The new ABC comedy-drama GCB (Good Christian Bitches) made its debut with big hair, bigger personalities, and the biggest secrets on prime time television. It’s the perfect follow-up to Desperate Housewives since the series is similar in tone, comedic style and pace. Each scene in GCB tactfully exposes its characters amid loads of dirty Texas laundry. If the Real Housewives met Desperate Housewives, it would be GCB.
Based on the novel Good Christian Bitches by Kim Gatlin, Amanda Vaughn (Leslie Bibb) reluctantly returns to Dallas from Los Angeles with her two teen kids after the untimely death of her philandering husband. And there’s good reason in the GCB premiere why Amanda’s so apprehensive about returning home: tiny surgically enhanced Texas spitfire Carlene Cockburn (Kristin Chenoweth), the woman Amanda tortured in high school. Together with former high school “frenemies”, Carlene is out for payback on Amanda, even if her so-called friends also become casualties.
In fact, Carlene’s pack of GCB girls are somewhat casualties anyway since they’ve all become her minions. Away from Carlene, however, former beauty queen Sharon (Jennifer Aspen) now struggles with being an overweight mom while Heather (Marisol Nichols) and Cricket (Miriam Shor) compete for top businesswoman honors on the show.
Years later (now present day), Amanda’s former targets are out to exact revenge on their Queen Bee.
But when Amanda returns to Dallas, she’s not the mean girl she once was. Instead, as we can see where GCB may be going in the future, Carlene has turned into her former bully.
At the same time, GCB pokes fun at the “good Christian” stereotype of devoted church-goers who don’t quite practice what they preach. In the premiere, GCB took direct aim at a certain hypocrisy that exists within the Sunday church crowd and the illusion of what it means to be a wholesome family. Although we don’t know why Amanda returned a changed woman so many years later, it’s clear that the social strata of southern GCB society will be exposed through Amanda’s eyes.
Like Desperate Housewives, the characters of GCB are overblown caricatures but certainly relatable on many levels. It’s the same sudsy soap opera drama with southern style. GCB is all about keeping up appearances, what the neighbours think, high society, high school grudges, back-stabbing, southern customs, and religious cliches.
If GCB looks can kill, we can’t wait to see who drops first.