I can’t imagine the poor middle school teachers
whose students watched this show and are saying horrendous things from this in their classrooms.
Yep. To the educators of America. We say we’re
sorry, but hey it’s a good show. What’s up, Wisecrack? Welcome to the good,
the bad and the brilliant. The show where we break down the TV shows, movies and games
that we are really excited about. I’m Michael, and today I am joined by a Wisecrack writer
and assistant youth minister, Alec. Hello.
Today we are going to be talking about the HBO show, The Righteous Gemstones. It’s a
show that explores faith and finance through the story of the Gemstone family, who run
a megachurch in South Carolina. There’s also a Satanist nightclub involved, but to get
started, let’s talk about what’s good. So Alec, tell us what you think is good about
The Righteous Gemstones. I got to say, man, it’s the car pranks.
Car pranks, yes. Good, wholesome car pranks. I mean, you have
– just a series of escalating insanity being explained by Jesse Gemstone as just car pranks.
He does it with the guys. Just some of my friends, we do car pranks.
“Do you know them?” “Yes, I mean no, they’re just some fellas I play car pranks
with just shh, be quiet for a second.” I mean, you got to love when he gets out of
a car after he’s, I think on a date night with his wife, runs down a van. The van flips
such that you would imagine everyone’s dead. He immediately jumps out with a loaded weapon
and just casually to his wife says, “Just some fellas I play car pranks with.”
Yeah. There’s also, towards the end of the season,
Keefe, our Satanist, sees the red van just drive out of a garage, like break the door
and he just laughs, Ha, ha. “Car pranks.” I really love that about the show. I think
that’s probably the hardest I laughed all season was when he says car pranks with a
loaded weapon in episode four. Something I thought was really good in The
Righteous Gemstones is the cast. From top to bottom it’s great, but I do want to focus
on two people in particular. The first is Ede Patterson, who plays Judy Gemstone.
Judy Gemstone. “I have regular women panties, where the
string goes up my crack. I have tits, I do sex, I‘m carving my own path.” “Judy”
– “that’s my name, don’t wear it out son.”
Yeah. I mean if we we’re going to do the numbers on this one, like it’s sports or
something to say how many, I guess, three pointers she had throughout the season and
those three pointers equate to really good dialogue, Judy has to win. Every third thing
out of her mouth is so funny. “How many will I get Jesse? Boyfriends?”
“I don’t know like, maybe 10 or 15 dudes.” “Will they also go down on my butthole?”
It’s just like casually talking to your brother about how many boyfriends you’re going to
have, and if or if they won’t eat your butthole. Yeah.
That’s normal, right? Yeah, and wholesome and sweet. I think a lot
of what I’m going to talk about on the good and the brilliant are things she’s done – yeah
– but she’s really good. And John Goodman, I mean he… I mean, everyone’s
really good, but I love John Goodman. Yeah. He’s like a fun, a new player in the
Danny McBride, Jody Hill universe. Right.
I think in a lot of ways, not to dive too deep into this, but their two previous shows,
Eastbound and Down, and Vice Principals, normally don’t have any like A-list, super old school
talent. Yeah. – They normally focus on newer unknown actors. So to have Goodman in it,
at first I was almost nervous about having him participate in their world, but he crushes.
Yeah, he’s so good. A lot of the characters are really… They’re sad sacks. Jesse Gemstone,
Kelvin, they’re just sad people that you don’t want to be. Not that you want to be John Goodman’s
character, Eli, but there’s something really compelling about him where he’s so clearly
evil and doing evil things. But there’s just this like soft, gooey core that you want to
hug a little bit. Another character and casting choice I loved
of course is Walton Goggins as a baby uncle. Let’s get it right. Uncle Baby Billy Freeman.
Uncle Baby Billy. “Now you trust Uncle Baby Billy now.”
Like when he first comes on screen in his old man hair and makeup, it is incredible.
Yeah. And he’s so good in Vice Principals. Yeah.
I know he’s in a lot of other things, but I’m very excited for the extended Goggins
universe. Oh, and him being brought into the… I guess
I’ll call it the extended a McBride-Hill universe has been great. Cus I think for a lot of his
career, he played menacing, creepy guys. I mean I always think about him on Justified.
So to see him kind of come into his own as I would say, a top tier comedic actor, has
been awesome. And being willing to do so much goofy and absurd stuff, as someone with a
pretty good pedigree, is awesome, and sort of a testament, I think, to how much he trusts
Danny McBride and Jody Hill in their insane vision for a show like this.
Yeah. Yeah. What else did you think is good about
The Righteous Gemstones? There’s a very specific usage of naivete and
kind of out of touchness, everywhere through the show. There’s a great scene where Jesse
is trying to more or less say there’s a tape of him doing blow, and sleeping with prostitutes.
But Kelvin says, “What, like a YouTubes?” “No Kelvin, not like a Youtube’s.” Just
like the subtle little “s” And then his sister’s like, No, you dummy. What is it like
motion picture? “What is it a motion picture?” “No! Not a motion picture.” Not a movie,
a motion picture. There’s other great things like BJ decides
he wants to man-up, so he gets a single diamond earring. There is John Goodman, Eli, throws
a bobble head of Jesus angrily and they’re like, “Daddy, that that’s Jesus.” He says,
“What, I thought that was a karate person.” Who refers to something as a karate person?
Yeah, I mean at one point when Judy’s describing a breakup she had to BJ, and we’ll get into
this more later, but she says, We weren’t boyfriends and girlfriends anymore. I think
there’s something interesting because I think sometimes there can be a bad tendency in TV
and film to portray the South as like dumb or something like that. I don’t think this
does that. These are smart people with just such a particular understanding of culture,
and such like a unique affect to the way they go about things. But, it’s consistent throughout
the show. Yeah. Kelvin knows what a YouTubes is, but
he just uses weird words for it. Or, there’s a great scene with Levi, who’s played by Jody
Hill, right? Yeah.
And he just gives a really naive plan about finding Scotty, who’s blackmailing him. What
if we put up some fliers, the thing… And they just all like, no you dumbass like get
out of here, “**** off out of here with that idea Levi.” Or when Judy invites BJ
to rub backs and dick’s together, who says that? Who says that?
Just a normal well-adjusted adult that wants to have sex with their fiance.
With their backs and dicks. On a maybe less linguistic note, something
that I really like about this show is the way in which it deals with grief and loss.
Now, it’s an absurd show. It’s a funny show. It’s a ridiculous show, but as the season
progresses, we do learn that by losing their mother, Amy Lee, who really was the matriarch
that held this family together, it really screwed these people up. We have a lot of
people with a lot of pain, and grief, and trauma that they’re working out, not well,
clearly not in consultation with a licensed therapist of any sort, but they’re doing it,
and they’re trying their best and it adds a humanity to these otherwise absurd characters
so they’re not just cartoons. It also grounds them. I think by the end of
the season, Eli kind of… Eli’s horrible, right?
Yeah. But by the end, he’s offering the church pastor
they put out of business, a job as a partner, not as an underling. He gives a whole speech
about forgiveness. But what precipitates that is that Uncle Baby Billy says he saw the afterlife
and saw Amy Lee, and she says I should forgive you. And also, a little subtle shade here
about you can’t help the way that you are. And whether or not he believes that that is
what the ghost of Amy Lee is saying, I think she’s the sort of inner voice of consciousness
of these people. We don’t really know how kind of disgusting or not disgusting she was,
but I think he possibly feels posthumously judged by his dead wife.
Well, and we get the sense that all that is good within them is a product of Amy Lee.
Like their mother was the one good thing in their lives and when she leaves, all hell
breaks loose. Yeah, when they’re bickering and starting
fights at a buffet, your mother would be so ashamed of you.
Yeah. Which happens regularly to me, but whatever,
and my mom’s not, she’s fine. Glad to hear, in case you’re watching this, I hear you’re
a great buffet date, buffet date. Buffet date, I would never… buffet buddy.
Now – it sounds worse. But along with the loss thing, on a micro
scale, I did do a good job of exploring Jesse and Amber’s relationship to the estranged
son, Gideon. Yeah.
And the more that we learn that they’re reeling from losing their son to Hollywood. Can you
imagine losing your son to Hollywood? A lot of people have been there.
A lot of people have been there, but they’re dealing with that. And not only that, Gideon’s
having to deal with the loss of his father as this, you know, patriarchal pastor figure
you can look up to when he sees his dad asking his friends, how do you smoke crack on the
video he makes. So everyone seems to be responding to loss with a limited emotional capacity
or maybe like an unhealthy way of processing things. But there’s something there. These
are, these are human characters at an extreme, but human nonetheless.
Absolutely. And I think as monstrous as they are, there’s always, they always give us
just a little bit to be compassionate about, you know, we see Uncle Baby Billy’s backstory,
you know, we see the way that Eli has kind of messed with, you know, his lively ad and
his relationship with his sister. Yeah. So let’s do a couple quick goods. We
got to sadly we have to leave Good Island and go to Bad City soon. So any other things
that stood out to you as particular goods from this season of Righteous Gemstones.
There are very small physical touches, just set things. So Judy is having a shit fit in
the parking lot, you know, taking, taking a shopping cart…
I think of The Piggly Wiggly? The Piggly Wiggly,
I think that’s the name of the store. Yeah. Yeah. And meanwhile BJ is like looking behind
a thing. The thing he’s looking behind is a rack full of sandals with like AstroTurf
on the sole. So you could always feel like you’re walking on grass, which is just such
like a lame thing to especially be hiding behind.
Yeah. Or we’re going to talk about this more later,
but the amazing Outback steakhouse scene and there’s just, they’re having a very intense
conversation in front of a blooming onion. I mean, who among us has not gone to the Outback
steakhouse for a rough conversation over a blooming onion?
Yeah, totally. We’ve talked about the Good and now it’s time to get into some of the things that were not so good about the Righteous Gemstones. Let’s talk about the bad. What were some of
the things that you found to be bad about this season of the Righteous Gemstones?
I don’t have a lot of complaints, but I think there’s a kind of glaring problem in the very
end of the season. It just happens very quickly. It was nine episodes.
I feel like it should have been 12 maybe. Yeah.
There’s the heist where Scottie and Gideon, you know, are trying to steal all the money
from Easter Sunday and then getting turns and then he’s back with the family and then
gets ejected from the family and now back in the family. And Jesse has to repair that
relationship and Jesse get shot in the ass by Amber.
“Ahh!” There’s everything happening with the breakup
of the real power couple, which is Judy and BJ.
Of course. I don’t know a Brad-Gelina type name for them,
but let’s just think about that a little bit more. The Uncle Baby Billy’s stealing the
money kind of, and then them getting it back and they do a good job of wrapping everything
up. But I think one big problem is it just happens. It feel, it feels very rushed.
No, I agree with you. I think there was something at the end where it felt like they smashed
a lot of ideas together. Yeah.
And in particular for me, the way that Uncle Baby Billy, you know, finds the money and
they accidentally kill Scotty and poorly bury the van and then they find him. It just felt
a little quick. Yeah.
And I wondered like, what were the stakes of this? If Uncle Baby Billy, I mean they
like steal a bunch of money and they kill someone. Like there’s a dead body.
That’s a whole season of content right there. Yeah. And we just kind of like blow through
that. I know you should feel bad for Scotty but he just dies and no one cares.
I don’t feel too bad about Scotty. He sucked. He kind of, Oh yeah, he sucked. There was
a few moments where I thought he didn’t suck. But he sucked.
“That was my favorite. Slim three, tuna salad.” “My slim three.”
I think the ending could have been better and related to that they tied things up so
well at the end they kind of emotionally resolved a lot of stuff. We have this beautiful moment
of Jessie showing up in Haiti to work with Gideon. It seems like a lot of people have
worked through their issues. Of course, thank God BJ and Judy are back together. Ah, what
would we have done without them? But I wouldn’t have minded a couple of loose ends.
Yeah. Some things to get me excited about season
two. Now on the flip side, it shows a lot of confidence from Helen McBride.
Yeah. They can wrap up every storyline basically.
Or they’re not going to get renewed. No, they’re definitely going to get renewed.
I hope so. They did. Yeah.
Oh thank god. Yeah. We’re definitely getting season two.
So, I mean it leads me to think hopefully they have enough left in the chamber and I’ll
just stick with the gun metaphors because we know the Gemstone family loves guns and
Amber has her gun closet. But yeah, I felt like that was something that
led me down. The only other thing I can think of, and this is a weird one that I found bad,
is Kelvin and Keefe’s relationship. I just wanted to know more. Is there a romantic tension?
Are they just brothers from other mothers? They, they love each other a lot. Of course
there’s the moment where Kelvin saves Keefe from the baby milk apparatus.
It’s beautiful. I don’t know, they just, they messed around
with that a little bit. And just personally I just wanted to know are they good buds or
do they love each other in a romantic way? Either way is cool. I just want to know.
They, they really set up and maybe it’s going to come back and season two, but I think it’s
the first or second episode. Yeah.
Kelvin comes back from his mission in China and Keefe is just being real weird, being
like “I slept in your bed just once. But the, you know, I had the maid do it up again.”
He’s like, “Oh man, you can like sleep in my bed anytime.”
Yeah. Keefe is very awkward. So there’s just like
the subtext there. I’m kind of okay with it. I mean it is the joke, and I think this is
the joke that gets used a lot and maybe like a cliche way is like another religious person
secretly gay or something like that. Yeah, I think that’s why I found it a little
bit odd. And you know, they play into that in another point in the season when, when
Gideon’s trying to admit his complicity in the crime, but in Jessie’s just like, “Oh,
so you’re gay then, which one are you? The top one or the bottom ones?”
Nevermind I shouldn’t ask that. Yeah. And then later when Gideon’s telling
his parents like, “I’m not gay.” He’s like, “I love my bi son.”
No, no. Okay, can we please just move on from this conversation?
Yeah. So once again, like all of these things aren’t even that bad and I think it’s a good
sign that I don’t know about you. I had to work a little bit to really think about what
the bads were from this show. There weren’t a lot of things that just jumped out at me
while I was watching. Yeah. I do hope Keefe and Kelvin, they don’t
go though like haha. Or they’re religious, but secret, I hope their route is, they’re
really just the platonic ideal of a platonic friendship. Like they’re just, they’re just
bros for life and they got each other. Yeah.
And I mean they’re already kind of like that. But if there wasn’t one side in that, like
Keefe is kind of like a psycho. I think it’s something beautiful about a friendship
that’s a pastor’s son and a man that has six six six right across his chest.
Slowly getting it removed. They’re slowly getting it removed. Slowly
getting it removed, yeah. Hopefully no one liked the show so much. They were inspired
to get a tattoo like Keefe’s. It’d just be hard to get employed with that.
So before we finish, anything else that was bad that irked you, that left you a little
unsatisfied this season? I think this speaks to my prior point, but
one thing I would really like to see a lot of; Kelvin proclaims that he’s, maybe Jesus,
maybe, maybe Jesus. Might be.
He’s the guy. Maybe Jesus speaks to him. Maybe he is Jesus.
“Maybe I am him.” “Who?” “Jesus.” There’s also voice in the back of his head
that maybe is a Lucifer, Beelzebub. It’s, it’s not good. And then he immediately turns
really goth, all black, very tight… Very tight.
…Leather pants that make walking very hard. Quits the youth pastor. And then within I
think the same episode he sees Keefe also back into the Satanic lifestyle and is, you
know, goes and saves him… Yeah.
…and his back. You know, with the religious community. I would’ve loved to see Kelvin’s
descent to Satanism over a long period of time.
Yeah. I mean that could have been a fun thing to leave us with, like everything else is
wrapped up the major storylines. But Kelvin has gone deep and he’s now a regular club
at sinister. Yeah. Or he’s the antichrist.
The literal antichrist He’s going to bring it back. That’s what the
show is really about, is it’s a prequel to This is the End.
Okay, so now we’re the good, the bad, the brilliant and the prediction. So we’re predicting
that he might be Satan himself. Yeah.
Okay. We’ve talked about the good and the bad. As you know, what’s up next is the brilliant,
but first the lightning round. Alec, are you ready for the questions I’ve prepared for
you for the lightning round? As ready as I’ll be.
It doesn’t matter. You’re doing it anyways. Okay.
As you know, I’m going to ask you these questions. You have not heard these previously. I need
your immediate and honest answer. Okay. First, would you rather be head minister, youth minister
or music minister? Music minister. The music’s not that bad.
Okay, fair enough. Misbehaving?
“Kicking and a spitting and a cussing out loud.” “Running through the house with
a pickle in my mouth.” And the guys in the band looked cool.
Yeah. So there you go. I like that answer. How would
you rank the righteous Gemstones compared to the other HBO shows that McBride and Hill
have produced? We have Eastbound and Down, Vice-Principals, Righteous Gemstones. Where
does Gemstones fit in that three? I’m going to say number one Eastbound and
Down. Such a great show. Yeah.
Number two, Righteous Gemstones. Number three, love vice-principals, but it’s not as good
as the other two. That’s fair. I’ll let that stand. What would
you do if you caught your dad and his friends partying with cocaine and sex workers and
in Atlanta hotel room? Whew. Wow. Wow. This brings up a lot of stuff.
Yeah, it might be good for him. I don’t know. I like that attitude, just the dad probably
needs this. He’s had a rough quarter. That’s really good.
Yeah. He needs to loosen up a little bit. Wow. Yeah, that’s, that’s really surprising,
but a great answer. Would you rather get shot in the ass by Amber
or have to spend a day inside of the baby apparatus in club sinister?
A whole day in the baby… Whole day. 24 hours you are the baby, I mean
it looked calming. Keefe looked relaxed. Of all the places to get shot. I guess the
ass is the way to go. I think that’s a thing.
I think. Yeah, and also I think it was a silenced round, it slows down the bullet seems less
like lethal and stuff. I mean he was able to walk away somehow or
stumble away. He seems fine, I think. I think I could live
with that. Okay, great.
I’d need a standing desk. Alec, have you ever done any car pranks?
I used to have a very, very shitty car that I got for free and the transmission eventually
fell out. My friend also had one it, was a Pontiac, Phoenix and we would literally play
bumper cars when we were 17 years old. And just to make sure we got this, you are
recommending that viewers under the age of 18 get cars and play real life bumper cars
on city streets. I would not recommend car pranks to anyone
who’s not a professional of car pranks. And finally, if you had to go on a two week
trip to Thailand with any one of the Gemstone siblings, who would you pick and why?
Ooh, uh… Judy? I think that’s a good answer. And why do you
think Judy would be a good two weeks in Thailand trip companion?
She’s hilarious. Yeah?
It seems like she’s like the only one who like gets it and by gets it, I mean is like
not caught up in like the culty Gemstone family. Wow.
Yeah. I’ll be honest, these answers were, were fantastic.
I was trying to stump you. I couldn’t. Because of that, I’ll take whatever you got ready
for me. If you got, we’re on desert island and could
only have one song and the songs are Misbehaving or Nine to Five by Dolly Parton, which do
you choose? I’m assuming the Dolly Parton isn’t a Wisecrack
subscriber. I hope she is. I’m assuming she’s not and actually Misbehaving, I love misbehaving
so much after seeing that episode, I was thinking about that song constantly. It’s a gem and
also it’s so cool that McBride and Ede Patterson wrote most of the lyrics.
All right. You’re a youth pastor, how do you connect to the youth? Is it like a bouncy
castle? What’s your strategy? Ooh, I’d probably day one, I’m going to like
swear in front of them in a brazen way so they know that I don’t play by their rules.
Then I will, I don’t know, start a Tik-Tok account.
Okay. And make funny Tik-Tok videos about the glory
of Christ. Yeah okay.
And I will also, my youth ministry will have the best snack options.
Okay, what’s the best snack? Well, here’s the thing, I would get dragged
into youth groups growing up cause people would have good pizza. I’m talking taco truck.
I’m talking, I don’t know, maybe like a Bahn Mi stand, I’m talking, I’m getting a local ice
cream maker to make a specialty flavor that I’ve designed and they’re coming through straight
from the creamery. That truly celebrates the glory of God.
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah, you get it. Okay.
It’s a metaphor. Yeah.
For god. Are you team Eli or team uncle Baby Billy?
Oh, this is hard. I’m going to go Uncle Baby Billy, cause he’s just like, he’s fun and
he’s reckless and you’re going to, you’re going to die at some point riding along with
him, but it’s going to be a fun journey to the bottom.
“Who wants to duck an old man’s dick?” Okay. Okay. Should BJ take Judy back?
No, he like he shouldn’t and I like BJ. I like Judy. I think that it doesn’t end well
for BJ. What is your ultimate car prank?
Oh, this is a good one. Well, I used to do this thing in high school.
Drugs? No one should do this. No, I didn’t do any
drugs in high school… Good for you.
And that’s real. It really is. I would do this thing where I would drive my car really
fast and I would climb through the sunroof and get back in the window so I could grab
the steering wheel before it like went off the road. I used to like doing that quite
a bit. And then in college when I got a little more calm, I would ghost ride my car.
Ghost driving? So ghost riding the whip.
The whip. Okay. YouTube, the music videos of E40 or other
Oakland based rappers associated with the HiFi movement when you have time. But ghost
riding the whip is when you get out of your car as it idols at slow speeds and dance next
to it. Oh okay.
I did that once and I wasn’t going slow enough and didn’t realize the parking lot was on
a Hill and my car ran into a wall. Wow.
Yeah. So those are some of my best car pranks. Yeah. Yeah. Those are pretty good car pranks.
It’s fun to find out that we’re both car pranksmen. Degenerates is another way to put it.
Degenerates is another way to put it. Yeah. You got anything else for me?
That’s it. You also did exceedingly well. You’ve passed this non-existent test.
We both passed the test. And I think this means that we’re ready to
talk about what’s brilliant. Do we get to talk about what’s brilliant?
I’m going to say we get to talk about what’s brilliant.
Alright, alright. So we’ve talked about the good, the bad, and
we both survived the lightning round, so there’s one thing left to do and that’s talk about
the brilliant. So Alec, what did you find brilliant about the Righteous Gemstones?
The writing and in very specific, almost like technical, I’m going to nerd out for a second.
Lets nerd out. I write things for Wisecrack and so I look
at words all day. Yeah.
And there’s a lot of little things about the writing that are just phenomenal. You know,
if you read a lot of books on writing or people talking about writing, a big thing that will
come from fiction is like name creation, like naming your character. It’s hugely important.
Like Rocky is a great name. If he was called Tobias, not so much. Meanwhile, Tobias Funek,
great name or like Severus Snape, he’s not Severus Snape if he’s Sean Snape. And so some
authors are like really, really great at creating great names. J.K. Rowling among them. Some
of the names in this show, you know the first one I’m going to say…
Do it. Is Uncle Baby Billy is possibly the most beautiful
name in the English language, possibly, forget cellar door. The most beautiful phrase in
the English language is Uncle Baby Billy. Yeah.
And they know it. They’re, they’re saying that all the time.
“Baby Billy.” – “Baby Billy.” – “Uncle Baby Billy.” – “Uncle Baby Billy.” – “Uncle
Baby Billy.” – “Uncle Baby Billy.” – “Uncle Baby Billy?” – “Mister Baby Billy.”
Just rolls off the tongue. It’s beautiful. Okay, so we got Uncle Baby Billy. What are
some of the other sort of expertly written names in this season of Gemstones?
Dr. Warren Carmichael is, we’re going to talk, I’m going to talk about this speech a lot.
Yeah. But it was mentioned that the Outback steakhouse
in front of a blooming onion, it just, the name of the first “boyfriend”, quote unquote,
that Judy ever had Dr. Warren Court Carmichael and it’s such just a beautiful name. I think
those are the two best ones. But I mean Keefe is great.
Keefe is delightful. Yeah. Gideon is like a just a good choice.
You know Jesse and Kelvin it’s fine. But moving on from the name usage, word choice is obviously
a huge thing. And I actually have to, I’m going to read this properly.
No, I think for this we should, I want you to get it right so…
Alright, William Zinsser has this great book on writing well where he talks about the importance
of word freshness. You know, we always use the same words again and again and again.
If you’re talking about sports they run, they throw, they tackle, we get it. And so you
have this discrepancy between like the bad sports writers who just keep using those words
and the ones who get really like colorful and creative, describing those same actions,
running, throwing, tackling, etc. In ways that you would never describe it are evocative.
And I think the show is really good at that. Not with sports, but with being profane and
talking about sex. The speech, Judy is describing her first boyfriend,
Dr. Warren Carmichael, and I’m going to read this.
Yeah, let’s get this ready, we’ve got to make sure we get this right.
The professor approaches her before class and says-
Can we note that he’s also a 56 year old economics professor?
56 year old who – he likes Hawaiien shirts or Tommy Baha-
He wore Hawaiien or Tommy Ba-uh-bama, beach shirts to class.
Beach shirts to class. Yeah, I pictured him like a Jimmy Buffet type.
Yeah, the professor is Jimmy Buffet who says to Judy, “Nice patagonia shirt, gotta get
me one of those.” Gotta get me one of those. To which Judy responds that she immediately
knew he was coming onto her, at which point she describes the experience she had. “Full
lightning bolt through my slit. When class was over, there was snail trails on my chair.”
I mean, come on you couldn’t have said anything else like I was horny, you know maybe there
were other descriptive words that I’m not going to get into. But you go from “lightning
bolt through my slit” very descriptive to “snail trails on my chair.”
“And no one should have sat on that chair after me, it was damp.”
100% agree and I can’t imagine the poor middle school teachers whose students watched this
show and are saying horrendous things from this in their classrooms.
Yep. To the educators of America. We say we’re
But Hey, it’s a good show. Yeah.
Okay, so any other fun word choice stuff that really stood out to you and warranted being
called brilliant. In this season? When Amber shoots Jesse and they ass, a lesser
writer would’ve had Jesse saying “she shot me in the ass. Ow, it hurts.” Or something
like that instead. And let me quote here. “She got me in my meat. It’s down in my butthole.
She broke my butthole.” There’s also great juxtaposition in their jokes.
Yeah. There’s a great moment where a let me say
this is very profane. Scotty talking to Gideon, “we could have been a killer team, Gideon.
Pussy brothers of Thailand. Corny low budget Kung Fu picks by day, slamming ass at night.
Vegetarian options in every fucking restaurant. Thailand is fucking bananas.”
I do want to say a country where you have vegetarian options in every restaurant is
great. It’s bananas.
I won’t speak to the, the moral stature of those other travel activities. But no, that
writing is, is phenomenal. And I think for any of us that, that like writing or interested
in words and especially are interested in good comedy writing.
Yeah. It really is a master class and how they use
Study up kids. In terms of brilliant couple other small things. This is a little more
serious, but I really liked the way the show dealt with the relationship between religion
and commerce. Right.
I think a lot of times there can be a tendency for shows to crap on religion.
Yeah. I like unfair ways, but I think it gets at
the compatibility of like mega church Christianity and certain economic trends we have in this
country. Cause like they’re even expanding the same way that a restaurant might sort
of build out franchises. They have their prayer centers.
Yeah. And they have to push out competitors so they
can open those prayers. Hostile take overs of other churches.
Yeah. I got to read this one and get it right. But they even have Holy Grounds, a Gemstone
family brand of coffee. Wow.
So they’ve developed their own coffee brand and coffee shops. So I think it explores the
way in which religion and kind of capitalism intertwine in a really interesting way that
I think is fair while also, I don’t know, showing the genuine religious experience of
people in that community. What’s interesting, really interesting about the Gemstones is
that they’re, they’re all out for fame and money, but it’s not like they’re, cynically,
it would’ve been easy to paint them as cynical. They actually don’t even believe in God.
Yeah. Oh Jesse, like gets, he sits on the bed and
prays to God. Yeah.
In the middle of the season when things are at his lowest point.
Yeah. “Good afternoon, Jesus. Thank you for watching
after my family and myself.” They all believe they’ve just distorted themselves
into believing in this certain kind of weird way. Yeah. And I think that’s really interesting.
And again, it’s not making fun of the people who go to the church.
No. And I also like, this is kind of related to
commerce. There’s kind of a juxtaposition between the Hollywood, as you know, there’s
acting… Gideon goes to be a stunt actor in Hollywood and everything’s a performance,
but literally as a Gemstone, every Sunday you have to put on a performance…
Yeah. …On a stage with a band, with weird montages
of your mission in China, you have to have a personal brand. They’re performers.
Well even the way Jesse, when he gets to do the Easter service, he says, I’m headlining.
Yeah. So describes it the way you were describing
the main act at a concert or something like that.
Yeah. And I think Gideon’s a good example. You’re
right. Cause Gideon, someone who comes up in that world, rebels by leaving and going
to Hollywood to be a stuntman, mostly for women. But then where do we end? With him
in Haiti just doing good stuff. Right.
So for him, we almost see Gideon’s religious journey of coming up in the Gemstones universe,
leaves and becomes Scotty’s little Lackey and eventually just go someplace to try to
genuinely help people. So I think we explore the themes of religion tied up with institutional
religion in interesting ways. Yeah, I have one last brilliant thing I’ll throw out, which
is episode five, the interlude episode, which is our flashback to seeing Amy Lee in the
flesh in her prime years with Baby Billy singing Misbehaving.
“Two little country kids outside Misbehaving.” We get to see all of our favorite Gemstones
except Kelvin who’s in the womb as kids. And I think this episode was pretty perfect. Front
to back was really fun, had the great song, but did a lot of work of fleshing out the
emotional stories of these characters, showing us why Amy Lee was so important to them and
showing us why Uncle Baby Billy had such a contentious relationship with the family.
Yep. So I can say episode five. Brilliant. Anything
else you have in the brilliant category? I think we got it.
Okay. Well we’ve done the good, we’ve done the bad, survived the lightning round, done
the brilliant. The last thing to do now is to give our final ratings for the show. Now,
Alec, as you know in the show, we always use a five point scale.
Right. What should our value be? What should this
be five units of to adequately rate the Righteous Gemstones?
We could do like hail Mary’s, but I feel like… That’s good.
…car pranks? Okay, so today we will be ranking the show
on a scale of one to five car pranks. So how many car pranks do you get, season one of
the Righteous Gemstones? Hold on. What’s, what’s one car prank out
of five and what’s five car pranks out of five?
Five car pranks out of five. I mean here we’re talking like a Fast and the Furious type situation
where city streets are shut down. Chaos is raining. One, you do a little bumper car thing
with your friends Pontiac. Okay. With that being said, I think four.
It’s not a perfect show. Yeah.
Really, really love it. I think I’m going to be very stingy about my fives to be honest.
I respect that. I feel like only so many people deserve A
plus pluses. You know it’s like Judy says, she said she
got around a lot and was throwing things out but really BJ was her first. So she kept it
special the same way that you are keeping your rating special and I respect that.
Thank you. I am going to be a little reckless here. I’m
going to say five out of five. Wow.
These things are personal but when I really think about all the shows I watched in 2019
that was the show that every Sunday night I couldn’t wait for the new episode to come
out. I was surprised by it. I was excited by it and I don’t think I laughed harder at
anything this year. I’m giving it five out of five car pranks. Things are bad. Call your
friends that work for the fire services cause they got to put this out. Well Alec, we’ve
done it. We’ve covered the good, the bad, the brilliant and had our lightning round
and ranked things in terms of car pranks. So thank you so much for being here. I hope
you had as much fun as I did. I think I did.
Fantastic. Well, this has been the good, the bad, and the brilliant. Please let us know
what sort of properties you’d love to see us cover in the future. Come back soon. And
in the meantime, peace.