Monday, May 7, 2012

TOP THREE: Why GCB Must Be Saved; Lady Feminists, Unsolved Mysteries & Religious Realness

We love GCB, but last night, after only ten episodes, it's first season ended. A decision on whether or not we'll ever see another new episode could come any day now. Here's our top three reasons why ABC absolutely must bring their good Christians back.

1. Those Ladies!
With an ensemble cast of characters unprecedented in their celebration and exploitation of third-wave feminist power, GCB is chock full of strong, gorgeous, intimidating women who embrace femininity, even stereotypical femininity, in order to achieve. The three greatest champions in the show of this controversial cultural Jujutsu are probably Cricket Caruth-Reilly, Elizabeth "Gigi" Stopper and Carlene Cockburn.

Super-succesful mogul Cricket's "white wedding" is, on its surface, a southern fairy-tale partnership between a virile, handsome cowboy and beautiful, statuesque belle; she leverages the social standing her marriage provides to the hilt while secretly sexing her way through the studly, male help. Societal matriarch Gigi protects her brood with a powder room closet stocked with heavy firepower and, in the last epiode, rescues half the cast with the help of a pistol stashed in her big, beautiful hair. And then there is Carlene, who rides the notion of abject-femininity-as-power to the greatest heights (in order to get closer to Jesus, no doubt) by sinking to the lowest of lows: The more she genuflects before her husband and the lord, the higher her standing in the kingdom of society Dallas.

These women, fabulously entertaining caricatures though they may be, are also outstanding female role models of a stripe lacking in the prime time soap world. The women of THE PLAYBOY CLUB harnessed the base essence of their appeal in order to advance their lot, and in PAN AM extreme femininity was again presented as a viable, acceptable means of exerting power--but for the most part, these two dramas featured put-upon, socioeconomically depressed female characters. And regardless, they're now gone.

GCB must be saved so we can send our daughters a message: that girly girls have power, too! And furthermore, that society definitely values performances like the ones we've enjoyed from Ms. Shor, Ms. Potts, and Ms. Chenoweth.

2. We deserve answers!
There was zero effort to wrap the series up last night. If anything, there were more mysteries revealed than solved. So what was that? It's rude--even cruel--to just leave an audience hanging for... eternity.

Are Sharon Peacham's days as a successful entrepreneur over, or have they only just begun? Something scandalous is clearly being set up concerning Cricket and the owner of her horse's stud; but what? Where did that grown-up Mexican daughter come from? And for heaven's sake, that kiss you threw at us at the very, very end of the episode; how could you, Darren Star? If ABC aired "that moment" (I'm trying to avoid spoilers) knowing that there will not be another season, then officer, I need to report an act of audience abuse!

3. It's the Christian thing to do!
Although the inauspicious pilot was a minor disappointment to those of us looking for some real religion, as the season progressed, GCB's Christian themes continued to develop; the spiritual personalities of the leads grew respectable third dimensions; and the central conflict of several episodes actually concerned issues of faith--or at least, faith-based culture. Like homosexuals, church ladies in network TV series are too often presented as either the super-duper helpful best friend with no life, or the campy, extravagant other who (you never know!) just might possess special powers or abilities.

That's not how this drama works, PTL. In GCB, people of faith get their own back-stories, their own struggles and their own strengths. What's more, they come in many different shapes and sizes. And, miracle of miracles, they have their own specific, real way of interacting:

“You think the Lord would have provided us with some flashlights.”
“Poor, delirious Amanda. I’d pray for you if it wasn’t so hot.”
“What is the plural of ‘Judas’?”

These three memorable lines (of so many contenders) from last night's episode demonstrate how GCB has succeeded in becoming a truly Christian program: Jesus talk is the default mode of dialog.

So many TV dramas focus on the same-old same-old; say, crime and/or crime-fighting. It's become ridiculous. We've seen so many shows that revolve around hospitals, or rich people problems, or politicians. Yet, GCB stands out as a rare comedy-drama (that's what ABC calls their evening soaps these days) that actually revolves around an aspect of life that is far more real and relevant--and familiar!--to most Americans.

I am happy to say that I have been to church more often than I've been to the hospital or the local precinct--and I hope the same is true for all of you! Yet, the drama surrounding our places of worship remains an almost untapped reservoir of soap opera potential, and GCB deserves to be blessed with another season just for being one of tyhe first major network attempts to tell these transcendent stories.

Do you want ABC to renew GCB or use that hour for one of their many pilots? Why? Please tell us in the comments section, below!


  1. I'm hoping that ABC renews "GCB" for a second season. It's silly fun with some hilarious performances - and lots of nice eye candy.

  2. I have watched 80% of the episodes and I have mixed feelings. Some episodes are good, but it grows old fast. I'm liking some elements but still not impressed with the series. To much comedy & trying to hard. I would rather see one of the many other soaps in develop at ABC, Devious Maids, Scruples for example. There isn't enough serious drama mixed in with the comedy, which DH does beautifully, it's like a hour long sitcom. If it does get renew it will last only another season. Ratings have been so-so, nothing impressive.

  3. The episodes have been uneven, but I like it enough to want it back for another season. I'm surprised they didn't end with a big cliffhanger (aside from the kiss), something that might generate some buzz for the show.

  4. Yes GCB definitely need to come back. It is a fun show with a lot of potential. I want to see more of these characters.

  5. Please, please, PLEASE write in and help save GCB!!