Ooh, now this is a weird show. IFC’s new well-stirred and visually striking vat of star soup has Will Ferrell as Eric Jonrosh, the “Author-Producer-Actor-Writer-Director-Raconteur-Bon Vivant-Legend-Fabulist” behind The Spoils of Babylon, an epic miniseries based on his own epic novel. Kristen Wiig and Tobey Maguire play the kids of Tim Robbins’ oil tycoon. Eventually Maguire’s character Devon marries a mannequin… voiced by Carey Mulligan. Even the most successful fabulists have to cut costs sometimes.
I can already tell that one must really be in the right mood to enjoy this six-episode miniseries — but I was! The format was so unexpected and I love how they created an entire production within the show. (If you’re looking for a TV show that will remind you to revisit Boogie Nights, this is the one.) It’s so exaggeratedly dumb that it can seem brilliant — and if a scene or dialogue seems lame or dragged out beyond comprehension, well, that’s just raggedy old Eric Jonrosh for you. Blame him! These poor actors are just trying to do their jobs.
Read EW’s Spoils of Babylon review here, and check out some of my favorite absurd moments from tonight’s two-part premiere, below:
Filmed in Breath-Take-O-Scope!
A Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood-style “world”
Jonas Morehouse (Robbins) offers his adoptive son a list of potential first names: “Ezekiah, Ezekiel, Steve, Jim Bob, Skippy, Jesus, Jerry, Vladmir, Hortensio, Lionel Richie, Billy, Onus, Johnny One-Step.. Tyrone… I was always partial to Clyde.”
Devon Morehouse (Maguire) recalls his pre-war years into his Dictophone: “Time was measured in work and also on clocks and watches but mostly work.”
Frustrated after a raucous no-lips make out session with her not-really-brother, Cynthia Morehouse (Wiig) cozies up to a banister instead.
Jonrosh says Chapter Two covers the WWII years, “and they are based on my own terrifying experiences, reading about the war as a child.”
X’s on the eyes right after Devon guns down Japanese soldiers.
This absolutely wild sex scene between Tobey Maguire and his doll bride, Lady Anne York.
Twizzlers feature prominently in this zesty combo platter of food that Cynthia — a full-bodied woman, with desires — cut up in a jealous rage across the table from Lady Anne.
Windowpane rain-shadows as tears. Inspired.
Did you watch? Did you extrapolate love or hate from your experience? (“I’m not sure you’re using the word ‘extrapolate’ properly.”)
‘The Spoils of Babylon’ airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on IFC.