For those who don’t know, this mildly satirical dramedy stars Leslie Bibb as ‘Amanda Vaughn’, a former high-school “mean girl” from Texas, who married her quarterback boyfriend and moved to California to live happily ever after… until he embezzled billions of dollars from investors, then drove his car off the edge of a cliff while absconding with his orally obliging mistress! When the authorities seize their family assets, Amanda is forced to take her teenage son and daughter (Colton Shires and Lauran Irion) to live with her meddling socialite mother (Annie Potts), back in her old hometown of Plano, TX. While the menfolk seem mighty pleased to see her again, Amanda has not been forgotten (or forgiven) by the female classmates she tortured and humiliated back in the day… the eponymous GCBs, who have all become highly influential members of the local community (and church congregation), and are played by the all-star line-up of Kristin Chenoweth, Miriam Shor, Marisol Nichols and Jennifer Aspen!
I’d actually been looking forward to seeing this show for a while because of that cast list, but all their efforts are wasted on a weak script and silly stories. I love the idea of Amanda having to atone for her previous “sins” and self-indulgent lifestyle… the themes of redemption and religious hypocrisy are always going to be compelling, as we continue to struggle with such spiritual issues… but the characterisation is so shallow, and the jokes so broad, that there’s no real bite or heft to any of it. This show actually makes Saved! seem a lot deeper and braver by comparison… and at least the kids in that movie had an excuse for behaving like kids! That said, I’ll keep watching regardless, because where else can you see a group of ladies this talented (and this gorgeous) performing on a weekly basis? And it is only the first episode, so there’s still plenty of time for the writers to up their game and provide the sort of quality material their cast deserve. At the very least, they need to let us hear Chenoweth and Shor sing a number together!