‘The Righteous Gemstones’: “Is This the Man Who Made the Earth Tremble”

cq5dam.web.1200.675Danny McBride has found a nice comedic niche at HBO and I am here for it. Spearheading this new show, McBride has brought together some absolutely amazing talent that I cannot wait to see work through the season together. The first episode gave us quite the bombshells. Blackmail, hidden money, distant son, and capped it with some lovely hit and runs…hits and runs? Hits and run? Whichever case it be, the bombshells keep on coming.

Jesse Gemstone, played by McBride and eldest son of Eli (John Goodman), is not quite the family man he makes himself out to be to his congregation. Drugs, hookers, and a runaway son…well, family disowning son. And yet what a pious douchecanoe. He seems to have a habit of making this giant mess and then demanding other people clean it up for him. Which in this case are the other guys partying with the hookers and blow in the video. But he’s lucky to have siblings that have his back. Judy (Edi Patterson) and Kelvin (Adam Devine) come through and continue to assist him throughout the episode in an attempt to solve things. Judy fronted the cash and Kelvin continuously had better ideas on how to catch the blackmailers.the-righteous-gemstones-s01e02-is-this-the-man-who-made-the-earth-tremble-720p-amzn-web-dl-ddp5-1-h-264-ntb-large

We learn right away that there were actually three blackmailers: Scotty (Scott MacArthur,) Lucy (Virginia Gardner,) and another unnamed male. The aftermath of the car on their bodies leads to a quite hilarious moment over Lucy and her thought-to-be-dead body. They get bandaged up and reconsider their approach. Another copy of the video exists so they still have a chance to get the money. Though the cut is now 50/50 since Lucy is out. She figures out the truth and bails. Good on her, frankly she and Scotty seemed kind of toxic.

Remember before how I said Kelvin was having all the good ideas? Well, he helps his brother realize there is video surveillance of the parking lot. Though Jesse has his buddies do that dirty work. When they get to the task of actually tracking them down, Kelvin is the one who suggests using traffic cam footage. Which he oddly has access to via his former devil worshipper friend Keefe (Tony Cavalero.) I have a feeling their friendship is going to provide some laughs this season.

righteous-1565896092.jpg?crop=1.00xw:0.757xh;0,0In the end, the breadcrumbs ended up following themselves home. DUM DUM DUM. It’s still early days, but I am very much looking forward to how this season plays out and what that looks like. Vice Principals was an absolute blast and I was so disappointed with how quickly it ended. Here’s hoping to three seasons at least. Four, if I’m feeling greedy. This cast is stacked with talent. John Goodman as Papa Bear Gemstone was such a great choice. Seeing McBride, Devine, and Patterson play off the sibling dynamic has already been hysterical so I can only assume it will continue to be so. With McBride and Patterson previously playing lovers in Vice Principals, it adds some giggles.

And the religious aspect is perfection. There are preachers out there with their own private planes, claiming they need them to do God’s work. The wealth is established beautifully in the first episode as each Gemstone is deposited at their own house on the compound, featuring (of course) a Bible verse about poverty. I swear someone once said something about Christians being the worst examples of Christianity. Not all grant you, but these Gemstones sure are something.


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