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Joan Of Arcadia

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We never learned Friedman's first name, just like we don't know Penny's last name on TBBT.  Gilligan, of island fame, and Lt. Columbo are the only other mono-nomial characters I can think of right now.  Do you recall any others?

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I'm sure everyone has DVDs, but in case you didn't know.  TV Guide network is rerunning the show starting with the pilot starting today.

Crap, I do not have the DVDs so I will have to check this out. It looks like Fridays at 11:30 am.

 

I was clicking through a thing today ("Uncanceled Showdown tournament") and was touched to see JoA included. You can vote here, and here's what it says if you don't want to click through:

Fewer shows burned hotter and faster than "Joan of Arcadia," the story of a teenage girl who spoke with God in myriad forms. Airing on a Friday night, "Joan" averaged nearly 10 million viewers and was nominated for a slew of Emmys including Outstanding Drama Series and a Lead Actress nod for Tamblyn. Perhaps expecting another "Touched By An Angel" and getting a more pragmatic meditation on faith instead, audiences tuned in enthusiastically up-front and in dramatically reduced numbers as time went by. Those who left the show missed some dark twists and turns and a world that had ample room to grow when the series was cancelled. The few fans who remained at the end were passionate and I've gotten radio calls about "Joan of Arcadia" as recently as last year.

 

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S1-E10  Drive, He Said

 

Grace - The dude has a photographic memory. Every time he thinks he might forgive you, the image of you smashing his artwork just pops into his head. Not that I've discussed it with him.

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Friedman - I rule trig the way Britney rules Justin.

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Helen - [over the phone to Will] Joan is about to take her driving test. I thought you ought to know in case you wanna put the police force on alert.

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Friedman - If you give me your digits, I'll reduce them to an imaginary number.

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God - It might help if you think of the universe as an obstacle course. There's no flaw in the design.

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Luke - Factoring in age, gender, driving experience, temperament, and familiarity with the vehicle, I computed the probability of my sister having an accident on her first day of driving, and guess what? We're on borrowed time.

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S1-E11 The Uncertainty Principle

 

Helen - Is it strange that you're always awake before I am?

Luke - I like to ambush my brain before fear and reason kick in.

Helen - You're too young to worry about fear and reason. That doesn't start till you're 30.

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Grace - what is with these sanctioned mating rituals that make everyone drool over each other like zombies?

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Luke - Do you sometimes wonder if high school will ever come to an end?

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Friedman - Did he just convert her from Mac to PC?

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Joan - You're getting really good at showing up when nobody needs you.

God - Well, now, that's your opinion.

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God - Observation is a more powerful force than you could possibly reckon. The invisible, the overlooked, and the unobserved are those that are most in danger of reaching the end of the spectrum. They lose the last of their light. From there, anything can happen...And for each of these faces, Joan, there are 12 more whose lives would have come to an end today, lives altered forever by you, by the simple effect of being present... by entering the light, by joining the dance.

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S1-E12 Jump

 

Luke - Grace kissed me once as a political statement. I don't expect it to happen again.

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God - I leave hints all over the place. I'm all about hints.

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Joan - I had this dream--

Grace - koala bears in hats?

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Luke - FBI confiscated my project.

Glynis - I always knew you had what it takes to contravene national security.

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Kevin - Well, not everything is about science.

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Joan - It seems to me that wondering what it says is worse than knowing for sure. That's just me. I am sorry for smashing your art. I didn't know what it meant. I didn't know about your mother. I hope we can still be friends. I really, really want for you to have... good ripples.

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Joan - The ripples were good.

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S1-E13 Recreation

 

Will - I hate spas.

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Luke - I have a plan -- tolerate high school, get into MIT.

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Kevin - You're not having a party.

Joan - Ha ha! A party. That's a good one.
Kevin - You think I haven't been your age?

Joan - Kevin, look at us. Rocket boy and the sub-defective. Like we even have anyone to invite.

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Grace - Fascinating. It's like a druid solstice ritual without the viscera.

Luke - Stick around. The night is young.

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S1-E14 State of Grace

 

God - It's a perfect system, Joan. But very well argued. You'll be an excellent addition to the debate team.

Joan - Debate? No. No, no. Uh... I--I'm already a sub-defective. You--you want me to devolve into a toad?

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Ms. Lischak - Ok. Place your reagent in your calorimeter and put a fire under your H2O bath. Excite those molecules, people. Start that fiery tango of particles body-slamming into each other.

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Mr. Enfield - The beauty of debate. I would imagine that eloquent oxymoron is one of the reasons you’re joining us?

Joan - I'm dying to be an elegant moron.

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God - So you think believing something to be true makes it true?

Joan - Well, if believing in things is wrong, that would put you out of business pretty fast, wouldn't it?

God - I don't exist because people believe in me. I simply exist, whether they believe in me or not.

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God - Do you know what grace is, Joan?

Joan - Yeah, pissed off.

God - Do you know the meaning of grace? It's a touch of truth that lets you see the world in a new way. It's a gift that can only be felt when you're open enough to accept it.

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S1-E15 Night Without Stars

Luke - The only interesting thing about the physics of basketball is how time and space combine to create a phenomenon known as Luke's departure.

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God - I don't answer questions, sweet pea. And this you know.

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Grace - The smarter they are, the harder they fall.

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Adam - Unchallenged.

Joan - Exactly. Totally unchallenged.

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God - I work in mysterious ways, Joan. It's, uh-- it's my thing.

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God - Everyone has a part of themselves they don't like, Joan. You carry it around like a weight. The Lucky ones realize that when it becomes too heavy you can choose to set it down. That's when you can see things the way they really are. Come on. I'll walk you home.

Joan - (Holds her hand) Great. I'm being escorted home by a 6-year-old.

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Which post-JoA roles have you liked (or not liked!) the JoA cast in? I like JM a lot as Criminal Minds' David Rossi, though in many ways he's similar to Will Girardi---just single and with more facial hair :) Michael Welch (Luke) and Chris Marquette (Adam) guest star in the second episode of Criminal Minds' sixth season. Michael Welch plays a role VERY different from Luke :) 

 

Did anyone see Amber Tamblyn's The Unusuals? 

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Michael Welch has played many non-Luke types since JoA went off the air. He was on Scandal a few weeks back playing a cop that shot an African-American youth/young adult (I can't remember how old the shooting victim was), and I think he played jerkface characters in both CSI and CSI:NY episodes. I have a soft spot for Luke, but I enjoy seeing MW convincingly play dislikable people as well.

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My favorite Michael Welch role was on NCIS where he had hostages at a high school while wearing a bomb, but he was really being threatened by someone else.It's also super strange to see him in Twilight.

 

My favorite Amber Tamblyn role is Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I can't help but think Tippy and Joan would get along.

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I watched all the Unusuals episodes and Amber Tamblyn's character was beginning to develop a good relationships with that of Jeremy Renner when the plug was pulled.  The problem was it was just another dysfunctional cop show when the trend was going zombies.  And having Harold Perrineau still somewhat fresh from LOST in the cast was a little strange for me.  I kept expecting Walt to show up.  Amber was excellent as Martha Masters in her arc on House, a show I never watched otherwise. I especially liked the episode with Chris Marquette as the homeless man for its echoes of Joan and Adam.  I found it amusing that they covered her final scene with a Rolling Stones tune similar to the way JoA ended.  Juliet Goglia played a pre-teen in one episode of Veronica Mars and Corinne Borror (Rocky's mom) played VM's mom.  Patrick Fabian palyed a college professor in VM and also a bad guy (of course) in the Mentalist.  There was an exchange between him and Simon Baker about his name - Jane - that I though was a sly reference to the JoA Jane/Joan device.

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From S1-E02 - The Fire and the Wood: 

 

God: You're an instrument of God. Bound by the limit of time and space. Perfect. Can I have my ball? You'd like to give me a slap, wouldn't you?

Joan: Yeah, but you're so cute.

God: By the way, as an instrument of me, have some pride. Do better, do your best.
Joan: Now, I'd like to slap you.

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It's been ten years since the last episode - Something Wicked This Way Comes - aired on 4.21.2005.  We were all hoping for S3 until Moonves replaced Jo-Jo with that execrable Ghost Muttering thing a few weeks later.  For anybody who might wander by this lost outpost of Girardi-land, a question: how important has JoA remained in your television experience?  For me, nothing has come close to it.

Edited by libad

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No other show fulfills that magical realism quality that JoA had. More than any other DVD, this is the show I go to. It clicks with me on a personal level. There are definite moments when I'm watching and think, "Yes, this is how God is. This is how the universe works." This is the show that makes me buy books about physics. This is the show that makes me go, "Why did you cancel?!" and "Why aren't there any well-written fanfictions telling me what happened next?" This the show that made me learn to juggle and crochet (cause I doubt I could knit to save my life). I was a year older than Joan when the show first aired and Joan's struggle to figure out who she is, when everyone around her seems to have a talent and a purpose resonated with me then and now.

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I've been rewatching and am happily surprised all over again by how special this show is. It's not perfect, but despite or even because of those flaws, it's still among the most fascinating, engaging shows I've ever seen. 

 

The 'bests' are just too many to even narrow down!

 

That first stretch of S1 is particularly brilliant IMO. I adore both the S1 and S2 finales beyond the telling of it. 

 

The insights into spirituality and human nature (and life, death, individuality, connection, fate, etc etc etc!)  are almost unparalleled. 

 

The thoughts on art, science etc. never fail to fascinate me...and this is coming from someone who excels at neither art nor science :) 

 

Joan didn't grab me at first, but the more I rewatch the more attached I feel to her. 

 

The amazingly nuanced marriage between Will and Helen is among the more underrated aspects of the show IMO. The sibling relationships are phenomenal as well. 

 

A few of my random 'worsts': Adam Rove. Ugh. I know many adore him, but I just can't stand this whiny, entitled, self-pitying, 'too creative and special for this world!' poseur even before the nonsense in S2. And I hold the very unpopular feeling of thinking he and Joan didn't have much chemistry. I'd so much rather have seen her happily single and/or with someone else. 

 

Speaking of love interests, none of Kevin's ever really worked for me, which is a shame because I really like Kevin's character and think that Jason Ritter, who I love, does have tons of chemistry with many women out there...it's just that none were on this show!  

 

I was actually intrigued by the Ryan stuff and wish we could have seen more of it. And I also would have loved to see 'crazy camp'----the idea of how and why we (often understandably!) label certain beliefs, experiences and intensity of passion as 'insane' is endlessly interesting. 

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The Rove character works if you accept the premise of his mother's suicide as life-defining.  The Adam/Joan relationship can be explained by their respective lonliness and naivete.  But I can see how some would object to it all being too contrived.

 

Kevin annoyed me the first time around, but on rewatching I realized he showed the most personal growth over the show's run.

 

It was the Grace/Luke relationship that seemed the most unrealistic, but worth it for the humorous elements.

 

And crazy camp could have supplied half a season of interesting episodes with a new set of characters.  Doreen with the trichotilomania and the introduction of Judith come to mind. 

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Speaking of love interests, none of Kevin's ever really worked for me, which is a shame because I really like Kevin's character and think that Jason Ritter, who I love, does have tons of chemistry with many women out there...it's just that none were on this show!

 

I think he and Amber Tamblyn had a certain non-sibling chemistry. But that's not exactly a good thing. I did like him with Lily the ex-nun.

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So I've been watching and loving Wonderfalls, which of course made me nostalgic for JoA...(that made sense in my head; the show are vaguely similar!) It's funny, because normally I find the beginning episodes of any series kind of clunky, but that first half of JoA's first season is still my very favorite part of the series...or at least the part I want to rewatch the most often :) 

Edited by amensisterfriend
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I know I shouldn't get my hopes up since Gilmore Girls was on for longer than JOA and definitely not the same kind of show, but them being able to get a revival on Netflix makes me wonder if it could ever happen for JOA.

 

Obviously it wouldn't be the same show it was as it's been - what - eleven years? But I'd take it in any form at this point. I admit I was always a little bugged that BHall wrote at least one book (that I know of. Was it more than one?) but didn't contemplate writing the conclusion to JOA in book form. Of course I'd much rather see it on screen, however, given the choice between no conclusion, which is what we currently have, and some kind of tangible ending, I'd absolutely take the latter. Maybe she envisioned having the opportunity to revisit it on screen somehow. And that article in Vulture that Amber posted and commented on on her FB made me wonder if they've ever been in talks to do....I don't know....something.

 

I still get upset thinking about the missed ripples we'll never see. This show, though short-lived, found such a big place in my heart, and I miss it. 

 

ETA:

And now I can't stop thinking about all the hilarious ways God could reach Joan. Twitter? #backhandwave. Facetime. Facebook. Did we ever see God text message Joan? Haha. 

Edited by JaggedLilPill
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Obviously it wouldn't be the same show it was as it's been - what - eleven years? But I'd take it in any form at this point. I admit I was always a little bugged that BHall wrote at least one book (that I know of. Was it more than one?) but didn't contemplate writing the conclusion to JOA in book form.

 

Barbara Hall reimagined many of the JoA themes in 2013 novel, Charisma.  But it seems she's moved on if you read something into one of the quotes she uses as a preface.  It's from a poem (The Song of the Happy Shepherd) by W.B. Yeats. "The woods of Arcady are dead, And over is their antique joy; Of old the world on dreaming fed; Grey Truth is now her painted toy."  I too hope she will change her mind.

Edited by libad

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I'd be fine with her moving on if I could just find out what she had planned for season 3. Especially when Wentworth Miller and Joe Mantegna are onscreen each week reminding me of what I can't have.

Edited by bettername2come

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BH spoke to a college class in 2008 about her ideas and the show.  Google "Barbara Hall Arcadia" and watch the seven part YouTube video.  At the six minute point of part 5 she briefly talks about a Season 3.  Joan had matured to the point of recognizing that true evil exists and it was going to battle with her through an adversary.  Barbara says with a somewhat sad and wistful look, "we're going to have a whole season of her just fighting evil, but we never got there." 

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S1-E16 Double Dutch

 

Casper - You need skills to jump with this crew.

Joan - Oh, I got skills. I got mad skills. Well, not mad. More like loopy, loopy.

------------------

Joan - Remember before how I said I hit bottom?

Grace - Yeah.

Joan - There was further to go.

Grace - Cool.

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Joan - Dad has to take a kid to work. Kevin's got a job. I have a life. You're option "C."

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Grace - Look at my butt, Friedman, one more time. I dare you.

Friedman - You wish, Marge.

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Helen - What happened?

Will - I can't really say.

Joan - Oh! How come he can get away with that?

Helen - Because he's confused. You're lying.

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Helen - You should've talked to us, honey. We're on your side most of the time.

Joan - Well, you're also a teacher and you're a cop. My life would be a lot easier if you were just ... normal loser parents.

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Joan - She's my friend. I want to know what's gonna happen to her.

God - I know you do. But sometimes it's enough to plant the seed, walk away, and let the flower grow on its own.

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I am missing this show so much right now. The first season DVD is available on Amazon for less than $6 at the moment, so if anyone doesn't own it yet, this may be a good time to take the plunge :) 

Which are the episodes that you guys find yourself wanting to rewatch? And do people here agree with the general consensus that the first season was a lot better than the second overall?

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You remind me that I need to rewatch the videos.  Favorites from S1 are "The Fire and the Wood" because it's the first episode to bring the sub-defectives together (and I have an AT-autographed copy of the script), "Jump" for the final scene when Helen reads the letter to Adam, and "Silence" for the crisis of faith.  Many fans thought S2 dragged, but I liked the multi-episode Judith-arc.  The Duffisodes were lame, but it picked up after those with the building tension in "Trial and Error."  And "Queen of the Zombies" was just a hoot.

Edited by libad
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S1-E17 No Bad Guy

God - Vengeance is mine.

Joan - Ok. To be fair, you never went to high school.

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Luke - Hey, guess what? Copernicus called, said the world doesn't revolve around you.

Joan - Ohh! What a coincidence, because the dork police called, and they said they want their leader back.

Kevin - It's official, I don't miss high school anymore.

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Joan - Why are you punishing me? I haven't even done anything yet.

God - Yet.

Joan - Oh, wow. So thoughts really do count.

God - Thoughts are things, Joan. And I don't punish people; you punish yourselves. Hmm. You're so good at it, I can almost retire.

-------------------

Friedman - You mess with scientists, my friend, you're gonna get science.

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Weirdly enough, I think the Pilot may still be my very favorite episode. (Grace and Adam are not among my favorite characters, so I don't especially miss them not being around yet!) I almost never love the pilots of series---they tend to be so clunky, filled with growing pains and awkward exposition--but this one is just such a wonderfully engaging, smart, thought-provoking, poignant, uplifting-without-being-sappy hour of TV! There are so many other phenomenal episodes in this first season: like Libad, The Fire and The Wood and Silence are two of my very favorites. I'm also obsessed with Touch Move, The Boat (some shows take a while to find themselves, but the first four episodes of JoA are all among my favorite hours of television!), St. Joan, Recreation, and Do the Math. I do like Jump a lot, but for some weird reason it isn't quite as much of a favorite as the others I mentioned. Before I first watched it, I'd always heard how it was the best episode of the whole show, so I think I developed these impossible expectations of it that it could never quite match :)

As I'm happily making my way through the first season, I'm struck by how much more I'm liking the police department subplots. Maybe it's partly because my love for Joe Mantegna has grown since I first saw the show, but it's also that they now seem more connected to the themes of the specific episode or even just the overall show than I used to think they were. And even though Will's job exposes him to the worst of human nature, there are always glimmers of hope and humanity as well. 

 I'm also struck all over again by how funny the show can be. Some of the one-liners are just so clever ad witty, and I love that despite its poignancy and heavier themes, the show never takes itself TOO seriously. 

There's just so much insight on this show---not just about spirituality, but about what it's like to be human in this weird world of ours! 

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The Pilot set a high standard for following episodes.  The sub-plot of Joan getting a job (her interaction with Sammy was so well done) and the menace of the predator enriched the main theme of her meeting and accepting God as real ("I'm not crazy!).  Most shows struggle with a simple plot at the start, this one wove the threads beautifully.  Even the wrap-up of the predator's capture was handled subtly by neither ignoring it nor over-doing the interrogation.  And the final scene between Kevin and Joan sets up the long and winding arc of his conquering his injury.  Credit Barbara Hall with a clear vision and James Hayman with the skill to bring it all together.

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S1-E18 - Requiem For A Third Grade Ashtray

Joan - So after you do this mitzvah thing, that's it, you're all grown up?

Mr. Polanski - In theory, you know, but in practice, becoming an adult is more a series of steps and missteps. Don't you think?

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Joan - Ok, can I get something off my chest here? What's with god the sexist? Yeah, I said it. How come the girl in the family always has to do all the cooking and running around? How old-school is that?

God - Ok, Joan, check my record. I think you'll find when I call one of you to action, it doesn't matter which chromosome I gave you.

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Will - You didn't get my message?

Helen - Of course not. It hasn't been a good day.

Will - Sorry.

Helen - I hope yours was better.

Will - Well, I was stuck in an elevator with an embezzler and a woman who gave birth to a baby girl.

Helen - That must have been fun.

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The Gospel of Kevin
A one-hour dramedy about the divorced, depressed, and unemployed Kevin (Jason Ritter), who is tasked by God with a mission to save the world.
Team: Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters will write and executive-produce.
Cast: Jason Ritter, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Cristela Alonzo, Chloe East, Dustin Ybarra, India de Beaufort, J. August Richards.

I read this in a list of pilots for next season being considered and immediately asked myself.  Is this a Joan of Arcadia sequel?

Because Jason Ritter is playing Kevin (again) in a show where God tasks a character with missions.

It not, but there is no way someone came out of this out of thin air.

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On 4/26/2017 at 9:46 PM, ParadoxLost said:

I read this in a list of pilots for next season being considered and immediately asked myself.  Is this a Joan of Arcadia sequel?

Because Jason Ritter is playing Kevin (again) in a show where God tasks a character with missions.

It not, but there is no way someone came out of this out of thin air.

I will watch it. Bitterly. Possibly while writing crossover fanfic in my head. But it sounds good and the cast looks good.

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On ‎4‎/‎29‎/‎2017 at 9:00 AM, bettername2come said:

I will watch it. Bitterly. Possibly while writing crossover fanfic in my head. But it sounds good and the cast looks good.

It got picked up by ABC.  I'm going to watch it.  I laughed out loud a couple times during the trailer.

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TGOK looks to be awful, judging by the trailer.  Simplistic. Trite. Obvious.  My Name is Earl meets Touched by an Angel.  Ugh!  It desperately needs a Barbara Hall sensibility and sense of wonder. But I don't think even she could rescue it at this point.  To paraphrase Moonves, idiocy skews better than intelligence.

So it probably will run longer than JoA did.  Sigh.

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Funny quote from the pilot:

Luke: What you do is you shoot these photons at this piece of paper-

Joan: There's a pervert in the yard!

Luke: -and a pervert appears in the yard!

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On 07/04/2014 at 1:37 PM, Raja said:

The best moment, to this day when I hear the first bar of Time by Chantal Kreviazuk I flash back to that moment. The halfway point of season one which potentially would have been the series finale. The Rube Goldberg device inspired by God to give Joan a perfect setting for her first kiss with Adam

 

The worst, music related was changing the music for the seasons DVD sets because of the evil greedy music industry

Yes! 'Time'!!!  I actually bought her album after that episode! :)

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Whenever those forms ask you to fill in your religion, I'm tempted to write "Joan of Arcadia." I'm not religious, but I do believe in...something (clearly my beliefs are kind of vague and ill-defined, lol!), and this show just speaks to my soul, as ridiculous as that sounds. All the messages about connecting with each other and the world around us even when it's easier to retreat (I'm a bit of a loner), the interrelation between countless different little words and actions, appreciating life's pleasures and facing its challenges...this show makes me think and feel more deeply than any other. It gives me so much comfort and perspective. And as others have said, it's not didactic and obnoxiously self-serious. In fact, it's funnier than many sitcoms! Almost every single episode makes me laugh out loud---in between getting teary and choked up. 

A worst used to be Will's cases, but now I really like them and see how Will having to constantly confront the darker sides of human nature and still keep battling tied into a lot of the show's themes.

I had a little trouble learning to love Grace, but in a way that makes sense: just like many different but wonderful people and certain aspects of life in general, Grace is not easy to connect or be with, but she's ultimately well worth getting to know.

There are so many shows I love, but I've never found one anything like this one.

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Clearly, a "worst" character was police lieutenant, Lucy (a/k/a Lucyfer) Preston.  Good acting by Annie Potts made us all despise her conniving ways.  She's now portraying similar behavior as Meemaw in Young Sheldon, but here it's endearing.  It takes talent to make nasty both unattractive and humorous.  Of course, the character's motivations are crucial.  Lucy was predatory; Meemaw is unhappy with her situation. 

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Amber Tamblyn has written a novel called Any Man which will be released at the end of June. She is doing a book tour so she may be coming to a city near you soon! She keeps tweeting that she's about to announce the full tour schedule (she's been saying this since at least April) but so far there are only a few dates/locations I was able to find (NYC, Boston, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Milwaukee).

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This is on an OTA station for me. The first time around, it wigged me out that the Grace Polk actress was so much older (12 years!) than the Luke actor. But it's rerunning now, and in tonight's episode, Luke said "tenants of quantum mechanics" instead of "tenet" and I thought, do they really not care about this kid at all?

Still love Amber Tamblyn and wish this show could have gone on. 

Edited by Mystery

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I just rediscovered the JoA recaps by Deborah at TWOP that I had saved before that site went off to the bit bucket.  Deborah was the best at capturing the sound and sense of the episodes.  Just reading them recalls to memory visual images of scenes I haven't watched in years. 

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I am rewatching this show on STARTTV.  I missed a lot of the 2nd season and have not seen it since it was aired.   I hate Adam, especially by the end.  I love Lily and Kevin's relationship. I love the family's house.  So sad that the show did not continue.  I would have been great to see where it would have gone.

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JOA has made syndication on the new woman lead themed START TV. 1AM is a poor time. Normally syndication uses the original music where as the music industry greed forced the DVD sets to substitute to generic groove number 2 as if you were buying a DVD to pirate a snip of their music with voices talking over it.

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