Y’ALL NEED JESUS

A REVIEW OF HBO’S “the righteous gemstones”

By the way…this one’s spoiler-free. Enjoy.

I love when comedies are smart. When they take taboo subjects that very rarely get discussed (as people either find them too ridiculous or too unnerving to talk about) and shine the brightest damn light possible on them. Growing up on the coast of Mississippi, being raised southern baptist, and attending christian schools, I can say that I have seen my fair share of religion and teachings. I’m still spiritual in my own way, but I choose not to attend church services as I’ve been given plenty of reasons to mistrust religious organizations, especially those of the mega churches where every Sunday seems to be a Pink Floyd concert with a sermon in the middle of it. So, of course, I found HBO’s new comedy series hilarious, riveting, and having one hell of a soul.

“The Righteous Gemstones” is a brilliant comedy series that pokes fun at religion and leaves no mega church unharmed in its wake. Starring John Goodman, Danny McBride, Edi Patterson, Adam DeVine, and Walton Goggins, we are taken into the lives of the Gemstone Family, a multi-generational media conglomerate with live Sunday sermons broadcast all over the world. Goodman plays the patriarch Eli Gemstone, who is battling depression due to the passing of his wife (even going so far as to erect a fountain with a statue of her head topping it), and dances between wanting to follow his wife’s final wishes and the power of the dollar all-the-while having to corral his misbegotten children. Jesse (McBride), Judy (Patterson), and Kelvin (DeVine), as they’re called, are truly the protagonists of this series.

Jesse sees himself as the perfect…well, everything. As a father, brother, husband, pastor, etc. From the first episode, this is shown to be very, very untrue and it only gets better from there. As they say, pride comes before the fall. Judy is the 40-something, unmarried sister who looks for attention, be it from her father, lover, brothers, uncle…really anyone, like a heat seeking missile and behind that smile is a rage monster. Kelvin, the youngest, has been set to task as being the youth pastor in his family’s business and given really no responsibilities, other than keeping his friend Keefe Chambers from returning to his past devil-worshiping ways. Their back and forth bickering, slap stick, and general immaturity are the comedic highlights of this first season.

All three are spoiled to the point where reality has faded into the opulence of private jets, Mercedes G-Wagons, and even a flippin’ roller coaster on the family compound. However, mistakes are made that are liable to upend the family and cause irreversible damage to the image that Eli Gemstone has been cultivating for decades. How the family goes about reconciling these mistakes are truly hilarious and end in somewhat of the plucking of the good ol’ heartstrings. Also, another shining cast member is that of Walton Goggins who plays “Baby” Billy Freeman who is just electric in his role. I don’t want to get into too much detail as this is a must watch in my eyes and should be in yours too. – YoungYoda

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