Jump to content

The Righteous Gemstones

Recommended Posts

HBO Orders Televangelist Comedy Pilot Starring Danny McBride, John Goodman
HBO has given a pilot order to a half-hour comedy that hails from creator Danny McBride.
The project is titled “The Righteous Gemstones.” It is the story of the world famous Gemstone televangelist family, which has a long tradition of deviance, greed, and charitable work, all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
John Goodman will star as Eli Gemstone, the patriarch of the Gemstone family. The character is described as unbending and a force in the Ministry game. He’s known the world over for his aggressive salvation techniques, his worldwide ministries, and his award winning weekly television program. His light is fading, but he takes no guff. He is obeyed, unquestioned.
In addition to writing, directing, and executive producing, McBride will also star as Jesse Gemstone, the eldest son and “heir to the throne.” He walks in his father’s shadow while simultaneously blazing his own path. Like Eli, Jesse demands loyalty from those in his circle, and surrounds himself by those that will follow him. Jesse fancies himself a maverick in the ministry game, taking what Eli has built and expanding it for a more modern audience. . . .
Variety, June 28

Cassidy Freeman Joins Cast of HBO's Danny McBride Televangelist Comedy
The Gemstone family keeps growing: Smallville alum Cassidy Freeman has joined the cast of Danny McBride’s HBO comedy pilot The Righteous Gemstones, TVLine has learned.
Gemstones stars McBride as Jesse, the eldest son in a famous family of televangelists; John Goodman co-stars as the Gemstone family’s patriarch. Freeman will play Jesse’s wife Amber Gemstone, who gave up a career in journalism to devote her life to her husband and his church. The half-hour comedy project scored a pilot order at HBO last month, with McBride slated to write and direct.
Also joining the Gemstones cast: Tony Cavalero (School of Rock), as ex-Satanist Keefe Chambers, who was saved by the Gemstone family and is now their loyal servant; and Tim Baltz (Veep, Better Call Saul), as B.J., who’s engaged to Jesse’s sister Judy (Vice Principals‘ Edi Patterson) and struggles to fit in with the Gemstone clan. . . .
TV Line, July 13

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

So, has no one else watched this? I was just reminded of it by the Social Dilemma thread.

I watched it last spring-summer and I thought it was fantastic. Some of it might be a bit cruder than tastes generally run around here (it *is* Danny McBride, who I've grown to really appreciate between this and Vice Principals), but I think that it's spot-on characterizations of specific evangelical figures is so good that it is well worth a watch. Also, Walton Goggins as Uncle "Baby" Billy is truly one of the greatest grotesqueries on television in ages. I dare you to get the song "Misbehavin'" out of your head afterwards. 

But ultimately it's the shows' trajectory toward small moments of growth in characters and its understanding that people can be *simultaneously* true believers (in the sense that they're not pure cynical grifters and really do believe in their divine purpose) at the same time they are awful and corrupt is refreshing, in a period where we tend to fall back on easy characterizations.

I'll link to Aren's review, because he delves into all of the above in more depth.


"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut


Reviews and essays at Three Brothers Film.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...