Smart Watch: "Billions" makes organized crime on Wall Street and in politics fun to watch

“Billions,” in fact, nods to a watershed moment in the history of la cosa nostra when, near the end of the fourth season premiere, Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) realizes while drunkenly chumming it up with a power broker that they’re standing at the site of the 20th century’s final theatrical hit.

But none of this distracts from the titillating high each episode’s action delivers as Axe schemes to destroy Taylor, and Rhoades cunningly plots a path back to the inner circle of New York politics.

The viewer is amply aware she’s watching a fictional celebration of greed and corruption at work, but damn if that fully-cooked sausage doesn’t make a dish fit to rival anything from Satriale’s.

Sometimes it is achieved organically, by way of the perpetrator’s evil turning upon her or, to paraphrase Sun Tzu, waiting by the river long enough to watch the bodies of your enemies float by, and then pointing and laughing like Nelson Muntz.

So if you loved hating its main antagonists Alison and nutty Mona, you’ll be delighted and bewildered to know that they have somehow become faculty members at a college in the small town of Beacon Heights.

This “Pretty Little Liars” spinoff, drawn from a book series by Sara Shepard, makes a person yearn for the days when TV rich kids entertained themselves by taunting their peers with an elaborate system of texting and pranks and creepy dolls and what have you.

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