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Billions, The Expanse and intriguing TV

The Expanse

Following my post on Santa Clarita Diet, two other shows I’ve had the pleasure of binge-watching recently, a few episodes at a time, are Billions and The Expanse.

Ostensibly they’re very different productions: one a quasi legal drama in the world of hedge funds, the other based on a popular space opera mystery novel series. But the first seasons of both share a penchant for intrigue and moral complication that made them comfortably complementary back-to-back viewing over the last couple of weeks.

They’re also marked by great writing (both have propulsive arcs with enough left unsaid to encourage that one-more-episode urge), a strong visual sense (particularly The Expanse, the look of which often belies its lowly Syfy budget) and engaging performances (with Paul Giamatti and Damien Lewis heading the cast, Billions is just a cavalcade of Acting with a capital A).

Sadly, both are weekly cable dramas first and foremost (and one on a channel with a habit of cancelling great shows before their time; Alphas and Defiance, we hardly knew ye) so I’ll be waiting a bit for their second seasons to be available in full for a proper marathon, which is really the best way to view strong season-arc TV like this.

Then again, any quality episodic TV can be digested in chunks. Which reminds me, I’ve got more DS9 to re-watch on Netflix.