Monday, March 5, 2012


by Amy K. Bredemeyer

This one has been a long time coming! I feel as if America has been waiting for this show to actually debut for the better part of a year at this point! Not to say that it's any good, but I didn't hate it, either. So much to say about this pilot episode... let's start with the fact that the writers included a LOT of background! So many characters (and their spouses!) and so many events (both now and twenty years ago) makes it difficult to keep things straight... so let's hope that the next few episodes give us a chance to catch our breath and not expect us to remember what everyone does for a living and what their full names are! Oh, and the sheer size of the cast befuddled me... does anyone else find it bothersome that Kristin Chenoweth has practically been the ONLY face for this show and she's not even the main character?? Speaking of the main character, did it strike you that Ponzi schemes are showing up more often lately? Sure, Amanda wasn't involved, but it was a Ponzi scheme that got the show on the road... much like how one was part of the premise that brought together the characters on Melissa & Joey. Ahhh, and even more with the repeated story ideas everywhere - what's with all of the revenge on television in this day and age?? Anyway, let's just get started on the actual episode...

GCB "Pilot" (S01E01): In Santa Barbara, California, Amanda's husband, Bill, is with her best friend, speeding away in a sportscar along a coastline with millions of dollars. She decides to orally pleasure him and they end up veering off the road; the crash kills them both. Three months later, it's revealed that the money was from a Ponzi scheme, leaving Amanda with a meager amount to raise her two children, Laura and Will. She wants to leave the area for a fresh start, so she reluctantly heads to her hometown upon her lawyer's suggestion. Upon her arrival in a Dallas suburb where everyone seems to know everyone, a group of ladies is already talking about "the bully" being back in town. See, across the street from Amanda's mother lives Carlene, who quickly calls Sharon, Cricket, and Heather about the situation. [I love the idea that the group of fortysomething ladies calls one another 24/7 to discuss the latest gossip.]

We're then introduced to Amanda's mother, who prefers to go by Gigi, especially around her grandchildren. Gigi believes that the internet is for p0rn, though she does decide to get it for the children. [I'm intrigued to find out where the family money comes from...] She's not making Amanda very happy, what with teaching Will to mix cocktails, giving Laura a push-up bra, and telling the kids about Amanda's "mean girl" days. [the first two I could chalk up to the south, but who would tell teens that their mother was an awful person in high school??] Amanda's also not thrilled that Gigi demands the entire family attends church. [though I imagine she could have seen that coming... I wonder if we'll get flashbacks in future episodes?] There, Amanda meets a whole bunch of folks from her younger days, though not everyone is thrilled to see her - Carlene, for instance, refers to her as the Prodigal Daughter. ["Amazing Grace" as a ringtone? really?]

Amanda doesn't know much about working, but figures that she could be an interior designer, as she's had a few classes in that. [um, do you not need a license for that in Texas? Because I know some states require one!] An old pal gets her some interviews but they don't go well, as one of the ladies is pulling favors all over town to keep Amanda from being hired. [revenge, got it.] On the bright side, Heather, a realtor, helps her find a place to live. Amanda isn't thrilled with the houses she's being shown, so she looks some things up online and then confronts Heather about the situation. [at least she's not a pushover! though I wouldn't really expect her to be, either.] It smooths over well, as Amanda apologizes for the past, and it looks like Heather may even begin to believe Amanda. Unfortunately, this is when the rest of the girls show up with a gift basket. [that largest gift basket I have EVER seen! and it contains some very strange items...]
The girls are really there to find out what's going on with the expensive car (that is from Sharon's husband's dealership) and nearly $100,000 of stuff from Neiman Marcus that has anonymously shown up at Amanda's door. Amanda doesn't know, but that's not good enough for Carlene, who lifts the gift card (Amanda sent all of the gifts back) and makes Sharon go into the store for more information. [so... Carlene is totally running the show around here...] However, the store wants ID, so Sharon runs out and Amanda is called in, to make sure foul play wasn't at hand. Amanda lets it go. [part of me was surprised, but part of me thought she just needs to play everything cool right now.] Later, Amanda's mother admits to sending her everything. [hmm. didn't suspect that!]

Desperate for work, Amanda applies at a bar (even though it's implied that she's a recovering alcoholic) which would require her to wear a revealing uniform. [odd.] It doesn't take long before this news is all over town, and the ladies confront Amanda at a big town event/ball. [which, I thought, was made out to be a much bigger deal than it actually appeared.] Amanda apologizes to Cricket for the wrongs she committed years ago, but not a single apologetic word is directed toward Carlene. A week has passed by now, and in church, Amanda stands up to announce that she's thankful for her job at a bar owned by Carlene's corporation. [hahaha!]
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