In which CJ and Dani agree to disagree about the best TV of the year.
I’ve found Danny McBride’s TV series – Eastbound and Down and Vice Principles – not quite for me; a little too broad and, in some way I can’t quite nail, ‘American’. But his new one for HBO, The Righteous Gemstones (HBO / Showcase), grabbed me from the very first scenes and propelled me through its nine episodes on my own righteous binge. This show is smart, clever, funny and just great fun. McBride plays the eldest of three adult sibling “mega-church” Florida preachers, ruled over by their father Eli Gemstone, played by John Goodman. But it’s not so much a satirical take-down of the church as it is a Coen Brothers-like crime comedy of incompetents trying to be criminals and getting themselves further and further in trouble; some of the dialogue and scripting is evocative of Elmore Leonard at his most colourful (and this show is very colourful). The supporting cast are superb: Adam Devine (who again, I’ver never appreciated before this) and (completely new to me) Edi Patterson are the siblings; I could watch each of their spin-off shows with glee. And Walton Goggins, Tony Cavalero and Scott MacArthur all make tasty meals of plum parts. This is really digestible; the first scene-setting ep is 51 minutes, but the average after that is 36. Binge and be happy! SEASON ONE * * * *