The Spoils of Babylon starring Tobey Maguire and Kristin Wiig
On Thursday night, I sharply sat on my bed and waited to watch the premier of the mini series, The Spoils of Babylon on IFC. The mini series that aired two episodes composed of 30 minutes each with a stellar cast would certainly satisfy any crowd that hails for comedic spoofs; however, I did not expect this premier to be an absolute disaster with a few memorable comedic lines. How can I explain how bad this was without rolling my eyes every two seconds with disappointment? Before the premier, I read a quick summary of what the series was about; therefore, I already knew its a full blown mockery of dramatic soap operas of the 70s through the 80s. I point out, this is not the first time I’ve seen this kind of comedy. I thought that it would be no different of the level of humor from The Carol Burnett Show episode based on Gone with the Wind. Another example is the French film, OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies which mocks spy films of the 1960s or any of the sketches from SNL,but an extended version of this kind of parody is effective when is perfectly executed.
Although the writers tried their best to over exaggerate dramatic scenes into humorous ones; however, the lack of a comedic script was largely missing throughout the episodes. Only few instances were truly worthwhile, yet I shouldn’t be able to count the funny punch lines. For example, the mannequin wife, the pocket watch scene, or Wiig’s crying made me burst loud chuckles and that was about it. Still, I do recognize the effort of the cast and at the same time is a pity because the cast is a great one. It wasn’t like Lifetime’s film starring Lindsay Lohan as Liz Taylor bad; nonetheless, The Spoils of Babylon is in a close race of awfulness. At least, I credit that The Spoils of Babylon is a parody in comparison to Lohan’s acting skills.
Overall, I’m not tuning in next week. I hardly think the next chapters would improve. In terms of the actors embracing their characters and their commitment to be intentionally bad is excellent. The downside of this series is the deficit of laughter. The script missed several opportunities to create one epic spoof.