Monday, April 9, 2012

GCB: Vow Renewal, then Sex

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Who has a vow renewal EVERY SINGLE YEAR? Carlene and Ripp, apparently. And it's not just a small, personal dedication, either. It's a full-blown event, with a new theme, bridal showers and girls' weekends, and a rotating wedding party annually. It was interesting to have just one major story (and Cricket's small side-story) for an entire episode, but it's not something you should get used to. The next episode turned around and had four plotlines going, one of which even included one of Amanda's children, as unlikely as that seems. Yes, that's right... seven episodes in and we've only barely seen Will, and Laura has had a total of about ten minutes of screentime. Heather has also taken a backseat to the Carlene-heavy episodes that use Cricket and Amanda (and Gigi, really) as filler when needed. The show is starting to be slightly more appealing to me - though I can't put my finger on why. At this point it's safe to say that I'll likely finish out the first season. A second season is still iffy for the drama, but we'll probably get word about it before I'm able to make a decision regarding how long I'll stick with it...

GCB "Turn the Other Cheek" (S01E06): Carlene and Ripp are having an annual vow renewal for their 17th anniversary, and the theme is Gone with the Wind. [I have ten snarky things to say in this moment...] Sharon is the matron of honor for the first time, so she's taking the opportunity very seriously. [Carlene has NEVER chosen Sharon? She doesn't seem to have many female relatives, and she's not a big fan of Heather (or Cricket, half of the time!), so who has been doing it all this time??] Luke asks Amanda to be his date to the vow renewal, but she's reluctant to go until Gigi convinces her. [why is this grown woman always taking advice from her mother? the Abraham Lincoln costume was funny, though.] Carlene, however, demands that Luke bring one of the girls from the bridal party, and when he threatens to just not attend, she strips Sharon of her title and presents Amanda with the task of being the matron of honor. [!! shock!!] Sharon, of course, is upset, but she dutifully passes off all of her duties to Amanda - including hosting a "they rod and thy staff, they comfort me" bridal shower and an overnight girls' weekend. The way that Sharon had talked to Amanda about the shower, she thought it was a "dirty rod and staff" party, so her gift was inappropriate. [I thought that it was one of the funnier moments.]
Amanda also thought that the overnight trip was fancy, but it's actually a hunting excursion. [didn't see that coming, but it's not too far-fetched for the crowd, either.] After some heated remarks, Amanda drops her gun and walks away from Carlene, only to have the gun accidentally shoot Carlene in the behind. [even if it was an accident, wouldn't you get charged with mishandling a firearm or something?] Carlene needs crutches for a bit, then hobbles later.

To anger Carlene, Amanda shares that Luke lost the original marriage license 17 years ago, so the Cockburns aren't actually married. [I can't imagine how angry I'd be if this happened to me. Luckily, it's less likely in this day and age, when you need your validated marriage license to change your name and whatnot.] Carlene is terribly upset and cannot be comforted, so Amanda eventually has to apologize. Carlene demands that her wedding memories be destroyed, but Amanda won't let it happen. In the process of saving the 17-year-old cake tier, Amanda discovers the marriage license in the box, so she heads right down to the clerk's office to beg to have it filed retroactively. However, the clerk is an old high school classmate with bad memories of Amanda, so she has to clash him to get her way. [I'm just going to act like it was nothing...] Carlene and Sharon make up in the end, and Sharon resumes her role as matron of honor, especially when Amanda is late to the event. [whatever.]

While all of this is going on, there's a side story with Cricket and Blake. Blake wants to have another child and convinces Cricket to do it, but only after promising that he'll never leave her to fulfill his true sexual desires full-time. [yeah, that's a good enough reason...] Oh, and they plan to invest in a sperm bank.

GCB "Sex is Divine" (S01E07): Amanda is offered the job of church secretary, which she accepts. [first Sharon, now Amanda? Are the writers just trying to give the pastor more airtime than just giving sermons?] The latest sermon is only for adults, as the pastor asks the congregation to have sex daily for a week. [a strange premise, especially by not specifying that this is only for married folks or something. but kinda odd, unless we see the end result in the next episode?] Amanda and Luke plan to rent a hotel room in another name, as they can't get any privacy at her place or his. This gets Carlene started on an abstinence program for teens, called Purity Pioneers. [I take issue with "pioneers" by definition. but the dumber part is pulling "paper covers rock" ... really??!?] The "popular kids" join, so Laura want to as well, but Amanda tries to talk her out of it. Well, things escalate when Carlene hosts a "Heck House" to scare kids into not having sex, an idea with which Amanda completely disagrees. After Amanda's daughter and Carlene's son are caught kissing, however, they decide to talk to each other's children. [I would have been so weirded out if the parents of a boy I'd kissed had such a talk with me!] We also learn that Amanda has only ever been with Bill, but Carlene has had multiple partners before Ripp. [slightly surprised?] Amanda then admits to Luke that she hasn't had to much experience in bed, and Luke tells her that they can wait as long as she wants. Of course, when he says that, she's ready to jump into bed. [such a cliche scene!]

Cricket and Blake interview surrogates, turning them down for a variety of reasons (like supporting Obama). Blake pushes for Cricket to carry the child, but she doesn't want to give up sushi and alcohol. [agreed. sushi will be quite the struggle for me someday!] She finally agrees, but they struggle to be intimate, as it's been a while and they don't know what one another likes anymore. They try taking some pills but all that does is make them sweat and freak out. [so strange!] In a selfish ploy, Cricket tells the pastor that she wants to open a scholarship fund for unwed mothers with high SAT scores. [ha!]

Sharon and Zach lose weight by eating like they would have in the Bible, which gives Zach the idea for a news business. This is good news, as the dealership is going under. [sure, they'll sell some... but enough to make a living??] 

Heather tries to sell Burl some property, and he proposes to Gigi so she'll live with him. [not that surprised here...] Gigi doesn't answer right away, and after his heart condition flares up, he thinks that she's giving him a "pity yes." It works out in the end. 
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