Just when you thought audiences were too dense/far-removed from the 1980s to appreciate the hilarious kitsch factor of The Spoils of Babylon, IFC proves its faith in the merit of the series’ niche by creating another spinoff, The Spoils Before Dying.
Set in 1950s Los Angeles, Will Ferrell reprises his role as trash novelist Eric Jonrosh, this time here to paint the portrait of another one of his epic tales, The Spoils Before Dying. Instead of centering around an oil empire and an incestuous love affair between brother and sister, this story is all about jazz–specifically jazz musician Rock (Michael Kenneth Williams). As a pianist (a word I’m sure will be played on heavily throughout the show) turned private eye, Rock shoots to the top of the list of murder suspects after famed jazz singer Fresno Foxglove (Maya Rudolph) is discovered to be dead.
Frightened of being jailed for a crime he didn’t commit, Rock goes on the lam to Mexico where he seeks refuge and comfort from a former big band singer in the only band he ever had. Delores O’Dell (Kristen Wiig, who has thankfully returned for a role that will hopefully be as memorable as Cynthia in The Spoils of Babylon) is Rock’s only port in the storm as he tries to clear his name while continuously being harassed by his manager, Alistair St. Barnaby (Haley Joel Osment, also returning from The Spoils of Babylon) to make a commercial jazz record.
With stakes this high, it’s very likely that The Spoils Before Dying could top The Spoils of Babylon in terms of extreme camp value. Coming across as a hybrid of Woody Allen’s Small Time Crooks and Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde, this is obviously a miniseries not to be missed.