Tuesday, March 13, 2012

GCB? WTF!?! (A Rebuttal)

As you all know from your extensive study of our blog (yeah, right), guest blogger Mac Attack gave the new Kristin Chenoweth vehicle, GCB, a glowing review. He acknowledged that GCB is essentially another prime-time soap opera, which comes as no surprise since ABC airs it right after Desperate Housewives. And he's right - if you can sit back and enjoy the witty one-liners, it's an amusing show.

Obligatory group shot.

But somehow, I just can't sit back. For me, television is all about the characters. You can give me the most interesting plot, the most vivid setting, but if the characters don't pull their weight I'm out the door. And it's not enough to be interesting - several of the characters on GCB are grotesquely fascinating, in a train-wreck-about-to-happen kind of way. My problem with this show is that I've yet to find a major character I find genuinely likeable.

First off, I want to root for Kristin Chenoweth's character, Carlene Cockburn - of course I do, she's played by a much-loved actress with an awesome singing voice and bodacious tatas! But in the first episode, it becomes clear that she's the villain of the piece, the ring leader of the good Christian bitches who must be stopped at all costs. Okay, fine. I will - with a great deal of effort and personal sacrifice - transfer my loyalty to the plucky protagonist who is fighting desperately against the Cockburn regime. Who've you got for me?

Oh, you have got to be kidding.

Back story on our main, played by Leslie Bibb: Amanda Vaughn was a spoiled little rich girl who got knocked up by her high school boyfriend and ran away with him. He conned people out of a lot of money, which he used to support Amanda in the lifestyle to which she was accustomed. Then he and his mistress got into a car accident and died, leaving Amanda penniless and forcing her to move back home. Somewhere along the way, she develops a complex about accepting help - even though, up until now, she's been sheltered by giant fortresses made of money. So despite the fact that she's now living in her mother's house, they get into constant arguments about her mother trying to help her (and her teenage children). Oh by the way, the only reason she doesn't get along with her peers is that she was a Mean Girl who tortured them in high school.

Yeah, pretty much.

None of this answers the essential question... why should I care about you, Amanda? You've had everything handed to you on a silver platter, and the minute you have to start doing things for yourself, you have the arrogance to refuse help! News flash, other people in the world have done a lot more with a lot less. It doesn't make you a martyr to turn down opportunities other people would kill to get, or to complain about your mother while mooching off of her. It makes you selfish - and you wonder why the other women don't like you?

In conclusion, if I can't root for the hero I guess I'll go back to rooting for the villain. TEAM CHENOWETH ALL THE WAY.


Cheryl said...

Yessss! I was so looking forward to this show. The book was such a smart, biting criticism of a segment of the Dallas population that everyone knows and hates. It was fresh and funny and had a real point of view. The show is none of that. I'm willing to forgive a lot, especially in my guilty pleasures. But, not only are you right about it not having anyone to care about, it's unforgivable to take such interesting source material that could have made really compelling (but still campy fun) television and turn it into...that.

Maggie Cats said...

I still can't bring myself to watch it...because it sounds kind of terrible. But I love the Chenowith so! I just need to suck it up, maybe I will end up liking it since my expectations are so low..