…it’s time to rediscover the line.
You know, the line that ABC has crossed by considering airing the pilot of a show called “Good Christian Bitches”:
The dramedy, based on Kim Gatlin’s novel of the same name, will be brought to life by famed “Sex and the City” and “90210” executive producer Darren Star. The plot centers on the life of reformed “mean girl” Amanda, played by “Talladega Nights” actress Leslie Bibb, who returns to her hometown of Dallas to find herself fodder for malicious gossip from the women in the Christian community.
Okay, okay, unswallow your tongue.
Listen. To be completely honest, I giggled when I first read that news story; not because I find it in any way charming or appropriate, but because I’ve totally been there. I have been the girl all the other “church girls” gossiped about behind beringed fingers after an unavoidable Baptist pot luck. I have been the victim of a collective glare from the deacon’s wives after asking a sex question during a Sunday school lesson, so the idea of the “church ladies” getting their straight-from-the-Walmart-5-pack beflowered granny panties in a wad over some obscure TV show really didn’t phase me at all.
At least not until I actually started thinking about what’s actually going on here. First of all, this is a complete load of crap:
“ABC’s core viewership is Christian, so the goal of the show won’t be to attack Christianity. Just like the book, this is a show by Christians, for (mostly) Christians, to enjoy a little prime-time self-deprecation,” Los Angeles-based entertainment expert, Jenn Hoffman said.
Jenn, we need to talk about women for a second. Let’s start with the fact that every woman currently existing on this planet has snarked about another woman, whether it be at church, in the sorority bum room, or while lunching over a pot of ridiculously overpriced fondue. We like shows like “Sex and the City,” and “Gossip Girl” and other innocent exercises in feminine self-deprecation, but only because those shows use TV fantasy world magic to make it okay to talk trash about other women. In Carrie Bradshaw’s world, a woman doesn’t care at the end of the day what some awful old Oscar de la Renta’d-up hag said about her shoes, because the whole point of that show is that the heroine is strong and beautiful and perfectly capable of giving the whole world the finger if that’s what it takes to feel good about herself.
That’s not the point of “Good Christian Bitches.” The Good Christian Bitches (I’m thinking of making a t-shirt for this) are not the lovable, snarky women we can identify with and empathize with–no, that’s the place of “reformed ‘mean girl'” Amanda. She’s the character who people will want to laugh along with and get behind; her enemies are just…bitches. And nobody likes an everyday, vanilla beyotch. They’re boring. They’re ugly. They spend their time baking pineapple upside-down cakes and having uninspiring sex with equally boring and ugly men.
The point? A show that on its face calls a woman a bitch, without giving her any redeeming qualities, isn’t something anyone is going to want to get behind–much less a Christian woman and her family. Furthermore, Christianity is under full-blown attack; any show that comes out and calls Christian women bitches is not going to gain the favor of Christians. This show isn’t about self-deprecation, or poking gentle fun at intra-church dynamics, or anything else entertainment experts will come up with to justify this garbage. The point of this show is to make Christian women look like judgmental jerks, and “reformed ‘mean girls'” (who are oh-so sexy and oh-so fun and oh-so alluring) look like kicked (sex) kittens.
The pilot for “Good Christian Bitches” hasn’t yet earned a spot in the new ABC lineup. If it does, I’ll watch it, and if I’m wrong about it I’ll take back every word I just said; but considering this is coming from a culture that has vetted shows like “S#*t My Dad Says” and “Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23,” (again with the bitches…oy) I don’t think I will be.
But then again, maybe I’m just one of those humorless Christian bitches who can’t take a joke.