Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest Russell Lucas

Joan of Arcadia

Recommended Posts

This just in:

http://tv.zap2it.com/tveditorial/tve_main/...7353|1|,00.html

Axed by FOX after airing four original episodes (three on Friday, one last Thursday), the 20th Century Fox Television series from executive producers Bryan Fuller, Todd Holland and Tim Minear is taking its already completed 13 episodes and looking for a new home.

In particular, Fuller has set his sights on weblets The WB and UPN.

"I think the show would make a great companion piece with 'Smallville' on The WB," he says, "and it would also make a great companion piece with 'America's Next Top Model' on UPN.

"It's a critically acclaimed drama. We don't have a lot of that on television right now, so we're hoping we can find a home on another network that will appreciate the show."

Good luck with that. :geeky:


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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doug LeBlanc of CT on Joan:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/004/26.101.html

Then again, Joan requires that Christians check their credulity at the door. God's instructions to Joan often are so mysterious

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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She's back.

Mild spoilers1.gif

Joan breaks up with God.  But her mom is trying to make up with God.

I think this has the makings of some interesting changes for this season.


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree, whatever your quote was. Compelling plot threads all around, but the most fascinating thing for me were the conversations with priest and former nun.


"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The preist and nun were good. I look forward to more of both of them. (Especially in light of what I wrote a year ago: The bad: the priest who has no answer (not even "I wish I knew") to the theodicy question) They both nailed the mom at where she was at. I read somewhere that the mother is more a focus of the faith issues this year.


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In April I quoted Doug LeBlanc:

Though Joan sometimes wanders into an empty church, her family has not yet worshiped together and doesn't seem to know any Christians to whom church means anything.

That issue may be addressed to some extent this season.

Or not. Barbara Hall's original "ten commandments" for the show seemed detemined to keep Joan's God pretty vague.


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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Or not. Barbara Hall's original "ten commandments" for the show seemed detemined to keep Joan's God pretty vague.

Right. But Joan is in full flight right now. Mom's struggle with her memories of easy believe '60's feelgood churchianity in conflict with serious Catholics of faith make me wonder if we are about to see an emerging autobiographical search for faith and meaning on Hall's part.


"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am liking the former nun very much. I'm glad they're making the priest a little stronger, too. But I think the former nun has more valuable things to say. I love that she got Kevin to speak up for himself and be involved in his own lawsuit. The man is 20 years old, for crying out loud, I don't think the parents would be "shielding" him if he weren't in a wheelchair.

If BH is determined to keep God nebulous, however, I'm wondering if she'll ever have any Baptist or Pentecostal clergy? Or will the church always be represented by Catholics?

I loved the S1 ender "Silence" and it really seems S2 is building on that episode. I love watching a show in which the creators really seem to have a well-planned purpose. BH said that S1 would be about Joan coming to terms with hearing from God and S2 would move on from there. So far so good.

hrh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also wanted to mention that though Helen is my least favorite character, I actually liked her breakfast table argument with Joan in which Helen!! defends God and Joan argues against. That was a pleasant surprise and a good twist.

Overall, however, I find the teenagers more compelling as characters than the parents. Ironically, it's the parents who whine too much for mature adults. IMO.

hrh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If BH is determined to keep God nebulous, however, I'm wondering if she'll ever have any Baptist or Pentecostal clergy? Or will the church always be represented by Catholics?

I'd say that BH having come to faith through Catholicism and writing a show based on a Catholic family, that Catholicism is what we will have, which is fine with me. Maybe a little Jewishness thrown in from Grace's Dad on occasion. I wouldn't feel slighted by the lack of a protestant voice here. So far, the Catholic authorities have been pretty good and not the touchy feely kind, or the "Hatefulprolifefanatic" kind. Those are the showbiz Catholic voices I'd rather do without.


"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beliefnet's interview with Amber Tamblyn is here: http://www.beliefnet.com/story/154/story_15423_1.html

The interview's fine, but I sure wish she'd stopped before opining about politics.


"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The interview's fine, but I sure wish she'd stopped before opining about politics.

Tamblyn's political questions sound a lot like something Joan might ask--in other words, pretty typical of the teenage thought process--so I'm willing to cut her some slack there. The rest of the interview shows some insights, but then, she's generally talking about areas she really knows something about!

Loved this:

(Q:) Are you hearing specifically from teens about their spiritual journeys?

(A:) 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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not surprised, Beth. Seems every TV series is either about relationships or tweaks them as an end to keeping interest in the other plotlines. Not much about cosmic issues. Even on "Everybody Likes Raymond", the priest rarely shows himself.


"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I promise, this post is about Joan...

At the first meeting of my "finding the sacred in pop culture" study group, I thought it best to give everyone time to talk about what they knew, what concerned them, what they wanted to know. With one person under 40 in the group (and she'll be back at college next time) and most over 50, the predictable drift was toward "most movies and TV are terrible" and "I never watch anything but classics, news, PBS, and HGTV--and sometimes even those aren't safe."

After giving them a few nudges toward the deep end with references to the A&F100, I decided to break them in gently. My DH and I, and one other person were the only ones out of 10 who'd seen Joan, but our enthusiasm convinced the rest it was worth a try. Since the other person is so devoted that she has every episode on tape, she'll choose one.

I also found this study group guide site sponsored by the PCUSA--not bad for a mainline denomination wink.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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just discovered your post. So? What did they think of Joan? Or have you not reconvened yet? Oh, I forgot. If you need to use more prodding, Dena and I are at the chronological top end of your description and we both have been hooked from the beginning.


"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just discovered your post. So? What did they think of Joan?

The group met again last week and watched the episode from earlier this season in which

God tells Joan to adopt a feral cat and Mrs. Girardi's eccentric aunt moves in after she has a stroke

.

The "moral" of this ep. is pretty clearly related to the Great Commandments: Love God, love your neighbor as you love yourself, with the additional note that there's no guarantee that our neighbors will love us in return: as Christ said elsewhere, "If they persecuted me, they will persecute you," and "In the world, you will have tribulation."

We gave everyone a brief intro the general premise of the show & characters beforehand. Then watched the episode. After a coffee & cookies break, we talked about it.

Most of the group seemed to get it. I had a series of questions, most of which either someone in the group asked--e.g., about the nature of God in the show v. the nature of God in the Bible; how does Joan knows who God is? How do we? We talked about caring for difficult people, and why the "10 commandments of JoA" present a very generic deity.

Then one member of the group said, "Well, this is a nice show, but what does it have to do with Christianity? Isn't it just more New-Agey saying you can believe anything you want to and as long as you're a good person that's fine?"

Of course the answer to that is, "Yes," but also "Only if you see it that way" and "Doesn't that offer us an opportunity to talk about our own faith?" But he was pretty sure that Joan was just contributing to the postmodern New Age spiritual fuzziness. He questioned whether some of us could appreciate Joan and also believe that Jesus is the One True Way. As you might imagine, some people got a little defensive.

At least they were talking! I tried to keep things calmed down and point out the merits of each side.

Hope he'll be back next time.


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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeffrey Overstreet:
Happy to see that the lousy, empty rip-off of "Joan of Arcadia", "Wonderfalls," has been canceled. I don't blame you for turning off the debut episode. The show has no conviction. And because it makes fun of those who do have convictions, it ends up shrill and condescending. Anybody of a particular spiritual conviction came across as narrow-minded and needing a security blanket, while the heroine, following the advice of... what, the god of luck? chance? anything goes?...did what she could to solve the problems that their spirituality could not address. Christians were becoming frequent targets. Looked like a deliberate attempt to cash in on the "Arcadia" crowd while having laughs at its expense. Too bad. It had great production values.

My feelings are mixed. On the one hand, I suspect that one reason the show didn't catch on is--as you say--that it had no convictions & made fun of those who do. Critics LOVED it, and before its debut it was frequently compared with Joan, simply on the basis of its premise--mysterious supernatural source directs young woman to help people.

Tone-deaf (and perhaps spiritually dim) network PTBs (powers-that-be) couldn't tell the difference between WF and Joan until after the sad ratings started coming in. Joan's have been remarkably good, despite its position in a traditional ratings "death slot" Friday at 8 p.m.; WF in a similar place Friday at 9 went badly at first, up slightly when moved to Thursday, then nose-dived again.

On the other hand, I'm sorry it was cancelled, because--again, as you point out--it had great production values, and was generally well-written. And thus it's another blow to scripted TV....Because WF was produced by former Angel writer Tim Minear, I've been following it since it was first announced. Thirteen episodes were completed; as someone who likes to know how a story ends, I'd like to have been able to see the end. Maybe there will be DVDs. Or not. Because, on the whole, I doubt this show will generate the kind of passion that, say, Firefly did.

Wonderfalls update: DVD set with the entire 13 episode run was produced, so I got my wish to see how the story ended--and in fact, perhaps because the producers knew the show was being cancelled, they did bring some closure to some of the plotlines.

Having now seen all 13 episodes, however, I haven't seen much to change my mind about what I said last year (above) about the premise of the show--although I should probably also listen to all the commentaries, too--six or seven, which seems like a lot, considering there are only 13 eps.

On the other hand, part of the problem with the show may have been that the producers did have convictions, but they were ultimately syncretistic and took so long to lay out for the viewers, that the audience got fed up and went away--in droves, as experience already demonstrated. Because, really, the idea of a random universe--not actually that appealing. Or, as one character puts it (in an unaired episode)

"Meaninglessness in a universe that has no meaning -- that I get. But meaninglessness in a universe with meaning? What does that mean?" ("Muffin Buffalo")

Another problem, probably, was Jaye's seemingly extreme resistance to her "calling." Some of it seemed natural, considering the highly questionable source(s), but the rest seemed intrinsic to her character, and just became tiresome. And then, as JO noted, there remained the relentless skewering of Christians and any and all conservative people and/or ideas. To go into all the examples would take too long and involve many spoilers.

Exec. producer Bryan Fuller has said that he does believe in a higher power. By the end of the 13 episodes

there's some indication that Jaye's messages are coming from a "higher power" in that she receives some guidance from a (deceased) Native American seer and, of course, all the seemingly random things she's supposed to do turn out to be not-so-random after all

. But still, ultimately not sufficiently committed to make it. Joan of Arcadia may present us with a deist sort of deity, but it still has more convictions and kindness than Wonderfalls. Although its ratings have fallen some this season, I hope it will last a bit longer.


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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Exec. producer Bryan Fuller has said that he does believe in a higher power.

Yep. I am dutifully going through the featurettes & commentaries, and in the series overview on disc 1, Fuller says, "I believe in a power that is greater than me...As the stories went on, [we see] tangible evidence of this actually existing and not being just in [Jaye's] head." None of the others involved say anything similar, though. Star Caroline Dhavernas follows Fuller's statement with, "I think there's not enough craziness on TV..."

Fuller explains that he and the other series producer, Todd Holland, came up with the idea for the show when Fuller mentioned his interest in Joan of Arc--see, this post IS connected to Joan of Arcadia--and they begin speculating on how God would communicate "its" will to a modern day Joan. A pair of animal-shaped salt & pepper shakers caught their eyes, and the rest is history. The differences between this line of thought and Barbara Holland's are striking, no?


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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Exec. producer Bryan Fuller has said that he does believe in a higher power.

Indeed he does. I read he was raised Catholic but became disheartened with organized religion which pretty much falls in line with the tone of the show.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure how reliable to consider the information that Joan may not be renewed for a third season. Next week's TV Guide reports some info about plans for a third season. Nevertheless, an online Save Joan of Arcadia petition has been launched, and the PCUSA study-guide site (above) now includes an address, phone # and website for sending feedback directly to CBS.

Friday's episode was quite challenging for Joan, and it looks as if things aren't going to get any easier in the next couple of weeks.


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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Darrel--great interview with Barbara Hall!

There's also a link to the PCUSA study guide for Joan from this forum a few posts up.

My DH and I were watching some tapes we made of I'll Fly Away when it aired on PBS without commercials in the 90s, and I noticed that Barbara Hall had written a few of the episodes.

Speaking of IFA, it's one of the great TV shows of the last decade, if not of all time. Why isn't it available on DVD? Who do we write to?


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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, did anyone else watch the season finale? Thoughts?

Evidently CBS won't announce the fall schedule until May 18, so there's still time to sign the Save Joan! petition or write to CBS or pray.


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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want the show to continue, but how is this not going to develop into a faith based version of Smallville? Are we really going to see a Manichean chess game next season? All of a sudden I am feeling queasy.


"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are we really going to see a Manichean chess game next season?

Are you assuming that

the guy who helped Adam is actually Satan

? Because I don't think so. I think--speculating, but I'll put it as spoilers anyway...

(1)

he's an ordinary person like Joan who turned away from good/God

The resemblances to Anakin Skywalker are only superficial, because...

(2)

whether he's actually Satan or just works for him, the talk about evil being equal to good may be just talk. We'll see, but that's classic Satan, isn't it? "He trusted to have equalled God" (ok, it's Milton's Satan, but Milton was pretty good.)

But--it's TV, so who knows?


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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...