Critical Condition: The Righteous Gemstones

The Righteous Gemstones | Neon, from Monday

☆☆☆☆Coarse, loud and laced with heart … Danny McBride’s new HBO comedy expands on the sensibilities of Eastbound & Down and Vice Principals to tackle the tacky world of megachurches … As treatments of in-family cannibalism go, The Righteous Gemstones is a complementary, more overtly comedic, portrait of genetic toxicity to HBO’s Succession.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

☆☆☆☆ “The pitch sells itself: John Goodman plays the patriarch of a televangelist dynasty. And when he gets the spotlight, there are hints of the show The Righteous Gemstones could’ve been … But HBO’s Gemstones takes only intermittent interest in its characters’ internal lives … [McBride] would rather wring easy laughs out of the selfish, hypocritical and often just stupid Gemstones.” — Time.

☆☆☆☆ “The lack of searing commentary is a bit of a letdown looking back over the first six episodes, but there’s still potential. Putting characters first is rarely a bad idea with ongoing TV series, and McBride ensures viewers will want to keep coming back just to see more of what this cast can do.” — IndieWire.

☆☆☆☆ “It occasionally hints at some stronger potential. Mostly the show comes off as an unfinished, vaguely Coen brothers-flavoured gumbo of broad stereotypes, violent occurrences and snakey retributions among a family whose holiest instincts were long ago subsumed by their contempt for one another.” — The Washington Post.

☆☆☆☆ “The show depicts a family of conniving, money-hungry preachers who’ve gulled untold numbers of followers to keep paying them, and then focuses on a circuitous path to redemption before the fun or the dark insights of wickedness have been given time to play out. Its best asset, a premise that can open up to sharp commentary and granular sociological depiction, is lost.” — Variety.

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