In case you haven’t turned on a television in the last month, you might’ve missed the promos for the new TV show “GCB.” That stands for “Good Christian Belles” which is based on the book “Good Christian (B-word)” by Kim Gatlin. Having both read the book and seen the pilot episode of the show (which premieres Sunday March 4 on ABC), I feel it’s important you know the content of both before the teens you influence start either talking or asking about it.
The novel, written by believer, nails the Christian culture of Dallas, Texas. (I know because I grew up in DFW.) Some of the scenes might make a reader uncomfortable – like the prayer meeting that is actually a veiled gossip session — but they all come from a place of truth and loving frustration with the flawed characters. The book is not great, but it will entertain anyone who grew up Christian in the South.
The TV show “GCB,” created by Darren Starr (Sex and the City, Beverly Hills 90210), is incredibly disappointing because it contains absolutely no love for Christians or Christianity. To be fair, I have only watched the first episode, so this could potentially change over the course of the series, but I doubt it since all of the characters who profess active Christianity in the pilot are hateful, scheming, petty and cruel. None of them exhibit a single fruit of the Spirit. Only the nominal or non-Christians display any compassion, mercy or grace. Add in the Christian husband having a homosexual affair and you’ve got a cadre of “Christians” steeped only in hypocrisy. While it’s one thing to point out the messy truth in love, it’s quite another to paint broad, stereotypical strokes from a place of ignorance and call it “comedy.” Even at its most dysfunctional, I have never experienced life with Christians as depicted in “GCB”
If your teens do happen to watch the series, I would recommend asking them some questions to help them think critically about what they’re ingesting:
- What did you like about the show?
- What seemed false?
- Does the show reflect your experience with church and Christianity? Why or why not?
- Which Christian character would you want to be most like?
- How did that character authentically display their faith?
- How does the show encourage your faith?
These questions should help your teens discover for themselves that the show is detrimental to faith and choose not to watch it.