Tuesday, April 24, 2012

TV Tuesday: Why, Fiddle-dee-dee, it's GCB!

Some weeks ago "GCB," ABC's comedy about Dallas church ladies gone bad, burst into the Sunday night lineup with all the color and fervor of a blue-ribbon garden.  Of course, no rosebush worth its grits comes without thorns, and it's just such sharp edges that make this saga sizzle.  Former head cheerleader Amanda Vaughn (Leslie Bibb, in a near-reprisal of her WB "Popular" role) is forced to crawl back to her mother Gigi (a take-no-prisoners, mentor-material Annie Potts) after her embezzling and philandering husband dies in a fiery car crash.  Although the one-time queen of mean has mellowed during her years in California, her victims have long memories and an uncontrollable urge to choke her with humble pecan pie upon her return.  Having picked up Amanda's discarded queen bee mantle, Carlene Cockburn (a hilariously over-the-top Kristin Chenoweth) leads the pack in hatching a string of stunts that  - and I just had to say this - fetches laughs as big as Texas. 

Candy-colored, upbeat, and full of fabulous fashion, "GCB" is fun because it delivers comfort food spiked with spice.  I think this is where "Pan Am," the 1960s drama "GCB" replaced, missed the mark.  Slow-moving and a little dreary, its storyline seemed to stunt the development of promising characters.  Not that I gave up on it.  I watched "Pan Am" until the bitter end, indignantly dreading its demise at the hands of some catty cowgirl show that went by an acronym.  Little did I know that "GCB's" particular brand of melodrama stems from the kind of adolescent wounds and shared history that lay the foundation for a compelling series.  Because despite their slick exteriors, these women have layers.  Although Amanda is the heroine, and therefore the rightful recipient of our loyalties, Carlene and company garner a certain amount of empathy as former pawns in Amanda's games.  There are, after all, two sides to every story.  And it's the rare woman alive who can't relate to that. 

1 comment:

Valerie said...

I haven't seen this yet, but I know I'd like it! I love Annie Potts too. I used to spend hours watching reruns of Designing Women-another great show!