Episodes: 10 (hour)
TV show dates: March 4, 2012 — May 6, 2012
Series status: Cancelled
Performers include: Leslie Bibb, Lauran Irion, Colton Shires, Annie Potts, Kristin Chenoweth, David James Elliott, Jennifer Aspen, Brad Beyer, Miriam Shor, Mark Deklin, and Marisol Nichols.
TV show description:
Based on the book Good Christian Bitches by Kim Gatlin, this TV show seeks to answer the question, “Can you go back home to a place where no one seems to have grown up?”
After her cheating husband dies and leaves her penniless in Los Angeles, former mean girl Amanda Vaughn (Leslie Bibb) moves back to her hometown of Highland Park, Texas. She and her teenage kids — Laura (Lauran Irion) and Will (Colton Shires) — have no choice but to move in with Amanda’s self-righteous and outspoken mother, Gigi Stopper (Annie Potts).
It’s been 18 years since Amanda attended high school and her former classmates haven’t forgotten how she treated them. She tries to make amends but they’ve learned a few tricks of their own over the years.
Carlene Cockburn (Kristin Chenoweth) lives across the street from Gigi and is no longer the unpopular girl. She’s a “diva of Dallas” who’s addicted to plastic surgery and secretly co-owns Boobylicious, a local Hooters-like bar. She leads the church choir each week but seems to have little interest in forgiving or forgetting Amanda’s past sins against her. She’s happily married to Ripp (David James Elliott).
Carlene is the leader of a group of friends who would love to see Amanda fall even further and don’t believe that their old classmate has mended her ways.
Sharon Peacham (Jennifer Aspen) is a former beauty queen who’s put on a few pounds, loves to take care of her kids, and believes that Amanda is after her car dealer husband, Zack (Brad Beyer). In truth, he’s always had a thing for Amanda, kisses her against her wishes and would love to have full affair.
Cricket Caruth-Reilly (Miriam Shor) is a strong-willed business woman and is just as crafty as Carlene. She knows that her handsome husband, Blake (Mark Deklin), is gay but stays with him because he’s the only man who didn’t love her for her money. Cricket is a fitness fanatic and uses this to mask her extra-marital affairs with various trainers.
Heather Cruz (Marisol Nichols) is a single but successful realtor. While part of Carlene’s group, she accepts Amanda’s apology and ignores Carlene’s wishes to stay away from her.
Episode 10 — Revelation
A GCB phone tree is being led by Carlene. The gist of her call: An impromptu day-trip down to Unincorporated Juarez for the ground-breaking of her Condos for Christian Living. She informs the other ladies that Ripp won’t be attending. He’s in Denver on business. Carlene needs two things: Cricket’s plane and Pastor Tudor’s attendance to bless the ground. Cricket says she’s happy to loan out her plane. But no way in hell is she going to Mexico. She’s a busy businesswoman. A trip to Juarez works perfectly for Sharon. It allows her and Zack to visit the basket factory that manufactures baskets for “Losing It with Jesus.” Sharon comments to Cricket – now that she, too, is a successful businesswoman, she understands why Cricket loves it so much! Heather chimes in. She’ll be attending as the realtor in charge of selling Carlene’s condo units. Plus, she wants to pick up some amazing face cream she heard about, and it’s only available in Juarez.
Cricket hangs up. Her assistant tries to stop an uninvited guest from entering her office, but the handsome, persistent Mason Massey pushes his way in. He squares off with Cricket and says he knows she enjoyed their kiss last week. He wants to continue things where they left off. Cricket reminds him she’s a happily married woman. She’s not interested in Mason, but the lady doth protest too much. They are joined by Blake, who immediately picks up on the chemistry between his wife and Mason. Cricket says she must go. She promised her dear friend Carlene that she would join her for her Condo ground breaking. In Mexico. As Cricket flees…
At the Peachams’, Zack goes over some paperwork and is joined by a fired-up Sharon. She shows him some defective baskets – what are the factory workers thinking? They need to up their game! Good thing she and Zack are making a site visit. Zack shares that there is an offer on the table for “Losing It With Jesus.” A healthy-lifestyle corporation wants to buy it. Sharon tells him to say “no.” She likes what she’s doing. But Zack wants to hear them out because it’s a good way to establish the value of their company. Regardless, Sharon is ready to head down to Juarez to kick some basket-making butt!
Carlene calls poor, unwitting, reluctant Pastor Tudor. She wants him to join her on the day trip to Mexico so he can bless her land. Tudor says he really needs to start writing his sermon series, based on the Book of Revelation. But how can he say “no” to Carlene Cockburn? Well, he tries, but she won’t hear it. After he hangs up, Pastor Tudor calls Amanda into his office. He’s desperate to have his trusty assistant by his side in Mexico. Amanda would love to offer moral support, but she already asked for the rest of the day off, remember? She’s heading to Austin to surprise Luke, whom she hasn’t seen since he headed that way before the BBQ cook-off (in the previous episode, “Adam & Eve’s Rib”). But she’ll be praying for Tudor. Gigi arrives to drive Amanda to the airport and voices her support for Amanda’s romantic plans. She likes that Luke guy, and knows he’s good for her daughter. Amanda admits that she’s finding herself opening up and trusting again after the pain caused by late husband Bill. Here’s to a great trip!
Hours later, in Austin, Amanda is outside Luke’s very green, very solar-powered house. She places a flirtatious call on her cell. Amanda: “What are you doing?” Luke: “Watching TV at home. Missing you.” Amanda hangs up, rings the doorbell, and is stunned when the door is opened by a Gorgeous Woman with a Toddler on her hip.
Amanda quickly learns that the gorgeous woman in Luke’s house isn’t his “other” girlfriend; she’s his neighbor. Luke had phoned the woman, asking her to reset a switch on one of his “green” energy systems while he’s in Mexico. Amanda also learns that he’s been there a few days. Though Amanda’s shocked, she recovers, and is clever enough to avoid sounding like a jealous girlfriend. She super-casually says, “Oh, right. Where’s he staying again?” The woman readily gives up address. Amanda takes her lead and goes.
Carlene, Cricket, Sharon, Heather, Gigi, Zack, and an out-of-place Pastor Tudor settle into lavish comfort for the short (50-minute) flight to Mexico, when Amanda suddenly bursts in. She’s decided to accompany Pastor Tudor after all. Gigi’s surprised to see Amanda. She thought she was in Austin with Luke! Amanda says, didn’t work out — mixed signals, and changes the subject. She’s just as surprised to see her mother here. Gigi explains when she heard about the shopping (Carlene found a source for extremely limited designer runway-show items), she couldn’t resist. Zack is on his cell phone, fielding calls from the conglomerate bidding on his and Sharon’s meal plan. Sharon shakes her head: she still doesn’t want to sell her baby. Zack finally hangs up because the plane is taking off…
After the short flight to Mexico, our folks make their plans — first shopping, then the groundbreaking ceremony. At the airport, we meet the security detail and limo drivers for their Mexican excursion. Amanda makes an excuse, assuring Pastor Tudor and the rest she’ll meet up with them later. Gigi breaks away and joins her. Amanda admits that Luke lied to her. She’s going to confront him about it. Gigi thinks there has to be a misunderstanding — deep in her heart, she knows Luke is a good boy. Gigi vows to not leave Amanda’s side.
A taxicab takes Amanda and Gigi to a cute hacienda (the address Luke’s neighbor gave Amanda.) Amanda and Gigi watch as a 20-something beautiful woman, Lucia, enters the building. Now Gigi’s convinced — Luke is up to no good. They sneak over to the front window and peer inside just in time to see Lucia being embraced by a man. Shockingly, the man isn’t Luke, but Ripp Cockburn! Off Amanda and Gigi, unable to believe their eyes…
Meanwhile, our GCBs and a miserable Zack and Tudor are at a Botanica where shopkeeper Pilar sells Heather a container of her sought-after face cream. The other women pick up some awesome deals. Sharon buys giant bottle of high-end tequila. Pastor Tudor even gets in on the action as he window-shops a few vintage Christ Childs for his pastoral collection. Sharon suggests to Cricket that, as smart business women, they should buy the rights to the “magic” face cream. They could make a fortune in the U.S.! Cricket scoffs. The product is garbage, and Pilar is a hack. Cricket tries to talk Heather out of buying the face cream. The women change their tune when the stunning Pilar tells them the product really works. As proof she shares, “I am 74 years old.”
As Gigi and Amanda arrive at the construction site, Gigi makes Amanda promise to keep her mouth shut. Carlene does not need to hear from Amanda what (or who) they saw. They join Pastor Tudor, Zack, Sharon, Heather, Gigi, and Cricket as Carlene breaks ground, digging a shovel into the sand with a platformed sole, under her own beaming billboard image, as Tudor does a short blessing. Prayer and photo-op completed (Zack takes a picture of the ladies on his cell phone), everyone heads for the waiting cars. Cricket asks Carlene if they can stop back at the Botanica — she wants to pick up some of that face cream so they can figure out how to market it in America. Sharon overhears and is livid. Cricket is stealing her business idea! Zack approaches — does Sharon want to come with him to the basket factory? No, Sharon doesn’t want to let Cricket out of her sight! She’ll meet Zack back at the airport. Tudor eyes the limo full of chatting women and begs Zack to take him with him.
In the limo, Amanda, Carlene, Cricket, Sharon, Gigi, and Heather ride along when they realize they’ve surely passed the street for the Botanica. In fact, aren’t they going the wrong way? Not only that, they can’t lower their windows or unlock their doors… They shout at the driver through the thick glass which separates them, only to be told by their security detail that, from here on in, the ladies will be taking orders, not giving them. Now hand over their cell phones. Amanda says what they all are afraid to admit — they’re being kidnapped!
The GCBs’ kidnappers (the Driver and the Guard) pull up to an abandoned shipping container. They hustle everyone inside. There, the mastermind behind the kidnapping, Debby, faces off with Carlene. Carlene threatens police action. Debby snickers. “This is Mexico, lady. I’m not worried about the long arm of the law.” Meanwhile, Heather gets clever — in the hopes of sweet-talking their way out of there, she hits on the Driver. Oops, he’s gay. Cricket overhears. “I can take it from here.” She tries to bribe the Driver another way (with promises of designer luggage,) but Debby shuts the conversation down. She tells the group she isn’t a thug, but an activist with a double Ph.D. in Mexican Studies from Yale. She represents a breakaway faction of militant local preservationists, and they’re outraged that Carlene’s Condos are about to go up on Aztec holy land. They sit Carlene down and demand that she signs away the rights to the property. If she does what they ask, the women can go free. The GCBs plead with Carlene to sign over the rights. To their shock, she refuses.
At the basket factory, Zack is on the phone with the company who wants to buy “Losing It With Jesus.” They’re driving a hard bargain — one Zack is having a tough time refusing. If he says yes, all of the Peacham family’s financial worries and woes will be over. He asks Pastor Tudor for some advice. Zack is trying to drag out the negotiation because he can’t get in contact with his wife. (Zack has Tudor calling Sharon over and over, but every time it goes to voicemail.) She said she didn’t want to sell, but Zack knows this could be the deal of a lifetime. Sharon would have to understand! Tudor tells Zack he knows his own wife’s heart. Pray on it. Zack barely pauses for a quick prayer, then says ‘yes’ to the offer. He hangs up, and the guys check the time. It’s getting late in the day, and they’re supposed to fly back to Dallas soon. Where the hell are the ladies?
Meanwhile, Debby can’t convince Carlene to bend to her will. Carlene says her hands are tied — her husband got a message from God, and that trumps everything. “He has His reasons. I don’t know what they are. But I don’t have to.” Carlene won’t give up the land. That’s when Debby discovers that Carlene hasn’t filed the deed for her Condo land yet. A joyful Debby takes the deed from Carlene’s purse. She motions to her cohorts — they’re out of here. She tells the GCB’s they can spend the night here, alone, in the middle of nowhere. She’s off, so that she can file the paperwork with the City first thing in the morning! Debby and her guys go. Our women are freaked out — abducted and then abandoned to die?? So much for a simple day trip! The only person with a cool head is Carlene. She confidently exits on her way to the nearby road. What does she think she’s doing? Carlene says, what she always does — travelling the road that God has put in front of her. And she’s gone. Our ladies exchange an unsure look, and then take off into the night after her.
It’s early morning. Zack and Pastor Tudor are being interviewed by a Police Officer. The Officer looks at a photo of the women. Yep. They’ve probably been kidnapped. There’s not much the local authorities can do until the abductors contact Zack with their ransom demands. The Officer goes. Zack is stunned by the lack of response. Tudor’s ex-Marine wheels are turning. He’s not going to just sit around while their fellow Hillside Park United Memorial members — and fellow Americans — are in trouble. He wants them to try to find the women themselves. Zack agrees. He just prays the ladies are okay, and wherever they are, hopefully they’re still together.
In the Mexican desert we come across a huddled hump of human bodies. Amanda, Carlene, Cricket, Sharon, Heather, and Gigi are curled up in a ball like a litter of kittens. They slowly wake. They’re cold, hungry, and thirsty, with nothing but Sharon’s souvenir bottle of tequila to sustain them. The ladies put on a brave face. As they trudge down the godforsaken road cutting through the desert toward the already sweltering morning sun…
Mason stops by Cricket’s office again. Blake asks him what he wants. Mason has tons of questions about Blake, but mostly about Blake’s wife, Cricket. Blake, always friendly, thinks Mason’s line of questioning is nothing more than professional curiosity, until the inquiries get more intimate. Blake misreads Mason’s interest, and Blake flirts with Mason. It’s subtle, but clear enough for Mason to have a revelation of his own — the woman he is pursuing is married to a gay man. And off Blake, realizing this dangerous misstep…
Amanda, Carlene, Cricket, Sharon, Heather, and Gigi wander in the desert. Nerves are frayed. They start to bicker and blame. Each of our GCB’s has a juicy, fun revelation. But the person held most responsible for their current woes is Carlene. They’re in Mexico for her Condos, and they’re in the desert because she led them there! Why couldn’t she have just signed the land over to Debby? Why does she have to have such unfaltering conviction in whatever she does? A serene Carlene tells them it’s because she has faith. Faith in her God. Faith in her husband, to whom God spoke. As Carlene waxes on about Ripp’s devout, steadfast character, Amanda bites her tongue. She’s so conflicted, she even takes her first sip of alcohol in almost two years. The more Carlene goes on about Ripp, Ripp, Ripp, the less tolerant Amanda becomes. She finally blurts out the truth — Ripp isn’t in Denver, and he didn’t put the Condos in Mexico because God told him to. He did it because he’s having an affair, with a woman here in Juarez. Ripp has been lying to Carlene.
Carlene refuses to believe Amanda. Amanda insists she not only saw it with her own eyes, but Gigi did, too. Gigi confirms it. Carlene is gutted. Just then, they come over a rise. Carlene sees a figure in the distance. She thinks it’s a vision of an angel. And it’s guiding her — beckoning her to salvation. No, it’s actually Carlene’s billboard. The same billboard at the Condos construction site. The women have arrived back where they began — in the middle of nowhere, with not a soul in sight. All hope is lost.
Zack and Pastor Tudor retrace the women’s steps back to the Botanica and find their cell phones among Pilar’s goods! They confront Pilar, and she admits she got the phones from the security detail Driver! Tudor and Zack find him and rough him up a little, and he comes clean regarding the kidnapping. The last time the Driver and Guard saw the ladies, they were in an abandoned storage container in the middle of the desert.
Zack and Pastor Tudor go to the container, but the women are gone. They follow their footprints into the wilderness.
Meanwhile, at the construction site, the GCB’s are sweltering hot, dehydrated and exhausted. They look for shade, but find none except the small square provided by Carlene’s billboard. Gigi vows to get them out of there. She pulls a can of hairspray and a small handgun from her purse. She shoots the hairspray, and it explodes, igniting the billboard!
Zack and Pastor Tudor spot something in the horizon: a plume of smoke! And off our guys running toward our about-to-be-rescued GCBs…
Back in Juarez, our ladies have cleaned themselves up a bit. The Peachams are elated to be reunited. Once again, Zack has proven to be Sharon’s hero. The mood changes when Zack shares some news — he had to make a decision regarding “Losing It with Jesus” without Sharon. He sold the company. Sharon is stunned. “Without me?” Zack tried to honor Sharon’s wishes. He kept in mind how much the company means to her. Therefore, he made the stipulation that Sharon stays on as CEO. They can go over all the details of his deal with Fat-Fit-Fat Group when they get home to Dallas. Just then, Cricket walks up. What about Fat-Fit-Fat? That’s Cricket’s company — it’s a subsidiary of Cricket Caruth Industries. The Peachams are stunned — Cricket is now Sharon’s boss!
Blake arrives and joyfully embraces his wife. He can’t believe he almost lost her! She says she just wants to get home so they can be together — just the two of them, forever. She soon realizes something is wrong. What is it? Blake has some bad news. Mason Massey clearly wants Cricket, and now he knows the truth about Blake. What will he do to have her? Off Cricket and her white marriage at risk of exposure…
Amanda and Gigi escort Carlene to the hacienda. Ripp answers their knock. (Ripp has no idea about the kidnapping and “lost time” in the desert.) It’s hard to tell who is more shocked at the sight of the other, Ripp or Carlene. Carlene can’t believe it — Amanda Vaughn told her the truth! Ripp is a liar, and he does have a woman on the side! That’s when Ripp reveals (and introduces) the true identity of this mysterious woman. “This is Lucia. She’s my daughter.” Amanda and Gigi back away, but not before Luke joins. He knows he and Amanda need to talk. They head for the street as Carlene enters the house. And off Carlene, the world as she knows it shattered…
Luke tells Amanda he’s sorry he lied to her, but Luke assumes she now knows why he did it. Luke wants Amanda to know that he isn’t seeing someone else. He doesn’t want to see someone else. As a matter of fact, he’s in love with Amanda. Amanda is blown away to hear this, and that’s why it’s going to make what she has to say all the more difficult. She realized over the last twenty-four hours that she isn’t over her trust issues like she thought she was. Plus, the ease with which he kept something from her didn’t help. Luke asks, where does this leave them? Amanda says she honestly doesn’t know.
Amanda visits a local dive bar. Still reeling from her disastrous return to tequila, she vows never to fall off the wagon again. She runs into Pastor Tudor. Then, something unbelievable happens that changes Amanda’s life as she knows it.
First aired: May 6, 2012.
Image courtesy ABC.