Peloton has had a bumpy road of it lately, and probably didn’t need another onscreen heart attack to add to its woes.
That’s what the fitness company got, though, in the latest episode of Billions. In the show’s sixth season premiere, Mike “Wags” Wagner (David Costabile) is blissfully pedaling along on his Peloton exercise bike, only to suffer a heart attack. It proved non-fatal, unlike the one that killed “Mr. Big” in And Just Like That.
That was also a season premiere, so let’s hope the “heart attack while exercising” doesn’t become a go-to trope for raising the stakes right off the bat. In a USA Today interview, Billions co-creator Brian Koppelman said the similarity was just a coincidence, as the scene was shot in April of last year, but they did decide to add a Mr. Big reference after the fact.
We’ve already asked experts about the chances of having a heart attack while exercising—the short answer is that you’re much more likely to have a heart attack not exercising.
We get TV shows want to include @onepeloton to get people talking, but to be clear, we did *not* agree for our brand or IP to be used on @SHO_Billions or provide any equipment. As the show itself points out, cardio-vascular exercise helps people lead long, happy lives.
— Peloton (@onepeloton) January 23, 2022
Peloton, for its part, obviously wasn’t enthused to have its flagship product associated with another fictional cardiac event. With Mr. Big, the company issued a statement noting the character lived an “extravagant lifestyle” and had previous heart issues.
This time, as The Hollywood Reporter noted, Peloton clarified that it had not agreed to the Billions appearance or provided any equipment. “As the show itself points out, cardiovascular exercise helps people lead long, happy lives,” the tweet concluded, rightly.
For viewers at home it’s a worthy clarification: Cycling won’t kill you.
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