“GCB” began making waves early in its conception when its name came under attack from various religious advocacy groups. Formerly titled “Good Christian Bitches,” then altered to “Good Christian Belles” and finally settling on simply “GCB,” the show offends in more ways than just its name. Operating through exaggerated Southern charm and unrelenting accents, “GCB” reduces every character to a stereotype, presenting them in nothing more than busty blouses, short skirts and forced dialogue.
Sundays at 10 p.m.
Amanda Vaughn’s (Leslie Bibb, “Iron Man”) husband dies after his car drives off of a cliff while a lady friend is, ahem, pleasuring him. The very fact that he dies from road head is questionable enough — but wait, there’s more! Afterward, Amanda loses everything (because she doesn’t have a job … of course) and must move back into her mother’s mansion in her hometown of Dallas (rough life). However, her return is not received enthusiastically, as it’s revealed she was the resident mean girl in high school, and her peers still hold a grudge against teenage Amanda.
Soon after arriving, Amanda begins receiving gifts from an anonymous “Secret Admirer,” much to the dismay of her former schoolmates: Carlene Cockburn (Kristin Chenoweth, “Pushing Daisies”), Sharon Peacham (Jennifer Aspen, “Rodney”), Heather Cruz (Marisol Nichols, “24”) and Cricket Caruth-Reilly (‘U’ alum Miriam Shor, “Mildred Pierce”).
Carlene, the ringleader, begins to plot her vengeance against Amanda with the help of the gang. Together, they sabotage Amanda’s search for a job and a new home, while also keeping a watchful eye on her every move.
Everything about “GCB” is over the top. From the horribly fake Texan accents to the donning of cowboy hats and boots by virtually every character, “GCB” wants you to know that these characters are Southern in every way of the word — and the audience hears it loud and clear.
Further, the show exploits the most offensive stereotypes of women as a minority group. Women are denigrated to vengeful, hateful, gold-digging creatures obsessed with coming out on top in the popularity contest of life, no matter the cost. Watching these women interact with each other is reminiscent of a staged episode of “The Real Housewives of fill-in-the-blank,” with money and drama as the major themes at the forefront. These women are no Emily Thorne, Kate Austen or Meredith Grey.
The characters are shallow caricatures acting in juvenile fashion. Amanda barely grieves for her dead husband before openly pursuing new suitors. Even her children don’t seem to be bothered by the circumstances of their father’s death and assimilate to Texan life almost too easily. The scorned schoolmates seem to do little else besides plot their revenge, a storyline that already feels old.
The only redeeming quality is a potentially promising storyline in which Cricket’s husband is revealed to be gay. Though this plotline is eerily reminiscent of a “Brokeback Mountain” type of ordeal, it could be a site of fantastic character and community exploration. Southern communities are often cited as homophobic places, and this could provide commentary on the topical subject matter.
If you’re looking for a mindless way to pass the time, then this is the perfect show. But if you hope for your shows to carry a bit more depth in character and plot development, stay clear of “GCB.”