We'll just put it out there: There are just too many shows about the corruption that exists between wealthy families, wealthy businessmen, and all the wealthy people who most of us can’t actually relate to. Sure, we frequently watch shows like Downton Abbey, Gossip Girl, White Collar and Rich Kids Of Beverly Hills to see various characters complain about their #richpeopleproblems, but do we really need another? Either way, it looks like we're getting one: New York Times financial journalist, Andrew Ross Sorkin's new show Billions has been green-lit by Showtime.
Even the title is dripping with the sound of affluence. I mean, we couldn’t have come up with anything original or a little subtler? If you told me that Billions was actually about a homeless man who worked his way off the streets to produce a solid income for himself and stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, that would be a great, unexpected plot twist if you're just judging by the name. Unfortunately, the show is not about that — instead, it's exactly what you would think it's about: Billions will focus on the drama and chaos surrounding those who work on Wall Street, because someone figured it was vital for us to know.
The network has stated that the show will depict the “collison and, at times, collusion between an aggressive U.S. attorney in New York and some of the richest hedge fund billionaires in the country.” Perfect. I love hearing prosperous men and women discuss their financial problems. Let me go order some food off the dollar menu while I learn more.
Billions, which Sorkin and Ocean’s Thirteen co-writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien are currently working on, will likely be fictional, and the stories will not be based on the lives of any specific person on Wall Street. Or hey, maybe it will be. We won’t know, because all of our rich peers will be chillin’ at their cigar parties instead of hanging with us pliebians, and saying things like, “Wait, Preston, I think this Billions show is actually about us.”
Sigh. As much as I admire those who have gone through hell and back to make a living and even those who made their way to Wall Street (as that is an extremely impressive feat), I can’t help but be saddened by the fact that these shows make up our entertainment. A few of them are okay every now and then, and a few even depict the insanity of Wall Street (see: The Wolf of Wall Street) but must we always highlight the turmoil of individuals in the upper class?
Someone needs to start writing about the challenges people in lower and middle class families. It seems like we have shifted away from shows depicting the middle and working class, like Everybody Loves Raymond, and The King of Queens. There are a few current shows that do this, but the pickings are slim: The Middle, Girls and 2 Broke Girls depict what it’s like for everyday people to experience living on minimum (and sometimes less than) wage, and even then, the cast members are really predominantly white. Is it too crazy a thought for Hollywood to swallow that we produce shows depicting a more diverse set of people, so the majority of individuals in this world can actually relate to them?