TV Talk: The Righteous Gemstone, This Way Up, On Becoming a God in Central Florida, Ballers, Sweetbitter, Pose, and Baskets.
The Righteous Gemstones (HBO)
Well into the second generation of a grand televangelist tradition, the world-famous Gemstone family is living proof that worship pays dividends in all sizes. Patriarch Eli, the man most responsible for the tremendous success of the family’s megachurch, is in mourning over the loss of his wife. Jesse, the eldest of the three grown Gemstone siblings, looks to lead in his father’s footsteps, but finds his past sins jeopardizing the family ministry. Next in line comes middle sister Judy, who secretly lives with her fiancé and dreams of escaping the Gemstone compound. Rounding out the dysfunctional trio is pseudo-hipster Kelvin, the youngest of the preachers and a thorn in Jesse’s side. As the family battles numerous threats to their renowned religious empire, they continue to spread the good word… and make a solid buck doing so.
This Way Up (Hulu)
Aine is a smart English-as-a-foreign language teacher trying to pull her life back together after a `teeny little nervous breakdown’. Despite this, Aine puts on a brave face for her sister.
On Becoming a God in Central Florida (Showtime)
“On Becoming a God in Central Florida” is a dark comedy starring award-winning actress Kirsten Dunst that takes place in a small town that is adjacent to Orlando in the early 1990s. Dunst plays Krystal Stubbs, a minimum wage employee at a waterpark who is looking for a better life. To reach her goal, she lies, cheats and cons her way up the ranks of Founders American Merchandise (FAM), a cultish pyramid scheme that ruined her family in the first place. As Krystal dives deeper into FAM, things take on a very serious turn as the business begins to affect everyone that is close to her.
Final Season Premiere
A superstar during his football playing days, Spencer Strasmore tries to find the same success as a financial manager for current players in sun-splashed Miami. Heeding his boss Joe’s instruction to “monetize his friendships,” Spencer builds a client base of young phenoms and veteran stars alike, but his role in their lives far exceeds money management as he struggles to help them navigate the many traps that come with life as big-time “ballers.” The series is created by Stephen Levinson (“Entourage,” “Boardwalk Empire”) and stars Dwayne Johnson as Spencer.
A new life awaits 22-year-old Tess when she arrives friendless in New York City and lacking any specific ambitions beyond finding a job. Her charm and observational nature lead to an invitation to train at one of the city’s best restaurants. She thinks it is a temporary place to wait for her life’s big break, but Tess is quickly intoxicated by the people she meets and by the chaotic world behind the scenes — tasting expensive wine, exploring dive bars, learning whom to trust. Her co-workers become her family, and through them she finds a sense of belonging that she has never encountered before.
Set in the 1980s, `Pose’ is a dance musical that explores the juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in New York: the ball culture world, the rise of the luxury Trump-era universe, and the downtown social and literary scene. Blanca forms a `house’, a self-selected family that provides support to LGBTQ youth who have been rejected by their birth families. Damon is a dancer who joins Blanca’s house. Together, they compete in the balls — where house members challenge each other in various categories and are judged on their outfits, attitude, or dance skills — against Blanca’s former house mother, Elektra. Pray Tell is Godfather to the children who compete in the balls. Angel is a streetwalker who develops feelings for a new client, Stan, who has a loving wife, Patty. James Van Der Beek co-stars as Stan’s boss, Matt.
Chip Baskets has always dreamed of being a classically trained clown. After flunking out of French clown college — probably due to his inability to understand French — he returns home to Bakersfield, California, where he moves in with his mother, Christine, bickers with his twin brother, Dale, longs for his sophisticated Parisian ex-wife, and continues to pursue his professional clowning dream, with the assistance of his friend/assistant/insurance adjuster, Martha. Zach Galifianakis stars as both Chip and Dale, with Louie Anderson as Christine and Martha Kelly in the role of Martha.