In the poster of January 23: billions, euphoria, claws
Here’s what’s happening in the TV world for Sunday, January 23. All times are Eastern Time.
The best choice
Billions (Showtime, 9 p.m., season six premiere): A prince once said that art should “hold up a mirror to nature,” or something like that. And the news (when not overwhelmed with Republican attempts to torpedo democracy and/or updates on this out-of-control pandemic) has been buzzing lately with the latest surveys by stubborn officials in the shameless fiscal shenanigans of unscrupulous plutocrats. So it’s particularly like a mirror that this Showtime series about a particularly dedicated financial cheat hunter (Paul Giamatti’s Chuck Rhoades) returns tonight, with his career-changing US Attorney-turned-New York Attorney General. after the departure of series co-star and Rhoades nemesis Damian Lewis (as slimy hedge fund creep Bobby Axelrod).
But don’t be afraid. Because, as current New York Attorney General Letitia James keep discovering, the New York financial scene is rife with cartoonishly corrupt tax cheats and an assortment of well-connected con artists. This season, Giamatti’s Rhoades comes face-to-face with Corey Stoll’s Michael Prince (sorry, it’s Michael Thomas Aquinius Prince for us peasants), another New York financial titan who, if you can believe him, doesn’t think that the rules apply to him. Now our very own Scott Von Doviak speculated that this switcheroo antagonist represents Showtime’s penchant for do not let slip a still lucrative series even when it is well past its prime. And he scores a point. But watching Paul Giamatti take on Corey Stoll is still a pretty tantalizing prospect, as is the indirect thrill of seeing a venal billionaire and his worthless offspring sweat it out. an increasingly tight investigation in his decades of money-snatching misdeeds.
Euphoria (HBO, 9 p.m.)
Virtuous Gemstones (HBO, 10 p.m.)
Claws (TNT, 9 p.m.): And then there’s the kind of mafia-connected money laundering tycoon you can (reluctantly) follow. Such is the charm of Claws Star Niece Nash (also back as MP Raineesha Williams on the Paramount Plus Rebirth of Renew 911!). As nail salon owner/aspiring organized crime boss Desna Simms, she continues to draw comparisons to another seemingly mild-mannered professional who memorably went very badly. (it helps that breaking BadDean Norris is on hand as Desna’s nemesis/benefactor, the gloriously named Uncle Daddy.)
This week, ClawsThe fourth and final season rolls on, and things are even tougher at the show than usual, as Desna’s new contract with the Russian mob is threatened by everything from a shocking drug overdose to the revelation that [redacted] is actually a powered infiltrator. With Scrubs Alum Judy Reyes always on hand to smooth things over (as the badass enforcer “Quiet Ann”), Nash has a knack for playing all the right angles. Or edges. One of them is a manicure term, certainly.