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And just like that, Peloton waves goodbye to Billions…

(When product placement goes very very wrong)

We’ve all watched the smug so and so’s in those fancy Peloton bike ads, glistening, exercising with glee and thought, in our darkest moments, I’d like to see them taken down a peg or two. Well. Worry no more slackers and couch potatoes of the world. The Smug Cycle peddlars have had the most disastrous midseason thanks to some very unlucky product placement. When the new Sex and The City project – aspirational, cool, chic and long awaited – says theyre using your project, even if you’re Peloton, you say “sure”! Same to Paul Giamatti’s (and until recently Damian Lewis’) vehicle for tales of bloated wealth and underhand trading ‘Billions’. I’m sure someone at Peloton thought, “Right on brand”. These were very poor last thoughts for them. Both shows decided to take these items of fitness aspiration in a new direction as they were behind the heart attacks of 2 characters in the shows and in one case (trying to avoid spoilers) a death.

Ok, so it is impossible to avoid spoilers because the plot thickens. In the Sex and The City revival, And Just Like That, Mr Big, Chris Noth, is dispatched from this mortal coil from a heart attack caused by his Peloton. This sent their stock into freefall in Mid December and also caused huge problems for their planned tie-in ad campaign. 2020 was the year that didn’t end for most of us but mixed with the recall of their failed treadmills due to the horrifically tragic death of a 6 year old child, 2021 was the year Peloton could not escape. Overnight they had to reshoot a new “I’m back” sort of saver ad with Noth. But then came his #metoo moment, the accusations of assaults and his cancellation from the whole show. There was no amount of damage control Peloton could peddle back from that. This was forgotten slightly over the Christmas period, a time when all is forgotten in life, love and commercialism.

Until, The wonderful writers who are known for their acerbic wit at Billions dug in their heels with a post-production quip.

They already had their Peloton storyline (a product placement Peloton swear was unsanctioned) for Season 6’s opening last night (January 23) as Wagner (David Costabile) narrowly avoids joining Mr. Big for Old Fashioned’s down below with another P’ton Heart “event” (how are we going to “spin” those?). When Wagner returns to work with the line ‘I’m not going out like Mr. Big‘, it’s a wonderfully meta, cross-cultural moment for us all to savour. For Peloton, however, It’s time to ‘sweat’ once again about their stock prices and to call for heads to roll. In one day the CEO has been asked to step down and there have even been talks of the company being sold. Us mere mortals not of the Swag Brigade can just love Billions for what they do best. Here’s to Season 6.

Watch Billions Mondays Sky Atlantic

And Just Like That – Full Episodes streaming on NOW TV

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.