Sunday, March 31, 2013


In this case, Arcadia is about the short-lived, but amazing, TV show Joan of Arcadia. For regular readers of this blog, you see clips of this show frequently on my HERE'S TO YOU dedications on Thursday. I think there is actually a lot of crossover between it being a Passion of mine and a place where I have learned many Life Lessons.

If you missed out on this incredible show, and have no idea even of the premise, Joan is a teenager girl that God chooses for "missions," if you will. As you can imagine, that first conversation didn't go over particularly well or easily. And God is pretty much exactly how you would expect: God is a lot more tell and a lot less explain. LOL. Notice how God didn't do a lot of explaining in The Bible, either. It was a lot of "do as I ask." Eventually Joan came to see how there was a Greater Plan in play when she simply did as God asked, but she never had an easy time of it.

One of the things I really liked about this show is that I always liked to imagine how much easier MY LIFE would be if I could actually talk to God and all things would be revealed. That show was an excellent reminder that God simply doesn't work that way. If God did work that way, we would all have direct phone lines straight to the Creator. Those phone lines don't exist NOT because God isn't CAPABLE of making them; instead they don't exist because we are meant to muddle our way through. It is the *point.*

This is one of my favorite clips from the entire series. God takes on many "forms" when he/she appears to Joan, so you never know precisely what God will look like. The assignment at the beginning of this episode (for Joan) was to convince her friend Adam not to put his art in the school Art Show. She failed at the task and he won first place. The clip begins with Joan and God. Joan is headed to school. It is the day after the Art Show. I love the part in the clip where God points out that it isn't faith if everything is explained. And pretty much everyone who has faith ~ at some point ~ also experiences a crisis of faith. In this blog, I have referred to my own crisis of faith as a meltdown and a literal shout-down match at God on several occasions. It kinda sorta looks ridiculous when you are all by yourself having this break. But, if you have ever been there and done that, I know you know what I mean! Incredible scene...

That clip always makes me cry. Actually that episode always makes me cry. I love the phrase that God uses: a failure of imagination. Isn't it horrible with irony that God warns Joan about having a failure of imagination, and then she goes and does it AGAIN? She already had done it once, and God called it what it was. And then she turned around and did it again, just far more epically and terribly. The ripples of that failure are felt for a long time. It takes a long time to heal the damage it does to her friendship with Adam. Even things done out of love can be so very hurtful. Of course, because the hurt was so deep the episode on Forgiveness that comes later in the season is also Epic, and will make you weep until you hurt. These two things walk hand in glove.

Joan of Arcadia:  A Passion.  And chuck full of Life Lessons. Like so many things, you came to an end way before your time.

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What did you think of the clip?  Did it make you cry?  When you make lousy decisions in the future will you now think of them as a failure of imagination?  Have you ever had a crisis of faith?


  1. I used to really enjoy this show. It was clever and original so, of course, it didn't last.

    Great cast and an all around great show :)

  2. Oh god, I used to adore this show! It as so clever and it really made you think hard about what you'd do and how you'd feel if you were in those situations!

  3. I've heard of the show at least but didn't quite ever get around to taking a glimpse at any of the episodes. Interesting choice for the first post.

    As for one of the questions you posted. Not quite yet with the crisis of faith cause I still I'm trying to find faith's existence. However, as I get older and death becomes more of a reality it's starting to bring different things into focus.

    Good post and start of the month challenge.

  4. Good point: he might be a she.. Good show too.
    P.S. A is Anal Beaver Glands in your Vanilla over at my place. Ew? ;)

  5. I loved this show... Looking forward to seeing the rest of your A - Z Challenge posts!

  6. I'd forgotten this show. You're right, it was wonderful, and always had a message worth hearing.

  7. I've never seen the show. However, I do believe all of our decisions have an impact somewhere, somehow.

  8. Mark ~ My feelings precisely. It was TOO ORIGINAL for TV. They just like churned versions of the same-old same-old. Honestly, how many more versions of CSI do we need?

    Kellie ~ I loved this show when it was on TV, but when it was on DVD I bought it. When I started watching the episodes back-to-back, you really felt the through-line of the show. I cried through nearly every episode. It's a heart toucher.

    Dawn ~ I think that as we get older and face mortality we begin to ask the Hard Questions.

    Blue Grumpster ~ I have no idea what you are talking about. I think you are still thinking about YOUR blog. And yes, that title is Ew...:D

    A Month of... Blog ~ Me too. However, this is my ONLY television posting. This A to Z is all about the variety:)

    LD ~ It really did. There wasn't even ONE throw away episode.

    M.J. ~ You don't need to watch the show, but it is great if you ever see it on DVD. I think you will enjoy it given your propensity for philosophical subject matter. This show is all about the Choices. And yes, the ripples of those choices are often felt in ways that we can never anticipate no matter how hard we try to think something through. Choices, forgiveness, love, death, friendship, letting go, hanging on, even chaos theory are all in there... and much, much more!

    1. I know. I was watching Jamie Oliver the other day and he said there might be beaver glands in your vanilla ice cream. I looked it up and found it's put in a lot of products. Ew is the word, alright.

  9. Gee sorry no...didn't see that one! Thanks for bringing it forward!

  10. Unfortunately it was so short-lived, I never caught an episode during its run.

  11. Greetings Robin,

    I was not aware of that show. However, after watching that clip, it does pose a lot of questions. I don't have a crisis of faith. I have faith in myself that maintaining a positive focus will bring about an inspirational positive environment.

    Be well, Robin. Have fun and fulfilment with the challenge.

    Gary :)

  12. Never saw this one....I tend to get an hour of TV a night off of a Netflix'ed DVD, so I do not really watch all that much.

    This sounds like a decent show.

    What is interesting is I have many friends who swear they do have a dialogue with God...I've never felt that I had a prayer answered, never really believed it worked that way, and would probably FREAK OUT if it happened.


  13. I vaguely remember this coming on, but I don't think I've ever seen a whole episode. Your clip really made me think.

    A great way to start your A to Z posts :)

  14. To The Blue Grumpster: I am not certain I understand or appreciate your humor, but please feel free to enlighten me. I love learning new things and I love to follow interesting blogs. Please feel free to e-mail me. Thanks.

  15. I'm going to have to look this one up and watch it :)

  16. Sandy ~ It was only on for two seasons back in 2003ish. Maybe 2002-2004... something like that.

    Klahanie ~ I am all for positivity!

    DiscConnected ~ You probably could order this show on NetFlix. I think you might like it. One of the few shows that is unlike so many offerings on TV... hence the cancellation.

    Tomara ~ That entire show is a *thinking* show. I really miss it.

    JJ ~ If you click on the link to the Blue Grumpster he explains about beaver glands in vanilla ice cream. Apparently it is much more common than anyone knows. No need for email... it is all out there on his blog.

    Cassie Mae ~ All of the episodes are broken up on YouTube. However, you might be able to watch them somewhere like Hulu in full. That would be much better.

  17. I have never seen Joan of Arcadia, but it looks like a winner. I wonder if I could find it on HULU or somewhere else online. I'll take a look.

  18. I didn't see Joan of Arcadia but it made me smile to think what would happen if we would actually have a direct phone line with God. I used to ask people if they received a fax from God telling them about things no one could know for certain.

  19. I don't watch much TV, well any really. I did enjoy the clips of the show here.

  20. I also have never seen any of these episodes, although you do make it sound extremely interesting. Now I'll need to go in search of them! Good luck this month!

  21. Robin
    I'm not familiar with this show and it looks like a good one. The clip was interesting but I didn't cry. I probably spent all my tears on the maudlin little flick on Hallmark that I saw the other day. What a waste of time that was. I cried and today I can't even remember what the movie was about.

  22. I never watched that show. Ha! I've often wondered how cool it would be if we could phone/text God. Imagine the conversations that we'd have!!!

  23. I never watched this show except through your blogs. Even then your clips make me cry sometimes. I wish I hadn't missed it.

  24. JJ ~ Let me know what you find out. I bet it is on Hulu.

    Al ~ That direct phone line would come in handy. With my luck, God would only speak Latin or something. Naturally, I know zero Latin.

    Gossip Girl ~ I am glad. I tried to write the post in such a way that you didn't really need to have watched the show before today.

    Dusty ~ Right back at you, sir.

    Manzi ~ Too funny. My mom loves The Hallmark Channel, too.

    Yvonne ~ I am not so sure we would like what God has to say. I know Joan didn't like it so much. Hahaha.

    Liza ~ If you ever see it out there on DVD, pick it up. I promise that you will love it. If you watch things online, it might be on Hulu... or something similar.

  25. God is, indeed, a bit more "tell" and not so much "explain"! So many think they know what He meant, and yet .... Every time I think of this show, I think of the Old Testament prophets; and I think of how they were viewed, how people are viewed today who claim to have visions, to hear things. How many prophets do we now medicate into submission? How many people don't we listen to, do we ignore or dismiss or fear, when their message might very well also be a voice from God? What lessons could we learn?


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