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What’s on TV Sunday: ‘Billions’ and ‘Shrill’

Category: Art & Culture,Arts

“Billions” returns for a fourth season on Showtime. And Aidy Bryant stars in “Shrill” on Hulu.

BILLIONS 9 p.m. on Showtime. If you’re wondering how long it takes for a spoonful of cocaine to be snorted in the latest season of “Billions,” the answer is: more than one second after the opening credits, less than 10. And it’s done casually. Since it debuted in 2016, the series — created by Brian Koppelman, David Levien and the columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin of The New York Times — has dealt with the extraordinary wealth surrounding its main characters, Bobby Axelrod (a hedge fund manager played by Damian Lewis) and Chuck Rhoades (a United States attorney played by Paul Giamatti), with somewhat restrained displays of excess. “When they hit the billion and above number, they’re no longer in a place where they have to impress anybody by their outward trappings,” Levien recently told The Times. That might help explain why, in the Season 4 premiere episode on Sunday night, Axelrod conducts a surprise firing in his office while wearing a Motörhead T-shirt and washed denim jeans. The previous season ended with a surprise alliance between Axelrod and Rhoades, who had been longtime foes. So audiences can look forward to a new dynamic this season.

TRICKY DICK 9 p.m. on CNN. “A moving van has just pulled up over at the White House.” That line — from a TV broadcast on the eve of Richard Nixon’s resignation — is delivered during the first few minutes of this four-part documentary, which covers Nixon’s political life through archival footage.

SHRILL Stream on Hulu. Aidy Bryant of “Saturday Night Live” stars in this new series, based on Lindy West’s memoir, “Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman.” (West is a contributing opinion writer for The Times.) Bryant plays Annie, a Portland, Ore., writer with a mediocre boyfriend and a society that tells her she should be skinnier. She’s fed up, and the first season’s plot revolves largely around her doing something about that. “The main reason ‘Shrill’ lands is Bryant’s unfussy performance,” Margaret Lyons wrote in her review for The Times. “She radiates the wounded hopefulness of someone who’s ready for the next chapter of her life, and by the end of the six-episode season, she’s there.”

BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA Stream on Topic. The Feminist Bird Club, a hip birding collective, is the focus of one episode of this new documentary series, hosted by Jason Ward, a “bird nerd” from the Bronx. The show dives into different birding communities through bite-size episodes, covering subjects like the Cape May Spring Festival in New Jersey and the bird specimen collections at the American Museum of Natural History. In one episode, Ward goes birding in Brooklyn with the comedian Wyatt Cenac, who jokingly asks if birds go “people-ing,” watching humans as humans watch them. This show — which is as interesting for the personalities it introduces as it is for the birds — gives viewers a chance to do both.


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