Thursday, April 08, 2004

Another miss from last week's Joan of Arcadia. Poorly balanced script had Joan juggling way too many storylines (which is a problematic risk of the butterfly-effect plotting that's the show's central conceit -- eventually the connections were going to stretch the plausibility too thin) resulting in poorly motivated characters (e.g. Fat Tony's breakdowns were underprepared for, and thus became psychologically untenable).

I was able to suss out what I'd considered before to be errors made by writers sorely out of touch with the high school experience; in the last episode, her geometry teacher forced Joan to solve the Pythagorean Theorem in front of the entire class. Maybe I'm out of touch by now too, but I sincerely doubt that such practices occur in real life with any frequency. However, it does state with blunt force just how persecuted Joan feels having God continually putting pressure on her to do things when she initially doesn't know where to even begin. Eventually, she'll find or simply blunder her way into the "solution" -- in the case of the last episode, it was her renewed interest in music added to her realization of the relationship between music and math. A bit too cleanly reductive, but it's nice sort of to see a show that doesn't always pander in realism.

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