Show Reviews (116)
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One of the most highly intelligent shows ever written about the place of God in human society, shown through the view of a young high school girl, and those of her family as it copes with its own tragedy.
Unfortunately, this show was a particularly intelligent one for people who AREN'T particularly religious (or are filled with doubt, or have problems with the classic view of God).
It had issues with appealing to actually highly religious people. I won't detail them much, but the one PC sop, having God appear as a rather effete male, suggesting that it's ok to be gay is sure to annoy some religious types, with adequate Biblical argument on their side (regardless of if oyu agree, it's still going to annoy many highly religious people). I think it should have been either left as a topic-to-be-avoided (such as denominational issues, including judaism, Xtianity, and Islam) or confronted head on, with some sort of acknowledgement of what the Bible states but leaving the fact that it's between each person and God rather than something to be enforced by others. The show did neither, which did not help.
That said, there was a movement by some Xtian groups to write-in to save the show, so not all Xtians were sufficiently offended by the show, which was on the cusp after the second season. Its initial popularity obviously surprised the hell out of CBS -- there's a reason they put it in the Friday Night Death Zone in the first place (remember, The Passion of the Christ came out in 2004, the first Narnia in 2005. Joan debuted in 2003).
Another issue -- God is not supposed to appear to anyone again, after Jesus, until the Second Coming -- i.e., there are no further prophets (including Mohammed) -- which I have no problem with in the context of the show, as it is certainly never claimed or suggested that Joan is a prophet -- but I know at least one person who cited the Biblical passage as an excuse to reject the show unseen, and yes, I think he's an idiot. So its basis can chase away part of the "obvious" audience, Xtians, while not making its appeal known to the actual target -- people open to belief but who have problems with the classic view of God. This show is very good for people who consider themselves Agnostic or even somewhat Athiestic, or who have Really Serious Doubts -- because I believe it presents a view of God which is more humanistic and rationalistic than many "official" views. If the basis for your disbelief and doubt is associated with problems with the "classic view" of God, this show may provide you with a view you will find more acceptable to your own sense of Right And Wrong. I think that God, in this show, makes sense in light of the problems in this world. That can be a basis for Faith.
I'm not making any promises -- YMMV -- but I think it's a fantastic show, exceedingly well written, with excellent acting and characters, and it does address issues with God, and The Problems of the World (and why God may choose to not interfere) with a remarkable level of intelligence and wisdom. If you don't believe in God, you may, watching this show, find a view of God which you can respect and believe in.
At the very least, the show can be a good source of some great late-night BS sessions in a college dorm about religion and its place in society. And that's not necessarily a bad way to find religion, either.
It is unfortunate that the show ended so abruptly, but, despite the cliffhanger series end, it's still very much worth the time spent watching it.moreless
The Ultimate Movie Review! -- @tss5078
Joan of Arcadia is an amazing show that didn't make it, because of bad marketing, and a bad time-slot. Think about this show, what do you know about it? A high school girl sees God and speaks to him, in his many different forms. That's it right? That's because that's how CBS choose to advertise this show, but it's so much more! Joan's father, Will (Joe Mantenga), is the Arcadia Chief of Police and there were many episode and background stories involving, crime, corruption, and the police. Her brother, Kevin (Jason Ritter), was in a horrible accident and is dealing with being paralyzed. That's just two of the many things about this show that you didn't know about. There are probably about ten other things I could mention, that could, alone, be the basis for a good TV show or film. Amber Tamblyn is amazing as Joan Girardi. Normally when you hear teen drama and young unknown cast, you expect the acting to be sub-par, but Tamblyn is exactly the opposite. She makes the show and gives energy and meaning to the other actors working with her. Take Chris Marquette, who plays her boyfriend, Adam Rove. I've seen him in many things and didn't like him. Working with Tamblyn makes all the difference for him here. He grows from a guest star into one of the most engaging and mysterious characters in the show! I cannot stress to you how good this show is and how it's so much more than what was advertised. There are so many stories and side angles, twists and turns, and while not a minor thing, Joan talking to God is not the focus of the show, many times it's just a scene or two, defiantly not the basis for the show. This show is the story of the Giardi family moving to a new location, following Kevin's accident, and dealing with all the struggles that come along with it and adolescents. It shows how there are still good people in this world, that not every teenager drinks, and while it sounds corny, watching it has actually cheered me up during some rough times I've had recently. It really is a great show and I can't possibly recommend it enough!moreless
I loved this episode... heck, I loved the show itself...
I loved this episode, but I do wish that we could have seen some of the future for the family... like who Joan, Luke, and what's his name of a brother... actually marry? And what will happen to the brother in the wheelchair? Does he ever walk again? And will Joan & her friends be able to stop the guy who's starting all the fires.... especially before anyone gets seriously hurt? And will anyone but her close friends believe who is starting the fires?
We can only imagine what will happen, since the show's been cancelled, and has been for awhile now... and possibly even write some fanfiction/stories about the show itself, and all the character developments, etc...moreless
An excellent show exploring concepts of God and the connectivity we share with others without eluding specifically to any religious doctrine. Started off as a somewhat strange premise to me but grew on me rather quickly.
I think that this show really endeared itself to me rather quickly despite my initial impressions of crossing a police drama with a spiritual teen drama. After a few episodes, it seemed that the production settled well into its premise and repeatedly foreshadowed ideas not expressed until later in the show. Though presenting at least 2 (?) religious approaches, the show did not connect itself to them at least from the prospective of a teen girl carrying on a relationship with God. Casting was great and each character really began to take on 3 dimensional aspects of their own. I sometimes disapproved of ultimate plots designed for at least two characters from the show but as a whole am glad to have watched it.
A strange deviation in concept planned for a 3rd season, it is truly a shame as I even still would have enjoyed seeing it. Personally, I cannot imagine how the new concepts would be approached...moreless
Who can I contact who has enough influence to get this show back on television?
I was devastated when this show went off the air. The show is entertaining as well as insightful. My family and I watched the show and we all loved it!!!!
I have NEVER taken the time to write about something like this. I was spurred to action after watching a Joan of Arcadia rerun. I think it was (and could be again) the best show on television. Why do networks cancel shows like Joan of Arcadia and continue to invent these ridiculous reality shows? Who cares who can eat worms or be picked as the most eligible bachelor? Give Joan of Arcadia a little advertising and hype and I really think the number of viewers will continually increase as they hear about it from friends and family. The world is changing and more and more people are moving from traditional religious thinking to a broader understanding of spirituality. I think this show can support this greater understanding and help the world to become a better place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!moreless
Joan of Arcadia is just not the typical teenage drama,it's a masterpiece.
One of the deepest shows television has ever had.It showed us the true emotions of life,showed us how hard the life is and that it is so hard to fit into it.The show has totally a hreatwarming note and tells us that the life is tough but there is always someone who can be good and who can help you.
Joan is young and confused teenager who can talk to God.It is controversial if the voice of God is just in her head.The show shows us how confused are the nowadays teenager and that the voice of God can be just some precaution for Joan.
Her life is tougher because of her family.Her older brother is paralysed and depressed.His story is one of the deepest of a paralyzed man I have watched on television.Every story of this series has something to say to everyone.The paralyzed boy storyline shows everyone that noone should loose their hope and to believe that wonders can happen.
Joan's younger brother is a jerk and tries to fit into the high school teen life.
Joan's father is, I don't remember clearly,something connected with the police and his job is hard enough to handle a family.
It's a great series that have been praised both by the viewers and the critics.It's surprising how a somehow teen oriented show is nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series but it truly shows the series's potenitial.And the performance of Amber Tamblyn is one of the greatest I have seen in my life so far.She is also nominated for Emmy and Golden Globe.
A perfect series with great actors,characters and storylines.moreless