The series premiere of GCB proves there's plenty of room on the television landscape for Dallas. After all, everything is bigger in Texas, especially when it comes idiots, apparently.
The comedy starts when Bill Vaughn had the chance to cross the border with billions and a beauty. But he let oral pleasure drop him into the Pacific instead. That's just one of the many theories GCB uses to establish men as morons, if I'm reading the clues in the new show properly.
Let's face it, there aren't a lot of men in GCB trying to prove my argument otherwise, but neither are the women doing anything to lend credence to their being the better sex. Ugliness comes out from all sides. The worst part is they pretend it's all done in the name of the Lord. Maybe that's the wrong way to put it. It's not bad that it's done that way, but there will be some people unable to see past the sensationalism of using religion as a statement in providing insight into the characters, and will find the use of Christianity in the series off-putting.
But darn if it isn't entertaining. Leslie Bibb as Amanda - the mean girl turned good who really got the shaft in life - plays her role to the hilt. She's the perfect combination of natural beauty and innocence that makes you believe she actually could have been a bitch once, but has learned the error of her ways.
Amanda's former classmates, Carlene (Kristen Chenoweth ), Sharon (Jennifer Aspen), as Heather (Marisol Nichols) and Cricket (Miriam Shor) portray women with much more than they have ever given themselves credit for. The trauma they suffered under the rule of Amanda in high school did such a number on them that they overcompensated to the extreme. Each woman has her own special weakness and, as a group they make one whole, satisfied being.
They've used the excuse of Amanda's behavior toward them in high school as a reason to become the bitches they are today and hide behind their faith to feel justified in their actions, no matter how terrible they seem to the naked eye. Given the well-placed glimpses into souls of the ladies in question, I think it's fair to assume we will soon find out they have a lot of heart and their outward appearance is the true mockery.
GCB accomplished a lot in their premiere. By the end of the hour, you had a pretty good feel for the female "Bs," their significant others, Amanda's mother and a good portion of the town in which they live. That's no small feat considering the sheer size of the cast and the intricacies of the players involved. Annie Potts as Amanda's mother is an absolute riot and zings out one liners similar to those of Maggie Smith on Downton Abbey.
The writers are of good pedigree and if they can keep up the pace they've set forth in the first episode, there will be nothing they can't accomplish. Is it a worthy successor to Desperate Housewives? Absolutely. While Housewives surprised everyone by drawing itself as a comedy, I don't think there will be any question as to where GCB fits in. The laughs, at least in the premiere, far outweigh the dramatic possibilities. With Sunday's filled to the brim with dramas, I think GCB may be in the perfect position to find a place and call it home.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.