‘GCB’ offers little to praise
March 5th, 2012
05:06 PM ET

‘GCB’ offers little to praise

With “Desperate Housewives” coming to an end this year, ABC has been searching for a new series that will take its place as a go-to guilty pleasure show. The latest contender for that title is “GCB.”

The show centers on Amanda (Leslie Bibb), a former high school mean girl who’s forced to move back home to Dallas with her teenage kids after her husband dies amidst personal and financial scandal.

While Amanda has spent the past 18 years growing into a better person, some of her high school classmates have gone in the opposite direction, ruling over Dallas society as a group of, well, GCBs. (We’ll get to that title in a minute.)

The leader of the pack is Carlene (Kristin Chenoweth), who is sure that Amanda has come back to town to retake her mantle as queen "B" and is determined to make Amanda rue every action she made as a teenager.

The idea that a group of adults would refuse to recognize that someone can mature post-high school is silly at best, with the overdone hypocrisy and lack of self-awareness of Carlene and her crew being sadly predictable. And the fact that it’s all wrapped around religion is at turns insulting, offensive and exasperating.

And that's where the title comes in: “GCB” is based on the book “Good Christian B*****s," a name ABC originally used. After changing it to “Good Christian Belles” last spring, the network finally landed on “GCB.” (And yet, the word is used in the show itself.)

The Huffington Post's Maureen Ryan is no fan of the title herself, a sentiment that also applies to the series. "GCB" is "chock-full of stereotypes," she writes, adding that what's "most annoying" is that the show actually does have potential, and instead opts to offer "a tedious array of shrieky moments, dumb stereotypes and unearned sentiment."

And while Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker respects "all the talent that's both on screen and behind it," he found it "next to impossible...to become interested in any of the characters."

I felt much the same way, finding that, title issues aside, “GCB” really doesn’t bring much to the table. Leslie Bibb does a good job being shocked both at the society she finds herself coming back to, and the awful role she used to play in it.

But nearly every other character is written so stereotypically and played so over-the-top that it’s hard to view this as anything but a caricature.

What'd you think?

soundoff (55 Responses)
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  5. Arbo Lesco

    The show is so funny. I record all episodes and can't wait for the next one.

    April 15, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Brenda

    This show offends me especially when they speaks about the Holy Ghost. Even though they are actors in Matthew 12:31-32 it states, :Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. (32) And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. So what they speak against or lie on the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven even though they are acting they will be held accountable.

    April 3, 2012 at 3:07 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jodie

    I Love it, lovei it love it!!!! Its a comedy and a smartly written one. I am and educated southern christian women and I have met a lot of women that are Sat sinner's and Sunday saints. This show just makes me laugh out loud!!!

    March 27, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Com'on Y'all

    You can sit in the house of the Lord walk outside and commit every sin imaginable? This show is a satire or possibly a reality for some (wink wink) but we'll never know of course and that's fine. Not our place to judge....but why not have a show who actually recites bible verses etc (since so many have no idea what they mean any how) to go along with the other crazy shows on tv? Is that not ok...but it's ok to have Glee, Desperate Housewives etc etc. I really feel those who are complaining are feeling offended for how they truly walk in their own lives. My husband and I both thought it was hysterical and reminds of a little church down on the " cornerstone" here in ole San Anton. Just saying folks....you can pretend all you desire but faking till you make it only goes so far till someone calls you out. Lol

    March 8, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Christian Magnolia from the South

    I thought this show was HYSTERICAL!!! I've KNOWN these people. The mom, the daughter, the frienemies! This show isn't criticizing every Christian woman. It's simply making fun of the fact that there ARE some people that fit all of these characters. Because I can laugh at this show doesn't mean that I love God or my fellow man any less. It just means that I recognize that they are human. Flawed human beings. I think the people that are objecting most to this show are the people that realize that they are one of the characters in this show. HECK, I don't believe in a Zombie Apocolype either, but I LOVE the show walking dead. Attack the heathens on Mad Men (another excellent show, by the way) it you need to attack someone. They're unrepentant! Just sayin'!

    March 8, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  10. Ouijaman

    Fell asleep 20 minutes into this ridiculous program. And this was the premier episode. That's where some of the best material is supposed to be due to having months to prepare for it. Disappointing at best.

    March 6, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. southern girl

    I found it to be a pretty accurate portrayal of many Houston women as well.

    March 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Booo

    If you think the idea that women don't recognize they can mature post-high school is silly or not reality-based, come to my small hometown where 70 year old women are still fighting over high school problems. That said, I didn't watch the show. P.S. Church can be a former high school mean girl's paradise.

    March 6, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. sasha

    honestly as an uber liberal I really enjoyed it. I thought the biblical lines seemed kind of forced other then the colon issue (laughed hard for that one). Although it would be nice to introduce a potential love interest instead ot just hot husbands of all her friends

    March 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Barry

    The first show will be the last one for me!

    March 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Robfield

    I for one loved the show! Being a Christian and a Texan, I approached GCB with some caution. But I started laughing from the very beginning and can't wait for the next episode. We need to loosen up and be able to laugh at ourselves just a little.

    March 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  16. meadowmuffin

    I watched this show with my husband and we bouth laughed for almost the entire hour. As a Pentecostal we have both seen and continue to see this type of woman, over the top with big hair and bigger heals. Obviously they are not as blaitant in their judgment, but isn't that waht tv is about...going a little over the top. Anyway, I thought it was great.

    March 6, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Me

    Frankly, I grew bored with it and changed the channel. But, I will say, Annie Potts looks fantastc!!!

    March 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  18. John

    let's face it, Christians make it easy to laugh or feel sorry for them. I knew a Christian who thought it was better to die than get pregnant out of marriage ...cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo. that biotch had big hair, too

    March 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Texas gal

    The author has obviously never spent anytime in any part of Dallas. This show IS Highland Park all over.

    March 6, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  20. LCb

    ABC is worse than Rush Limbaugh. Rush wrongly insulted one woman, ABC wrongly insults all Christian women. Moreover, ABC should consider how this show might be viewed overseas where many Christians are facing persecution. Instead they choose to pile on. Here is an example of a Christian woman for you: Asia Bibi: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/new-book-tells-asia-bibis-story-from-prison/ Why not cover her story?

    March 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Rebecca

    Loved the show. Thought it was hilarious. Comments above seem to recognize that the show is fiction. Anyone who has lived in the South and the Bible Belt will realize that these characters are composites and are not based on any specific person Christian or otherwise. Hope that ABC keeps the show around long enough to see how these women's characters evolve. Any woman can be a B****, religious affiliation has nothing to do with it.

    March 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Sam

    I thought it was funny!... I did not see any downplay on religion, or women, only using it in the background. The only character that irritated me was Kristin Chenoweth, which was disappoitning because I love her in almost everything she does. I reallllly hope ABC keeps this going for us viewers who enjoy it... not those paid reviewers who don't!

    March 6, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Cat

    Unfortunately, there are women in the world who really act like that. Hmmm... maybe GCB producers ought to get Courtney Robertson to guest star. She'd be a natural ...

    March 6, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  24. Kayla

    This show is trying to do two things – one, take the place of Desperate Housewives, and two, bank on the appeal of the Real Housewives: franchise. For some insanely ludicrous reason, our culture seems to thrive on watching the trials and tribulations of the rich b*****s of the Real Housewives, so the creators of this show sat around a table and asked, "how can we get in on that phenomenon?" So they fictionalized it, and satirized it. Brilliant.

    March 6, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  25. Jackie

    LOVE IT! I have KNOWN people just like this!!! I am from the South.

    March 6, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  26. Crys

    The more I think about the show, the more I believe that it is supposed to have the women as caricatures of themselves. It seems the story is told from Amanda's point of view. She might not be as "perfect" as shown in the show, as she is looking at the other women through her own filters. The other women are annoying, insecure, judgmental, and catty because that is how Amanda sees them. So, it's not really a statement about how Christians, women, or Texans are being portrayed. It's about how they are being perceived by the one character.

    March 6, 2012 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  27. Beautiful Vixen

    This show has good fashion tips for you women so pay close atention, k? Good G()d I could turn g@y watching these women. To bad they are christian, yuck.

    March 6, 2012 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Tyler

      What's wrong with Christians? You need to find the Lord sweetheart. I saw your raunchy comments everywhere, please go see your docter you need help. I will pray for you. I don't think it will help, your full of sin areint you?

      March 6, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  28. MIssy

    I thought it was hilarious! I hope ABC keeps it running!

    March 6, 2012 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
  29. Rom

    I love it and I am Christian! There are really people out there that say they are Christian and act like that! That's the point, make fun of those people! They are not making fun of Christianity! Duh

    March 6, 2012 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  30. JP

    ABC’s “GCB” Makes Christian Women a Laughing Stock, Read more: http://christiandiarist.com/2012/03/05/abcs-gcb-makes-christian-women-a-laughing-stock/

    March 5, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dona Craig

      A true Christian woman keeps true to her immediate family and faith and helps the community. We all know that. this is a showcase for some wonderful preformers..You don't like it, don't watch it, but be a TRUE Christian and wish them well in showing others how NOT to act. In the end, this show will be about FORGIVENESS. Wonder how God would feel if you were dissing it then....

      March 8, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Tricia T.

    I was bored by the storyline. I understand what was meant to be funny, but was not amused. The only character that was remotely entertaining was the mom. Everyone else was just mediocre.

    March 5, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  32. BeBe

    I really liked this show. It was funny, outrageous, and entertaining!

    March 5, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  33. lisa

    I think the show is hilarious. The roles are a bit over the top and stereotypical, but they are deliberately that way. Some people just take things way too seriously. Plus, we have no idea how the show is going to develop, who knows, maybe it will make christians look good in the end. There are plenty of other television shows that poke fun at certain stereotypes (gender, social, racial) , I think as long as it is in good taste, intent, and humor, there is no harm.

    March 5, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Tricia

    Interesting.. I knew nothing about the controversy of this show beforehand, and only heard about it on Twitter Sunday night. And I tuned in... and LOVED it! It was hilarious! I am a christian woman, and a moderately conservative one, and I can take a joke. This is satire people. Haven't you ever heard of "Everything is bigger in Texas"? Even here in CA I know women who act exactly like that! It's like a daytime soap opera, but for the night crowd. As long as it keeps being funny, i'll keep laughing.

    I'll happily take this show over RHOC or whatever anyday.

    March 5, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  35. DHFan4Daze

    A Southern desperate housewives. Been done.


    March 5, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Dan

    I thought the show was raunchy, terrible, and very disgusting. From the opener when a car crashes because of some activity on his lap to when I turned it off-a teenager asks did you do my Dad in High School? That was it. Off it went.

    March 5, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Pete Winston

    I have lived in Dallas for over 20 years and the show is wayyyy over the top. It falsely represents the city of Dallas. I am not a christian, and many people who live in Dallas are not christian. Also you rarely see people with southern accents here and you rarely see people with cowboy hats. There are a lot of rich in Dallas, but there are also a lot of poor (just like any big city). There are people like this in Texas, but it is in the smaller towns. You don't see these types of people walking around in the big cities like Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio.

    March 5, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  38. itTV

    This show if funny and kept my interest. Come on people. It's TV. Lots of shows make fun of others. Its not a serious show such as Nightline or something like that. It's FICTION. If you feel offended, then don't watch it. I do hope this show sticks around.

    March 5, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Bell

    I thought it was great and funny! If you have ever lived in the "bible belt", you would recognize these women immediately. No one is poking fun of Christians, it's very obvious that these women aren't. It's supposed to be funny, lighten up people, we are taking ourselves way to seriously these days. Hope the show and ladies continue......Bless their hearts!

    March 5, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      I guess you don't take yourself serious as a women and think it is okay to continue to degrade women at the expense of mocking you. And if you are Christian Woman, then you are even more of a joke I guess. Keep giving passes to the mockery of CHristianity. YOu know that if this was a show based on Muslim women or any other religious type then it would be blasted.

      March 5, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • RLM

      I agree the show was fantastic! As a Christian and someone who has a sense of humor I understand unlike others that the show is making fun of the people not Christians or women! Unfortunate people are so ignorant!

      March 6, 2012 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  40. Emily

    I agree that the characters are over the top, and stereotypical, but that's kind of the point of setting the story in Dallas. There are real women like that! The fact that it's based on religion can be a bit offensive, however the idea is that these women claim to be holy rollers but are acting the complete opposite of what they believe in. That's the irony. The truth of the matter is that there are women like this, trust me, I know a few.

    March 5, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Belle

      So true!!

      March 6, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Kaintucky

      A few??? I know a whole church bus full! I saw the show and liked it. It definitely reminded me of family. I don't think it is making fun of religion at all. I think it is making fun of those that use religion to put themselves on a pedestal while everyone is watching then slither on the floor when they're not. This comes from a guy who had to tape the show on Sunday night because he was at church when it aired. I wasn't offended in the least.

      March 6, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Truth

    If we had a show that targeted any other racial, ethnic or religious with such stereotypes and charged language, it would automatically be branded as a hate crime.

    But against Christians, I guess we'll let it slide, right?

    March 5, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Unaware

      Stop being a victim. I thought some of the characters were clever satires about some people who are christians. (Personally I think the show makes fun of Melissa gorga, RHONJ, type of women who are catty, vindictive, etc, but are saying Jesus this and jesus that every other word). The show is a satire... it is in no way meant to be an actual representation of Dallas or Christians, and the fact that people don't realize that is really troubling.

      March 5, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tyler

      do you watch TV?

      March 5, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • donna

      @ Unaware: Give me a break. Are you really that dumb?

      March 7, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Where's "Leave It to Beaver", "Father Knows Best", "Gilligan's Island", etc. Ah, but we are in the society of "Dirty Laundry".

      March 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Aleksandar

    I do not understand these so called pessimistic expert reviewers regarding GCB. It is brilliant, funny and I wish it all the best.

    March 5, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • justAnotherGuy

      Brilliant? Really? Come on man. TV is rarely brilliant. Especially trash like this. Why do people feel the need to watch this crap?

      March 7, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Dona Craig

      AMEN Aleksandar.
      Great show that depicts hipocracy of the church going do gooders and the poking fun at the rich. No different than "Dallas" if you ask me.

      March 8, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |

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