Millions of people speak to God. What if God spoke back? Life just got a hell of a lot more confusing for teenage Joan Girardi, who already deals with feeling out of place in her family : ... See full summary »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 9 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »
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Series cast summary:
 Will Girardi (45 episodes, 2003-2005)
 Helen Girardi (45 episodes, 2003-2005)
 Joan Girardi (45 episodes, 2003-2005)
 Kevin Girardi (45 episodes, 2003-2005)
 Luke Girardi (45 episodes, 2003-2005)
 Grace Polk (44 episodes, 2003-2005)
 Adam Rove (44 episodes, 2003-2005)
 Friedman (33 episodes, 2003-2005)
 Glynis Figliola (23 episodes, 2003-2005)


Millions of people speak to God. What if God spoke back? Life just got a hell of a lot more confusing for teenage Joan Girardi, who already deals with feeling out of place in her family : her police chief father, her somewhat overbearing mother, her geeky younger brother and former football star older brother, now paralyzed. They'd never believe her if she told them that God is talking to her. Does Joan have a higher purpose on earth, or are these strange conversations just in her head? Written by Ted Weiland

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Fantasy


TV-PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

25 September 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die himmlische Joan  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (45 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The double windows at the top of the school staircase set, which are often visible in scenes taking place in the school's hallways, are double semi-circles on top and squared on the bottom - the traditional shape of the ten commandments. See more »


Joan: You are not real!
God: So people keep telling me.
See more »


Referenced in Family Guy: Fast Times at Buddy Cianci Jr. High (2005) See more »


One of Us
Performed by Joan Osborne
(Title Song)
See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent, high quality program
10 November 2003 | by (Jersey shore, USA) – See all my reviews

Television itself is a barren wasteland of programming upon the ushering in of each new fall season. So many choices, each one with less and less quality to them. Hence, there is one show that pushed past this.

"Joan of Arcadia" is about 16-year old Joan Girardi (20-year old Amber Tamblyn), who is visited by beautiful stranger who calls himself "God." He tells her that because he let her wheelchair-bound brother Kevin (hottie Jason Ritter) survive a car crash that paralyzed him, Joan has to listen to him. Each week, he has her do something new (hold a yard sale, get a job, try out for cheerleading, take AP Chem). It's a weird world out there, and Joan's just got a little weirder.

I remember CBS rolling out the commercials for this program in July, and I was fascinated immediately. I knew I was compelled to watch this show, since I wanted to try to get into shows geared toward my age brackett (the elusive 18-25 group--I'm 21). Joan herself is completely relatable to myself (I wrote an essay on her for a college course 1 1/2 months ago--I got an A). I see that sarcastic personality in her that I had in high school. She's just trying to survive there--that's what I did.

My favorite episode was when Joan was told by God to try out for cheerleading. That cheer at the end was priceless. I was laughing and clapping. Jason Ritter (the son of late legendary John Ritter) is great as Kevin. I really think he's hot, and he reminds me so much of his dad. Thankfully, Jason will carry on the name. As Joan's parents, Joe Montenga and Mary Steenburgen are wonderful--they're like everyone's parents, and aren't most just slightly neurotic??? Absolutely. Michael Welch, as Luke Girardi, reminds me of a young Anthony Michael Hall that I came to know in the Brat Pack movies I fell in love with in the late '90s when I was a love-struck teenager in high school. I know, it wasn't THAT long ago, but still...

All in all, this is quality programming. If CBS knows what they're doing (and what's good for them) they'll keep this show on the air. This is good for whether you're religious or non-religious (I'm non-religious). I'm so glad a program this high-caliber came along. People need shows with a little faith. This is the one!

28 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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