Thursday, January 9, 2014

What in the World Is THE SPOILS OF BABYLON?

If you've been seeing Will Farrell pop up in a money suit to push The Spoils of Babylon and wondering what The Spoils of Babylon is, you're not alone. Turns out it's a spoofy miniseries starting tonight on the Independent Film Channel.

The show's site at the IFC doesn't tell you much but it certainly is complicated! There are quotes, video pieces and an ominous soundtrack, all interwoven and piled on top of each other to give the appearance of an overblown potboiler from the 80s. The Spoils of Babylon has been compared to things like Rich Man, Poor Man and The Winds of War, if you remember those sprawling epics from TV of yore. The typeface alone tells you all you need to know. (See image, above.) Its plot sounds more like Harold Robbins and the movie The Carpetbaggers, but what do I know?

In any event, Babylon isn't meant to recreate the miniseries of the past, but instead to lampoon them. It involves a famous author of the Harold Robbins or Irwin Shaw type, here called Eric Jonrosh and played by Will Ferrell. It's all EPIC NOVEL TURNED INTO EPIC TELEVISION EVENT!!!! like the ones that filled our television screens with schemers and deceivers in the 70s and early 80s. "Which one of you bitches is my mother?" Exactly.

Will Ferrell dressed like money
Ferrell's Jonrosh, who has more than a passing similarity to Orson Welles during his wine-hawking days, is around as a framing device and narrator to the EPIC plot, wherein a kid from nowhere, played by Tobey Maguire, gets adopted by a filthy rich Texas oilman named Jonas Morehouse (Tim Robbins). Devon, the kid from nowhere, marries posh Lady Anne, inexplicably a mannequin given voice by Carey Mulligan, while Morehouse's doofus daughter Cynthia (Kristen Wiig) hankers after Devon herself.

Also on board are Jessica Alba, Val Kilmer, Haley Joel Osment and Michael Sheen, all having a grand time going over the top into wretched excess.

If that sounds like your cup of Paul Masson no-wine-before-its-time, check out the Independent Film Channel for The Spoils of Babylon buffoonery.


  1. I had no idea about any of this! Dare I hope that Jessica Alba will bring her father-in-law along?

  2. He's not listed in the cast list, but who knows?