GCB recap – 1×04: ‘A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’

Courtesy of ABC

This week on GCB an old friend of Gigi’s (Annie Potts) returns to town with his jealous wife, Bitsy (Knots Landing’s Donna Mills!!!) and Amanda (Leslie Bibb) comes between Cricket (Miriam Shor) and Blake (Mark Deklin). But the real story is how the three reigning Queens of Mean are growing on me, while Amanda keeps hitting the snooze button. It has this blogger asking the question: how do you solve a problem like Amanda?

Let’s bitch!This week saw parallel storylines for Amanda and her mother Gigi with both women stuck in the middle of quasi love triangles. Amanda’s triangle is the most interesting, but mostly because of Cricket and Blake. Miriam Shor is so great at conveying fake happiness and burning jealousy, and Deklin has great chemistry with both women. I really enjoyed their interactions, especially when Amanda tells Blake that he doesn’t have to keep secrets from her, essentially letting him know that she is okay with him being gay. As much as I enjoyed this storyline, though, I do wish it could have been more believable in its execution. The whole idea of the denim relaunch idea is good in principle, but none of it feels real or even makes much sense in execution. They get push back from their religious customers after the campaign pictures are leaked online (by Cricket). But the original campaign pictures turn out to be even more offensive. They look like pictures one would find on a classy porn site (or so I am told). And that’s before we even mention how ridiculous those jeans are. They are just way too much look for the back.

Meanwhile, Gigi’s old friend Burl (Bruce Boxleitner) comes back to town with his jealous wife Bitsy. This storyline didn’t work as well, but I think it could be because we aren’t as attached to the couple as we are to Cricket and Blake. Also, as much as I love Donna Mills (I was a huge Knots Landings fan back in the day!) she just didn’t sell me on her character. As such, Potts is far and away the MVP for this storyline, giving us some great moments in an otherwise boring and forgettable side plot.

On the other side of the street Carlene (Kristin Chenowith) was busy with Ripp (David James Elliot) as they plot to get information from Amanda about her “deceased” husband. Chenoweth is really a delight this week. Although her character hasn’t been the most interesting on the show thus far, she is able to show off some great comedy skills – and delivers the funniest lines – this week.

Courtesy of ABC

Then there’s Sharon (Jennifer Aspen) and Zack (Brad Beyer) working out their marital woes with the hunky pastor John Tudor (Tyler Jacob Moore). Sharon’s storyline is finally developing nicely and I love her arc this week. After completing the cabinets, her happy jig is just the cutest thing. And I really enjoy her speech at the end when she tells Zack that he might have underestimated her but she also underestimated herself (I’m a sucker for emotional concluding speeches). I am definitely excited to see where this story is heading. And here’s hoping it involves more Pastor Tudor. Amen to that!!

The show is settling into a nice groove, although I still think they need to tighten up their storylines and perhaps think about ensuring some storylines are more plausible. But these mostly fixable problems. The biggest deficiency in the story to date -by far – remains Amanda. Every time she shows up I find myself rolling my eyes. It’s not that Leslie Bibb is a unlikeable actress, and in fact I find she does a good job with what she is given. It’s that her character is just too one dimensional. Although we are told she was a mean girl, we never get to witness her evil side (you know it’s still in there, and you know you want to see it!). All we have are the writers trying to bang us over the head with how great she is and how much she has changed. But we never got to see the transition. She needs to get down and dirty and it needs to stop feeling so obvious that the show wants us to like her. She needs to feel more human. There are moments when this works: in this episode, when she walks away from her job with Blake and Cricket, it’s a really great moment and it’s played really well. But these moments are few and far between. The other characters are all developing nicely, but Amanda is stuck in first gear. They need to loosen her up and let her have some fun.

Other points of interest:

  • The storyline with Heather (Marisol Nichols) needs to get more interesting. Whenever she comes on it’s like a commercial break and I feel the need to get up and get snacks.
  • Seriously I need catfights! Are you listening, Aaron Spelling, it’s me Jonathan. Send GCB an Amanda already!

Best lines of the night:

  • Carlene: “What am I talking about, you’re from California. Everyone touches themselves.”
    Carlene: “Only one man does magic and he’s from Jerusalem, not Hogwarts!”
  • Carlene: “And I love your Selena. Someone shot her right?”

So that’s it for ‘A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’. What are your thoughts on Amanda – do you want to see her bad side, or am I making something out of nothing? Do you think this was Cheno’s best week yet? And would you like Pastor Tudor cure what ails ya?

GCB airs Sundays at 10pm EST on ABC.

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