Joan Gallagher is a high school teacher who depends on the daily support, counsel, and friendship of her two best friends Ruby, a psychiatrist, and Betsy, a music teacher at the school. ...
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Joan Gallagher is a high school teacher who depends on the daily support, counsel, and friendship of her two best friends Ruby, a psychiatrist, and Betsy, a music teacher at the school. Although Ruby appears to be the picture of strength and stability, she allows herself to be taken advantage of by Betsy, who is locked into an on-again, off-again relationship with fellow teacher Mark. Joan also bonds with Alice Adams, who is a new student teacher at the high school. The series focuses on the private lives of an intimate group of high school teachers and explores the complexity and endurance of close friendships among women, as well as the challenging relationship between Joan and Jake two bright, independent, experienced people as they blunder toward intimacy.Written by
Nearly half of the episodes produced were never shown in the USA, plus ABC destroyed continuity by broadcasting them out of sequence. Four first season episodes were shelved in case they needed new programming during a potential writers strike which never materialized, and the network abruptly halted production two weeks into the second season, leaving an additional six episodes unaired. See more »
Joan Gallagher (Joan Cusack) is a Chicago high school teacher. She is shocked when her banker boyfriend Jake Evans (Kyle Chandler) surprises her with a marriage proposal. Her fellow teachers friends Betsy Morgan (Jessica Hecht) and Mark Ludlow (Wallace Langham) are secretly dating. She befriends new teacher Alice Adams (Kellie Shanygne Williams). Her other best friend Dr. Ruby Stern (Donna Murphy) is an expert therapist. The second season loses Betsy and gains Steinie (Jeff Garlin) who owns Jake's favorite bar.
I don't remember this and there's a good reason for that. The first season is actually fine. I always like Joan Cusack. Normal single gal network sitcoms usually have a super cute girl who can't find a boyfriend for some unfathomable reason. Joan has never been the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. While she does Manic, mostly she's the quirky best friend. There are other minor issues but it's a fine network sitcom. The second season falters with some of the changes. Most of all, the network threw it out there less than a month after 9-11. I remember those times as being very trying. Comedy had a tough time and standard sitcoms became even more disposable. What About Joan came and went without making a mark.
I wish Joan had more time as a single gal. She's missing the will they or won't they part of the romance. Kyle Chandler is good as usual and they have some fun chemistry. She even gets her real sister Ann Cusack an episode to play with. There is an issue with Ruby Stern. She has no natural direct connection to Joan other than being a friend. They don't hang out in a repeated spot. She's not a teacher so she can't hang out at the school. At the very least, Joan could be living in her spare bedroom so they have natural time together. The show tries to make Steinie's bar as the hangout spot in the second season. I don't think it works. The teachers' lounge is great but that's the only repeated spot that works. It's questionable whether Joan Cusack is a good lead at this type of network sitcom and the aftermath of 9-11 finished this off.
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