Here's the thing about satire: Parody has a sharper sting if what's being ridiculed is actually relevant. And while it looks like everyone's having a grand time lampooning the old-school histrionics of the classic TV miniseries "epic" in IFC's elaborate all-star Funny or Die put-on The Spoils of Babylon, I'm afraid the fun isn't all that contagious, in part because the joke is such a stale one to begin with.
The whole enterprise, which consists of six half-hour chapters (the first two airing back-to-back starting Thursday at 10/9c), has the musty whiff of one of those movies derived from so-so Saturday Night Live sketches. Each installment opens with a staged intro, featuring a heavily made-up Will Ferrell as a rotund Orson Welles-like egomaniac impresario (described as "author, producer, actor, writer, director, raconteur, bon vivant, legend, fabulist" — and that's just the first episode's credits) who sinks further and further into his (wine) cups as he reflects on his lost late-'70s "masterpiece," which he self-financed as if he were Scrooge McDuck.
HBO has picked up the gritty drama Luck.
From executive producers David Milch and Michael Mann, the show looks at denizens of the horse-racing world such as...
After a three-month hiatus — near cancellation — NBC's Trauma is back (Monday at 9/8c) and creator Dario Scardapane promises a much different show. Star Cliff Curtis, who plays Reuben "Rabbit" Palchuk, told TVGuide.com how the next 10 episodes will dig deeper into the characters' development and what we'll learn about Rabbit's past as well as his future with co-worker, and new love interest, Nancy (Anastasia Griffith).
TVGuide.com: How will this half of the season be different from the first half?
Cliff Curtis: The first had a very big concept that involved a lot of action and extreme circumstances with explosions. As a format it didn't leave much time per episode for getting to know the characters. The next 10 episodes we go...
A spokesperson for Nicole Kidman tells the New York Daily News it's "not true" that the Aussie beanpole will guest on the coming season of Nip/Tuck, as claimed last week by series creator Ryan Murphy. Intriguing! Peyton Manning hosts Saturday Night Live on March 24, with musical guest Carrie Underwood. Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger puts in an appearance on this Sunday's The Apprentice, as part of the winning team's reward. Kevin Nealon, Jane Lynch, Richard Kind and Wendie Malick are among those who have been added to the guest-star lineup for Thank God You're Here, NBC's improv comedy-challenge series debuting April 9.
As a criminal procedural, this was a solid (but not outstanding) episode, with all of the standard ingredients for a good potboiler: murder, money, power, sex, drugs and even a little rock and roll. OK, maybe that song that played over the opening yoga sequence wasnt exactly rock and roll, but it was haunting and pretty in a melancholy sort of way, and I really dug it. Who was that mysterious troubadour?While the plot felt a little too familiar — as Ive said before, how many scheming, whiny rich kids bumping each other off for money do we really need to see? — the acting redeemed this episode. The obvious standout was Doris Marie Barone Roberts, whom it was weird to see bedridden and nearly mute (especially after watching an Everybody Loves Raymond episode at 8:30 in which she was her usual feisty self). But once they got her on the right meds, she was as spry as ever — though (slightly) more regal and commanding than her sitcom counterpart...