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GCB (ABC) - Series Premiere: Synopsis and Review
ABC’s ‘GCB’ premiered on Sunday March 4th, at 10/9c.It revolves around Amanda (Leslie Bibb, ‘Popular’), whose husband attempted to run away with his mistress (who also happened to be Amanda’s best friend) and a lot of money. They did not succeed in their endeavor however, due to some bad steering on his part after an attempt to help him relax on her part. Nudge nudge, wink wink. Let’s just say; letting go of the steering wheel isn’t a very good idea when you’re flooring your car.
After his demise Amanda learns her husband wasn’t quite the angel at work either when federal agents seize and raid her house for everything valuable. She now has no home and there is an investigation being conducted in relation to her late-husband’s activities, so all her assets are frozen as well. She has but one option left: take her children and go back to Dallas to live with her mother.
Once back with mother, with whom she doesn’t have the easiest relationship, she reconnects with her old high-school ‘friends’, portrayed by Kristin Chenoweth (‘The West Wing’), Jennifer Aspen (‘Glee’), Marisol Nichols (‘24’) and Miriam Shor. As soon as she moves in the girls call each other, and it’s clear they’re not happy about her being back. Apparently she was quite the ‘biatch‘ during her teenage years, and the girls haven’t forgotten about it. Amanda now has to build up her life again, find a job and a new home, while living with her mother and facing the women who just don’t believe she’s changed since her teen-years.
I have to say, I started watching this show with a bit of a prejudice. I’m not a fan of the mean high school girl who spreads rumors and steals boyfriends. It’s a moral thing I guess, but either way; I found it hard to pity Amanda when her husband died. It doesn’t help that she’s apparently always had a privileged life, with huge houses to live in and enough money to buy whatever she wants, and that she doesn’t seem to be grieving over her husband at all. (Sure, he was a bad person, but I’m assuming she loved him, whether she likes it or not.) It’s no surprise that I agreed with the church sign: you reap what you sow. Or in other words: karma, baby.
Now, I realise people do change, and I guess having a former mean girl be in forced contact with her former victims makes a good format for a series, but they haven’t really done it properly. Amanda keeps on saying that she’s changed, and she does say sorry a few times, but she doesn’t really seem to mean it. It seems she just wants everyone to get over the past. Now, this may be easy for her to do, but when someone spreads the rumor you have herpes, like Amanda did with Cricket, you don’t forget easily. When it comes to solid back stories, the old school girls with a grudge are far more believable than the Amanda character. Furthermore, the show’s trying really hard to make Amanda the good guy in all of this. Now like I said, I might be a bit prejudiced, and it’s probably hard on her being in this situation (although I really sensed a huge lack of grievance on her part), but in my opinion Amanda isn’t realising what an impact her actions had on her victims.
It won’t surprise you to hear that the show isn’t really my cup of tea up until now. However, if you just forget Amanda’s history, it all makes more sense and the series is actually enjoyable. ‘GCB’ has been compared to ‘Desperate Housewives’ and I’m sorry to say this isn’t really like ‘Desperate Housewives’ at all. However, I do see the two shows pulling in the same type of audience. Also, Kristin Chenoweth is genius as Carlene Cockburn and I really felt like she was carrying the entire story.
Concluding I do have to say this show is worth the watch, because I expect the Amanda character to develop more. I suspect they will show some more background to her life, perhaps showing what made her change or what really was her reason to be so mean as a teenager. They’ll have to do it fast however, because this bad girl gone good angle needs something to support it.