Despite the saying, you can go home again — especially if your swindling financier husband dies in a freak accident with his mistress, leaving you with absolutely nothing. In that case, things are different.
Really different, actually, as former mean girl Amanda Vaughn learns when she moves with her kids into the house of her Dallas socialite mother in the new ABC soap “GCB,” premiering Sunday at 10 p.m. Played with plucky resolve by Leslie Bibb, Amanda finds the queen bee crown she once wore usurped by a former rival (Kristin Chenoweth), who is now hell-bent on exacting revenge.
“She was pretty horrific,” Bibb says of her character. “High school is … like a shark tank. She’s now looking at everything being slapped in her face, [people] saying, ‘You were awful. You did this. You did this.’ So it’s a constant realization of what she used to be.”
How Amanda will convince her former classmates that she’s changed in the last 20 years is where the juicy drama — and heart — of “GCB” lies.
“Every human being has a moment of being bitchy,” Bibb says. “I think when a woman’s a bitch, usually it’s based on being scared — they’re scared of the mirror that they’re seeing. What ends up happening on the show is we all sort of test each other. We all set each other off, and so I think everyone has a really beautiful, delicious moment of being bitchy and then a beautiful, great moment of sort of redemption — and then they’re a bitch again and we’re nice again.”
“GCB” stands for “Good Christian Bitches” — the title of the Kim Gatlin book on which the series is based.
“The term ‘GCB’ is a phrase that these women in Texas refer to themselves as, you know, it’s their own phrase,” executive producer Robert Harling reasons. The term, he says, is not meant to offend.
“The characters … are all motivated by a real sense of goodness,” says Harling, who wrote about another group of strong-willed Southern women in “Steel Magnolias.” “The goal is to watch people try to be good. I know I screw up all the time. And sometimes it’s funny. Sometimes it’s sad. … But within those parameters, we will never ever, ever be disrespectful.”