[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots.]

Show: "Good Christian Belles" [Or "G.C.B" if ABC is being coy.] (ABC) [Midseason] 
The Pitch: "Desperate Housewives: Southern Edition"
Quick Response: ABC has always stunk a capitalizing on available resources. "Lost" was always a useless launching pad for new shows. "Desperate Housewives" somewhat launched "Grey's Anatomy," but then it was used to prop up "Brothers & Sisters" for far too long. "Castle" is about to end its fourth season taking advantage of "Dancing with the Stars," because why would the network every try using that slot for a different show? What I'm saying is that ABC could have spawned all manner of "Desperate Housewives" thematic spinoffs five years ago when the show was a hit. Instead, "Good Christian Belles" is a perfect pairing with "Desperate Housewives" at exactly the moment "Desperate Housewives" may be too tired to support it. Of course, "Good Christian Belles" is too tired to have been paired with "Desperate Housewives" in its half-a-season-peak. I'm certain there will be a group of people who love this pilot. I fear that sort of love requires a very specific appreciation for ridiculously broad, superficial, grating Texas -- not "Southern" as I initially wrote -- semi-parody, semi-camp, semi-soap, wholly-nothing. Because "Good Christian Belles" is BROAD and SUPERFICIAL and GRATING. It's like a higher budgeted -- but no better -- tonal companion for ABC's dreadful and short-lived translation of "Scoundrels." And it also, I'm very, very sad to say, provides one of the first pieces of evidence in recent memory that Kristin Chenoweth is fallible. Chenoweth is such a peculiar talent that it's astounding how well she's been utilized in recent years, but after specializing in annoying-yet-lovable, she's finally stumbled on a role that's only annoying and which throws off the calibration of everything around it. She's also too old to be believable as a former high school classmate of Leslie Bibb, who puts a lot of effort into keeping "GCB" afloat on perkiness alone. I found myself liking Bibb -- who I've always thought had the necessary gung-ho spirit to be a comedy star -- despite the show, which is exactly the opposite reaction from what I've heard from a couple colleagues. I dunno. I could be wrong. Some people are going to be just giddy that one character has dogs named "Tony" and "Romo" and will just giggle up a storm at the idea of a formerly rich character now being so poor she can only afford to live in FT. WORTH. To me, every beat felt like a desperate -- flop-sweat desperate -- attempt to simultaneously mock and celebrate everything from Texas to religion to femininity, while managing to do neither. One problem with a revenge-based pilot in which you don't really like any of the characters is that you can't choose who ought to be getting their comeuppance. Or you just don't care.
Desire To Watch Again: Well, Leslie Bibb's character does get a job at a Hooters-esque bar/restaurant named Boobylicious (yes, this show is subtle) and the character is forced to dress the part. That may be enough to get me to watch the show. But I'm so blatantly not in any of the target demographics for "Good Christian Belles" and as unpleasant as I found this pilot, I wouldn't be even slightly surprised if it somehow became a hit.

Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'How To Be A Gentleman'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Prime Suspect'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Man Up!'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Free Agents'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Suburgatory'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'Ringer'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'Terra Nova'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Whitney'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Pan Am'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'Alcatraz'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'Person of Interest'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's ' 'The River'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Last Man Standing'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'Two Broke Girls'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Up All Night'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Revenge'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Once Upon a Time'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Awake'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'I Hate My Teenage Daughter'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'The Secret Circle'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'Unforgettable'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'The Playboy Club'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Charlie's Angels'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Grimm'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'New Girl'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'Hart of Dixie'
Take Me To The Pilots ' 11: ABC's 'Apartment 23'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'A Gifted Man'
All of last year's Take Me To The Pilots installments.