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Why does BJ always drink milk on “The Ri Right Gemstone”?

In the new season of “Righteous Gems, “which premiered last weekend, the famous family of corrupt evangelical superstars gathers for Sunday lunch on the top floor of a nearby restaurant. The weekly ritual is intended to be a time for reflection. Reflect and relax after services in the stadium-sized church run by Gemstone, but it inevitably turns into a close bond between siblings Jesse (Danny McBride), Kelvin (Adam DeVine), and Judy ( Edi Patterson).

The corner of three brothers and sisters because of their father’s love Type “succession” as they debated the validity of Judy’s recent marriage to her longtime fiancé BJ. (They fled to “an area by several trips” at Walt Disney World, where Prince Eric of “The Little Mermaid” presided over the wedding.) Meanwhile, BJ (short for Benjamin Jason, do Tim Baltz) is busy swirling milk in a glass of wine, bringing it to his face as if he were trying his nose on an expensive Malbec.

One of the reasons why I love this series so much (apart from the fact that I was raised in a conservative Christian community not unlike Gemstone’s)? It’s completely packed with these snappy visual gags. But this isn’t the first time the people behind “Legal Gems” have made this particular creative choice.

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Go back and zoom in on BJ’s position at most of the Gemstone family dinners, both indoors and out. He enjoys a tall glass or a milkshake while others have soda, water or wine ready. I did this while revisiting the series and watching it again. Each time, I find it more and more ridiculous.

I think of what Jesse must have said the first time BJ, whose family constantly mocked him for his softness, ordered a glass of milk for dinner. “What are you BJ? A king child?”

And I think that’s the problem. Milk is a big deal in the Bible, where it is mentioned in the Old Testament about 50 times. While the concept of “The Land of Milk and Honey,” a phrase used to describe the physical and spiritual abundance that awaited the wandering Jews of Israel, perhaps the best known, but there are several passages found throughout the New Testament. equate milk consumption with infantile status.


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The apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthians: “I feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you are not ready.” “And even now you’re not ready.”

This sentiment is repeated in the Book of Hebrews: “For up to this point you have been a teacher, but you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s commandment. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone. For milk is unskilled in righteous words, for it is a child.”

In the context of Christian scripture, “solid foods” or “meat” are elements of God’s Word that more mature believers can understand and apply, while those who consume this metaphorical milk are living somewhere on a spectrum in the midst of utter ignorance. and understand only the basics of the Christian way of life.

The same goes for BJ, whose baptism into the church promises to be a major plot point in the season (especially after it’s revealed that he comes from a family particularly interested in science). ). However, I think it’s a bit more nuanced. There is a long legacy in popular culture of portraying adults as either milk-drinking or pathetic (in the video game “Skyrim”, “milk drinker” is seen as an insult. offense) or just other. . . Turn off.

Look at Liam McPoyle (Jimmi Simpson), the incestuous and sweaty guy who constantly milks from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” or Anton Chigurgh (Javier Bardem) in “No Country for Old Men,” the killer. The villain has managed to create an atmosphere of palpable tension by simply knocking down an entire bottle of milk stolen from a potential victim’s refrigerator.

So far, BJ has been portrayed as quirky – a genderless geek with an unsuccessful nose – albeit without malice.

Like video essay”Milk in the movie: Why do the characters drink it?“pointed out, milk can also be used as a visual cue to indicate a character’s innocence or childish saneness. This reading can also apply to BJ.

While the rest of the Gems are battling their own demons, from their respective forms of corruption – from monstrous greed to the hiring of sex workers and drug use at… a prayer conference – BJ remained largely on the sidelines. By far his biggest hit was getting an earring, which he happily wears for his job as an optometrist at the local Piggly Wiggly.

While the details of drinking milk so far have only been – a Easter egg background for enthusiastic viewers like me – I like to think it hints at more character development in the next season. Will BJ maintain his chastity as he becomes more involved in the church? Or will his odd behavior become more sly? Time will tell, but I’m just saying, we knew something was going to happen if BJ reached for a glass of wine.

“The Ri Right Gemstones” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.

For more stories of where food and TV meet, check out:

https://www.salon.com/2022/01/15/why-is-bj-always-drinking-milk-on-the-righteous-gemstones/ Why does BJ always drink milk on “The Ri Right Gemstone”?

Emma Bowman

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