Leslie Bibb

If the characters of GCB were any more colorful, they'd be musical cartoon animals. Like My Little Pony crossed with a drag revue penned by Tennessee Williams.

Originally titled Good Christian Belles (and before that, Good Christian Bitches), ABC's new Southern-fried farce is full of big hair, over-the-top characters and the kind of empty-calorie fun one has while getting gossipy with their gals and gays: It's snappy, loud and sure to tick off a few folks. In this case, most likely the faithful who bristle at hearing Bible passages used as punch-lines.

But at its flashy, campy heart is a blessedly sincere reap-what-you-sow tale of redemption, underlined and bolded in last night's premiere, about a reformed high-school monster (Leslie Bibb) forced to move back in with her mother in Dallas and face the hometown frenemies she left in her hateful wake. This being Texas, or at least TV's version of it, everyone is a churchgoer with sinful secrets hiding behind their sanctimonious smiles. Gay husbands, shady business holdings, gluttonous food habits. Yeah, we've seen most of it before, but we're happy to see it again in the hands of hoots like Kristin Chenoweth, Miriam Shor and Annie Potts — back in full-blown Sugarbaker mode and killing it, BTW. Oh, and let's all just agree that it's awesome to see Bibb basically playing the karmically corrected adult version of her prom-queen bitch-goddess Brooke McQueen from Popular.

Is it the second coming of Desperate Housewives from its heyday? We'll see. If they can turn down some of the stereotypes and flesh out the characters beyond garish caricatures, this thing could have a prayer. We've seen a hell of a lot worse, that's for sure.

Did you check out GCB last night? Does it stand a snowball's chance?

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