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Joan of Arcadia Ongoing thread


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#1 of 104 OFFLINE   Al Shing

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Posted September 26 2003 - 06:15 PM

I'm surprised to see this show on CBS instead of the WB. It has the WB formula down pat - the good looking kids, the teen angst, the great pop/rock music soundtrack.

If Joan had seen the movie "A Beautiful Mind", she would be wondering if she was schizophrenic like Russell Crowe's character was. It's not clear from the pilot where the show will be headed, but God asks Joan to do things with no clear rhyme or reason, but some positive result will come about when she completes her mission. So God works in mysterious ways through Joan. We don't know why Joan was chosen for this, or if there are other "Joans" all over the planet.

Mary Steenbergen is great as Joan's mom, and Amber Tamblyn does a fine job in the title role. Jason Ritter looks enough like his late dad that he will remind us that John Ritter is gone for some time to come. I hope his career will be as successful as his father's was.

They should move this show away from Friday nights because I think it deserves a fighting chance on a better night.

#2 of 104 OFFLINE   Kristian

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Posted September 27 2003 - 01:07 AM

I rarely ever watch the first episode of a new series and I watch CBS even less, but I decided to watch the pilot of Joan of Arcadia after hearing all the good buzz. I'm enjoying it so far.

I like that they left things up in the air regarding God's intentions for Joan. Another show might've revealed everything in the pilot, taking away the air of mystery from the show.

I agree that the cast is strong, especially Amber Tamblyn in the lead role. Jason Ritter has an uncanny resemblence to his father, so it was hard to watch him and not think about John's death. But somehow that made me care about the character and his dilemma much more than I was expecting.

The preview for next week's episode shows that God is still appearing to Joan in the form of the "really cute guy". I have a feeling that this will cause some more problems for Joan down the road. Posted Image
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#3 of 104 ONLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted September 27 2003 - 01:34 AM

Yeah, I thought the father and the geeky younger brother seem to exist mostly to fill some stereotypical roles; but the mother, Joan, and Jason Ritter's character seem to be a little bit more complex.

And I LOVED how they wrote God. I just hope that with next week's preview, they don't have God fix the hadicapped son. So far, they've managed to walk a believable line to me. Even if Miracles DO exist, I'd have to think they're a little more complicated than the portrayal on Touched by an Angel.

I especially liked the way even though God doesn't anwser the why, they show does. And if the pilot's any indication, there will be multiple whys. Like the book store being both motivation for the one son to get back out into the work force and to serve as a refuge against the rapist/murderer.

I usually find Mary Steenbergen absolutely grating, but she's toned it down in this role enough that she works in the role. I just hope they don't waste a talent like Joe Mantegna on the tired cop beat routine.

#4 of 104 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted September 27 2003 - 02:17 AM

I thought it was bizarre how this show tries to balance Joan's encounter with God, and the unseedy side of criminal behavior (and her encounter with evil).

But, hey, it's good to see that Malucci (from ER) has a job again.
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#5 of 104 ONLINE   TonyD

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Posted September 28 2003 - 02:42 AM

i thought it was terrific.
who wouldn't want to meet "god".
once i realized he was god i probably would have hugged him.
i wonder if she was chosen do to her resemblance to joan of arc from the paintings in the book she looked at. or she is a reincarnation of j. of a.
kinda odd that someone would avoid watching pilot eps of a show.
sometimes it can be the best ep becuase they use more money and better talent to write and produce the pilot so it gets sold/picked up.

plus it sets the ground work for the series itself.
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#6 of 104 OFFLINE   David C Lin

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Posted September 28 2003 - 05:56 AM

I saw the pilot episode and I enjoy it. Will be tuning in each week. One thing I thought of that would be cool is if the things God ask Joan to do in each episode add up to something by the end of the season. It would be cool if the writers plan that far ahead and have a big picture in mind.
"I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong." - Abraham Lincoln

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#7 of 104 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

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Posted September 28 2003 - 06:22 AM

Quote:
It would be cool if the writers....have a big picture in mind.


Like a fire at the end of the series?

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But there ain't nothin sweeter 
Than riden' the rails."
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#8 of 104 OFFLINE   Brian Lawrence

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Posted September 28 2003 - 09:40 AM

I have this on tape but have not got to watch it yet. I despised Touched by an Angel & Highway to Heaven, But this one looked to have a pretty strong cast and some decent writing.

I think it would make a very interesting show, if as the season progresses, they leave a lot of situations open to interpretation, Such as whether or not God is even really taking to Joan.

#9 of 104 OFFLINE   David C Lin

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Posted September 28 2003 - 12:14 PM

Quote:
Like a fire at the end of the series?


Do you really think the writers think so negatively like that given what you've seen in the pilot so far? From the pilot episode, it's very uplifting by the end of the episode. There is a slight spookiness when Joan almost went into the strangers car, but other than that, the show has a very positive outlook to me. I highly doubt the show will end so dark like that.
"I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong." - Abraham Lincoln

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#10 of 104 OFFLINE   JasenP

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Posted September 28 2003 - 11:55 PM

This is their sappy replacement for Touched by an Uncle, no?
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#11 of 104 OFFLINE   Michael Hughes

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Posted September 29 2003 - 12:54 AM

I thought it was solid, but not great, more eps are needed to see what kind of show we have here if it will float like touched by an angle or have more of a decided edge to it, I hope its the latter.

#12 of 104 OFFLINE   Don Peskin

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Posted September 29 2003 - 03:23 AM

I liked the show but I have one problem with it. Joan's father knows their is a serial rapist/killer out there. His daughter tells him someone tried to grab her. He doesn't even question her for details. She saw the guy. She saw his car. If he doesn't think his daughter is totally crazy he should have asked more questions.

#13 of 104 OFFLINE   Kristian

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Posted September 29 2003 - 03:54 AM

Quote:
He doesn't even question her for details.


I don't know if anyone else has seen this, but in the Joan of Arcadia segment on the CBS Fall Preview DVD Blockbuster is giving out, they show a scene where Joan tells her father that the guy who tried to attack her was wearing army boots. It appears to be a deleted scene from the pilot and not a scene from an upcoming episode, as it happens during the father/daughter talk at the end.
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#14 of 104 OFFLINE   Rob Willey

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Posted September 29 2003 - 07:49 AM

I Tivo'd this one due to all the positive critical buzz, but I wasn't terribly impressed. The performances were good, but the writing was god-awful (pun intended).

In the first scene between God and Joan, he (He?) says at one point, "it goes with the job." While I'm not particularly religious or spiritual, I always thought God was a divine state of being, not an occupation like some "9-to-5'er" (where do I submit my resume for this "job"?). Later, he mentions his "personality". I always thought you had to be a "person" to have a "personality".

But hackneyed dialog is only a minor quibble compared to the story. So God appearing out of nowhere in different guises accomplishes what? She almost gets in a guy's car mistakenly thinking he's God (which she likely wouldn't ordinarily do) leaving her open to brutal sexual assault and getting killed. To quote the kid in Animal House, "Thank you, God!" Posted Image

But no problem, the serial killer is arrested for running a red light and the lieutenant who has been shown to be a pretty weak cop up to that point apparently has a psychic moment while walking past the guy and orders him held overnight. Presumably, this will lead to his arrest and conviction. WTF!

Man, what a weak piece of storytelling! I'll watch another episode or two, but if there's no improvement, I'll be quick to drop this one. Posted Image

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#15 of 104 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted September 29 2003 - 08:07 AM

What the show is trying to do is show how going outside of yourself has a snowball effect on others.

If Joan did not go for the job:

She's not there for the creep to try to pick up, and when she runs, he splits, speeds away, and gets caught for running a red light, and that leads the "Malucci" cop to put the boot print together with boots on the suspect.

Also, Joan inspired her older brother to try and get back to living, instead of hiding and becoming reclusive.

Is it providence? Is it fate? Is it destiny? Do they need a nudge to get things rolling?
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#16 of 104 OFFLINE   Jeff Kohn

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Posted September 29 2003 - 09:11 AM

Quote:
But no problem, the serial killer is arrested for running a red light and the lieutenant who has been shown to be a pretty weak cop up to that point apparently has a psychic moment while walking past the guy and orders him held overnight. Presumably, this will lead to his arrest and conviction. WTF!
It wasn't a psychic moment, he saw the wet boot prints on the floor that matched the ones found at the crime scenes.
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#17 of 104 OFFLINE   Ken Chan

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Posted September 29 2003 - 10:55 AM

But he saw those boot prints after the guy was seated at the desk. He first got "a vibe" when he was walking out and the guy was walking in.

As for God's having a "job", that's just a phrase. It is what God does, and presumably something we're not qualified to do ourselves (I didn't see Bruce Almighty). And if you've ever read any of the very popular books in which God is a major character, he definitely has a personality Posted Image (You really only have to be a conscious entity to have a personality, not technically a person.)

//Ken

#18 of 104 OFFLINE   Rob Willey

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Posted October 04 2003 - 10:28 PM

OK, fair's fair. Since I ragged on the writing in the pilot, it's only right that I say the writing was much improved in the second episode.

I loved when God said, "Anti-climactic. 'Anti-climatic' means you're against the weather." Posted Image

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#19 of 104 ONLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted October 05 2003 - 02:40 AM

Yeah, God the grammar nazi!

I'm digging this show. If they don't drag the "woe betide me" plotline for the Jason Ritter character for too long, this has the potential to be one of the standout shows of the season.

And how surprising for the new kid on the "Touched by an Angel" block to actually take the time to flesh out the outsider characters rather than just label them for convienence.

#20 of 104 OFFLINE   John Lloyd

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Posted October 05 2003 - 03:26 AM

I have been enjoying this show as well.

Did anyone else notice the microphone hanging down into the high school hallway during the second episode? I was watching the HD broadcast and was a little surprised to see that. Since it appeared in the top center of the shot, I assume it must have been visible on the standard definition broadcast as well.


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