Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Spoils of Babylon

Last week, IFC (Independent Film Channel) launched a six episode mini-series, The Spoils of Babylon, produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, created and written by SNL alums and starring Tobey Maguire and Kristen Wiig among a large cast. I've been watching it and really enjoying it.

Spoils of Babylon is a parody of the big-budget, melodramatic mini-series from the seventies and eighties like The Thorn Birds or anything else starring Richard Chamberlain. Basically, it's the story of a rich oil family, father, daughter and adopted son, starting in the 1930's and moving into the 1970's. The humor is all over the place including broad satire, slapstick, word humor and anything else they can throw at the wall (in the second episode, Maguire has sex with a mannequin, but it's okay, she's his wife). Much of it works. Will Ferrell opens and closes each episode as the author/director who adapted the mini-series from his own book and directed what we're watching. Understanding that what's on the screen is the product of Ferrell's mad character adds a layer of fun subtext.

If you enjoy this kind of thing, I recommend it.

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