‘GCB’ premiere: New show combines elements of ‘Church Lady,’ ‘Desperate [Dallas] Housewives.’

“Hell hath no fury like the women you scorned in high school.” “GCB” premiered Sunday night on ABC. Bad Christian … Continued

“Hell hath no fury like the women you scorned in high school.”

“GCB” premiered Sunday night on ABC.

Bad Christian babes are back!

After mom Amanda Vaughn loses her Ponzi-scheming husband in a sexual rendezvous-induced car accident, the former “mean girl” moves with her two children from California to her “God-often-speaks-to-me-through-Gucci” mother’s house in Dallas.

Bill Matlock


Amanda Vaughn, played by Leslie Bibb, gives a warning — disguised as a prayer — in church.

In a town full of hair-sprayed holy rollers, Texas-sized cattiness ensues.

“GCB” is one part Church Lady, one part Desperate Dallas Housewives.

Carlene Cockburn, played by Kristin Chenoweth, is Vaughn’s high school nemesis and the show’s faith-filled antagonist, delivering witty one-liners (“We all hope you’re here for good and not for evil”) and Dallas diva-ness in a series that alludes to the excesses of Christian culture and depicts how religion is used, at least in some circles, to justify immoral behavior.

Bill Matlock


Kristin Chenoweth as Carlene Cockburn.

But where is the Christian love?

A review in the L.A.Times said the show “falls prey to easy, tired stereotypes of rich Southern women” adding that “ ‘GCB’ does certainly aim to satirize a certain brand of self-defining, self-satisfied Christian. Which … is a promising idea executed in such an anti-red state way that the emergence of the tea party suddenly makes perfect sense.”

Stereotypes aside, anyone who has spent some time in a religious community knows how human they can be — church lady gossip and all.

Did you watch “GCB”? Did it play into unfair stereotypes of Christianity — or Texas? Or, beyond the glitzy exterior, did you think the show demonstrated some deeper truths about human nature?


Elizabeth Tenety Elizabeth Tenety is the former editor of On Faith, where she produced "Divine Impulses," On Faith’s video interview series. She studied Theology and Government at Georgetown University and received her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. A New York native, Elizabeth grew up in the home of Catholic news junkies where, somewhere in between watching the nightly news and participating in parish life, she learned to ponder both the superficial and the sacred.
  • MissClarty

    Cute and adorable is cute and adorable on young people. At some point everyone has to grow up even if just a little. Pom poms should only be used in a bear den when two bears aren’t getting along and are very hungry.

  • patfenn

    This is SATIRE folks. I am a practicing Christian and thought GCB was fun.

  • steph010510

    I thought it was funny. I live in the Dallas area and this show doesn’t offend my Christian beliefs at all. Some may not agreee with me – that’s why there’s more than one channel to watch on Sunday night.

    It’s funny…it’s satire…that’s all. Every show, song, film, or quote demonstrates “some deeper truths about human nature”.

    (Go Kristin – love ya! ==> fellow OCU grad)

  • steph010510

    I need a proof-reader this morning…It should read:

    NOT EVERY show, song, film, or quote demonstrates “some deeper truths about human nature”.

  • peteywinston21

    I have lived in Dallas for over 20 years and the show is wayyyy over the top. I’m not saying it isn’t entertaining, but it is falsely representing the city of Dallas. I am not a christian, and many people who live in Dallas are not christian. Also you rarely see people with southern accents here and you rarely see people with cowboy hats. There are a lot of rich in Dallas, but there are also a lot of poor (just like any big city).

  • Cornell1984

    Boycott ABC. Demand all advertisers pull their ads. No apology from the haters at ABC will be accepted. I am offended as a Christian and believe the show is hate speech. The incivility and lack of decency shown by ABC is epic. Diane Sawyer and her band of bigots should all be fired.

  • jmetzger2

    Ha ha! Really? I am offended that Christians monopolize network television to promote their bronze era mythologies. I can’t even flip through the tele without encountering Kennith Copeland or some other snake handler.

  • damannion

    The show was hilarious. Some was over the top and some was spot on.

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