Billions Dialogue

Posted about this before and how ridiculous some of the dialogue has gotten and read this review of the episode and wanted to get some thoughts. Copy and pasting from review. I personally agree with Samantha Mathis as her and the investor relations girl at Taylor's company are the most unrealistic characters to the point where it detracts from the show.

"Taylor is terrible. And so is Samantha Mathis. They are unrealistic people, period. The way they act, talk, their posture... every scene they have represents two people who do not exist on planet Earth. If I created Artificial Intelligence and stuck it into a robotic body, I guarantee that metallic monster would be more relatable, likable, and realistic than these two. Samantha Mathis, especially. You look at her in this show and you try to envision this woman having a real life outside of the scenes in her show ... and you can't. You can't because she is simply a show-ready character made to embody some type of person who doesn't really exist, but who the viewer is supposed to think exists."

"Every line she has in the show, and same with everyone in Axe's firm, speaks in some absurd simile/metaphor-riddled tongue that normal people of Earth do not, and cannot, speak in. It's almost as if each of them sit at home at night, writing out what they plan to say to one another come the dawn......" talking about Bonnie.

"And the stupidest thing is that the other person UNDERSTANDS the reference. Every. Single. Time. Do the writers think that normal people consume every kind of recreational content out there like they seem to in order to be able to write this crap?"

Comments (50)

May 7, 2019

Agreed. The speaking is way too dramatized this season. With that being said I still like the show and will continue to watch.

    • 1
Funniest
May 7, 2019

This is true, particularly the obscure metaphor point! One show I enjoy that does it well is Archer: "Yeah, Rien Poortvliet just called and he wants you to pose for him! Oh come on. Beloved illustrator of gnomes? Jesus, read a coffee table book!"

Also will probably continue to watch Billions though.

    • 7
May 7, 2019

+SB for not only an Archer reference but a classic one

May 7, 2019

It reminds me a lot of the Sorkin dialogue - The Newsroom, West Wing. Occasionally something is clever and elicits a chuckle. Mostly grating.

    • 1
    • 1
May 27, 2019

I agree here. Sorkin has some great dialogue (The Social Network) and others that really detract from the immersion because it's so over the top and fake.

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

May 8, 2019

Shows gotten too political & politically correct lately

thots and prayers

    • 2
    • 2
May 8, 2019

No shit!! Season 1 was insanely good, then after Season 2, the shit started getting full of identity politics and a bunch of other bullshit.. Like making the take down of the judge by that weirdo lawyer with the afro essentially a race-thing, Axe's intern just HAPPENS to be a genderfluid, soy-based libtard (as if).. And when they assumed that the guy would step out of the race because he sent his son to a bible camp.. and countless other small hints and references that just reek of liberal-influence. Its pissing me off how there is literally NO art out there for public consumption anymore that isn't ruined by PC bullshit.

Just me or do ya'll agree?

    • 6
    • 3
May 8, 2019

I personally like how Axe and Wags are doing everything within the realm of possibility to ruin Taylor, her family, and her employees lives legally or illegally, but they are still conscientious enough to ALWAYS refer to her by her preferred pronouns.

    • 6
May 8, 2019

Love the show but agree with everyone here. An acquaintance is one of the writers this season. Have you ever noticed how episodes and even seasons vary wildly in quality? It's because they let all the writers go and start each season with new ones. Complete line change. Sadly, my acquaintance told me back when they were spitballing ideas in the writers' room around Thanksgiving, "the only thing I dislike more than finance is law, but it's a great writing credit [for the resume]."

May 8, 2019

That's rough. The sad thing is, you can usually tell when those sentiments creep into the writing of the any given show. Usually when the language becomes increasingly like what someone's "idea" of a given environment (Wall Street, big law, etc.) might be instead of what it actually is. A little bit of heightenedness makes for good entertainment, but it's easy to go too far with it I think.

May 8, 2019

You're exactly right. The best writers know what they can and cannot write well, and stick to what they do best. It's obvious when writers are out of their depth.

May 8, 2019

It's because they let all the writers go and start each season with new ones.

Why on Earth would yo do that when you're on a roll? I thought things changed rapidly when they introduced Taylor and got a little to PC-friendly.

    • 1
May 8, 2019

The head writer thinks it keeps things fresh. I think we would all disagree.

    • 1
May 8, 2019

The show has always kind of sucked. Not anywhere close to top tier shows.

    • 1
May 8, 2019

Let's make this thread a bit more interesting. What would your top 5 shows be?
My personal top 5 would probably be (in terms of production quality, acting, and personal appreciation for the topic / show):

  1. GoT
  2. Westworld
  3. HIMYM (Friends would be a close 2nd to this genre for me)
  4. Always Sunny
  5. West Wing
    • 2
    • 1
Most Helpful
May 8, 2019
  1. The Wire
  2. Sopranos
  3. Trailer Park Boys
    • 4
May 8, 2019

Top 10 thoughts

  1. Star Trek: TNG
  2. Ghost in the Shell: SAC
  3. Band of Brothers
  4. Top Gear
  5. The Wire
  6. Chappelle's Show
  7. True Detective
  8. Peep Show
  9. Samurai Champloo
  10. The Expanse (formerly Game of Thrones / Westworld)
    • 2
May 8, 2019

+1 for having an appreciation for rum ham, wads of hundreds, and magnum condoms

    • 3
May 25, 2019

Hahah oh how i bet your list has changed

May 8, 2019

They're trying really hard to emulate American Psycho, which was a brilliant satire. The problem is that Billions takes itself too seriously. People on Wall St don't talk / behave that way, at least not in day-to-day settings. Sure, people crack the odd reference / metaphor, but it's tongue-in-cheek and sprinkled here and there (aka in moderation) unless said by an intern or someone who's trying to fit in.

May 8, 2019
heartcore:

They're trying really hard to emulate American Psycho, which was a brilliant satire.

Agreed, there's something lost in translation with Billions' version of things.

heartcore:

people crack the odd reference / metaphor, but it's tongue-in-cheek and sprinkled here and there (aka in moderation) unless said by an intern or someone who's trying to fit in.

If they ever say something meme-inspired (like unironically referring to loafers as 'deal sleds') I think that will be my last episode.

    • 2
May 8, 2019

Honestly, every single side character sucks. Even dollar bill is starting to get too corny for me, not to mention the ultra-cringe characters a la Bonnie/spiros.

Chucks dad is the only saving grace for this show

    • 1
May 8, 2019
Tnasty:

Honestly, every single side character sucks. Even dollar bill is starting to get too corny for me, not to mention the ultra-cringe characters a la Bonnie/spiros.

Chucks dad is the only saving grace for this show

Love how he had a baby when they went to the Casino lol

    • 4
May 8, 2019

LMAO I lost it at how casually they wrote that into the show in such accurate Rhoades Sr. fashion.

    • 1
May 8, 2019

The first two season's were awesome. They're getting a little to friendly with the PC stuff: Taylor and her dad, the Wags cross-dressing stuff, etc. Why muddy a show with various political agendas? Get back to the rivalry we love and the excesses, corruption and mystique of Wall Street.

May 8, 2019

You think she's bad with speaking in riddles? Google 'Rustin Cohle.'

Not too high, not too low

    • 1
May 9, 2019

rhodes beginning every conversation with an anecdote makes me want to blow my brains out

    • 1
May 9, 2019

As mentioned above, it has a very Sorkin-type of feel to it. Like every character got 30 mins to think up a perfect reply.

    • 1
May 13, 2019

The dialogue in Billions reminds me of Mad Men. Imagine how weird creative directors would come off if they actually talked like Don Draper. Similarly, imagine a hedge fund principal talking like Bobby Axelrod.

He is a character, not a real person.

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn
May 17, 2019
Yankee Doodle:

The dialogue in Billions reminds me of Mad Men.

Except that Mad Men was brilliantly written, and Billions is like Suits or NCIS.

    • 1
May 26, 2019

+1

I hate when people categorize Mad Men with Suits/Billions-- it was on a completely different level. Might rewatch it soon.

    • 1
May 14, 2019

For those of you working in New York, is this "use my pronouns" clown world BS actually present in the work world? Are there really people like this working in finance? I have never met a single person who embodies what Taylor represents on the show, and it's absurd political propaganda to push that this is normalized...

    • 1
May 28, 2019

Thankfully it is a work of fiction...

...problem is people think TV show = what happens in real life.

RIP.

No pain no game.

    • 1
May 16, 2019

The show is shit. I've watched a handful of episodes and can tell you that it's pretty much fiction-- a la, what a random person might think happens on Wall Street. The characters are cartoonish and almost comical in a sad, pathetic, kind of way. It's pretty much bucket shop tv.

    • 1
May 28, 2019

My biggest problem with this season is setting up Taylor Mason as Axe's main rival. It doesn't make sense. She is a young hedge fund manager who was an intern just a few years earlier. The rivalry is not evenly matched and simply not believable.

In addition, Axe and Chuck's bad guy routine of using their power to get what they want, is getting tiresome. I wish the show returned to its finance roots, similar to "Big Short," and "Leverage."

    • 1
May 28, 2019

Agreed, especially on your first point. Kind of a side note but I'm not crazy about the context of Axe (the mix of SAC and Lutnick). I mean I guess it could be argued that it adds dimension to the show rather a fund not based on anything.

I do not know SAC or Lutnick personally, but Axe seems like the furthest thing from SAC in many regards.*

*My knowledge of Steve Cohen is derived from hearsay, a book or two, and whatever else I've learned of him over the years

May 30, 2019

Nothing about the firms make sense.

Axe Capital struck me as something of a market neutral firm yet does everything just about the opposite of that. Mason Capital is supposed to be a "quant" firm but goes on TV pitching single name positions. What value does Mafee add to Mason Cap aside from poaching from Axe? Who is the chubby kid with glasses at Axe that showed up this season as a Jr., yet now finds himself in the room with key players when important decision are going down?

The only plausible scene was when the traders don't know how to call their brokers when their internet goes down.

    • 2
May 30, 2019
Comment
Jun 2, 2019
Comment