Tuned In: ABC's 'GCB' comedy is a godsend

March 2, 2012 9:54 am
  • Leslie Bibb, right, portrays a woman who moves back to her Texas town and must deal with her mother, played by Annie Potts, as well as the girls she tormented in high school in "GCB."
    Leslie Bibb, right, portrays a woman who moves back to her Texas town and must deal with her mother, played by Annie Potts, as well as the girls she tormented in high school in "GCB."
  • Pleasant Hills native Mark Deklin also stars on "GCB."
    Pleasant Hills native Mark Deklin also stars on "GCB."
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ABC's one-hour comedy "GCB" (10 p.m. Sunday, WTAE) is a holy hoot.

Set among uppercrusters in a tony Dallas neighborhood, the series is a welcome heir to "Desperate Housewives," which ends its run in May. ABC executives have high hopes "GCB" will be just that: a hit this spring that can move into the "Desperate" time slot come fall.

"GCB" follows Amanda Vaughn (Leslie Bibb, "Popular"), who moves back home from California to live with her wealthy mom, Gigi (Annie Potts, "Any Day Now"), following the scandalous death of her cheating, thieving husband. But when Amanda gets back to Texas, bringing her two kids in tow, she finds her past as a high school mean girl catches up with her.

Former classmates whom she wronged, led by Carlene Cockburn (Kristin Chenoweth, "Pushing Daisies"), attempt to thwart Amanda's plans at every opportunity. They are fearful of history repeating. "Ladies, it is not appropriate to speak of such things on the phone," Carlene says while plotting on a conference call. "I'll see you in church."

There's a tangled backstory for all the characters and their relationships with Amanda, including Cricket (Miriam Shor), who lost her boyfriend to Amanda and is now married to Blake (Pleasant Hills native Mark Deklin, "Lone Star").

Amanda's entanglements with Carlene and friends are fun, but it's Gigi who frequently gets the best dialogue. She questions why Amanda would ever leave Dallas for California ("We've got the same weather without the liberals") and has no need for wireless Internet in her house ("Why would I? I don't watch porn").

When it comes to whether her daughter and grandkids will attend church, Gigi stands firm after Amanda says she wants her children to find their own spiritual path. "Cut the commie crap," Gigi says. "My grandchildren are going to church so they can go to heaven, amen, end of story."

Because "GCB" is based on the novel "Good Christian Bitches" by Kim Gatlin, there will undoubtedly be a segment of the audience that's offended by what the TV show's title implicitly stands for (ABC initially called the TV show "Good Christian Belles" but then shortened it to "GCB"). The humor-impaired and those who are blind to hypocrisy should probably stay away. But for everyone else, "GCB" offers surprisingly clever dialogue and winning comedic performances.

TV writer Rob Owen: rowen@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2582. Follow RobOwenTV on Twitter or Facebook for breaking TV news.
First Published 2012-03-01 23:25:37

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