There are comedy creators whose sensibilities are darker than Danny McBride's. There are some whose satire is sharper, some whose characterizations are weaker, some whose sense of the moment is more or less developed. But there is no one more convinced than Danny McBride of the raw, unstoppable comedic power of male nudity—both frontal and rear.
McBride is the creator of the new HBO comedy The Righteous Gemstones. He has a track record at the network, for which he also made Eastbound & Down and Vice Principals. McBride's fondness for sniffing out the comedy in terrible people continues in Gemstones, which follows the greedy and fraudulent family headed by megachurch pastor Eli Gemstone (John Goodman). Eli's sons Jesse (McBride) and Kelvin (Adam Devine) and his daughter Judy (Edi Patterson) help run the empire along with Jesse's wife Amber (Cassidy Freeman).
It doesn't seem like the kind of show where you'd see a lot of naked dudes, but McBride finds a way.
This is relevant less because this fixation is either good or bad, and more because it's a reasonably good shorthand for McBride's style: He brings the expected satire about the excesses of extremely rich pastors and the foibles of families full of weirdos, but also a gleeful juvenile guffawing that can seem freeing in moderation and a bit like a crutch in excess.
There are two basic plot threads in Gemstones. One is Jesse's frantic effort to contain a possible scandal. It unfolds like one of the films you might label Hapless Dirtbags Do the Craziest Things—films that McBride has done with Seth Rogen and other members of the Judd Apatow cinematic universe; films like This Is the End and Pineapple Express. The other is Eli's territorial skirmish with local pastors near the new franchise he wants to open, who fear they'll be overrun like a small grocery store confronted with a new Walmart. Eli's clash with these men, led by Pastor Seasons (Dermot Mulroney), is staged like a standoff between crime families.