television series and movie DVD reviews and previews from - curled up with a good dvd
television series and movie DVD reviews and previews from - curled up with a good dvd
DVD reviews, previews and info - television series and tv movies
  action movies on DVD
  animation on DVD
  art house and international / foreign language films on DVD
  comedies on DVD
  documentaries on DVD
  dramas on DVD
  children's and family DVDs
  horror and sci-fi on DVD
  suspense on DVD
  television series on DVD
  Blu-ray DVD reviews


Joan of Arcadia - The Second Season - dramatic fantasy television series DVD review
Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 3 1/2 stars
Actors: Amber Tamblyn, Joe Mantegna, Mary Steenburgen, Jason Ritter, Michael Welch
  Studio: Paramount
DVD release: 28 November 2006   Runtime: 968 minutes (6 discs)
Format: Box set, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
Features: Subtitles (English), Audio tracks (English, Dolby Digital 2.0), Commentary by Barbara Hall, James Hayman, Stephen Nathan, 22 episodes from the 2004-2005 season, A Look at Season 2, The Making of Queen of the Zombies, A Tour of Joan's High School, Common Thread: A Table Read

If one can take season two of the television drama Joan of Arcadia one show at a time, it can probably be very entertaining and satisfying. If you're seeking a show with a nice, firm resolution in which everything is neatly wrapped up, well, keep looking.

Season one's premise continues in this group. Seventeen-year-old Joan is a typical high school kid, struggling to balance her boyfriend, grades and family life - but with one major difference: she has daily talks with God, who appears to her with many faces, from a little girl in pigtails to a nurturing elderly woman to a goth kid at her school. Each of these talks inspires oddball actions and self-examinations, which isn't necessarily a bad thing for a high school kid.

The Girardi family is used to an awful lot of angst and family drama. Preceding season one, the eldest son was in a car wreck that left him a paraplegic. Mr. and Mrs. Girardi both lead full lives, he as a cop and she as a high school art teacher who is seeking guidance from the Catholic Church on the side - to the great dismay of her agnostic husband. Joan's other brother goes to Arcadia High, too, and they share classes as well as a group of friends.

This second - and last - season of Joan of Arcadia embodies an idea from the recesses of writing classes everywhere: how many bad things can we throw at our characters to illustrate growth opportunities - deaths, law suits, break ups, even the arson and bombing of local religious institutions.

While the running stories are not quite up to par with season one, the acting is anything but sub-par. The cast is lead by Amber Tamblyn, who makes the perfect angst-ridden teen with heart. Her performance is usually a bit over the top, but it really ought to be, given the role she plays. She is ideal for the show. Her parents are played by well-known Joe Mantegna and Mary Steenburgen, the essential man's man with a touch of emotion tossed in, and the Mom. A more "mom-like" actress couldn't be found for this role; she is feisty and solid, with a good dose of kooky. Annie Potts makes a very strong appearance in this season as well. A lot of different people tried their hands at directing the show, which might account for the sense that it doesn't all flow neatly.

The quirkiness of Joan's conversations with God really make the show. The season ends on an emotional cliffhanger with everything up in the air. It is obvious that another season was intended. Watching that last episode might leave you feeling unsettled, but even so, it is worth a few nights of viewing. Maybe with family.

  buy this DVD now or browse millions of other great products at
reviewed by Carolynn Evans
    action | animation | art house/international | comedy | documentary | drama | family | horror/sci-fi | suspense | television    
    browse DVDs alphabetical by title    
    contact | home