The Spoils of Babylon: An Introduction

Quinn Banford ’15 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
One thing that made the anticipation of IFC’s The Spoils of Babylon a dangerous investment for audiences was its continuous commercial exposure weeks before its premiere. In many instances, the marketing campaigns for shows – comedy especially – reveal too much to the intended audience. When the viewer goes to sit down for the great reveal, they expect something similar but absolutely new, something beyond their obsession over the previews. While certain shows and movies fall victim to their oversaturated flaunts, The Spoils of Babylon steps out of this trap and allows its grandiose ridiculousness to carry the comedy to a perfectly enjoyable place.

Photos Courtesy of IFC
Photos Courtesy of IFC
The premise of the first show takes the rags-to-riches concept (similar to There Will Be Blood) and lathers the core of the dramatic content with a kind of comedic oil. Tobey Maguire’s character Devon Morehouse goes through a series of socially unacceptable relationships. To be honest, his passionate love affair with a mannequin is more normal than you might wish it to be. This kind of comedy is oddly attractive, so if this show continues to keep up the strange, The Spoils of Babylon has potential for a great following further on down the road.
The Spoils of Babylon the novel is a fictional epic by fictional author Eric Jonrosh (played by Will Ferrell). The book, in this fictional universe, was adapted into a miniseries. This fiction within a fiction works very well. Having Will Ferrell open and close each show as a wino writer from the seventies should be a requirement for every single show on television. His presence as the writer of the epic novel introduces how ridiculous he is and how much more ridiculous his imagination is. If you’re a fan of Will Ferrell, check this out.
Photos Courtesy of IFC
Photos Courtesy of IFC
How funny is this show? What makes it funny? Will I like this kind of funny? Is funny actually funny? There will be times where you’re waiting for a joke to happen. You’ll continue to wait. You will laugh. If not out loud, you’ll feel it in your soul (if you have one). Sometimes you might think it’s under your head, stupid, drawn out, and simplified. You’re allowed to hate it, but try to remind yourself of why you laughed at movies like Airplane!, Blazing Saddles, Anchorman or Your English Teacher Farting In the Midst of a Lecture (classic, highly recommend).  Don’t think too hard into it. Go in expecting that it will entertain, and you’ll be waiting for those next few days to go a bit quicker.
Keep your Thursday night open, and tune into IFC at 10pm.

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  1. If you watched The Spoils Of Babylon and thought it was nothing more than a silly parody, then learn about Karl Mark, David Hume, and the teachings of Buddha. All three of these men were men were mentioned in the series.
    Now go back and watch it again and pay attention to the relationships between the characters and what has been happening in the United States for the past 30 years.
    Get it now, people?

  2. “Spoils” is an intentional mess. And if you can accept this humble production as the fictional work of a second-rate author during a time when television was loaded with shlock and feathered hair, it can be a delight. Maguire, not necessarily known for his comedic acting, does an admirable job of keeping up with the ludicrous hairpin turns of the plot.

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