The Spoils of Babylon
The Spoils of Babylon is an American comedy miniseries written by Matt Piedmont and Andrew Steele, directed by Piedmont, and starring Tobey Maguire, Kristen Wiig, Tim Robbins, Jessica Alba, Val Kilmer, Haley Joel Osment, Michael Sheen, and Will Ferrell. It is a spoof of the epic-scale "TV event" miniseries adapted from bestselling novels (such as Shogun, The Thorn Birds and Rich Man, Poor Man) prevalent on American network television in the 1970s and 1980s.
|The Spoils of Babylon|
|Created by||Matt Piedmont|
|Written by||Matt Piedmont|
|Directed by||Matt Piedmont|
Haley Joel Osment
|Theme music composer||Andrew Feltenstein|
|Country of origin||United States|
Cherie Carter Parks
|Running time||135 minutes|
|Production company||Funny or Die|
|Original release||January 9 –|
February 6, 2014
|Followed by||The Spoils Before Dying|
The miniseries premiered on IFC on January 9, 2014. The series received generally positive reviews from critics, and for her performance as Cynthia Morehouse, Wiig was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.
Patriarch Jonas Morehouse shepherds his daughter Cynthia and adopted son Devon 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' 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, his daughter Marianne, his colleague and lover Dixie, Cynthia's hen-pecked husband Chet, her evil son Winston, the scheming Generals and far beyond.
The entire miniseries is presented as if it had been a real miniseries, with a fictional backstory of how it took three years to film and was originally 22 hours long. Each episode is framed with its author/director Eric Jonrosh sitting in a restaurant discussing it.
- Will Ferrell as Eric Jonrosh, "Author, Producer, Actor, Writer, Director, Raconteur, Bon Vivant, Legend, Fabulist" of the series. Ferrell as Jonrosh also plays Reza the Shah of Iran in the final episode.
- Tobey Maguire as Dirk Snowfield as Devon Morehouse, Jonas's adopted son
- Kristen Wiig as Lauoreighiya Samcake (Jonrosh's ex-wife) as Cynthia Morehouse, Jonas's daughter and Devon's adopted sister.
- Tim Robbins as Sir Richard Driftwood as Jonas Morehouse, an entrepreneur in the oil industry
- Val Kilmer as Bobcat Maccaullie as General Cauliffe, a United States Army general
- Michael Sheen as Christopher Smith as Chet Halner, Cynthia's husband
- Jessica Alba as Dixie Melonworth, a marine biologist and Devon's new love interest.
- Haley Joel Osment as Marty Comanche as Winston Morehouse, Cynthia's evil son
- David Spade as Joseph Sol as Talc Munson
- Steve Tom as Rex Muftee as General Maddoxton
- Jellybean Howie as Gumdrop Howard as Marianne Morehouse
- Molly Shannon as Odessa Dobson as Meredith Sennheiser
- Phillip Wampler as Devon Morehouse (Young)
- Isabella Acres as Cynthia Morehouse (Young)
- Cal Bartlett as Cyrus Mego
- Brian Chapman as News Reporter
- Robert Pike Daniel as Board Member #1
- Carey Mulligan (voice) as Lady Anne York, Devon Morehouse's mannequin wife
- Marc Evan Jackson as Bank Man
- Tony Mirrcandani as Amed
- Al Rossi as Congressman Wilkes
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|1||"The Foundling"||Matt Piedmont||Matt Piedmont & Andrew Steele||January 9, 2014||0.440|
|2||"The War Within"||Matt Piedmont||Matt Piedmont & Andrew Steele||January 9, 2014||0.440|
|3||"Kicking the Habit"||Matt Piedmont||Matt Piedmont & Andrew Steele||January 16, 2014||0.155|
|4||"The Rise of the Empire"||Matt Piedmont||Matt Piedmont & Andrew Steele||January 23, 2014||0.208|
|5||"The Age of the Bastard"||Matt Piedmont||Matt Piedmont & Andrew Steele||January 30, 2014||0.151|
|6||"So Sweet the Bells"||Matt Piedmont||Matt Piedmont & Andrew Steele||February 6, 2014||0.077|
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 81% based on 32 reviews, with an average rating of 7.12/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell and a cast of other famous characters make The Spoils of Babylon a worthy watch for comedy fans, satirizing the classic television melodrama miniseries with hilarious visuals and clever content." On Metacritic, the series has a weighted average score of 69 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
- Locker, Melissa (June 3, 2013). "IFC's "The Spoils of Babylon" to feature Jessica Alba, Will Ferrell, Toby Maguire, Kristen Wiig, Tim Robbins and more". IFC. Retrieved June 3, 2013.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (June 3, 2013). "Jessica Alba, Val Kilmer, Tobey Maguire, Haley Joel Osment, Michael Sheen, Tim Robbins and Kristen Wiig to Join Will Ferrell in 'The Spoils of Babylon'". TV by the Numbers.
- Getlen, Larry (December 28, 2013). "Maguire, Wiig lead all-star spoof of bloated '70s miniseries". New York Post.
- "Thursday's Cable Ratings & Broadcast Finals: "Big Bang Theory," "Millers" Top Charts". The Futon Critic. January 10, 2014. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
- "Ratings – Thursday's Cable Ratings & Broadcast Finals: Night Two of "American Idol" Dominates Viewers, Demos". TheFutonCritic.com. 2014-01-16. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- "Ratings – Thursday's Cable Ratings & Broadcast Finals: "American Idol" Continues Its Reign for FOX". TheFutonCritic.com. 2014-01-23. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- "Ratings – Thursday's Cable Ratings & Broadcast Finals: "Big Bang Theory" Triumphs Over "American Idol"". TheFutonCritic.com. 2014-01-30. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- "Ratings – Thursday's Cable Ratings & Broadcast Finals: Winter Games Hold Off "Big Bang," "Idol"". TheFutonCritic.com. 2014-02-06. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- "The Spoils of Babylon: Season 1 (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
- "The Spoils of Babylon: Season 1 reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
- Berman, Marc (July 9, 2014). IFC Orders Second Season of "Spoils" Franchise. TV Media Insights. Retrieved July 9, 2014.