Good Christian B*tches or Belles? Either way ABC’s New TV Show “GCB” may not have a Prayer

Kristin Chenoweth, left, stars in "GCB," the new ABC dramedy about rich folks living the high life in Texas, with backstabbing and religion to boot. (Bill Matlock / ABC)

ABC’s Attempt to Cash in (or Bash in) the ‘Christian’ Market Looks Doomed to Failure

“What do you think of GCB?”  It’s a question I’ve been asked more in this past week than any other.  And the irony is, I don’t know what I think. I have’t seen it yet. What’s worse, I’m going to have to wait nearly 40 days to find out.

In a divine irony, the premiere of ABC’s new “Christian America” TV show falls during the first time in 25 years when I decided to give up TV viewing for Lent. Sheesh!  Talk about bad timing.

Thankfully many other thoughtful commentators have seen it, and they are talking. We’ve put together some of the best posts on GCB, including one regular THW contributor Margaret Feinberg did for CNN. (Her THW Wednesday Lenten Reflection will also come out this week.)

We’d love to hear your comments about the show, it you have any.

At least I’ll know what I’m missing (or not) this Lenten season.

Prepare the way of the Lord,

Gary

 

New TV series ‘GCB’ portrays Christians as caricatures

By Margaret Feinberg, Special to CNN

Editor’s Note: Margaret Feinberg is an international speaker and author of “Scouting the Divine” and “The Sacred Echo.” Follow her on Twitter.

Originally dubbed “Good Christian Bitches” after the book by Kim Gatlin, a television series that debuted on ABC on Sunday night had its name changed to “Good Christian Belles” before being shortened to “GCB.” Whatever meaning you assign to those three letters, the show portrays Christians as caricatures and feels a little desperate.

The show serves up predictable night-time soapy-ness that’s lured audiences for years. The only difference is that instead of an emergency room, GCB serves it up Texas-style, in the buckle of the Bible Belt, complete with more Scripture ripped out of context than most churchgoers can keep count.

“GCB” tracks the adventures of Amanda (Leslie Bibb), who lives a perfect Southern California life until her husband, Bill, embezzles billions through a Ponzi scheme, then suddenly dies. Amanda’s life falls apart.

Despite her promise that she’ll never go back to Dallas, Amanda finds herself packing up and returning to the land of bedazzled Bibles and “Amazing Grace” ringtones. She moves back in with her mother, Gigi (Annie Potts), who welcomes her with arms wide open but forces her to go to church…

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Is GCB a Divine Comedy or a Damned Letdown?

By Damian Holbrook, TV GUIDE

If the characters of GCB were any more colorful, they’d be musical cartoon animals. Like My Little Ponycrossed with a drag revue penned by Tennessee Williams.

Originally titled Good Christian Belles (and before that,Good Christian Bitches), ABC’s new Southern-fried farce is full of big hair, over-the-top characters and the kind of empty-calorie fun one has while getting gossipy with their gals and gays: It’s snappy, loud and sure to tick off a few folks. In this case, most likely the faithful who bristle at hearing Bible passages used as punch-lines.

But at its flashy, campy heart is a blessedly sincere reap-what-you-sow tale of redemption, underlined and bolded in last night’s premiere, about a reformed high-school monster (Leslie Bibb) forced to move back in with her mother in Dallas and face the hometown frenemies she left in her hateful wake…

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‘GCB’ ratings not so good in Sunday premiere

L.A. Times Entertainment

Guess bad behavior doesn’t always sell. “GCB,” ABC’s new soap about suburban women being naughty, managed only mediocre ratings in its Sunday premiere.

An average of 7.6 million total viewers tuned in to the 10 p.m. drama, according to Nielsen. That amounted to a distant second place behind CBS’ “CSI: Miami” (10 million).

Among adults age 18 to 49, “GCB” was likewise a runner-up, behind NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” (2.4 rating versus 2.2).

There may be time for “GCB” to grow its audience, although mixed reviews, its late time slot and the soapy format make it unlikely the show will see a ratings explosion.

Based on the book “Good Christian Bitches,” (ABC dropped the full title because it was deemed too offensive…

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‘GCB’ in need of saving grace

Let’s pray that ABC adds some heart and soul to ‘GCB,’ which falls prey to easy, tired stereotypes of rich Southern women.

By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic

ABC has been touting its new comedy “GCB” as a cross between “Steel Magnolias” and“Desperate Housewives.”While it does have “Steel Magnolia” screenwriter Robert Harling as its creator, we regret to inform you that “GCB” owes more to the “Real Housewives” than it does the desperate ones.

Originally, the show’s title was that of the book that inspired it — “Good Christian Bitches” by Kim Gatlin — but the network decided that the B-word was too potentially offensive to have in its title. Not too offensive to have as its theme, mind you, and therein lies the problem…

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