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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful.
A Series Worth Studying in College
By Ken Kuhlken
Zoe took a trip with her mom and left me alone for five days. Every one of those evenings, my entertainment was Joan of Arcadia, a television drama that aired for two seasons about a dozen years ago. The premise is: at least once each episode, God appears to Joan in the person of a stranger and gives her an assignment such as join the school orchestra, keep your eyes open, clean out the garage. Usually Joan argues, almost always she misunderstands the purpose of whatever God proposes, and always by the end of the episode, the happenings caused by the assignment deliver an important message, a new way of understanding herself or the world.
I can’t recall ever being so fascinated by a television series. What captivates me is that we not only, along with Joan, learn about the world and ourselves; we also come away with new perspectives about God.
I just bought a DVD set of the two seasons to give to a friend, because it seems to me that when smart, generally open-minded and imaginative people can’t grasp why I or anyone with a modicum of common sense would believe in God, the problem is often that they won’t allow their imaginations to roam. It’s as if using one’s imagination to speculate about God is not only heretical but perhaps illegal, and surely cause for a stay in a rehab center like the one where Joan spends the summer between her junior and senior years.
I have often been asked, and occasionally have wondered on my own, why I’m writing this story instead of that one when that one would be more likely to make serious money. I think next time anyone poses the question, I will suggest they watch Joan of Arcadia. Because I see the show’s premise as a metaphor for the way artists are guided by something beyond their comprehension, often assisted by random people they meet or happenings they observe, or by wisdom or questions that arise out of their daily experiences.
I have decided to create a Perelandra College class around Joan of Arcadia as an elective in the Writing and the Spirit MA program. I’ll probably teach the class because it will give me an excuse to watch the series again and again. The thoughtful stuff it offers make it worth many viewings.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
An incomparable creation
Oh this TV series was clearly so underrated -- an incomparable creation, with superb cast on all counts, especially Amber Tamblyn. Not usually my choice of story concepts, I was astounded by the pilot episode the night it first aired, and I was hooked thereafter. So angry when it was cancelled -- denying us that superbly-foreshadowed 3rd season. It left such an impression and then disappointment that I avoided re-seeing it for 10 years. Finding the complete season box sets at super prices on Amazon (both received in excellent condition) was the temptation I could not resist. Each episode was itself a moving and still-surprising tale, exactly as heartfelt on my 2nd viewing at it was the first time. The series works best, however, if all episodes are seen in sequence. It was indeed a unique blend of teen & family drama with romance and some humor, all borne upon an amazing fantasy.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful. See all 261 customer reviews...
One of the best shows that was ever on television
By Jane Lois Lane
One of the best shows that was ever on television. I can actually use this show to minister to my teenager who is only slightly, at this time, interested in God, and what a relationship with God might offer.
I am, of course, not surprised there are only two seasons. Every show that even hints at God often has a short shelf-life for Americans who are obsessed with unrepentant criminals who are brought to justice by men, (not God). Or "reality" shows where the depths of depravity are explored so deeply even the slightest glimmer of "goodness" and a conscience is exalted in the very same people. This show puts it out there: that trusting and having faith means God can work through you for the better of others. I am getting misty-eyed just typing this!! Please give Joan a try, and write to the local networks and Netlflix and Hulu and Amazon and make it known that "good entertainment" doesn't have to be empty calories.
Amen, Joan! You go, girl!
Also sad I had to buy the DVD's to even watch it. Not on Hulu or Amazon that I could find and I don't like to "steal" so I was glad to buy it, but that says a lot of people won't be watching this show. The adversary has a way here, but not for long.