Review: Laughs are the main ingredient in 'GCB'

Review: Laughs are the main ingredient in 'GCB'

Posted by Bruce R. Miller Someone put a lot of TLC in "GCB," the new comedy following "Desperate Housewives." Showing what happened to those mean high school girls after they grew up, the ABC series offers laughs as big as Texas, smiles as wide as the Rio Grande. It's the best thing to come out of the state since "Dallas" and it's eminently watchable Sunday night TV. Leslie Bibb stars as the former queen bee who comes crawling back after her philandering husband dies in a car crash. Forced to live with her mother (Annie Potts), she tries to find a place among the women she used to harass. Naturally, they're not buying any of it. Now led by a little spitfire named Carlene (deliciously played by Kristin Chenoweth), the holy terrors do everything they can to even old scores. But they're not exactly playing with clean slates. Carlene may have the voice of an angel (she sings in the church choir) but she's got a devil of a husband (David James Elliott). Among his holdings: a Hooters-like bar called Boobylicious. Bibb's Amanda gets a job there, then has to suffer the snide comments from Carlene and her minions Cricket (Miriam Shor) and Sharon (a very, very funny Jennifer Aspen). She, meanwhile, learns plenty about the plastic-surgery happy Carlene, the yo-yo dieter Sharon and the cuckolded businesswoman Cricket. Their husbands? They're a whole other story. And that's what makes "GCB" (which stood for "Good Christian Bitches" when it was in book form) so much fun. Writer Robert Harling (known for "Steel Magnolias") fleshes out every aspect of the story. The husbands, the kids and, of course, the frenemies have full rich lives. If these people didn't exist, they should -- they're a hoot. Luckily, "GCB" isn't all hat and no cowboy. The second episode is just as rich and twice as juicy. While comparisons with "Desperate Houswives" are inevitable, this one trumps that in spades. Comedy isn't sprinkled in like a last-minute spice. It's the main ingredient. And Chenoweth, Bibb, Shor and Aspen are four-star chefs. Be ready to beg for seconds. "GCB" premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday on ABC.