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Thread: Joan of Arcadia

  1. #581
    For Your Entertainment lobeck's Avatar
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    Can story arc save 'Joan'?
    By Bill Keveney, USA TODAY

    God has always been there for Joan of Arcadia. Whether enough viewers have been there for her show, however, is likely to determine whether it achieves TV salvation: renewal.

    The CBS drama, critically praised and nominated for three Emmys in its first season, concludes its second tonight (8 ET/PT) with prospects of a third in limbo because of audience losses. The fate of Joan (Amber Tamblyn), a teen who talks to God, won't be known until mid-May, when CBS announces its fall schedule.

    Creator Barbara Hall and her cast are happy with the show creatively and want a third season. Instead of wrapping up loose ends, as some shows do when renewal is uncertain, Hall last week began an ambitious story, revealing that God talks to another character, Ryan, who has dark intentions.

    If the show goes forward, Joan's charge will be to battle the young man; the previous two seasons of encounters with various human-looking Gods have served as "a training camp" to prepare her for the task. "We've learned a lot about the direction the show naturally wants to go in, a bit more dramatic, a bit more mysterious and a bit darker, because we end up dealing with issues of good and evil," Hall says.

    Mary Steenburgen, who plays Joan's mother, Helen, doesn't think the new story line will dramatically alter Joan, whose appeal comes in part from her life as an average teen. "There's an excitement to what Barbara is proposing for next year, without it losing the humor and the charm," Steenburgen says.

    Hall says that she isn't certain why the audience has dropped (from 10.1 million in 2003-04 to about 8 million this season) and that it's her job to write the best show she can. After learning that viewers especially liked the visits by God, Hall increased the frequency. She likes them, too.

    CBS entertainment chief Nina Tassler, a champion of the series, says Joan tried some small adjustments to add to its loyal core audience, such as easing off from serialized story lines. She praises Hall and the cast and expresses frustration with the ratings. A renewal decision "will come down to the wire."

    Tamblyn says expectations were higher this season because of first-year acclaim. And, she says, the show veered heavily into sadness in early episodes, but now it's hitting full stride as the season ends.

    "We deserve a chance for one more season," Tamblyn says. "I want it so bad I can taste it."
    http://www.usatoday.com/life/televis...-arcadia_x.htm

  2. #582
    Peeking In Duxxy's Avatar
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    If they do get a season 3 (and I hope they do) they are going to have to hit the ground running.

    the only timeslot worse than Friday night is Saturday night - put Joan on at 8pm on Monday night and it'd be a winner.
    "Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."

  3. #583
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    From lobeck..."We deserve a chance for one more season," Tamblyn says. "I want it so bad I can taste it."


    http://www.usatoday.com/life/televi...f-arcadia_x.htm
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    Luckily Amber doesn't write Joan's dialogue! But nice that she really wants to continue it, not go into movies or something....

  4. #584
    For Your Entertainment lobeck's Avatar
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    Critic Matt Bianco's take on the show:

    Sometimes, it's hard to tell salvation from destruction. You can almost hear the fix-it-fast wheels spinning at the ratings-deprived Joan of Arcadia (CBS, Friday, 8 ET/PT), which ends its season with its future in doubt. In a last-ditch pitch for renewal, the show has introduced a new twist an adversary for Joan who either is Satan or is closely aligned with him. This duel with the devil, we're told, is what God has been preparing her to face all along. Really? Since when?

    What made Joan special was that Joan herself wasn't, or so we thought. God wasn't speaking to this ordinary high school girl (played by the extraordinary Amber Tamblyn) because he needed her to lead a liberating army, like her namesake. God was simply leading her to become a better person, and showing her how her life affected those around her. If these heavenly visits were all a trick to prepare Joan for some ultimate battle between good and evil, then she's no longer one of us.

    It's possible these changes will draw more of the desired younger viewers who may be interested in watching Joan the Satan Slayer. But if that's where the show is going, I won't be going along.
    http://www.usatoday.com/life/columni...s-corner_x.htm

    ********

    I have to say this pretty much sums up how I feel about the show and why I've really enjoyed it. That last paragraph? Well, I think I agree with that, too. IF the show is renewed for another season and turns into a weekly "Joan vs. The Devil" battle, I may not be tuning in. And, after watching tonight's season finale, I'm hoping that's not what happens...

  5. #585
    FORT Devotee Mike'sgirl's Avatar
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    Thank's lobeck! I tend to agree with Bianco's take on the show too, and find it unfortunate that "ratings" have to rule our lives. I didn't like Ryan's appearance last week or tonight's and don't think I could handle another season of him. So, as much as I don't want to see the show end, I would prefer cancellation, then to continue viewing along the direction they are heading.

  6. #586
    Combat Missions Fan Wolf's Avatar
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    yep, I pretty much agree with the article. I loved that Joan was an ordinary girl learning to become a better person and along the way, helping people around her (not only her family and friends.)

  7. #587
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    There were definitely some Buffy moments in tonight's episodes. I don't like the feeling that they are now ascribing more meaning to throwaway happenings in the past, like her mother occasionally having dreams with God, and now she's a Visionary. But I think if the show gets renewed, they will have a little space to work out the kinks. Well, we can hope, right?
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  8. #588
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    I don't know if I'm representative or not, but I missed a lot of shows this year because of it's time slot. I'd rather see them try another time with the same formula than to keep it where it is and add Ryan. I thought they were very clear that he was just human like Joan, but because of free will, had chosen not to respond as she did when faced with the same reveals from God. I haven't actually heard any suggestion that Satan is involved on the show. More like two children of the same parent responding differently to the same discipline rules. I kind of liked when she told God that at least the other Joan had an army and God said, "So do you" and Joan looks over at her gaggle of misfit friends we've grown to know and love. The scene with Grace and her father while the synagogue was burning and the Torah being saved was incredibly poignant - especially after her struggles over her bat mitzvah this season. I also enjoyed Lily and Kevin's interlude when she was tongue-tied. Whether the show continues or not, it was a good run, even with the sluggish spell toward the beginning of this season.
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  9. #589
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    I guess I'm in the minority. I like the addition of Ryan Hunter and the dilemmas he brings to the show. I thought last night's show was awesome.

    I agree with hepcat that it's a little far-fetched for them to now make Helen a visionary... although I suppose that will strengthen Joan in her new battle and show that she's not the only one who is dealing with God.

    I also liked almost all the scenes that Gutmutter pointed out ... Joan's "army" (I'd be nervous too!) and the interaction between Lily and Kevin.

    I really hope they do not end the series. I would like to see these new directions... yes, there IS evil infiltrating the world and, whereas the beginning of the season was about Joan, Joan, Joan and self-centered Joan and how the world revolves around her, this last half has been wonderful in showing that she's just a small part of a very big world and basically there IS a battle going on around us.

    Hope this all makes sense... I didn't sleep very well at all last night! (storms) and awoke VERY early this SATURDAY morning

  10. #590
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    I was really looking forward to seeing Joan last night--and its been awhile since I was that interested. I had forgotten that Helen 'saw' a few things over the past two years. It wasn't that frequent so I was surprised that she saw Judith. Didn't she see Goth God in Joan's hospital room at last season's finale? I really thought after all the vision dreams she has been having that for sure she would recognize evil when she met it, but there she was all smiles and charm with Ryan in the school hallway.
    I liked it when we found out that Joan used to see God when she was very young, wish they would have explained a bit why she didn't see God after age 4 and then again at 16. Ryan said he's been waiting a long time to find someone who sees God the way Joan does, I found that ominous. And what's with that wind that follows Ryan around? Is there an evil wind in mythology?
    Ryan is also looking forward to some kind of show down with Joan. He is right when he says he has the police, the paper and the school on his side--anything Joan does will make her look crazy. But God did say she has everything she needs to go up against this guy. I am curious as to what that is--maybe its just simple belief that God is. This show always used to get me thinking, and last night it did again.

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