GCB

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
GCB TV Poster Image
Drama + comedy in the Bible Belt = feisty fun for grown-ups.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show makes light of cattiness and backstabbing among women who use their wealth and social standing to influence and bully others. And all kinds of iffy behavior -- from extramarital affairs to unsavory business arrangements –- play a role in the show’s plot. But on the positive side, the story centers on a newly widowed woman's efforts to build an upstanding life for herself and her kids while making amends for past wrongs that caused lifelong hurt among her high school peers.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The characters aren't impressive on the whole, with most of the main female characters obsessed with self-image, wealth, and status, even as they profess to be religious and quote the Bible to justify their actions. But there are a few bright spots, particularly Amanda, who uses tragedy to reprioritize her life, reconnect with her estranged mother, and teach her kids about second chances. She's not perfect, but her intentions are good, and she's determined to build a wholesome life for her family.

Violence
Sex

The act itself isn't shown, but the rest is fair game. A typical episode includes references to oral sex, discussion of a teen's virginity, implications of secretive homosexual relationships, slang like "tapping that" and "MILF," plus some making out, kissing, and suggestive touching between couples, with implied sex to follow.

Language

Casual use of "bitch," "ass," "hell," and "damn."

Consumerism

Brand names like Neiman Marcus pop up in conversation as marks of social status.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wine and mixed drinks are staples at any time of a normal day and especially in social settings. Amanda is a recovering alcoholic and declines drinks because of it.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that GCB is a comedy/soap opera intended for a mature audience, as evidenced by frequent sexual content (mostly implied or in discussions, though there are some instances of physical contact), strong language, and conniving behavior on the part of self-proclaimed Christian women. Manipulation and abuse of social standing is common among so-called friends, extramarital affairs (between both heterosexual and homosexual couples) are fair game, and there's a surprising amount of casual drinking. That said, there are some positive themes to be gleaned from the main character's efforts to rebuild her life after tragedy and scandal, and the admissions to past wrongdoings she must make to do so. If your teens are mature enough to differentiate between parody and the reality presented in this show, then take the opportunity to reinforce the statements it makes about the effects of bullying.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydr dew March 4, 2012

not so bad

well i am a christian man who had seen ads for this program and thought it looked funny but was not realy on board with geting my lord and saviour made fun of a... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 1, 2012

Perfect LOL comedy for teens 14 and up!!!!

this is a hilarious show!!! sexual content--it is obvious they are going to have sex BUT nothing too explicit. its rated tv pg and its mostly sexual dialouge r... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bybooklover27 March 9, 2012

Okay Show

This just was okay, nothing special. And honestly, not super inappropriate, most teens have already been exposed to these kind of things. But I really don'... Continue reading

What's the story?

Amanda Vaughn (Leslie Bibb) is a recently widowed mother of two who's coping with the fallout from her philandering husband's financial scandal and unexpected death. With few options and no money, she reluctantly moves her two teens from their Southern California life back to her hometown of Dallas -- and in with her wealthy and domineering mother, Gigi (Annie Potts). A lot has changed in the nearly two decades since Amanda left town, but what hasn't changed are the bruised egos of her former classmates, whom Amanda terrorized while she reigned as the town's mean girl during high school. Now that she's back and the social standing is reversed, these "proper" Southern ladies have their sights set on revenge, and, as Amanda will soon learn, few dangers compare to holy Christian women with an axe to grind.

Is it any good?

Based on the hit book Good Christian Bitches by Kim Gatlin, GCB (a.k.a. Good Christian Belles) is an expertly cast, cleverly written, deliciously naughty show that turns the characters' bad behavior into highly entertaining fare. Kristin Chenoweth is a comedic marvel as Bible-quoting society queen Carlene Cockburn, as she and Amanda's other former favorite targets team up to dish out some payback. The give-and-take between the sides brings old emotions to the surface and opens a surprisingly honest window into the aftermath of bullying and peer pressure. Granted, the show is rife with stereotypes and really isn't out to take a serious stand on this or any other issue, but it's an interesting byproduct nonetheless and speaks to the long-lasting effects of peer-inflicted emotional trauma.

It should be stressed that parents need to take care in giving their teens the go-ahead in watching this show. Strong language is common ("bitch," "hell," "ass"), there's lots of drinking, and sexual implications (references to the act, slang terms like "MILF," and physical contact that implies lovemaking is imminent) are the norm. Mature teens will see the humor in the social caste system and the women's cattiness, though, so if you deem yours ready for the adult content, this might be a fun choice for you to chuckle at together. If you do, be sure to point out the positive messages that surround Amanda's efforts to make amends for her past and change her life in a positive way, including her devoted sobriety. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the adults in GCB. Are any of them worthy role models? Which of their actions makes them so? Can their bad behavior be excused in any way? Why do we see so many women being mean to each other on TV?

  • How does bullying affect its victims? How can it impact someone's self-image? Do you think it's possible to truly overcome the ghosts of your past? How does life experience change the way we view ourselves and other people?

  • Have you ever had to overcome tragedy? How did it affect you? Did it change your priorities? Is there ever an up side to bad circumstances?

TV details

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