HBO has another mega hit on their hands with “Righteous Gemstones,” a series about a twisted, crooked, evangelical family and their massive mega church, with arena size audiences and influence. John Goodman plays the ruthless patriarch of the sin-laden Gemstone family. Danny McBride, who created and writes the show, Adam Devine and Edi Patterson play the squabbling power hungry siblings. Call it “Succession” with laughs.
Before the recent premiere on the Paramount lot — where the lobby was transformed into the Gemstone Salvation Center, with pews, a wall filled with a chart chronicling this screwed up fictional family’s history, and candles with their beaming pictures on them — McBride was working the room, obviously at home with the crowd as he’s done two previous series for the cable giant, “Eastbound and Down” and “Vice Principals.” I asked him, Why this? He quipped, “Well I created and wrote the part for me, so I figured I should be in it. HBO has been employing me for long time, they get me, my sense of humor.”
Walton Goggins, 48, the talented actor and McBride’s co-star in another HBO series, “Vice Principals,” will be in the series playing a 67 old man. He did explain the scenario. “When Danny writes a role for you, you do it. He called me and said, ‘Hey man I want you to be in this thing that I’m doing? I said ok.’ I want you play a 67 old man. I said ok. Do I have my memory I asked? He answered, you’re a silver fox. I then asked if I was at the peak of my power? He said, nah you’re in the deepest valley of your power. I said, I’m in!”
McBride said at the recent TCA that he’s not “aiming at people’s faith, I’m being honest. I grew up in a religious household. It was, as a whole, how massive these operations are, they’re just ripe for satire. The Gemstones have gotten exactly what they wanted in life, we wanted to show how corrosive and damaged you can still be getting everything you want.”
HBO indeed has what they want, another funny, clever and of course controversial hit. “The Righteous Gemstones” premieres on August 18th.