The Righteous Gemstones | Sunday, 10 p.m., HBO
Southern megachurch secretary Judy Gemstone has good reason to come unhinged in “The Righteous Gemstones.” Played with a scene-stealing simmer by Edi Patterson, she craves respect but is demeaned by her prosperity gospel-preaching brothers, Jesse (Danny McBride) and Kelvin (Adam Devine). Patterson says she holds back in her portrayal — but only a little. “Sometimes I have a bit of a restraint because frustration feels different than absolutely letting it rip,” said the Texas native. “But it’s really fun to play someone who wants something with a white-hot, almost angry passion.” The power dynamic could be a winner for HBO: Last Sunday’s first episode was the network’s most-watched comedy premiere — with nearly 850,000 viewers — since McBride’s “Vice Principals,” on which Patterson co-starred, debuted in 2016 with 1.2 million eyeballs.
Patterson recently spoke to The Post by phone from LA.
Are the Gemstones believers or just grifters?
They are believers in their own ways — they just happen to be flawed people. They may think they can do things others can’t because they grew up on opulence and have a skewed perspective, but the belief is still real.
Why does Judy’s family hold her back?
They underestimate her. She’s very frustrated and manifests that in lashing out, sometimes because it bubbles to the point when she can’t hold it in anymore. When you’re around siblings a lot, those default kid settings come in. You could be 30, 40 years old, but you decide they’re still that little punk.
Where are you drawing from to play Judy?
Everyone knows the feeling of being seen and being not seen or slightly misunderstood, so I just find that in myself and turn up the volume, if you will, and let it blast.
What is Judy’s dream?
To feel as important as her brothers. I think she thinks and knows she can do it all and is the smartest one of the three [Gemstones]. Who knows if she is or not, but that’s what she thinks. I really, really feel for Judy. She’s awesome and I root for her. I want Judy to win!
Was your family religious?
I was in a fairly religious family. We went to church every Sunday and vacation Bible school and Sunday school. Not a megachurch but a small Episcopal church. I always dug the stuff like the covered dish suppers because I could feel the fun and the joy of what church could be. I could feel God in the more social things; most kids probably feel this way.
Did you know any prosperity gospel preachers like the Gemstones?
My only experience with the megachurch oeuvre was a show called “A Current Affair,” and they would sometimes put clips on of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. I was very fascinated with them. Not in, “Oh, I want to go to their church.” But she had so much makeup and their thing was so theatrical. They tapped into the theater-loving side of me. To see them talk, it was like, “What are they doing? Is this real? Is this an Andy Kaufman thing? What is this?”
Are you still religious?
I’m open to all things that lead toward the same place. If you really break down what Jesus was into, it’s the same stuff Buddha and Muhammad are into. I’m interested in the Jesus that hangs out with everyone and knows that people are born gay and chills with prostitutes and is against people doing bad things to other people.
— Eric Hegedüs
And here’s what else to watch this week:
Serengeti | Sunday, 8 p.m., Discovery
Shani, the zebra mother, crosses the river with her foal, but a crocodile is watching. Teenage Tembo the elephant falls out with the herd.
On Becoming a God in Central Florida | Sunday, 10 p.m., Showtime
Series premiere. Water-park employee Krystal Stubbs (Kirsten Dunst) schemes her way up the ranks of Founders American Merchandise (FAM) — a multibillion-dollar pyramid scheme that drove her family to financial ruin. Co-starring Ted Levine, as FAM’s creepy ringleader, and Alexander Skarsgård.
BH90210 | Wednesday, 9 p.m., Fox
The cast table read turns out to be a major disappointment; a script rewrite is in order. Meanwhile, Shannen Doherty questions her decision to join the reboot.
Carnival Row | Friday, Amazon
Series premiere. Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne play ex-lovers in this Victorian-era crime drama with incongruous elements of fantasy. Vignette (Delevingne) is a refugee fairy (she has wings) who travels to Burgue to find Philo (Bloom), a police inspector tracking down gruesome murders. With Jared Harris.
Four Weddings and a Funeral | Wednesday, Hulu
Kash (Nikesh Patel) and Maya (Nathalie Emmanuel), who is still living in Ainsley’s (Rebecca Rittenhouse) house, decide to date.
Growing Up Hip-Hop in New York | 10 p.m., We
Series premiere. Can the children of rap stars follow in their famous footsteps? We’ll find out when we meet Ja Rule and his kids, Irv Gotti and his br00d, Angie Pearson and Jonathan Wilson, and Young Dirty Bastard, son of Old Dirty Bastard.
90-Day Fiancé: The Other Way | Monday, 9 p.m., TLC
Tiffany and Ronald surprise everybody with big news. Laura pleads with her son to attend her wedding. A worried Jihoon isn’t prepared when Deavan leaves for South Korea. Meanwhile, Corey asks Evelin to cut off her ex.
By Eric Hegedus, Robert Rorke