Sunday, January 26, 2014

Review of The Spoils Of Babylon on IFC

Combine Atlas Shrugged, The Thorn Birds, Rich Man, Poor Man, Dallas, Dynasty, Falcon Crest, and every can't put down page turning pulp best seller from the 70's & '80s and you have IFC's sensational spoof of those genres---The Spoils of Babylon. The six episode mini-series, tells the rags to riches saga of Texan Jonas Moorehouse [Tim Robbins], his biological daughter Cynthia [Kristen Wiig], and adopted son Devon [Tobey Magnifier]. Isabella Acres as the young Cynthia resembles a young Hayden Panettiere more than she does Kristen Wiig, but no matter. She is hilarious.

Eric Jonrosh [Will Ferrell] author of the book from which the series is adapted intros & outros each ep. Orson Welles in his later more corpulent years as a pitchman for Ernest & Julio Gallo is the template for Jonrosh. Ferrell executes the character perfectly. Bravo also to the special effects make-up that assists in the transformation. i know of one fan who did not recognize Mr Ferrell until i told them that he was Jonrosh.

Another effect that delivers are the exterior shots of moving cars. Models are used for the majority of those scenes and they make no pretense of being anything other than what they are, which of course only adds to the hilarity. It's like watching an episode of Mr.Rogers on peyote. For fans of Showtime's Masters of Sex who were longing to see Doctor William Masters' portrayer Michael Sheen in more light-hearted fare, your wish has been granted. Sheen's comedic chops & his Clark Gable pencil mustache are sharp & snappy.

Jessica Alba, Val Kilmer, Haley Joel Osment, David Spade, Toby Huss, Molly Shannon, Carey Mulligan, Jelly Howie, Phillip Wampler, and Steve Tom complete the cast. The Spoils of Babylon, a silly guilty pleasure from prologue to epilogue. Thursdays 10PM on IFC Check for marathon paintings too. Some episodes also available on Hulu's free service.

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