Perhaps the most offensive thing about the new ABC primetime soap, GCB, is how the network played coy with the name. You see, the show's acronym is taken from the book Good Christian Bitches.
But when controversy erupted at ABC's announcement that it was making the book into a show, the producers immediately explained their incarnation would be called Good Christian Belles. Outrage continued, and the title ultimately morphed into letters. Yet the first episode makes a sly wink at the original name, letting certain audiences know that ABC really has no problem with its sentiment.
Whatever it's called, we can be clear about one thing-none of the foul-mouthed, barely dressed characters on GCB are actual Christians. And after 15 minutes there's no question about the intent of creator Darren Starr (Sex and the City). He aims to paint those who profess Christ with the broadest and ugliest brush he can find.
To be fair, when one character in the premiere uses a group prayer to not-so-subtly hint at some hot gossip, the moment does a decent (if entirely unoriginal) job of exaggerating an authentic foible. But that was the only amusing moment in the hour-long parody of wealthy, church-going red-staters. The rest is reserved for trotting out every lazy stereotype of hypocritical, Bible-belt Bible-thumpers the writers can think of.
Kristin Chenoweth is the puppet through whom most of the Christian bashing is mouthed. Along with constantly quoting Scripture to defend her campaign to ruin another woman's life, she quips that her exposed cleavage helps her cross hang straight and, later, that the phone is not the proper venue for discussing adultery-church is.
We all get a giggle from seeing ideologies we oppose sent up, and I wouldn't suggest in a free society Christians should be immune from satire. The problem is Starr and the team at ABC keep insisting GCB is a good-natured spoof created out of love. If a Christian producer gave a contradictory worldview-let's say, Islam-similar treatment, media and celebrity twitter accounts would explode from the simultaneous accusations of hate speech.