Joan of Arcadia

Joan of Arcadia

I’ve been rewatching this show on DVD. I love its philosophy and the image of God that it shows. It’s quite a unique show. It also features a paraplegic character, Joan’s older brother, Kevin.

This character is played by non-disabled Jason Ritter, but he does a pretty good job. I heard somewhere that the character who plays basketball with him and teaches him about how to live in a wheelchair is a real life parapelgic, so I think that’s awesome.

Kevin’s character arc is pretty predictable at first. In the beginning he is still holed up at home, feeling bitter and miserable and like his life is over. Over the course of the show he gets his life back: getting his driver’s license, starting a career as a reporter, and finding new ways to connect with his dad. He has three love interests and I like how the writers handled his dating life. By the end of the show he is definitely a normal guy, just living his life. Except for one weirdness, which is when he’s looking for his own apartment and he says that he can’t live on his own without help. That’s a little hard to believe, as I know people with a similar injury who live alone.

It’s difficult to watch for the first season (I just want to slap him, but I guess it’s realistic) but by the second season he is a really enjoyable character. Too bad the show only lasted two seasons.


  1. Merry
    Apr 27, 2011

    Your message…

  2. Merry
    Apr 27, 2011

    Hi Ruth. Just found your site and I’m having a blast going through your archives. Yep, “Joan” is still one of my all-time faves. Started watching it just for Kevin (of course), but I soon fell in love with the whole gamut of characters – just wonderfully written – all of them. Like you, I also loved the way they showed God – beautiful. I was devastated when they canned it (I wanted to see Kevin and Lily’s wedding!)

  3. Amy
    May 5, 2011

    Loved, loved the show. Kevin wasn’t my first dev love, but he’s up there now. The “I have to have help” line threw me a bit off too, but I just ignored the whole Lily storyline and imagined someone better for him.

    One curiosity – I kinda ffd through the series, interested only in the Kevin scenes. Was is said what level of injury he had? I was guessing about T10 but could’ve been a bit higher or a bit lower…


    • RuthMadison
      May 5, 2011

      They didn’t say, you’re right! But he clearly has full use of his hands, so that tells us something. There’s no way that I’m buying that he couldn’t live on his own. I liked Lily, though! Her lack of filter reminds me of myself.

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