The Righteous Gemstones, HBO’s most watched comedy debut in three years, tells the story of a world-famous televangelist family with a long tradition of deviance, greed and charitable work – all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now streaming on Showmax in South Africa, The Righteous Gemstones was recently renewed for a second season, after earning an 8.1/10 rating on IMDb, an 81% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and a place on Best of the Year lists everywhere from Hypebeast to Rotten Tomatoes.
Creator Danny McBride (Vice Principals, Eastbound & Down) stars as Jesse, the eldest of three grown Gemstone offspring, who looks to lead in his father’s footsteps but finds his past sins jeopardising the family ministry.
Adam DeVine (Pitch Perfect, Modern Family) and Edi Patterson (Vice Principals) co-star as Jesse’s siblings, Kelvin and Judy, while John Goodman (Roseanne, 10 Cloverfield Lane) plays Jesse’s father, televangelist Eli Gemstone (and appears three decades younger in an extended flashback, thanks to ground-breaking de-ageing VFX).
“The Gemstones are a world-famous televangelist family,” says McBride, who also wrote and directed the pilot. “They started out from humble beginnings and have slowly but surely built a humongous empire spreading the good word. The church used to be run by Eli Gemstone and Aimee-Leigh Gemstone; they were a husband and wife duo. Aimee-Leigh Gemstone has passed away and Eli finds himself in a place where he has to fill that void. He’s looking to his children to do that but all of his children come up short.”
That combination of extreme wealth and extreme paternal disappointment has earned The Righteous Gemstones a number of comparisons to another hit HBO show, Succession. As CNN says, “It’s a superbly written and acted dark comedy that humanizes its greedy characters as much as it mocks them in preposterous plots that make for delicious television – much like Succession.”
McBride says he grew up in a religious family, attending a Baptist church, with an aunt who is now a minister in the church. “I hope people don’t come out and think this is in any way anti-religious,” he says. “Ultimately, this is not about trying to target people’s faith and what they believe in – it’s really just targeting hypocrites and a family that has exploited religion for their own gain, which has made them lose touch with what their original mission was.”
Goodman says McBride’s insider approach was part of the appeal of the project. “I like Danny McBride’s view on things Southern. He’s from there, he’s very observant and it’s a nice prism. He makes these people funny by never talking down or punching down – it’s just basically human nature.”
So if you’re in need of a laugh, The Righteous Gemstones is the answer to your prayers. Can we get a Hallelujah?
The show is streaming now on Showmax.
Netflix releases final trailer for The Witcher
Just over a week away from the anticipated premiere of The Witcher, Henry Cavill surprised fans with a look at the second and final trailer at a fan event in Manila, Philippines.
Based on the best-selling fantasy series of books, The Witcher is an epic tale of fate and family. It is the story of the intertwined destinies of three individuals in the vast world of The Continent, where humans, elves, witchers, gnomes, and monsters battle to survive and thrive, and where good and evil is not easily identified.
Henry Cavill (Mission Impossible – Fallout, Man of Steel) leads the cast of The Witcher saga, playing the role of Geralt of Rivia, alongside other main cast members, Anya Chalotra (The ABC Murders, Wanderlust) as Yennefer and Freya Allan (The War of the Worlds, Into The Badlands) as Ciri.
Other previously announced cast include Jodhi May (Game of Thrones, Genius) as Calanthe, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson (Fortitude) as Eist, Adam Levy (Knightfall, Snatch) as Mousesack, MyAnna Buring (Ripper Street, Kill List) as Tissaia), Mimi Ndiweni (Black Earth Rising) as Fringilla, Therica Wilson-Read (Profile) as Sabrina, and Emma Appleton (The End of The F**king World) as Renfri, Eamon Farren (The ABC Murders, Twin Peaks) as Cahir, Joey Batey (Knightfall, Strike) as Jaskier, Lars Mikkelsen (House of Cards, Sherlock) as Stregobor, Royce Pierreson (Wanderlust, Judy) as Istredd, Maciej Musiał (1983) as Sir Lazlo, Wilson Radjou-Pujalte (Jamillah & Aladdin, Dickensian) as Dara, and Anna Shaffer (Harry Potter) as Triss.
For more information, visit Netflix.com/TheWitcher.
Resident Evil 3 gets remaster
The iconic PlayStation game, Resident Evil 3, modernises the climactic events of Raccoon City in April 2020.
This week on PlayStation’s State of Play broadcast, Capcom celebrated the 20th anniversary of the survival horror classic Resident Evil 3: Nemesis by unveiling a reimagined version of the game. On the heels of the award-winning Resident Evil 2, this highly demanded follow-up once again utilises Capcom’s proprietary RE Engine to complete the Raccoon City story arc.
Resident Evil 3 stars Jill Valentine – one of video games’ most iconic heroines – as she escapes from a crumbling Raccoon City while being pursued by the unrelenting bioweapon Nemesis. Players can also participate in previously untold Umbrella experiments on the outskirts of Raccoon City in the included online asymmetrical multiplayer game Resident Evil Resistance.
The game is set amidst the nightmarish outbreak of the T-virus, a biological weapon developed by the pharmaceutical company Umbrella Corporation. It marks the debut of Nemesis – a towering humanoid bioweapon designed for both brutality and high-functioning intelligence – whose dogged hunt of S.T.A.R.S. member Jill Valentine made him an icon of the Resident Evil series. Armed with an arsenal of high-powered weaponry and wrapped in a black suit to hide his mutilated features, Nemesis will maim, pulverize or destroy any obstacle on the path to his target.
Jill’s harrowing escape takes place in the panic-stricken hours leading up to and following the events of the acclaimed best-selling Resident Evil 2. Intense combat and puzzle solving combine to deliver the heart-pounding final chapter of Raccoon City’s collapse. The horrific settings from the original game and new content come to life as never before with RE Engine, previously utilized to create the acclaimed Resident Evil 7 biohazard, Resident Evil 2, and Devil May Cry 5 with high-definition graphics and modernized gameplay mechanics.
Complementing the action-packed single player campaign is Resident Evil Resistance, an asymmetrical 4 vs. 1 multiplayer game originally unveiled as a working title at Tokyo Game Show earlier this year. As the Mastermind behind the scenes, players can assume the role of key Resident Evil characters like Annette Birkin in a series of deadly experiments. Manipulate the environment and wield a deck of cards to place vicious creatures, set traps and weaponized security cameras to snare hapless Survivors. A first for the franchise, Masterminds can directly control elite bioweapons like G-Birkin and Tyrant. In turn, four Survivors must effectively work together, making the most of a variety of weapons and each player’s unique special abilities, to stand a chance of escaping the experiment before time runs out.
Resident Evil 3 will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam for PC on 3 April 2020. Those who pre-order will also receive the exclusive Classic Costume Pack that features the original design for Jill Valentine and hairstyle for Carlos Oliveira.