Reviewing Joan of Arcadia

I sat through my first full episode of Joan of Arcadia today. The verdict? Okay, but definitely not perfect.

Joan Girardi is a teenage girl whose family moved to Arcadia so her father, Will, could become the town’s new police chief. She is very much like a normal teenage girl, except for one thing: God appears to her as different people. An interesting premise, but I was a little concerned that the God the show portrays is often unfamiliar to me.

As could be expected, CBS makes no reference to Jesus Christ. However, the other attributes of God sometimes seem a little fishy too. I doubt, for example, that God would take the physical form of a person with more body piercings than I can count on both hands. Other factors ring alarm bells too. The episode I watched, “The Fire and the Wood,” contained some sensuality (mild, by today’s standards – at least it was between a married couple), and occasional profanity.

Cinematically, the show is first-rate, and the music is clean yet themely. The message of obeying God to bring positive changes into the world is also a good one. I just worry that like CBS’ other Christian targeted show, Touched By an Angel, the lack of focus on the important beliefs of Christianity may cause confusion among viewers.

Joan of Arcadia is probably one of the cleanest family programs on the air today, and it is also a first-rate drama. As long as you don’t make the mistake of supplementing or replacing the Bible with it, you should be fine.