Brace yourselves: I liked the GCB season finale quite a bit! Maybe it's because the episode was a little more focused—it stumbled along with some of the comedy bits, but put a lot more emphasis on the drama and plotting. Sure, the ladies were still squabbling like vapid cartoons for the entire hour, but at least there was the added edge that the finale might end things by killing them all off in the middle of the desert. (And then pick up in Season 2 with them squabbling for supremacy in heaven.)
As usual, Gigi was the best part of the show, from her Night of the Iguana reference to her sexily rumpled beehive after the ladies were kidnapped. Other things that made me laugh despite myself: the running joke that Cricket's private jet is essentially a giant house, Cricket's pronunciation of just about everything, and the episode subtly calling out Texan women on crossing the border for banned beauty supplies and bootleg medications. That's a thing, folks, that's a real thing and hey, don't knock it 'til you've tried it. In addition to random laughs (and there are always a few, because there are talented dialogue people working on this show, even if their wit is constantly muddled by its uneasy systemic compromises), there were ALSO some very solid developments that could lead into a spicier Season 2, should ABC renew the series to the delight of those who have remained faithful to the uneven Season 1. Ahem:
– The Eater is now a multimillionaire working in tandem with Cricket, thanks to her husband's phone negotiating skills.
– Carlene has a beautiful new stepdaughter who, geez—just so effing pretty. The GCB casting directors keep going on down to the Pretty Girl Farm and hauling back the best-looking ladies on TV.
– Carlene is presumably open to questioning Rip, having understood that he used her blind faith to manipulate her.
– Cricket and Blake's white marriage is threatened by interloper Mason Massey who is not only handsome as hell, but has some kind of coup up his sleeve. Very Dynasty, very Dallas.
– Handsome Pastor Jon has morphed from dorky vanilla idiot-preacher to hunky veteran. Like, it was total manipulation but his scene with Amanda in the bar was honestly compelling.
So okay, yeah, I would check in on the start of the next season (should such a season be allotted to these bitches) to see how everything turns out. VERY strong ending!
The biggest comedic misstep was Sandra Bernhard's bizarre cameo as a part-Aztec activist who kidnapped the ladies during the ground-breaking of Carlene's Better Living With Bigotry Condos and hauled them out to the middle of the desert. Who doesn't love Sandra? She's a loudmouth icon, but she was shot so weirdly—all upshots, badly lit, it sounded like she was improvising her lines with an eye toward being edgy. I feel like she told ABC they had her for 12 hours and then spent seven of those hours sulking in her trailer. It felt like a clumsy funny-or-die sketch, but it was over quickly and set the stage for our belles to traipse across the desert in their Louboutins while pulling off a barrage of deus ex machinas to keep the fighting interesting. (Say! A five-pound handle of tequila in my purse! I forgot all about that!)
Which yeah, I really enjoyed the desert scenes. They were weird and lunatic and reminded me of bare-bones live sketch comedy (after all, getting lost in the desert is a go-to improv premise) but in a really good way. The scenes with all our ladies together are usually kind of grossly contrived and feel incredibly carefully handled, but the loose camera work and rumpled hair and the women kicking it together in the desert—it all had the undeniable air of people enjoying themselves, and the weirdness of the women crossing the sand looking frazzled set their stereotypical phrasings into campy overdrive. (The Realtor moaned that she needed a man as the women rightfully fretted that they would dehydrate and die of exposure.)
Gigi shooting a hairspray bomb and converting Carlene's billboard into a smoke signal was another "Where were you carrying that hairspray?" moment but it was also cheeky and colorful and Annie Potts can do no wrong. And as stated previously, the Pastor morphed into a steamy hunk and I love that he and Amanda kissed. I also like that she gave Luke the heave-ho because he could easily lie to her, no matter what the motive. That feels solid to me. And Amanda falling off the wagon before lashing out at Carlene gave her bitchiness a sympathy.
Altogether, not too bad, bitches! I'm not necessarily praying for a Season 2, but if ABC wanted to tease one out, this was a strategic finale: a volley of interesting eleventh-hour developments mixed in with the usual stew of cartoon-y hatred. I tip my hat to you, GCB, as I ride off into the sunset, leaving our season of broken dreams and un-mended fences behind me.
– Now that we've seen the whole first season, what's your opinion of GCB overall?
– Season 2: Will there be one, and will you watch it?