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Guest Russell Lucas

Joan of Arcadia

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Guest Russell Lucas

I'm not kidding, unless the following was a delusion which accompanied my falling asleep in front of late night television.

A new network TV show about a lovely late teen/early twentysomething. The clip shown in the preview teaser has Joan going to apply for a job, claiming she was referred to the place by (pregnant pause) Someone.

I'm envisioning a sort of Amelie meets "Christy."

I just hope the first season cliffhanger doesn't involve a pyre about to be lit.

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Despite Joan's use of the word "acerbic" in one of the commercials, this looks as schmaltzy as -- no, not "Touched by an Angel," but at least "Stairway to Heaven." I do not have the hopes that are high.

Dale


Metalfoot on Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee's Noel: "...this album is...monotony...bland, tripy fare..."

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What network will Joan be on? Haven't seen any previews yet, though I have read about it.


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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CBS.

Dale

Fun--website includes a preview of much of the first episode. Looks kind of like a miraculous version of 7th Heaven, with Dad as cop instead of minister, but with the cuteness factor toned down.

I'll probably at least check it out.


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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Guest Russell Lucas

No one knows that it probably has something to do with the unusual way various people keep popping up, introducing themselves as God, and then giving her specific directions to do things, like get a job. The appearances are hard for her to believe, even more so as she never knows who's going to turn up next. One minute it's a cute boy her own age, the next it's the lunch lady.

(In raspy voice) "God says try the goulash."

As a fan of Ordet and Breaking the Waves and, well, Joan, I shouldn't deride this on concept alone, but I can't imagine this will be well-executed.

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As a fan of Ordet and Breaking the Waves and, well, Joan, I shouldn't deride this on concept alone, but I can't imagine this will be well-executed.

No, you're probably right. It's very, very difficult to do this kind of thing well without coming off as either (as I said) cute, sentimental, or blasphemous.

The short-lived and extremely ambiguous show "Miracles," sometimes almost got it right. It was also on CBS, but naturally, the network first sabotaged it with unpredictable scheduling, then cancelled it.


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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Correction--Miracles was on ABC.


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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NY Times preview suggests Joan might be more complex than expect, but probably not more orthodox:

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/07/arts/art...ial/07GROS.html

Possibly the week's worst time-slot--Friday at 8 p.m.

[evil TV exec. voice] "Let's see God save this show now!"


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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Joan premieres tomorrow night. In case I'm without electricity and/or cable because of hurricane Isabel, somebody please check it out and post a review?

I fully intend to watch it if I can.


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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Beth, good luck in your meeting with Isabel. Since my son is in Virginia, I've got an eye pointed east.


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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Guest Russell Lucas

NY Times preview suggests Joan might be more complex than expect, but probably not more orthodox:

Yeah, not that I would have expected anything more, but our Sunday paper ran a feature article on the season's new "religion-themed" shows and ran this piece from the creator of the series:

The Ten Commandments of 'Joan of Arcadia'

God cannot directly intervene.

Good and evil exist.

God can never identify one religion as being right.

The job of every human being is to fulfill his or her true nature.

Everyone is allowed to say no to God, including Joan.

God is not bound by time -- this is a human concept.

God IS NOT A PERSON and does not possess a human person-ality.

God talks to everyone all the time in different ways.

God's plan is what is good for us, not what is good for him.

God's purpose for talking to Joan, and to 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.

-- Barbara Hall, creator of the new CBS series

My first thought, upon reading this list, was that any relatively precocious fifth grader could come up with something fairly similar to that and, boy, what does it take to be a TV series creator?

My second thought was how ironic it is that the image of Joan, whose visions led her to endorsing very specific institutions and opposing others (for better or worse), would be the latest to fall into the soup of Universalism.

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Apparently Joan's God is all-knowing:

'Joan is a loner, but she is not really alone: God visits her for the first time in the form of a cute teenage boy. To her shock, he seems to understand her innermost thoughts. "I'm omniscient, Joan," God explains patiently. "It comes with the job."'

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/26/arts/tel...26TVWK.html?8br

(Article also deals with Monk and Cold Case)

Joan of Arcadia, of course, REALLY premieres tonight, not last Friday as I thought. Universalist it may be, but I still plan to check it out. Touched by an Angel was pretty fuzzy most of the time. At least, I hope, Joan won't be mushy :wink:


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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The good: the family story, although there is some backstory that is still unclear; that Joan is not a pillar of perfection; there is room to grow.

The bad: the priest who has no answer (not even "I wish I knew") to the theodicy question; the nerd brother's belief in God as logical - science/religion have some interesting approach/avoidance issues, but that was just too simple.

It has promise. I'll be interested to see where it goes for a while.


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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I quite liked it. And I know we're not quite done with the priest, so I think after his character's developed a bit more I thunk we'll be glad he's not a clever answer kind of guy, but more real. And perhaps not quick on his feet.

I'm curious to see how the book store will work in.

Favorite line: God: Do you notice how I haven't answered any of the 'Why' questions?

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The job of every human being is to fulfill his or her true nature.

If I can interpret this quotation from the "Joan of Arcadia" guidelines as "The chief end of [humankind] is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever"--which as far as I'm concerned, results in fulfilling our true natures every time--I'll accept it! smile.gif

Some of the others are dodgier, of course.

I'm with Darrel & Dan on the first episode, generally. I was irked at the apparently stereotypical portrayal of an incompetent priest as possible shorthand for--organized religion, particularly Christianity, has no answers and offers no comfort--but if Dan is right, will wait and see.

I do like the Joan Osborne song as the theme, although it seems like the inevitable choice.


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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http://www.cbs.com/primetime/joan_of_arcad..._three&x=39&y=9

Interview with Joan producer Barbara Hall on the CBS site. Hall says, "God should be the kind of person in whose presence you want to be, not boring or self-righteous."

Well--yeah. Makes me think more people should read Dante's "Paradiso" instead of stopping after "Inferno."

But undoubtedly JoA's "God" will continue to be an LCD, deist sort of deity, because it's TV. At the same time, the pretty good ratings of the show (so far) ("On Friday, CBS' buzzworthy new 8 p.m. drama 'Joan of Arcadia' again won its time slot in viewers and adults 18-49 with an average 12 million viewers and 3.0 rating/11 share" --"Friday Dramas Give Edge to CBS," Reuters) suggest that people are starved for spiritual sustenance. This show isn't really going to give it to them, but if it sparks the search, that's a start.


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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The New Yorker likes Joan:

http://www.newyorker.com/critics/televisio...crte_television

In the same review, the critic is not impressed with "Coupling."


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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I've seen both episodes and have really liked them. I think the writing is excellent. Loved the part last week about being humble. God said you actually have to be good at something before you're able to be humble.

Two things I don't like/get:

1. The wheelchair brother.

His personality seems to shift dramatically within seconds. He goes from self pity and ungrateful to happy and grateful in the same conversation. I understand this sort of thing can happen but with him it happens over and over and is becoming unbelievable. And the self pity jokes he makes about himself are becoming obvious, redundant, and over used.

2. The cop drama:

It feels like this show is trying to do too much already. It feels like two shows in one. The Joan/God side of things is interesting enough all by itself. And the cop drama is uninteresting and out of place, so far.


"I am quietly judging you" - Magnolia

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They either need to kill off this Kevin I'm in a wheelchair wah-wah-wah character or get him out of the wheelchair with a miracle from their weak universalist god.


"I am quietly judging you" - Magnolia

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Guest Russell Lucas

They either need to kill off this Kevin I'm in a wheelchair wah-wah-wah character or ...

If there's even the slightest hint of a pyre being constructed anywhere in this show, YOU HAVE TO LET ME KNOW.

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But undoubtedly JoA's \"God\" will continue to be an LCD, deist sort of deity, because it's TV.

Time thinks so, too:

"Losing God's Religion"

"By separating God from religion, Arcadia takes away what makes faith divisive


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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Am I the only one still watching Joan?

Interesting encounter between Mom & the priest last week. It struck me funny (odd) that people so often want to deny their need for God, yet turn to those who "officially" represent Him when they need advice and/or solace. And if Joan's God is to be non-partisan, why cast the primary representative of religion as a Catholic priest (or possibly Episcopal or Lutheran)? Works for me, but ya know, if the producers were really serious about making it all deist, they could have made him Buddhist or Unitarian.

I just think it's interesting. smile.gif


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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I suspect they use some sort of Christian clergy because they can put a collar on him for identity. I also think it is because of the inherent civil religion that has most people say their Christian because the popular culture has been associated (rightly or wrongly) with Christianity. they could probably get by with a rabbi. Beyond that it would take too much work to tell the story in a TV time slot.


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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