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YMMV / Joan of Arcadia

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  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Grace was a favorite of the show's fans on both sides of the political spectrum. Her rants against the "media conglomerates" and the neoliberal status quo made her a fan favorite of two groups that would never admit they had anything in common.
  • Glurge: You could make a drinking game for every time two people in the show tearfully hug in slow motion.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Luke and Friedman.
    • Also a Les Yay between Joan and Judith.
  • Moment of Awesome: Quite a few. To give one example, when Helen shreds Vice Principal Price for telling Joan she has no academic future.
    Helen: See, I get that you are disappointed in your own life, I don't blame you, but this girl hasn't abandoned her dreams yet, and so to try to steal that from her, to try to rob someone of their future, I'm pretty sure you go to Hell for that. Tell her you were wrong.
    • And he does.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Judith starts out annoying, arrogant, callous, more than a little jealous of Joan's other friends, incredibly irresponsible, and there are even hints that she might be trying to steal Adam away from Joan (or Joan away from Adam, for that matter). However, as episodes go on it is revealed that she is actually a very loyal and caring person when properly motivated. Key moments in her evolution include her blocking the bulldozer to keep it from destroying Joan's garden, her telling Adam how much she values Joan while they're building his kinetic sculpture, and her behavior surrounding Joan and Adam's first official date, which it is strongly implied she planned in its entirety. And then, in a Tear Jerker moment, she is murdered.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Zachary Quinto played Pretentious Filmmaker God in "P.O.V.".
    • Advertisement:
    • Aaron Paul played Denunzio in "Spring Cleaning".
    • Wentworth Miller played Ryan Hunter in "Common Thread" and "Something Wicked This Way Comes".
  • Seasonal Rot: If the second season had continued in the same spirit as the first season, there might have been enough viewers for a third season.
  • The Woobie:
    • Luke is very often neglected by his family in favor of Kevin and Joan, a fact he comments on frequently. His parents even forgot his birthday dinner, instead inviting Will's boss.
    • Joan, Grace, Adam, and Friedman can all float into this territory once in a while, whereas Judith probably would as well if her problems weren't to a certain extent caused by herself.