“The Righteous Gemstones” is another show about a family, but one that couldn’t be more different than the Conners of “Roseanne.” The Gemstones are a family of wildly-successful televangelists who have seen ungodly financial success through the family’s megachurch. As to be expected, the Gemstones aren’t nearly as reverent as they would appear, with their religious personas covering up how deeply dysfunctional, corrupt, and sinful they all truly are. John Goodman plays the head of the Gemstone family, faced with the impossible inevitability that the Gemstone empire will need to be passed down to one of his messy and ridiculous children. Goodman plays the character with exceptional skill, and it never would have happened had Roseanne Barr not shown her ass online by confirming in writing that she’s a racist clown.
Goodman confirmed this during an interview with Entertainment Weekly, where he said the offer from show creator Danny McBride came almost immediately after the “Roseanne” revival was canceled. “So I had nothing better to do,” Goodman said, laughing. “But the script was so good that it was no thought, you got to do it.” The cast of “The Righteous Gemstones” is already one of the best on TV, with McBride and Goodman joined by Edi Patterson, Adam DeVine, Cassidy Freeman, Tim Baltz, Tony Cavalero, and the incomparable Walton Goggins. But Goodman plays Eli Gemstone in a way that no one else could. Blessed are we for small miracles.