This was originally published by me on Medium in August 2018.
Fans of both shows are probably thinking, how could these two shows be more different?
Well, yes, there are many basic differences.
Location: NYC vs PHI
Money: Oodles vs Not Much
Attire: Fantastic vs Not Great
Appearance: Fancy vs Dirty
Style: Drama vs Comedy
That’s about it, though I’m saving one for later. The key similarity is that both shows feature many bad characters (played by really good actors).
The main cast of characters are not good human beings. People that we absolutely shouldn’t root for or desire to emulate.
Whether you prefer Axe or Chuck, both are villains. Finding a hero in that show is quite difficult. More on that later.
It’s funny how both fan camps on the internet seem downplay or ignore the crimes perpetrated by their chosen side, while they remain furious about the ones committed by the “other side.”
I love that “Billions” exposes corruption in government because I’m so tired of people saying and thinking more government is a good thing.
Government has power. Power corrupts. So government takes more power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The more power we allow the government to take… You see where that goes.
Also, wealth beyond dreams corrupts. But it isn’t the money… it’s the power that the money bestows. Money is amoral. It’s also just paper (or 1s and 0s).
Look at these two excellent shows: bad people are bad regardless of the dollars in their bank accounts.
Power, whether provided by money or the government, allows bad people to reach much further with their evil.
The Gang holds neither money nor power, so their evil is largely contained to their tiny circle of influence, ie: Cricket.
Axe Cap and the Rhoades family have power and money, so their evil extends to hundreds of people directly, and millions indirectly.
And that leads us to the last difference in “Billions” and “Sunny”:
The great thing about “Sunny” is watching the Gang’s malicious plots backfire in the most hilarious ways. That’s what makes the show brilliant and so enjoyable to watch.
I’m concerned that nothing of the sort will happen to our cronies in “Billions.” The people who consistently do good are punished or beaten. The evil doers prevail. The more they cheat, lie, and steal, the higher they climb.
Though I had little faith in him after one season, Connerty has become our last hope for good to succeed. Down the stretch of season 3, I was not sure he would be able to summon the strength or ability to be the hero that world needs. He’s a bull with a conscience though and my faith in him is rising.
Unfortunately, the only saving for that world might actually be Batman. And I’m pretty sure Showtime doesn’t have a deal on the rights from DC Comics to include him in “Billions.”
Beyond the point of television shows, if we want a better world, we need to stop allowing others to acquire power over us. And let’s watch more comedies. Laughter is scientifically proven to help us feel better.