Giamatti, Maggie Siff, Daniel Breaker, David Costabile, Asia Kate Dillon, Condola Rashad, Piper Perabo, Sakina Jaffrey, and Toney Goins
Creator: Brian Koppelman, David Levien, and Andrew Ross Sorkin
With Damian Lewis departing at the end of Season Five, there was a question of where Billions would go next. The majority of this season is spent laying the groundwork to answer that, as well as fleshing out Mike Prince (Corey Stoll), the new main character. Sadly, it's far from perfect. Maggie Siff, Dan Soder, and Kelly AuCoin are all underused, while Chuck's (Paul Giamatti) motivations are questionable to say the least. That said, it survives without Lewis. By season's end, you realize this year has been all about setting the table for what’s to come, and what’s coming is certainly interesting.
In a post-Axe (Damian Lewis) world, Billions is still a good show, but it’s not the same show. The problem is that the lead character dynamics have shifted. Mike Prince (Corey Stoll, who is great in the role) isn’t as unscrupulous as Axe, which gives Chuck (Paul Giamatti) little reason to take him down. This leaves us with a petty Chuck waging unjustified wars with Prince because, to Chuck, simply being a billionaire is inherently bad. While I understand the topicality of that sentiment, it means the Prince-Chuck battles lack the teeth and over-the-topness as the Axe-Chuck battles, which makes this season feel slightly less…Billions-y?