10 shows to watch if you love billions
Billions is one of those character-packed shows that fans love to hate. From Ax to “Wags,” Wendy to Chuck, they’re greedy, materialistic, selfish, and often mean, while being flawed humans who react the only way they know how. It’s a setup that’s been used in many shows of all kinds, from dramas to comedies.
With a focus on the stock market and trading, Billions also touches on various other elements of business, including law, politics, influence and even corruption. For those who revel in each thrilling episode, there are other shows in the same vein that might also be worth considering.
Succession (2018-Present) – HBO
Greed, extreme wealth and the pursuit of power are central to both shows. While Succession follows Logan Roy and his journey to find a worthy successor for his media business empire, choosing from among his four children, Billions follows the stock trading industry and billionaire Bobby Axelrod who is still at his peak.
In both cases, the men at the top have done, and continue to do, things that cross lines to maintain their positions. And both arrogantly believe they are invincible. Just like Axe, Logan Roy of Succession is sometimes a genius and sometimes not, behaving in a counter-rational reactionary manner when his ego gets the better of him.
Ray Donovan (2013-2020) – Showtime
With Ray Donovan: the movie settling the details of the series after it was canceled, fans got closure for the character. Like Billions, Ray Donovan centers on a man from the wrong side of the tracks who managed to succeed, leaving his past of misery behind.
The two main characters also have tumultuous relationships with their estranged fathers. The story with Ray and his father is at the center of Ray Donovan, and Ray spends his time seeking revenge more than wealth. Both men share gritty traits with each other that make them both appealing to watch.
Suits (2011-2019) – USA Network
The same struggle between the legal side of the equation and those trying to circumvent the law is present in Combinationswhich involves a team of lawyers from a high-end business law firm representing their high net worth clients.
Like Bobby Axelrod, Harvey Specter will do just about anything to win and be the best dog and he is constantly competing with others to maintain his reputation. He is, in fact, the very type of lawyer Ax would hire to represent Ax Capital if the two shows were to crossover.
City on a Hill (2019–present) – Showtime
Similar to Billions, city on a hill sees two unlikely individuals team up to fight crime, or at least make their way. In the case of city on a hillhe’s a corrupt FBI agent and the assistant district attorney, while he Billionshe’s the attorney general of New York and a billionaire hedge fund owner.
The situation takes twists and turns in both shows, with both telling unique stories. city on a hill is one of many new shows set in the 90s, so it also offers an interesting perspective different from Billions‘ stories today.
Ozark (2017-2022) – Netflix
ozark travels much deeper into dark stories that involve gangsters, illegal drug trafficking, violence and murder. While the violence on Billions is minimal – it’s more about word wars and financial ruin on the latter – both feature similar characters.
Mafia bosses like Omar Navarro, for example, aren’t much different from Ax in that he’s worked hard to be the best at what he does. Meanwhile, Marty Byrde has the kind of finance-related skills, including the ability to launder money so it comes out squeaky clean, that would be the envy of someone like Axe.
Ballers (2015-2019) – Showtime
With the same goal of reckless ambition as Billionssports fans will love Ballers, which mixes the concept of financial management with football. Spencer (Dwayne Johnson) retired from the NFL and decided to manage the finances of current players.
While Ballers includes more comedic elements than Billionswhich is basically a dramatic spectacle, the pursuit of success is a central theme of both stories.
Silicon Valley (2014-2019) – HBO
For fans who might have wished that Ax invested more in tech start-ups, Silicon Valley offers a comedic take on the complicated world of a California tech space haven. fans who love Billions characters like Ben Kim, Tuk Lal and Will Roland, will love the humor in Silicon Valley. But just like on Billionsthe main characters of Silicon Valley are all fiercely intelligent.
During this time, Billions characters like Wags beautifully represent the arrogant venture capitalists the main characters of Silicon Valley often encountered. The two shows offer very different styles, but there’s enough overlap in terms of material covered that liking one can mean liking the other.
Black Monday (2019-2021) – Showtime
The tone is very different on Black Monday, which is dubbed a historical dark comedy. But the focus on Wall Street and the financial arena may be worth watching for those who like Billions.
Set in the late 80s, the story follows the employees of a second-tier business enterprise during the run-up to an era known as the Black Monday, when international stock markets crashed. Although set in 1987, the show is an interesting look at how a second-rate company managed to bring down some of Wall Street’s biggest financial firms.
House of Lies (2012-2016) – Showtime
Without surprise, The house of lies is one of many shows like Billions broadcast on the same network, Showtime. Instead of traders, however, the main characters are management consultants who work with wealthy clients. But as Billions, which bases its stories on real events, there is real inspiration with The house of lies in that main character Marty Kaan (Don Cheadle) is based on a real person, according to Fortune.
Like Billions, the show focuses on the upper echelon of society and entrepreneurs who do whatever they can for the Almighty. Marty is similar to Ax in that ultimately all he cares about is winning, being the best, and making money. Fans will love, however, how often he breaks the fourth wall throughout the series, addressing viewers directly with his thoughts.
Mad Men (2007-2015) – AMC
Even if the period is very different, with Mad Men set in the 60s when Billions is nowadays, the emphasis on selfish men who run an organization – advertising agency in Mad Men and hedge funds in Billions – is similar in both shows.
The tone and direction of the two shows share a lot in common, with characters resembling each other in some way, be it attitude, storyline, or both, like Don Draper and Mike “Wags” Wagner, Joan Holloway and Wendy Rhoades, or Peggy Olson and Bonnie.
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