Review: THE RIGHTEOUS GEMSTONES Is Wickedly Funny

FIRST IMPRESSION

With a phenomenal cast and plenty of humor, The Righteous Gemstones has the potential to be one of the funniest shows of this year.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

The Righteous Gemstones, the newest TV show created by Danny McBride (Eastbound and Down), is a hilarious satire of the televangelist community. Featuring a phenomenal cast and chock full of laugh-out-loud moments, this has to be one of the funniest new shows to debut on television this season so far.

This series follows a famous televangelist family that may not be as generous and wholesome as it seems on the outside, having a secret history of greed and debauchery that they attempt to hide from the public eye. The antics in which the Gemstones get involved, particularly Jesse (Danny McBride) are always crazy and often uproarious. This show is surprisingly unpredictable because you never know what absolutely insane thing the characters are going to do next.

The humor of the series definitely won’t be for everyone, as it is frequently dark and sometimes crude. Undoubtedly, someone will come across this and see “righteous” in the title and read that’s it’s about televangelists and think that it’s clean and wholesome family fun. It’s not. This is definitely a series made to make adults laugh, with a few raunchy jokes, some slapstick humor, and plenty of satire on the “spiritual-industrial complex”.

The moments that poke fun at televangelists are perhaps the most enjoyable in the series. This show isn’t anti-religion, but rather, it is against people who take religion and use it for profiteering and personal gain. As such, this show is able to avoid feeling mean-spirited like so many other shows that focus on the world of religion do. The message of this film feels honest and important, and is delivered in a way that is thoroughly entertaining.

A significant part of why the series is so effective at delivering its commentary is that the characters are extremely nuanced. Although the Gemstones are greedy and do some deplorable things during the time we are with them, the series emphasizes their humanity. They aren’t bad people, but good people who have just lost their way. The show very much seems to be pointing towards a redemption arc, which has the potential to be extremely effective.

the righteous gemstones trio
Episode 1 (debut 8/18/19): Adam Devine, Danny McBride, John Goodman. Photo: Fred Norris/HBO.

The first hints of this can be seen in the fifth episode of the season. Until that, the series is mostly just a bouncy and satirical comedy. However, in that integral episode, the series’s true colors are revealed and the arcs become a whole lot more emotionally complex. Multiple relationships and dynamics are set up in early episodes that will hopefully be explored towards the end of the season, which would bring the show to a satisfying conclusion.

Undoubtedly the best part of this show is the cast. The charisma of the cast members and their chemistry with one another is what really drives the enjoyability. The three main Gemstones, played by John Goodman, Danny McBride, and Adam Devine, are pretty hilarious to watch. The dynamic between them, established in the first scene they share together, is ridiculous yet tons of fun.

Other great actors in the cast include Walton Goggins, Edi Patterson, and Skyler Gisondo. Patterson is particularly enjoyable in her role, fitting her character wonderfully. The character is also one of the most refreshing parts of the series, as she serves as the means by which the series provides commentary on the patriarchal nature of traditional religion. Goggins and Gisondo are both playing out of type, but in very different ways. Goggins plays a funny has-been child star, and Gisondo, who is known more for playing lovable goofs, is given a much more involved and intelligent role to play than usual.

On a technical level, the series is definitely very interesting. The cinematography and production design do a great job of poking fun at the exuberant and over-the-top nature of televangelism. The world of the Gemstones as created for the show feels like it could be very real and in our world. Additionally, the use of music is quite strong, ironic usage of Christian tunes being prevalent and effective throughout.

The Righteous Gemstones offers exactly what you would expect from McBride — plenty of hilarious moments and some insightful commentary on greed and religion. This is worth watching for the cast alone, but there are a wealth of reasons why you will be drawn further into this unique and hysterical world.

The Righteous Gemstones debuts on HBO on August 18 at 10pm ET/PT. (Six out of ten episodes reviewed.)

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Outlander | Ep. 5 Clip ‘Adso’ | Season 5

Jamie gives Claire a wee gift in this clip from Outlander Season 5, Episode 5. Watch new episodes of Outlander Sundays only on STARZ. #Outlander #STARZ Watch Outlander now on the STARZ App: https://starz.tv/32s4aGT Subscribe now for more Outlander content: http://bit.ly/1kalhP0 Like Outlander on Facebook:http://starz.tv/OutlanderFacebookYT Follow Outlander on Twitter: http://bit.ly/OutlanderTwitterYT Follow Outlander on Instagram: http://starz.tv/OutlanderInstagramYT…

Next On The Walking Dead: Season 10, Episode 15

Don’t miss the next episode of The Walking Dead, Sunday, April 5 at 9/8c. Watch from The Walking Dead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9deFaIE8QM&list=PLC7EC9FB2E211A261 Subscribe to The Walking Dead on YouTube: https://goo.gl/Tu5rSx #TWD #TheWalkingDead #SneakPeek THE WALKING DEAD: Like The Walking Dead on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheWalkingDeadAMC/ Follow The Walking Dead on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WalkingDead_AMC Visit The Walking Dead Official Site: https://www.amc.com/shows/the-walking-dead…

Devs | Inside Look Season 1: Visualizing Devs | FX

Visual effects are essential to the story. See how with the creators of Devs in this Inside Look. Subscribe now for more Devs clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX Devs follows the story of a young software engineer, Lily Chan, who investigates the secretive development division of her employer which she believes is behind her boyfriend's murder. Devs stars…

Devs | Episode 6 Preview | FX

Lily and Jamie visit Forest looking for answers, and Katie reveals to Lily the true nature of the Devs system. Subscribe now for more Devs clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX Devs follows the story of a young software engineer, Lily Chan, who investigates the secretive development division of her employer which she believes is behind her boyfriend's murder.…

Outer Banks | Official Trailer | Netflix

Four friends. One summer. And $400 million in gold. Outer Banks is coming to Netflix April 15: https://www.netflix.com/title/80236268 Outer Banks is a coming of age story that follows a tight-knit group of local teens (aka the Pogues) in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. When a hurricane kills the power for the summer season, it…

Batwoman | The Tech Behind The Tech | The CW

Find out what it takes to create all the Bat tech, brought to you by AT&T 5G! Stream Batwoman free only on The CW. SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About BATWOMAN: Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) soars through the shadowed streets of Gotham as Batwoman. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior,…

Crowley Being Sassy For 4 Minutes Straight | Good Omens

Why is David Tennant being sassy literally the biggest mood of all time? » Watch Good Omens now exclusively with your Prime Membership: http://bit.ly/GoodOmensPrimeVideo » SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/PrimeVideoSubscribe About Good Omens: The End of the World is coming, which means a fussy Angel and a loose-living Demon who've become overly fond of life on Earth are…

All American | Cody Christian: Asher’s Family Secret | The CW

Stream All American free only on The CW: https://go.cwtv.com/ALLShowyt SUBSCRIBE: https://go.cwtv.com/ALLShowyt About All American: When a rising high school football player from South L.A. is recruited to play for Beverly Hills High, the wins, losses and struggles of two families from vastly different worlds - Crenshaw and Beverly Hills - begin to collide. Inspired by…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here