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Winter TV Preview 2014: IFC’s The Spoils of Babylon [VIDEO and PHOTOS] 


Warning: Spoilers Ahead

That cast. This premise. The first time I saw the trailer for The Spoils of Babylon, I thought it was a joke. Literally. You know how people make fake trailers for make-believe shows for a laugh? That’s what I thought this was. So when I realized it was for real, I was immediately intrigued. It looked so strange and so over the top. The more I learned about the show, the more excited I became. I’m not entirely convinced I know what I’m in for, but I can’t wait for this crazy ride to start.

Mini-series synopsis:

Patriarch Jonas Morehouse (Tim Robbins) shepherds his daughter Cynthia (Kristin Wiig) and adopted son Devon (Tobey Maguire) from meager beginnings in the oil fields of Texas to powerful boardrooms in New York City. Cynthia and Devon, entwined in undeniable love, stumble through war-torn battlefields, blazing mansions, filthy drug dens and velvet-sheeted bedrooms on their quest for power and influence.

Despite Jonas’s best efforts to intervene, Cynthia and Devon’s merciless love sets into motion a wave of destruction that crashes down on Devon’s graceful wife Lady Anne (Carey Mulligan), his daughter Marianne (Jellybean Howie), his colleague and lover Dixie (Jessica Alba), Cynthia’s hen-pecked husband Chet (Michael Sheen), her evil son Winston (Haley Joel Osment), the scheming Generals (Val Kilmer and Steve Tom) and far beyond.

The Spoils of Babylon, “The Foundling”

Beginning in 1931, Jonas Morehouse seeks the American Dream with his daughter Cynthia and adopted son Devon. Just as he is about to lose everything, he strikes oil, making him a rich man overnight. As Cynthia and Devon grow up in the new Morehouse estate, they begin to fall madly in love despite their father’s disapproval.

The Spoils of Babylon, “The War Within”

War break outs and Devon feels he must enlist against Cynthia’s wishes. During
active duty, Devon’s plane is shot down and crashes into the jungle. Back home, the
Morehouse’s fear Devon is dead until he returns home, a decorated war hero with
his new bride Lady Anne.

The Pedigree

Funny or Die. They’re funny as hell. They do great work. What more needs to be said?

Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. The creative geniuses behind Funny or Die and such movies as Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and Step Brothers and such TV series as Eastbound & Down and Drunk History.

Kristin Wiig. Talk about a comedy heavyweight. I think this woman is a comedic genius and I can’t wait to see how she plays this character.

Val Kilmer. Where the heck has he been? Any project that brings him out of what seems like semi-retirement is worth at least a sample.

TV Goodness Winter Preview Ratings System
Watch Live
Watch Later on DVR
Undecided — Need to Watch Some More
Not Watching at All

My expectations are high and low. I expect lowbrow humor and to see every bad 80’s nighttime soap trope in play and on full display. I also expect them to turn all these tired and obvious plot devices on their head and make it into something so funny and so subversive that it transforms the genre in some way. I want something funny and strange and wacky with a little bit of heart. I want to see these actors be crazy and serious and funny and weird. So this series gets a Watch Live for at least the premiere. I feel like this type of show will generate a lot of buzz – on social media and amongst groups of friends – and I don’t want to be left out of this conversation.

The Spoils of Babylon premieres with back-to-back episodes on Thursday, January 9th at 10/9c on IFC.


Clip 1:

Clip 2:


All photos courtesy of Katrina Marcinowski/IFC.


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1 Comment

  1. Carrie Mulligan

    Some of the stylistic touches are amusing, including a bombastic theme song belted by Steve Lawrence, but the strain shows as Babylon’s sketchy premise is elongated to miniseries length. And yet I’d be delighted if it all ended with Toonces the Driving Cat being resurrected to send everyone off a cliff. Ah, the spoils of nostalgia.

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