The Way Down

Watch The Way Down

  • TV-MA
  • 2021
  • 1 Season
  • 7.0  (3,373)

The Way Down is a miniseries drama from HBO Max that premiered in 2021, exploring the world of a fictional religious sect known as the Remnant Fellowship. The show is set in Nashville, Tennessee, and is loosely based on the real-life Remnant Fellowship Church and its founder, Gwen Shamblin.

The story revolves around the charismatic and enigmatic Gwen Shamblin, a best-selling author and leader of the Remnant Fellowship. She is revered by her followers as a prophet and spiritual guide, having developed a weight loss program that intertwines her faith teachings with a strict regimen of dieting and exercise.

As the show begins, we see the intense devotion that Gwen inspires in her followers, who refer to her as 'the Weigh Down Queen.' Her teachings have helped them shed pounds and find spiritual fulfillment, creating a sense of community that is almost cult-like in its intensity.

However, as the story unfolds, we start to see a darker side of the Remnant Fellowship. The church is rife with secrets, and members who stray from the teachings of Gwen are ostracized and shunned. Gwen herself is portrayed as a complex figure, deeply flawed and struggling with her own demons.

Throughout the series, we see the effects of the Remnant Fellowship's rigid and dogmatic belief system on the lives of its members. We meet characters like Rachel, a teenage girl who is sent to a 'boot camp' run by the church to cure her of her supposed rebelliousness, and Peter, a former member of the church who is haunted by his experience years later.

The show also explores the power dynamics within the church, as Gwen's husband, Joe, struggles to balance his role as a spiritual leader with his own ambitions and desires. As the series progresses, tension builds between Joe and Gwen, leading to a dramatic climax that upends the lives of everyone involved.

One of the standout aspects of The Way Down is its portrayal of the Remnant Fellowship's unique brand of Christianity. The church is shown as a spin-off of popular evangelical movements, but with a distinctive emphasis on the importance of weight loss as a form of spiritual discipline. This approach is both satirical and earnest, and the show strikes a delicate balance between poking fun at the absurdities of the world of evangelical megachurches while also exploring the sincere faith of its characters.

At the same time, the show does not shy away from the darker side of religious extremism. We see how the Remnant Fellowship's strict adherence to its teachings can lead to coercion, abuse, and even tragedy. The series asks important questions about the nature of faith, the pitfalls of dogma, and the dangers of unchecked authority.

With a talented cast that includes Elizabeth Marvel as Gwen Shamblin and Josh Lucas as Joe Lara, The Way Down is a gripping and thought-provoking series that explores the intersection of religion, power, and identity in America today. Whether you are a believer, a skeptic, or somewhere in between, this show is sure to stimulate your mind and challenge your assumptions about the role of religion in our lives.

The Way Down is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (5 episodes). The series first aired on September 30, 2021.

The Way Down
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The Way Forward
5. The Way Forward
April 28, 2022
As the Remnant Fellowship fights to control the narrative, footage of a never-aired reality series pilot surfaces, casting new light on the ways Gwen shaped her image and the lives of those who followed her.
4. Revelations
April 28, 2022
After a mysterious accident claims the lives of Gwen, Joe, and some of their inner circle, former Remnant members grapple with the leader’s complicated legacy, and new voices come forward for the first time.
Seen But Not Heard
3. Seen But Not Heard
September 30, 2021
When two Remnant members are charged with murder, Gwen rallies her congregation to defend against claims of abuse. As former church members recount their chilling experiences, another tragedy threatens to upend the future of the church.
A Family Affair
2. A Family Affair
September 30, 2021
Gwen's divorce and prompt remarriage to struggling actor/musician Joe Lara raise questions about the odd couple's checkered past - and the church's finances.
The Kingdom
1. The Kingdom
September 30, 2021
A deadly plane crash draws public attention to the Remnant Fellowship, a Christian-diet-program-turned-church, and its infamous leader, Gwen Shamblin Lara.
Where to Watch The Way Down
The Way Down is available for streaming on the HBO Max website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Way Down on demand at Max.
  • Premiere Date
    September 30, 2021
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (3,373)