• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Aug 18, 2019
Season #: 2, 1
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Aug 15, 2019
    91
    The Righteous Gemstones is hallelujah-worthy for its performances, energy, comedy, dramedy and occasional little heart tugs.
  2. Reviewed by: Garrett Martin
    Aug 16, 2019
    90
    Gemstones delicately balances the ridiculous and extreme with surprisingly subtle character moments that keeps the show from drifting too far away from legitimate emotion and humanity.
  3. Reviewed by: Ben Travers
    Aug 14, 2019
    83
    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.
  4. Reviewed by: Terry Terrones
    Aug 13, 2019
    83
    Watching Jesse Gemstone squirm because of the troublesome situation he manufactured for himself is wildly entertaining. There’s nothing quite like seeing simpleminded cretins get their comeuppance, and viewers will see plenty of that in “The Righteous Gemstones.”
  5. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Aug 19, 2019
    80
    Where the series ultimately thrives, though, is in its characterizations, which transform in unexpected ways over the course of the first six episodes (which were all that was provided for press).
  6. Reviewed by: Bruce Miller
    Aug 12, 2019
    80
    “The Righteous Gemstones” clicks along for a couple of episodes, then hits high gear when Walton Goggins shows up as Baby Billy Freeman, Eli’s late wife’s brother. ... Tossing him – a propane tank of emotions – into a volatile mix like this enhances what already was a comic firestorm.
  7. Reviewed by: Dan Fienberg
    Aug 8, 2019
    80
    HBO's new comedy The Righteous Gemstones is likely to resonate with the audience that embraced his previous HBO comedies and perplex those requiring more conventionally "likable" characters. ... The Righteous Gemstones is coarse and enthusiastically performed, with punchlines that don't always hit for me, but the first six episodes have highlights of surprising potency.
  8. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Aug 19, 2019
    75
    The series premiere is an hour long and that’s just fine because we’re just meeting his family and there’s a lot of soak in. But subsequent episodes running as long as 40 minutes seem padded. Feels like this should be a half-hour show. Remarkably, even as we’re shaking our heads at the hypocrisy of these people, by the fourth or fifth episode we have come to like these characters and we start to care about what happens to them. Well. Some of them.
  9. Reviewed by: Randall Colburn
    Aug 16, 2019
    75
    The good news is that the other characters are getting there, both emotionally and satirically. With each episode, the church, the dimming light binding these characters together, is crystallizing into a symbol of the spiritual void left by Aimee-Leigh’s absence. That emptiness needs to be filled somehow, and The Righteous Gemstones is best when it confronts both that need and the needs that bring anyone into a spiritual community.
  10. Reviewed by: Niv M. Sultan
    Aug 6, 2019
    75
    Despite its proclivity for forced, flat subplots, The Righteous Gemstones is a compelling and humanizing study of its characters, the faith they profess, and the world they strive to proselytize.
  11. Reviewed by: Brian Patchett
    Aug 12, 2019
    72
    Gemstones' subtler moments work better than its bold strokes.
  12. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Aug 14, 2019
    65
    This is a decent show that could quickly become good or even great. All the pieces are there, even if McBride seems to be struggling at the beginning to put them together into one convincing sermon. Still, I wouldn't blame anyone for coming back every Sunday.
  13. Reviewed by: Rebecca Nicholson
    Feb 5, 2020
    60
    For the bulk of this opener, The Righteous Gemstones hovers cautiously, without ever quite finding the strength of its voice. But it clearly has the potential to be much more. I’m praying for these Gemstones to shine.
  14. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    Aug 16, 2019
    60
    The show sometimes meanders too much. The cast, as is always the case in McBride’s projects, is incredibly strong. ... But for now, it’s a show about a spiritually bankrupt family that hasn’t quite found its own soul.
  15. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Aug 16, 2019
    50
    While “The Righteous Gemstones” does indeed partake in some rather low-hanging fruit as it mocks the megachurch milieu (where the prosperity gospel rains its flashiest blessings upon those who preach it), it occasionally hints at some stronger potential. Mostly the show comes off as an unfinished, vaguely Coen brothers-flavored 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.
  16. Reviewed by: Inkoo Kang
    Aug 15, 2019
    50
    Judy isn’t distinct enough from her brothers. Worse yet, she occupies the same role that so many of McBride’s other female creations have before her: that of a screeching scold. ... All of which might be forgivable if the series dug deeper into its other ostensible targets: televangelism, the prosperity gospel, and broader aspects of evangelical culture. But at least in its first six episodes, the show barely scratches the surface before reverting to a more conventional crime-dramedy mode.
  17. Reviewed by: Daniel D'Addario
    Aug 9, 2019
    50
    Its best asset, a premise that can open up to sharp commentary and granular sociological depiction, is lost. Not merely does this series have little real perspective on what goes on in the family church services, but its push to redeem Jesse seems to seek a depth and soulfulness neither script nor performance consistently serves.
  18. Reviewed by: Matt Goldberg
    Aug 16, 2019
    40
    The show doesn’t lack style, but it’s shockingly weak on substance given its singular setting. Instead of plunging us into the world of televangelism, The Righteous Gemstones is just another group of wealthy jerks who happily bicker amongst each other when they’re not scraping everyone else off their shoes.
  19. Reviewed by: Kristi Turnquist
    Aug 15, 2019
    40
    Despite the abilities of the cast, McBride’s touch is too heavy, and before long, we yearn for some heavenly force to smite Jesse, just to get him to stop cursing, insulting everyone and strutting around in total blowhard fashion. ... It’s not clear what exactly it is trying to do. And it’s not funny enough to make us want to keep watching.
  20. Reviewed by: Judy Berman
    Aug 15, 2019
    40
    When [John Goodman] gets the spotlight, there are hints of the show The Righteous Gemstones could’ve been.
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 26
  2. Negative: 4 out of 26
  1. Aug 19, 2019
    0
    How does Danny McBride keep getting work? Same freakin' character as Eastbound and Down, VPs and every other angry, dumb hick he's played forHow does Danny McBride keep getting work? Same freakin' character as Eastbound and Down, VPs and every other angry, dumb hick he's played for his entire career. Oh look! McBride plays another fleshy loudmouth with a bad haircut who curses when he needs a punchline! Yes! I couldn't get enough it on his other crappy shows. What another refreshing change for the yelling "comedian" who has been mislead that his take on anything is worth telling the world about. WTF, HBO! Is McBride related to Mr. HBO? Full Review »
  2. Aug 30, 2019
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. The plot is amazing, but the way it is told is really uninteresting because of character narratives that are outdated.
    I have no feeling for the four main characters. They are not convincing.
    The ton of the first two episodes seems to be a mix of comedy and something serious : are the characters supposed to be funny ? or taken seriously ? The mix is so much more well done in Succession and VEEP.

    SPOILERS

    McBride (Jesse Gemstone) is the wrong actor for this role. I don't believe in this character. He lacks of seriousness, always playing with funny attitude (accent) and movements (hands on hips).
    He is supposed to have this beautiful wife, but when they are both in the scene , it's like they don't even believe their characters are married. It is all very overplayed like a outdated comedy (the scene were Amber G, Jesse's wife (Cassidy Freeman) asks only to him to remove his shoes).
    The character narrative is so not interesting. He is being blackmailed because of a video where he takes cocaine and he's with prostitutes. I mean... is this why I watch a show about big church in the US ? to see another bad guy cheating on his wife and taking drugs ? what ? you say this is the main plot of the tv show ? uuurgh ! I don't find it funny or interesting, ... I don't care !

    The sister, Judy and the other brother, Kelvin Gemstone, played by Edi Patterson and Adam Devine are maybe more convincing, because they have a little more interesting narrative (Judy is confronted to her sexist family and Kelvin on the verge of his coming out). But again, isn't it a little bit easy and déjà-vu ?

    I will decide at the third episode if there is enough hope to continue...
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 19, 2019
    7
    A solidly amusing pilot episode. The Righteous Gemstones is an enjoyable parody of televangelists with a lot of potential. Current ratingA solidly amusing pilot episode. The Righteous Gemstones is an enjoyable parody of televangelists with a lot of potential. Current rating based only on the first episode. I'll update the score and provide more details as the season progresses. Full Review »