This year we saw Showtime’s debut of Billions, a wall street drama created by Brian Koppelman and David Levien (the writing team behind Rounders and Oceans 13) along with the journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin. The series stars Damian Lewis (Homeland, Life) as the hedge fund billionaire Bobby “Axe” Axelrod alongside Paul Giamatti (Cinderella Man, John Adams) as US Attorney Chuck Rhoades Jr. In a take-no-prisoners battle of wills, the two men play a high stakes game of chicken that eventually envelops their colleagues and loved ones in a clash of money, power, sex, and criss-crossed loyalties.
Now out on DVD and Blu-ray is the four-disc Season One collection that includes all twelve episodes along with almost thirty minutes of bonus features. The extras on Disc One include “Street Slang,” which explains some of the economic/business-centric vocabulary threaded through the show’s dialogue and “Character Profiles,” which gives a general overview of Axe, Chuck, Wendy (Maggie Siff), and Lara (Malin Akerman). Disc Two features “Location: New York,” which discusses how the city plays a prominent part in the storytelling and also touches on the show’s subtextual yet purposeful use of food. Disc Three has “Character Development,” which summarizes the backgrounds of the characters and how those in turn lead to some of the central conflicts of the storyline. Disc Four boasts “Shadows and Light,” which discusses how none of the characters are fully “good guys” or “bad guys” and explores the gray areas that both connect and separate them from one another, along with comments from the show’s locations manager on how lighting design supplements those aspects of the story.
Showtime Anytime members and Hulu and Amazon Prime subscribers who have the Showtime add-on can access the season for free (it is not currently on Netflix). Amazon Video and iTunes both offer HD episodes for $2.99 each (or the season for $19.99, which doesn’t include all the bonus features outlined above). If you want the hard copy sets, you can grab the DVD and Blu-ray versions on Amazon for $22.99 and $29.00 respectively. Seeing as how the Blu-Ray set is currently only roughly $6 more, if you want this on your shelf, the hi-def version looks to be the way to go.