With each passing season of the show, it becomes clear there is no redemption for the devilishly hilarious evangelical Gemstone family. They have enough issues to rival any comic book character, and it doesn’t appear like they will learn how to function in a healthy and productive way. The Righteous Gemstones Season 3 dives deeper into the dysfunction and introduces more zany relatives into the mix.
This latest season shines the spotlight firmly on the Gemstone children and their immature ways. As Jesse’s (Danny McBride) profile grows, he becomes even more intolerable and pompous. Similarly, his sister Judy (Edi Patterson) tries to hide a secret from her husband BJ (Tim Baltz) and justify her actions. Elsewhere, Kelvin (Adam DeVine) and Keefe Chambers’ (Tony Cavalero) sexual tension is on another level, as viewers wonder if they will finally give in to temptation. Of course, Eli (John Goodman) and Baby Billy (Walton Goggins) are still a part of the shenanigans, too, while the new season opens the door to Steve Zahn and Kristen Johnston to enter as new characters.
Like previous seasons, The Righteous Gemstones Season 3 features its abundance of backstabbing and unexpected twists. What does make this instalment different, however, is how showrunner-writer-occasional director McBride pushes the humour to more profane heights than before. If the audience remembers Eastbound & Down or Vice Principals, they will remember how McBride wasn’t afraid to take off the gloves and swoosh around in the foulest pot to pull out a gag. While The Righteous Gemstones has never been sanitised or PG, it removes all its shackles in Season 3. There are moments that would make even the almighty Kenny Powers blush.
It’s easy to dismiss this approach as utilising dirty jokes to cater to the lowest-common denominator, but it isn’t that. Instead, this is a perfect reflection of the family and their dynamics on screen – they aren’t listening to Bach but Kid Rock. The Gemstones are messy, rude, and downright terrible human beings. It also isn’t lost how they are the ultimate hypocrites who hide behind the good book but do the opposite of its teachings. They continue to not practice what they preach and still find the time to defend their actions and criticise those who point it out.
The fantastic direction and skilled camerawork juxtapose the trashy humour of the show. Look, this isn’t a series that requires a lot of special effects or multiple locations, but it’s evident there is a budget for the production and McBride and his collaborators David Gordon Green and Jody Hill bring a cinema-inspired method to what they do on set. When the HBO logo hits before the episode starts, everyone presumes this isn’t a cheap sitcom and it comes across in the overall presentation of the show.
Looking back, it’s surprising how there isn’t more of a buzz around this show – maybe it’s simply because the audience is absorbed in fancier and fantastical HBO shows such as The Last of Us and House of the Dragon. The Righteous Gemstones Season 3 is unlikely to change this or attract new viewers, but like its name implies, it is a gem of a show. The Gemstones are lying, cheating, megalomaniacal, scumbag hypocrites – and then there are the real rotten ones as well. But then again, which family is perfect at the end of the day?
Sergio Pereira is a prolific and recognised journalist and writer from Johannesburg, South Africa. His expertise encompasses the topics of comic books, film, television, and video games. For over 16 years, he has built up his reputation and knowledge in entertainment journalism by writing for and learning from the world's largest publications.
Sergio is also an accredited Rotten Tomatoes reviewer and has interviewed numerous celebrities, such as Andy Serkis, Ben Barnes, Idris Elba, Letitia Wright and Frank Miller. He is the author of the highly rated fantasy comedy novel The Not-So-Grim Reaper and numerous short stories. In addition, he is the co-writer of the South African crime drama film The Lifesaver. As a regular columnist, he contributes to Looper, Grunge, Screen Rant, Ranker, CBR, SYFY WIRE, IGN Africa, Thought Catalog and Fortress of Solitude.
For Sergio, all he wants in life is to see the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles eclipse the Justice League as the greatest heroes of all time. Then, he will sleep peacefully.