is a 2011-debut American TV dramedy
set in the exclusive Dallas, Texas suburb of Highland Park. It's frequently described as a Southern Desperate Housewives
or a grown up Mean Girls
. The show was created by Darren Star (Beverly Hills 90210
, Melrose Place
, Sex and the City
) and written by Robert Harling (Steel Magnolias
). It's somewhat based on the book Good Christian Bitches
by Kim Gatlin; the show was originally going to bear that title (it still got dropped
in the ads), and then changed to Good Christian Belles
before settling on the less controversial abbreviation.
In Santa Barbara, California, protagonist Amanda Vaughn's husband Bill steals billions from his investors, then dies in a car crash with his mistress. Left with nothing, Amanda and their two teenage children return to Texas and move back in with her pushy socialite mother Gigi. Amanda was head cheerleader and Alpha Bitch
in high school, but time and distance have helped her become a somewhat better person. Moving back home, she meets the four women she was most evil to in high school; only one accepts her apology for her past behavior, while the other three have most definitely not moved on and are not ready to forgive at all.
This show provides examples of:
- AbsurdlyYouthfulParents: Plenty of the characters fall under this category, one episode revealed Amanda to be a TeenMom which oddly is supposed to set her as a fallen woman amongst her old classmates.
- Actor Allusion: In episode 5, Amanda tells Carlene "In the words of another very famous witch: you have no power here". Carlene is played by Kristin Chenoweth, who played the witch in question in Wicked.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Amanda and her dead husband.
- Alpha Bitch: Amanda in highschool; Cricket and Carlene now.
- An Aesop: Most episodes.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Carlene's son to a photo of Amanda's bedonk (Carlene's reaction when she walks in on is priceless...).
- The Beard: Cricket's husband Blake is gay. It was known between them before they married. They have a marriage based on a strong platonic friendship.
- The Bible: Kind of a given when considering how 'religious' the characters on this show claim to be. Also, each episode's central plot is derived from the morals of various biblical stories.
- Big Beautiful Woman: Sharon, the way her husband sees her. She herself doesn't, and resolves to lose weight, leading to her invention of "eating biblical".
- Not really. She is not any bigger than the rest of the women in the cast, which has had plenty of viewers confused. More than anything, She's Hollywood Pudgy◊.
- Big Screwed-Up Family: Apparently, Dallas is lousy with these.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Amanda in highschool, but now replaced by Carlene.
- Captain Ersatz: The restaurant/bar Amanda works at, Boobylicious, for the real-life chain, Hooters. Also, Armadillo Mart for Wal-Mart and Stockholm 'N Things for IKEA.
- Deadpan Snarker: Most characters at one time or another, but most notably, Cricket.
- Everything Is Big In Texas: And how. It is set in Dallas, after all.
- Fiery Redhead: Gigi.
- Happily Married: Carlene and Ripp, Cricket and Blake, and Sharon and Zack. However, they all have their share of problems.
- Hey, It's That Guy! : Carlene and Cricket have sung before, Sharon schemed a plenty in Ohio, Gigi temped for some high-profile city-slickers, and Ripp looks fine in a uniform (just to name a few)...
- Hollywood Tone Deaf : Miriam Shor was in Hedwig and the Angry Inch and even in the show can sing well when it's not crucial to the plot; have her audition for a Jesus-themed musical, however . . .
- Generation Xerox: Amanda is upset with Laura for disobeying her the same way she herself disobeyed Gigi years earlier.
- Internet Backdraft: In-universe, when Amanda, Blake, and Cricket try to relaunch a jean line from the '70s called Westward Ho, Christian forums are outraged by the name.
- It had plenty in real life too. Moral Guardians ravaged the show the same way they did the American version of Skins
- Lady of War: The ladies' pimped out designer hunting gear gives them shades of this in one episode.
- Large Ham: And how. The ladies of this show have this in spades...
- Mistaken for Cheating: Ripp the woman is actually his daughter, most likely conceived before he and Carlene married.
- Modern Minstrelsy: The show's exaggerated portrayal of Southern / Texas and Christian stereotypes is offensive to some.
- Title Drop: Each episode's title can be seen on a church sign early into the episode.
- My Beloved Smother: Gigi to Amanda.
- The Cast Showoff: When one of your actors is Kristin Chenoweth, having her sing is sort of inevitable.
- The Other Darrin: The actors playing Bozeman Peacham and Landry Cockburn are different post-pilot.
- Professionals Do It On Desks: Carlene Cockburn and her husband Ripp in the pilot.
- Recycled In Space: Desperate Housewives IN TEXAS!
- Refuge in Audacity: Being in Texas!
- Serious Business: Church plays, community fundraisers, barbecue...
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Heather. After she gets over her husband's death, Amanda too.
- Straight Gay: Blake.
- Wardrobe Malfunction: Alexandra, current head cheerleader and high-school Alpha Bitch, has had breast enlargement but ignores her mother Cricket's warning that "you can't wear last year's uniform with this year's breasts"; the over-strained top bursts open during a pep rally.