‘The Righteous Gemstones’ is a dark comedy-drama that is centered around a prominent, dysfunctional televangelist family holding a history of deviance, greed, and charity, all in the name of Jesus. Created by Danny McBride, it is executive produced by McBride, alongside Jody Hill and David Gordon Green. The series airs on HBO.
The Righteous Gemstones Cast: Who is in it?
The nine-episode HBO series stars Danny McBride (‘Eastbound & Down’, ‘Vice Principals‘) as the protagonist Jesse Gemstone. A self-proclaimed non-conformist in the game of politics, Jesse seeks to expand his father’s empire as per the taste of a more contemporary audience. McBride is also the writer and director of the show apart from serving as the creator and executive producer.
Enacting the role of Jesse’s dad, Eli Gemstone, is John Goodman (‘Treme’) and portraying the character of his sister, Judy, is Edi Patterson (‘Vice Principals’). Joining them are Adam Devine (‘Pitch Perfect’) as Jesse’s younger brother Kelvin and Cassidy Freeman (‘Smallville’) as his wife Amber. Amber is a former journalist and currently a devotee of the church. Tony Cavalero (‘School of Rock’) is Keefe Chambers, an ex believer of Satanism. Winding up the main cast is Tim Baltz (‘Drunk History‘) as Judy’s fiance, BJ, and Greg Alan Williams as Martin Imari, a conservative Kenyan, and Eli’s right hand.
The Righteous Gemstones Plot: What is it about?
‘The Righteous Gemstones’ is conceptualized as a satire about religion, where a founding family of a megachurch is the center of attention. As expected, this clan, which is ruled by greed and deception, is more interested in truckloads of cash, that can be generated in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Lending a comic insight into the extravagant world of Christianity, it narrates the grandeur that comes with it — in its own hilarious tone.
The series begins by introducing its lead characters through an amusing mass baptism that takes place in a wave pool in a Chinese water park. The story then progresses to explore a world of religious manipulation, fraught with classicism and corruption. Within a few minutes into the first episode, we witness Jesse being blackmailed by miscreants who threaten to expose him by releasing footage that shows him snorting lines with a group of topless women. Thus, begins a tale of chaos, lies, and betrayals — that soon merges with the dynamics of the family.
Next, we meet Jesse’s younger brother and perpetual rival, Kelvin and his forever sidelined sister, Judy. There is also the deceitful uncle, Baby Billy, and the stern patriarch, Eli. What ‘The Righteous Gemstones’ attempts to do is highlight what goes on within the minds of all these flawed, insecure characters. For instance, when the family gathers for a mass baptism in Chengdu, China, an argument ensues between Jesse and Kelvin about who is better in dunking the heads of followers under the water. Now, what was supposed to be a holy event soon transforms into a chaotic affair — showing the vast difference between what the Gemstones preach to the world and how they are more concerned with the petty issues within the family.
A sharp reflection of the hypocrisy that rules most of Evangelical Christianity, ‘The Righteous Gemstones’ also features an impeccable cast. It is all about how this fractured clan attempts to hold on to their empire via the veil of Biblical sermons. With remarkable performances and its hilarious take on the flamboyancy of evangelicalism, it does have the potential to become another great comedy from HBO.
The Righteous Gemstones Season 1 Release Date: When will it premiere?
‘The Righteous Gemstones’ season 1 premiered on HBO on August 18, 2019. Its entire run comprises nine, 30-minute long episodes. Following a weekly schedule of airing one episode every Sunday, it wraps up with its first installment on October 13, 2019. The series has already received strong approval ratings from viewers on Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes. Additionally, it brings in quite a bit of feels from ‘Succession‘, the critically acclaimed British drama, that follows the Roys — an equally privileged family, with the siblings battling each other to win the appreciation of their father.
Although there have been some comments from the audience regarding its lack of sharpness and sensitivity, it holds promise, solely because of its stellar cast and their incredible performances. Hence, any tiny loopholes can be easily forgiven. Therefore, we are hopeful that it will be renewed for another season. We shall come back and revisit this section as soon as we learn more.
The Righteous Gemstones Trailer:
Below is the official trailer for season 1 of ‘The Righteous Gemstones’. Give it a watch to understand what to expect from the show.
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