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Joan of Arcadia - The First Season (2003)

Amber Tamblyn , Joe Mantegna , Alan Myerson , David Petrarca  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)

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Joan of Arcadia - The First Season + Joan of Arcadia - The Second Season + The Unusuals: The Complete Series
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Product Details

  • Actors: Amber Tamblyn, Joe Mantegna, Mary Steenburgen, Jason Ritter, Michael Welch
  • Directors: Alan Myerson, David Petrarca, Elodie Keene, Gloria Muzio, Helen Shaver
  • Format: Box set, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (PCM Mono)
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: May 10, 2005
  • Run Time: 1028 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007TKHKC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,080 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Joan of Arcadia - The First Season" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Audio commentaries
  • Exclusive Featurettes

Editorial Reviews

Once in awhile a show comes along that breaks the mold. Most such programs fail, but Joan of Arcadia set out to do something new, beat the odds, and found an audience. Created by Barbara Hall (Judging Amy), it’s a unique hybrid of My So-Called Life, The Commish, and--well, something different. Unlike CBS predecessor Touched by an Angel, faith creates more questions than answers (and God even has a sense of humor).

Joan (Amber Tamblyn) is an ordinary 16-year-old. Father Will (Joe Mantegna) is the local Arcadia police chief, mother Helen (Mary Steenburgen) is a teacher/administrator, younger brother Luke (Michael Welch) is a fellow student, and older brother Kevin (Jason Ritter, son of John Ritter) is a high school graduate who was paralyzed the year before. He used to be popular and athletic. Now he watches TV and builds models. In the pilot, God speaks to Joan for the first time, as a cute boy, and asks her to get a job. Once she's convinced He's really God, she does. Her action inspires Kevin to get one, too, and his process of rejoining the world begins.

As in Joan Osborne’s theme song, "One of Us" (featured on two episodes), God will continue to appear to Joan in a variety of guises--even as a dog walker who looks like Russ Tamblyn (Amber's father). He’ll often ask her to do things that make her uncomfortable, but she'll always learn from the experience and some good will always come from it. Unfortunately, she isn't able to talk to anyone about this or they'd think she was crazy, not even friends Grace (Becky Hahlstrom) or Adam (Christopher Marquette). By the season finale, faith will be replaced by doubt, setting the scene for the second season, in which Joan’s faith will be restored. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

After patriarch Will gets a job as the chief of police, the Girardi family moves to the small town of Arcadia from the big city. Middle child Joan isn't happy, and her family, consisting of science nerd Luke, paralyzed former jock Kevin, and their perpetually flustered mother Helen, isn't helping. Joan finds herself talking to God, in the form of random people who give her assignments to help the people around her. Joan keeps following God's assignments, never sure if she's really speaking to him, or just going crazy!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
163 of 170 people found the following review helpful
This was one of the finest television series on the air. The writing was superb, the characters were believable, and the storylines were to die for.

If you loved the Touched by an Angel series, you will enjoy this one.

The main character, a high school girl named Joan talks to God all day every day as she sorts through the pains of growing up. What I love about this show is that God appears as every single race, color, creed and religion - from a middle aged chess player to a Gothic punk rocker. Joan never knows what God will look like, but has blind faith God is always there.

I also love that she does not always appreciate the advice she is given and gets annoyed with God from time to time. I can relate to not liking the answer I get to my prayers. I don't always get what I ask for. But I always get what I need. Just like Joan.
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53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joan of Arcadia, sophisticated, witty, February 21, 2005
By Rumi
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
An entirely believable 16 year old girl with an entirely believable family, warts and all. The program handles complexity with great sophistication, often letting complex issues stay unresolved, forcing the viewer to reach her/his own conclusions. Manages to be spiritual without being theological; avoids confusing religion with spirituality. A definite viewpoint about God is here, without any attempt to proselytize. The best program I have ever watched dealing with spirituality. All the main characters are fine actors and the interactions with Joan's family and friends are witty, occasionally sad, always asking profound questions.
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115 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Currently, one of the best shows on TV February 20, 2005
This show is certainly different from what we see on TV. The formula may be typical, but the approach to this theme is very original. Although it deals with Joan (Amber Tamblyn) talking to God, not everything is sweet and pink. Tragedy occurs, her family has to live with many ordeals in order to stay togethes. She can even be considered insane at some point because "talking" to God does not provide alla the answers needed. I fact sometimes it's confusing. The acting is very good, and the story very promising, so it's not a surprise that it has been a very popular show when TV is being ambushed by "reality" shows. I think Joan of Arcadia is here for the long run so if you haven't seen it, this is your chance to enjoy a very good show, and if you already see it, you can certainly enjoy them again.

I can't rate the contents of the DVD yet but I hope it's full of extras!
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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Good Friday, 2010. I'm updating the review below to thank the producers for finally releasing Season @ of Joan of Arcadia. I'm also asking them to release all episodes of Season 3 that were in the can, but never shown.

At the end of Season 2, a Satan or Mephistopheles figure was introduced, and a detailed preview of his havoc in the first episode of Season 3. The preview was detailed enough to show that least one Season 3 episode had been completed. I suspect and hope there are more. Whatever is there, I think we should all ask CBS to please release it. Even if it's only one episode, CBS could make a full release by including it in a batch of many unseen episodes of suddenly canceled shows that, in retrospect, should have been kept. I'd buy it, wouldn't you?

Here's the original review I wrote, demanding release of the second season and praising the show for the incredible gifts it gave and continues to give.

Joan of Arcadia, as many others have noted, engages issues of faith, ethics, and life with intelligence and passion. A few viewers have panned it in comparison with "Touched by an Angel" and "The Waltons," or even on the basis of Ms Tamblyn's looks. The raves, which I am joining, always point out the humor, the excellent writing, the superb acting, the deep engagement that went into each show. I've seen the first season repeatedly, and each time I look, I find new levels of meaning to grip my mind and spirit.

I am also blessed in having many of the Second Seaason's shows on tape. Contrary to the statements of one reviewer, the Second Season actually builds on and widens the spiritual questing charted by the first.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
By Cubist
Since 9/11 it's no secret that people have been anxious, asking questions and feeling unsafe. They have been looking for something comforting and the TV show Joan of Arcadia came along to fulfill this need. In some respects, it is the My So Called Life for the new Millennium. Both shows feature a young, teenage girl as the protagonist dealing with the trials and tribulations of growing up: boys, doing well in school, trying to have some semblance of a social life and, oh yeah, talking to God.

If you read the fine print on the back of the box, you will notice that some of the show's music has been changed. Apparently, they couldn't secure the rights to music by Avril Lavigne, Sinead O'Connor, The White Stripes and others. This is a glaring omission and one that takes away from the enjoyment of these episodes.

On the first disc is an audio commentary for the "Pilot" episode by the show's creator, Barbara Hall and episode director James Hayman. This is a chatty, engaging track as Hayman focuses on the more technical aspects while Hall talks about the show's themes.

There are five deleted scenes that include Will laying down the law with a subordinate in the "Pilot" and Joan butting heads with Principal Price in "The Fire and the Wood."

The second disc features three deleted scenes with Joan and her mom having a heart-to-heart in "Just Say No." There is more of Kevin getting sick of the special treatment he receives because of his wheelchair in "The Devil Made Me Do It" that just feels redundant.

The third disc features an audio commentary on "Jump" by Hall, Hayman and writer Hart Hanson. Hall points out that the early episodes establish what God can and can't do while Hanson talks about his script and the changes it underwent.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I've watched the first 2 discs and all is well
This is a wonderful series and I'm relieved it's ok to get cds that are in the "very good" used state since I can't get a new copy.
Published 13 days ago by salgal
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad this series ended after the second season
This is a very rich series that surprisingly came out of network TV -- no wonder its life was limited to two seasons. Both are great!
Published 24 days ago by Jacqueline Cattani
4.0 out of 5 stars not complete
not all of first season. was expecting the full season and was disappointed. also did not need commentary on how it was made.
Published 27 days ago by billie
5.0 out of 5 stars great
A must have movie, came when promised as promised would get from them anytime they have something I really want
Published 1 month ago by DR. B
5.0 out of 5 stars Different, Edgy, Touching
This series takes off on the song "What if God Were One of Us?", and a play on words from Joan of Arc who could hear God speaking to her. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Willow
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
This is a good product. The description was accurate. It works as expected. I like it a lot. Thank you!
Published 2 months ago by Jim Yu
5.0 out of 5 stars Joan of Arcadia, 1st season
Enjoyed this series and glad that it is now available to purchase on DVD. Amber Tamblyn and the rest of of cast due a great job telling the story.
Published 2 months ago by Patricia B. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
this was a very intriguing season and i can't wait to see the second season. I like the concept of the show also.
Published 3 months ago by David Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacularly good.
If you've never seen this show, binge on it from here through the second season, its last. You owe it to yourself.
Published 3 months ago by B. Eicher
5.0 out of 5 stars good thought provoking stuff
great story about how God shows up in all kinds of very interesting and unexpected ways in the chaotic 3D world of high school.
Published 4 months ago by Mary
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DVD for Season II??
I read just this morning (6/11/06) in a TV column in my newspaper that Joan of Arcadia Season 2 was going to be released this September. Someone had written in and asked just this question. Hope this is helpful.

Jun 11, 2006 by Diana H |  See all 7 posts
joan of arcadia
Yes, unfortunately! The reason being is because the T.V. studio's don't realize when they have a fantastic show that could teach us (the community of viewers) something more than let's say . . ."reality" T.V.. If they, meaning the T.V. execs, would pay closer attention to their fans,... Read more
Nov 6, 2010 by Just Ask Her |  See all 4 posts
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