GCB premieres Sunday, chockablock with bosoms and crucifixes and cowboy hats — just as Christ intended. Leslie Bibb stars as Amanda, a recovering alcoholic who’s forced to return to her hometown after her cheating husband dies, leaving the one-time beauty queen destitute and with no choice but to return to her mother’s mansion in Texas. But the townsfolk are not all happy to see her, particularly the women she once tortured back in her bullying days. (The guys seem pretty excited to see her, however.) But is this show for you? Oh, sure, there’s the Katy Perry aesthetics, and an the in-the-car blow-jobber that happens in the first minute of the show, but is that enough? We’ve cracked the show’s exact formula, which may or may not seem enticing, depending on your enthusiasm for pastels and “y’all”s.
37 percent Desperate Housewives: And not just the over-the-top campiness — though certainly that, too. Between the jokey-joke music cues and the color saturation, the show could be set right on Wisteria Lane.
25 percent Dallas: Cowboy boots! Rich people! Texas! Secrets! Affairs! Dallas!
10 percent Mean Girls: Amanda might have been the top of the social pyramid once upon a time, but now her former victims have turned the table and are relentless in their pursuit of vengeance. Carlene Cockburn (Kristin Chenoweth) might not have been a Regina George in high school, but she’s more than able to play the part now, complete with ditzy blonde and a panicky brunette acolytes.
9 percent Hope Floats: The once-perfect princess gets humiliated in the big city thanks to a philandering husband, and thus flees back to her small Lone Star town — children in tow – to stay with a disapproving mom while attempting to rebuild her life. Surely a hunky townie can’t be far off.
6 percent Real Housewives Franchise: Women sure are crazy.
4 percent Gilmore Girls: Amanda’s mother, Gigi (Annie Potts), owes a thing or two to Emily Gilmore: She’s the grandmother who might have a strained relationship with her adult child, but would do anything for her teenage granddaughter, including harangue her into participating in a debutante ball. Remember, this is a small town, where appearances are everything.
2 percent Pushing Daisies: The shows have a similar aesthetic, though Daisies went for a more retro and kitschy feel, while GCB is more ranchy glam. But both find opportunities to have Chenoweth show off her pipes.
2 percent Edward Scissorhands: GCB isn’t anywhere near as imaginative or whimsical, certainly, but you can’t satirize McMansion hubris with a candy-colored palette without a little bit of Edward sneaking in.
One percent Annie Potts: Potts does that undermining charm to perfection as the manipulative Gigi.
One percent emotional eating: There sure is a lot of emotional eating on this show. You know former fat girls — they just can’t stop themselves.
One percent church stuff: People do mention the Bible here and there, and there are scenes set during an actual church service.
One percent the One-Percenters: Amanda’s past bitchiness is ameliorated by her current economic predicament; her victims turned aggressors aren’t unsympathetic just for their social violence but also for their ostentatious wealth.
1 percent cleavage The better to nestle a cross into, of course.