Set in the year running up to October 19, 1987 (aka "Black Monday"), the series ostensibly tells the story of how the worst market crash in the history of Wall Street occurrednote . It follows the exploits of Maurice "Mo" Monroe and his brokerage firm as they try to claw their way past the established players all the way to the top. Joining the firm is Blair Pfaff, a young upstart who wants to try and revolutionize the way stocks are traded through the use of computer algorithms.
This series provides examples of:
- Awesome, but Impractical: The Limbo, Mo's Lamborghini limousine, which he owns simply because it's so expensive.Blair: So you get none of the speed of a Lamborghini and none of the comfort of a limousine?
Mo: Yeah, but it costs twice as much as both, obvi- This guy's not a car guy!
- Conspicuous Consumption: Mo lives as ostentatiously as possible with all the latest toys and gadgets for 1986.Mo: I woke up in a fifteen-hundred-dollar-a-night fuck pad after having a five thousand dollar Park Avenue fuck-a-thon.
- Creepy Twins: The Lehman brothers try to invoke this but it ends up being comical and Lenny isn't all that enthusiastic about putting in the effort.Larry: You call yourself a twin?
Lenny: This is your thing. I don't want to do the talking at the same time.
- Doorstop Baby: Mo says that he was found as an infant at a Church's Fried Chicken restaurant.
- The '80s: The series is very explicitly set in the 80's, with brick cell phones and copious amounts of cocaine.
- Every Episode Ending: Each episode ends with a countdown marking how many days left before the titular event.
- Foregone Conclusion: The titular event will happen no matter what the characters do as it is a historical inevitability.
- It Will Never Catch On: Mo is disparaging of Blair's algorithm, saying that it's humans who make trades not computers. Blair is only a few years ahead of his time.
- Retraux: To fit with the 80s theme, a recreation of part of a Showtime intro from the 80s precedes every episode (and was used in ads). The jingle that plays over it was invented especially for it though, as the actual music from said intro could not be used for legal reasons (since it was based on the Pointer Sisters' "I'm So Excited"— the campaign was even called "Showtime Excitement").