Remember those over-the-top mini-series on Network TV? They usually starred Richard Chamberlain — e.g., The Thorn Birds, Shogun — and spanned decades, continents and the loins of misbegotten loves with epic betrayals and tragedy galore.
A new cable comedy series/mock adaptation takes us back to those sultry sagas and may or may not hold our attention across its six sprawling episodes.
The Spoils of Babylon, premiering at 10 p.m. tonight on IFC, busts out an all-star cast, with Will Ferrell as the narrator/"author," Tobey Maguire as protagonist Devon Morehouse, Tim Robbins as his tycoon mentor and Haley Joel Osment as the illegitimate son of Cynthia Morehouse, portrayed deliciously by comedy diva Kristen Wiig.
According to the New York Daily News, "no cliche of TV epics is left unlampooned. In the end, ironically, Spoils of Babylon creates some excess of its own."