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  • Writer's pictureSusannah Powers Stengel

What Would Judy Gemstone Do? The 10 Commandments of The Righteous Judy Gemstone


Spoilers For: The Bad Girl Bible of Judy Gemstone, The Righteous Gemstones Seasons 1 and 2.

"I'll sit down with her, bad girl to bad girl."

Judy Gemstone self-identifies as a magnanimous naughty girl. She's scrappy, feral, ferocious, electric, and psycho. The Righteous Gemstones are evangelical, opportunistic freaks of comedy I love to worship on HBO Sundays. Histrionic hissy fits fire between the three megachurch dynasty spoiled children of Eli Gemstone (John Goodman). While I praise the snakeskin boot of vanity that is oldest brother Jesse Gemstone (Danny McBride), and exalt in the deepest v-neck tee of baby bro Kelvin Gemstone (Adam DeVine), I've fallen the very hardest for Judy Gemstone (Edi Patterson), the show's only begotten daughter.

She's a cackling maniac of an emotionally prepubescent circa 40-year-old, seemingly stopped in time at the death of her mother some years ago. She's sexually immature, rampantly controlling, desperate for the spotlight, uninterested in hard work or compromise, and hungry for love. Myriad misogynistic structures of fundamentalist sacred society attempt to limit her agency and quiet her loud ass voice. Lest her talent be ignored, Judy screams to be heard. When I want to embrace the Chaotic Body of the Divine Modern Feminine, I ask myself: What would Judy Gemstone do?

The 10 Commandments of The Righteous Judy Gemstone

1. Thou shalt make it all about you.

Whatever the situation, whatever the stakes, you're the main event. Be you in the middle of a family dinner, a church performance, or a police investigation, circulate conversation around a sacred north star--yourself and how others should, in fact, be serving you. The unfaithful may uphold false idols (themselves), but carry on, indignant goddess.

2. Thou shalt make it all a competition.

Your brothers who share in your family multimillion dollar Christian legacy are your greatest co-conspirators and your greatest enemies. Talk over each other at every cost.

3. Thou shalt delight in a Dom/Sub relationship for the ages.

When you marry BJ (performed by Tim Baltz, with marvelous clowning masochist chops) your unholy matrimony will brim with emotionally abusive kink. Follow the Book of Judy and you'll wind up in a similar dumpster fire of a controlling marriage. Loving BJ isn't Judy's salvation, it's her permission to self-destruct.

4. Thou shalt delight in the pain of others—forever and always.

Judy's sadism is second only to her active delight in belittling others for her own perceptual benefit. She lives for a vicious insult or a poorly timed joke. She wants to take a crown she perceives her brothers to be hoarding. She's horny for anyone to fail in front of her, and constantly attempts to set others up for social gaffes or admissions. Alas, she's quite bad at sticking the schadenfreude landing, and always looks worse for the trying. Bless her wicked heart.

5. Thou shalt not get to misbehavin'!

To enact the gospel of Judy Gemstone, you must be prepared to perform "Misbehavin'", an admonishingly eerie children's Christian folk song. "Judy performs it in a creaky homage to her mother with her aging, cunning uncle, Baby Billy. The lyrics are unfathomably dusty. Sins include crick swimmin' and playin' with a stick. So good. Don't forget to learn the tap dance! Gotta make Momma proud!

Check out Judy's Misbehavin' in Front of Thousands:

Misbehavin'" was penned originally for this tv series and first debuted in the season one flashback episode "Interlude". Please watch this, else your tricks and mischief lead you to Satan.

6. Thou shalt have a nervous breakdown in a Piggly Wiggly parking lot.

Thou shalt repetitively abuse thy beloved's coworker's car while being watched by store security and a growing crowd of onlookers. Thou shalt subsequently charge with a shopping cart barreling at said security, a crusade against the injustice of healthy boundaries everywhere. Best. Scene. Ever. (When her jaw opens in rage mid-run, I see a dark part of my own soul I can only rehearse, never perform.)

7. Thou shalt engage in only the most brutally possessive behaviors in front of the family of your beloved.

Call your in-laws names, engage in bathroom stall stare outs, distort reality at will in their presence. A little violence never hurts.You don't need luck to build a family unit with these arbitrary aggressions, you just need God's love!

8. Thou shalt be shut out by thy direct biological family at every turn.

Try and try again, it matters not. Manipulate. Berate. Self-Aggrandize. Barter. Lie. You'll always be the least important member of the Gemstones. Your family constantly reminds you of this, and the aching loneliness that results ("the hurt" as BJ calls it) is at the center of your character, drawing out your relatable broken heart.

9. Thou shalt use sex as a weapon and fail miserably in the process.

Slipping a little bra-covered cleavage doesn't always do the trick. Keep trying.

10. Thou shalt think impure thoughts. Revel in them.

The noxious fumes of your own insecurity will cover you in a pink cloud of angels, dollar signs, needs for release, incest jokes, creepy confrontations, and staggering selfishness. Don't just give in to the impurity, innovate it and monetize it! Throw fear in the crick and embrace your inner misbehavin' monster. Your delusions are your divine destiny, so keep asking for more and keep making it about you. #Blessed

Judy Gemstone's a certified Christian Ladies League freak, seven days a week. She is a raw nerve ending of our id impulses, wrapped in an overpriced crucifix pearl necklace. Judy in the Highest.

Who's your favorite Gemstone?

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