Joan Of Arcadia is a drama that follows a typical family facing atypical situations, not the least of which is their teenage daughter’s conversations with God.
A tough but soft-hearted police detective in Arcadia, Will Girardi (Joe Mantegna) dreams of providing a safe haven for his family and community. An outbreak of serious crime in his idyllic new town has challenged Girardi’s desire for order, as have the ups and downs he faces with his family.
Daughter Joan (Amber Tamblyn), an average teenager, has been acting a little strange. Most don’t know that it has to do with the unusual way various people keep popping up, introducing themselves as God and then giving her specific directions to do things, such as get a job, join the debate team or volunteer with children.
The appearances are hard for her to believe, even more so as she never knows who’s going to turn up next. One minute it’s a cute boy her own age, the next it’s the lunch lady or a little girl. She had been keeping it a secret from everyone but she has finally revealed it to her artistic and sensitive boyfriend, Adam (Christopher Marquette), who believes she’s been experiencing hallucinations.
Rounding out the Girardi family are her art-teacher mother, Helen (Mary Steenburgen); her 16-year-old science-geek brother, Luke (Michael Welch), and her newspaper writer brother, Kevin (Jason Ritter), a former high school sports star who is in a wheelchair as a result of a car accident. Joan’s unlikely best friend is her publicly caustic and rebellious, but privately insightful and supportive classmate, Grace (Becky Wahlstrom). Unsure of what God wants, if God exists, and if she’s even sane, Joan tentatively follows God’s cryptic directives, all the while trying to retain a normal teenaged existence.
Joe Mantegna as Will Girardi
Amber Tamblyn as Joan Girardi
Christopher Marquette as Adam
Mary Steenburgen as Helen Girardi
Michael Welch as Luke Girardi
Becky Wahlstrom as Grace
September 26, 2003 – April 22, 2005
2 seasons with 45 episodes in total
network and production companies