“GCB,” ABC’s new television offering, demonstrates that when it comes to ridiculing faith, Christianity is Hollywood’s religion of choice.
The GCB acronym stands for Good Christian B***hes, stemming from the Kim Gatlin book upon which the series is based. Following the initial announcement of the show, the network took pains to homogenize the title by reducing it to an abbreviation.
The show’s name, however, is not the biggest problem with the series. The Christian mockery is, and the belittling occurs in a way that no network would consider doing to any other faith.
“GCB” features so-called Christian women who go about plotting nefarious acts while justifying the wrongdoing with biblical quotes.
Robert Harling created this exercise in religious bigotry. He is also the creator of “Sex and the City” and writer of the films “Steel Magnolias” and “First Wives Club.”
Sounding somewhat defensive, Harling is quoted in the New York Post as proclaiming that he is “a card-carrying Presbyterian.”
“We are addressing American life right now and it’s a wonderful opportunity. There are all sorts of things going on in America under the name of religion,” Harling said.
Kristin Chenoweth, one of the show’s lead actors, assured the public that she, too, is a Christian.
“I think people should give it a chance,” Chenoweth told The Hollywood Reporter. “You just can’t judge a book by its cover. I certainly wouldn’t do anything that would make fun of my own faith.”
Chenoweth’s star vehicle is not being judged by its cover now, but rather by its content, which treats Christianity with blatant disrespect and outright scorn.
It is possible that “GBC” is the network’s current method of generating publicity, particularly as the “Desperate Housewives” series comes to an end. If so, ABC has in the process made the unfortunate decision to air a program that is destined to offend and infuriate a highly significant segment of its viewing audience.
The Christian stereotypes that abound in the series are typical of those that prevail in so much of the television and movie fare that emanates from Hollywood. “GBC,” though, has a predictable boring plotline on top of it, where a majority of the characters that are depicted as being religious are also Machiavellian in nature.
As a result, the show is mottled with characters that are shallow, vain, and hypocritical while claiming to be true believers. When one of the show’s moms questions the propriety of a certain cheerleading outfit, Chenoweth’s character informs her that “cleavage helps your cross hang straight.” The audience is also treated to an opulent Bentley that sports a John 3:16 decal and license plate that reads “Holy One.”
The show’s premise revolves around a character named Amanda Vaughn (Leslie Bibb), a popular mean girl in a Dallas high school. Vaughn becomes pregnant and marries a wealthy Los Angeles man. It turns out that he had acquired his wealth via a Ponzi scheme. He commits suicide in a “Thelma and Louise”-style scene that features a car diving off of a cliff as Amanda’s best female friend engages in what a certain politician a while back insisted does not constitute sexual relations.
Amanda has no money and no husband, so she and her two children return to Dallas where Carlene Cockburn (Chenoweth) and her supposed Christian churchgoing friends are scheming to destroy Amanda’s reputation.
To add insult to injury, the show airs on Sunday nights so people of faith can be demeaned on the Lord’s Day.