Bitches, please: ‘GCB’ on DVD

Posted on 07 Jun 2012 at 10:31pm

tube-03Oh, the sting of what might have been. The packaging for the DVD release of GCB clearly identifies it as “The Complete First Season.” Rather, it looks to be the “Complete and Entire Series:” ABC dumped the soapy sitcom from its schedule last month, choosing not to renew it to take over the hole left by the departure of Desperate Housewives. GCB wasn’t a brilliant show, but it was a good one that had tons of promise and deserved more than the 10-episode first season now available on DVD.

GCB — it’s short for “Good Christian Bitches,” although ABC (which also airs the series “Don’t Trust the B— in Apt. 23”) pretended it was short for “Belles” — is set in Dallas, and it has about as much in common with the reality of life in Big D as the Ewings clan does. Then again, it’s also as entertaining, with catty plots and sexual gamesmanship played to the hilt by a cast that largely doesn’t understand restraint.

Amanda (Leslie Bibb) was the mean girl back in high school in Dallas, but left to marry a rich guy and live in California. She avoided her former life, until her husband died getting head from his mistress, leaving an empire crashing from his illegal deals. Amanda is forced to move back in with mom (Annie Potts), although she rejects her money and connections and insists on making it on her own. (Ummm, if she really wants to make it on her own, why move back with mom?)

But Amanda’s former classmates — led by Bible-thumper Carlene (Kristin Chenoweth) — have never forgiven her, and seek revenge with a series of social slights, humiliating blog posts and outright larceny, all in the name of Our-Lord-and-Savior-Jesus-Christ-Amen.

The show was developed by Darren Star (Sex and the City) and Robert Harling (Steel Magnolias), so there’s a huge swath of sassy gayness permeating its pores like Oil of Olay. It’s a withering if not particularly subtle indictment of hypocrites (Carlene secretly owns a tittie bar, hallelujah!) who mask their hatred, bigotry and homophobia under a Sunday bonnet. There’s even a hot gay hubbie living in a lavender marriage with one of Amanda’s nemeses; I really wanted to see where that was headed — something the deleted scenes, extensive commentaries and other bonus features couldn’t answer.

Alas, that storyline (and all the others) will remain a mystery. Despite a write-in campaign to bring back the series, ABC treated it like a redheaded stepchild since announcing it would air last season, perhaps cowering to those on the right who objected to a comedy about religious haters. Kinda proves the show’s point.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

Three stars. Available on June 12.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 8, 2012.

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