The Common Good

Christians Can Find Humor in 'GCB'

Still from upcoming 'GCB' episode, Photo by Karen Neal/ABC via Getty Images
Still from upcoming 'GCB' episode, Photo by Karen Neal/ABC via Getty Images

It’s a television show that 1) follows “Desperate Housewives” and 2) only got “meh” ratings for its Sunday premiere, so I was slightly taken aback by the mini-firestorm over ABC’s new “GCB.”

The show, based on the book Good Christian Bitches by Kim Gatlin and starring Annie Potts and Kristin Chenoweth, is getting heat from conservatives and Christian groups for portraying Christians in a poor light for their cattiness, opulence, and overall … well, bitchiness. (Don't worry; I'm female. I get to say that.)

New York City Councilman Peter Vallone is going so far as calling for a boycott of the show, saying,” the title of the show alone is yet another outrageous attack on the Christian faith. Charlie Sheen will be back on ‘Two and a Half Men’ before we see a similar title targeting another religion.”

I watched 'GCB' on Sunday expecting it to pull a Limbaugh, but my reaction? While incredibly over the top (these are caricatures, people), the more subtle “-isms” are actually pretty spot on—both of some Christians I know and of Dallasites in general. I even started mentally casting some of my hometown girlfriends and Baylor University classmates in the roles.

The plot shows the main character losing her extravagant California lifestyle because of her philandering husband’s shady business dealings. She moves home to Dallas and reunites with her group of high school frenemies—all good Christian ladies. They are the type who gossip ruthlessly, following it up with “bless her heart.” I know these women.

If you’re offended by this show, you’re probably taking it too seriously. It’s basically Mean Girls 25 years later with big hair, accents and Sunday School. These Botoxed beauties are no more an accurate representation of Christian women than the ladies of Wisteria Lane are of suburbanites. Let’s give the public some credit in understanding that.

The acting is a B+ (all hail Annie Potts), and the story line a very soapy C-. But little lady Chenoweth singing Baptist choir-style? A-men.

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