Joan keeps having dreams where Judith appears. God tells Joan to do something she is afraid of, so she tries out for the diving team, because she is scared of heights. Grace tells Luke he hides with ...
God appears to Joan as Rocky, the young boy that she babysat with Cystic Fibrosis. He asks her to read the paper and it turns out to be his obituary. At the cemetery after the funeral, Joan and her ...
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
Show creator Barbara Hall wrote a list of guidelines for the writers, which she called "The Ten Commandments of Joan of Arcadia". These "commandments" are:
1. God cannot directly intervene.
2. Good and evil exist.
3. God can never identify one religion as being right.
4. The job of every human being is to fulfill his or her true nature.
5. Everyone is allowed to say "no" to God, including Joan.
6. God is not bound by time. This is a human concept.
7. God is not a person and does not possess a human personality.
8. God talks to everyone all the time in different ways.
9. God's plan is what is good for us, not what is good for him.
10. God's purpose for talking to Joan, and everyone, is to get her (us) to recognize the interconnectedness of all things - i.e., you cannot hurt a person without hurting yourself; all of your actions have consequences; God can be found in the smallest actions; God expects us to learn and grow from all our experiences. However, the exact nature of God is a mystery, and the mystery can never be solved.
This show is nothing like Touched by an Angel or anything insipid delivered on the Pax network. It is instead a deep reflection on how complicated it is to to be human. How do we find moments of consolation in those dark moments of desolation? How do we connect to ourselves and others?
It just so happens, Amber Tamblyn as title character Joan Girardi, (one of my personal favorites since her days as Emily Quartermaine on General Hospital) plays a cynical teenager who sees God. But God doesn't perform miracles. And he/she looks a little different every week. Joan is just trying to figure out who she is, like any of us she's digging around "in the trash trying to find something that matters." Joan's family is going through some real stress in Season 2 with the lawsuit against the oldest son Kevin who was left permanently paralyzed after a drunk driving accident...
Not being particularly religious, I feel incredibly drawn to the questions and issues this show raises every week.
Incisive writing, compelling acting. I can't remember what I was taping Friday nights.
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