The Best and Worst of GCB

My love for GCB as a TV series remains as devout as my own family’s motivation to undermine everything that I hold dear, so, you know, this is serious business. On top of that, it features an ensemble cast of many familiar faces. The amazing Kristin Chenowoth:

Annie Potts from Designing Women, and Ghostbusters film series:

Leslie Bibb from Popular!, Iron Man, and Iron Man 2:

And Marisol Nichols from Charmed, and Riverdale:

Coming from a religious family, so much of it really hit home, and really struck a positive chord with me, as I always looked forward to a new episode. I was rewatching it again recently, and decided it was worth going over individual episodes.

 

The Best:

Pilot, Hell Hath No Fury, A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, Forbidden Fruit, Turn the Other Cheek, Pride Comes Before a Fall, Adam & Eve’s Rib, and Revelation

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  • Pilot, which explicitly mentions Mean Girls, is a really great beginning to a fantastic series;
  • Hell Hath No Fury, which features a moment reminiscent from a dream sequence in Bring It On!, introduces the concept of a “javelina” or “A Texas wild pig-mean, ugly”;
  • A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing sees Amanda get between Cricket and Blake, which results in Cricket purposefully sabotages her own funded involvement with the project for new jeans;
  • Forbidden Fruit sees Amanda meet Carlene’s younger Luke, of which they get involved;
  • Turn the Other Cheek sees Blake state to Cricket that he wants another child with her, which even I find questionable;
  • Pride Comes Before a Fall is by far the greatest episode of the series, and of course, it’s a musical;
  • Adam & Eve’s Rib sees all the women unite for the Dallas Interfaith BBQ Invitational; and,
  • Revelation, featuring Sandra Bernhard (Roseanne), is not actually the best or realistic, but is fitting.

According to the NadsReviews of Pilot:

ABC sure has found its niche in the whole suburban dramedy genre. It started with Desperate Housewives; a show that I’ve feverishly loved since its inception, and continued this year with Suburgatory. The latter is my favorite new comedy of the year and a really brilliant little concoction that I’ve adored since the pilot.

Today, ABC’s third foray arrives in the form of Good Christian Bitches (and at one point Good Christian Belles for like a week). With a now “ambiguous” GCB as its title, it arrives with a lot of pressure as a potential successor for this year’s departing Housewives. Did it succeed?

While nowhere near as good as Wisteria Lane’s pilot, GCB’spilot is an interesting enough hour that brings life to a vibrant and amusing world. However, I really don’t see the premise lasting for many years let alone one season. It just inherently feels like a one-joke show to me. We get it; the women are sluts AND Christians at the same time. That’s one shtick that’s going to get old fast.

Nevertheless, I’m here to judge the pilot. And as an opening, GCB did not bore me and undeniably amused me. It was fast-paced, packed with witty one-liners, and rounded out by a bunch of charming performances (notably Kristen Chenowith & Mark Delkin).

Ultimately, an entertaining and promising pilot, but the writers are going to have to put quite a bit of effort into keeping the premise fresh and captivating for the long haul. I for one am definitely intrigued to see if they’re up for the challenge.

According to the NadsReviews of Hell Hath No Fury:

Not bad at all. Although I enjoyed the pilot of GCB quite a bit, I had my doubts on whether the show would keep me intrigued and amused. I’m pleased to say that I very much enjoyed the show’s second outing and it looks like I’ll be sticking around for at least a few more eppies.

I think the show’s biggest strength at this point is the fact that I like the entire cast. There really isn’t a single character that I find useless or irritating which is quite an accomplishment. Amanda’s daughter might be the only weak link so far but that’s only because she was straddled with a cliche storyline. In fact, aside from her lame subplot, the rest of the hour was particularly enjoyable and fun.

GCB has really tapped into the whole Christian-humor element of the show and it’s surprisingly quite hilarious. The Bible-infused one-liners are witty, and the nutty characters very well-defined. Carlene in particular is a hoot; Kristen Chenoweth is just such a fantastic talent and she plays the role perfectly. Sharon, Cricket, and Heather (who’s slowly becoming Amanda’s friend now) are also uniformly entertaining and create a fun dynamic. I especially liked the twist with Cricket in fact knowing about her husband’s secret life. It added a wonderful dimension that I surprisingly didn’t see coming.

Finally, Gigi might just turn out to be my favorite; the scene in which we saw her assortment of weaponry as she clocked her shotgun was insanely awesome. I’m also enjoying watching her relationship with Amanda grow and evolve. Their interactions have been a highlight for sure.

All in all, GCB definitely surprised me with an episode as equally strong as its pilot. I’m also surprised that the show’s ratings didn’t dip which rarely happens these days after a high profile pilot. This could just turn out to be a worthwhile investment after all. Lots of potential indeed.

According to the NadsReviews of A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing:

Well well, talk about a comeback.

After a third episode that was pretty bland and lifeless, GCB comes roaring back with a hilarious and smart little hour that restored my faith (pardon the pun) in this show’s potential. This episode was immensely entertaining and very well paced.

First off, Amanda is definitely growing on me as a lead. Although she’s a bit too much of a good two shoes (a problem Smash is also having with its protagonist), I do nonetheless find myself rooting for her. Her growing relationship with Rick is also quite charming as he obviously trusts her with his secret. I liked her little subplot joining Cricket’s company and working with the couple and wish it would have lasted.  The twist with Cricket with Lordlover87 was also something I did not see coming!

As for the rest of the characters, Sharon was also enjoyable as I’m liking her sparks with the Pasteur of all people, but it’s Carlene who is still the standout. Kristen was on point as always and she had quite a few moments the notable being the hysterical scene in which she finds her son masturbating to Amanda no less as the laptop drops from between her legs. I literally laughed out loud as it was definitely the show’s funniest moment so far. I also like that she’s not a complete villain as she returned the stolen laptop and had a nice heart to heart with Amanda.

Furthermore, Gigi is also growing to become one of my favorites. She’s a wonderfully layered character played by an excellent talent (whose name eludes me). Her rivalry with Bitsy was also enjoyable culminating with the latter’s sudden death in a scene that was EXTREMELY reminiscent of Desperate Housewives (which is a good thing in my book). The show could stand to borrow a few things from DH while retaining its signature brand of hilariously hypocritical Christian undertones (which continue to be quite strong and have surprisingly not overstayed their welcome YET).

All in all, GCB is capably reeling me in as an amusing diversion once a week. Not bad at all.

According to the NadsReviews of Forbidden Fruit:

The strongest episode yet. While I’ve had my doubts about GCB working out as a long term series, this episode certifiably proved that the show does indeed have viable potential to be great.

Now that we’re five episodes in, I’ve gotten a handle on this crazy world and the colorful characters that inhabit it. Moreover, the religious aspect has settled in comfortably within the foundation of the show resulting in some excellent dialogue and wonderfully hypocritical undertones.

First off, Amanda has really grown on me as a character and I especially enjoyed her hitting it off with Carlene’s brother of all people. Leslie Bibb & Eric Winter displayed some excellent chemistry in this episode and I look forward to seeing what else the relationship has to offer moving forward. Speaking of Carlene, she’s as fantastic and hysterical as ever. Practically every line Kristen is given is comedy gold and she just pulls it off effortlessly reminding me of Eva Longoria’s brilliantly vain comedic turn on Desperate Housewives.

The rest of the cast is also gaining traction and becoming considerably more likeable as we move along. Cricket is wickedly brutal and sharp, while Sharon is hilarious with her Pasteur infatuation. Heather is obviously the weakest so far although I appreciated the effort to make her more dimensional during the breakup scene.

And finally, Gigi is still a standout; an amazing character who resides in the heart of the show.

According to the NadsReviews of Turn the Other Cheek:

GCB has really found it’s groove and I couldn’t be more pleased. This was another well-written, witty, and amusing episode that perfectly utilized its wide range of characters and their hilarious quirks.

I’m really loving practically the entire cast (except Heather who’s useless). Sharon in particular has really grown on me and is slowly becoming one of my most favorite characters.

Moreover, Amanda & Luke’s relationship continues to develop enjoyably and really there’s nothing left I can praise when it comes to Carlene who is probably my favorite character on TV at the moment. Every single line she says is hysterical and she’s just a joy to watch on every level. I really hope the show keeps it up because they’re on a roll. Well done.

According to the NadsReviews of Pride Comes Before a Fall:

I continue to be impressed by just how capably GCB has found its voice after a promising albeit slightly rough start. This was another highly amusing hour that effectively utilized its entire cast to great success.

First off, the main musical plot was handled wonderfully. I love that the writers haven’t forgotten about Amanda’s evil past and intend to bring that out frequently. Goody-two shoes protagonists are boring so this adds a welcome dimension to the character. Moreover, it brings out some poignant reactions from the rest of the girls. Sure it’s funny to see evil Amanda surface, but it also conveys just how traumatized and damaged Heather, Cricket, and Carlene are. It’s a fine and poignant line that the show has balanced perfectly so far.

Not only was the episode’s main plot entertaining, but I might have loved Sharon & Gig’s subplot more. It was just so amusing to see Gigi try to change Sharon only to realize at the end that’s she’s better just the way she is. There was an added layer of sadness when Sharon finally admitted to her family’s tough financial situation. Jennifer Aspen is truly phenomenal and is really becoming one of my favorite characters on the show

According to the NadsReviews of Adam & Eve’s Rib:

While this hour wasn’t the strongest, I loved how it brought our core women together as they each found themselves part of the team due to their personal circumstances. I was however disappointed that Cricket didn’t join as you’d think she’d be the first one to considering her need to be a dominant woman. I guess the writers didn’t want to tie all of them into the plot with a neat bow but it would have been cool nonetheless.

I will say the ending was quite weird with Ripp telling Carlene that God spoke to him as we realize he’s up to something with Luke in Juarez. However, I’ll give the storyline a chance.

According to the NadsReviews of Revelation:

I’m quite disappointed that GCB has been cancelled. While the show obviously wasn’t must-see television, it was nonetheless an amusing enough production with a colorful cast and witty dialogue to boot. It’s also unfortunate that the finale ended on a cliffhanger that we’ll never see resolved. After all, the potential coupling of Amanda and Pastor Tudor is just awesome and I really would have liked to see more of them together.

Moreover, the ladies had really started to come together as a group over the last couple of episodes rendering the show an amusing (albeit weaker) replacement to Desperate Housewives. While Carlene was always hilarious, Sharon slowly grew into her own and cemented herself as one of my favorite members of the cast.

Nevertheless, at least we got this episode which was an enjoyable hour that brought the entire gang together in Unincorporated Juarez no less. It was hysterical to have the women kidnapped as their various personalities clashed together and Amanda’s alcoholism made a welcome appearance. Furthermore, I think I fell in love with Gigi as she finally put her gun skills to good use and saved the gang.

Ultimately, GCB was an interesting experiment of a show. Although it wasn’t always successful, I thought it was an endearing and amusing 10 episode ride that was quite memorable in its own right. It carved its own little niche and created a world that was charming in its cartoon-like qualities. Here’s hoping we’ll be seeing its talented cast in more projects in the future.

Now, where am I going to get my dose of hilariously witty Christian one-liners next?

 

The Worst:

Love is Patient

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Love is Patient is basically the least eventful episode, complete with a conspiracy theory about Amanda. According to the NadsReviews of Love is Patient:

I don’t know how GCB lost steam so fast but this was the weakest episode of the show so far. While the pilot was amusing and the followup also enjoyable, this hour bored me as I found very little of it to be entertaining.

If anything stood out, it was probably Cricket and her husband. They’re really the only ones with a sort-of intriguing little arc going on with the whole pretend marriage thing. I did enjoy seeing how much they care for each other and how they always have each others best interests in heart. Moreover, it was quite amusing to see Cricket’s various sport sessions (particularly TaeKwanDo) which would explain just how she’s been blowing off steam all these years.

As for the rest of the episode, nothing really comes to mind. The whole church seminar thing was tired and boring, while even Carlene wasn’t even that funny for once. Has the whole Christian angle run it’s course so soon? Or were this episode’s writers to blame?

Let’s hope the show rebounds back next week because when I have this little to say so soon, it’s definitely not a promising sign.

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