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Joan of Arcadia

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I never thought I’d see a teevee show delve so deep into epistemology as the finale of “Joan of Arcadia”.

Not since the season six ep of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I’m not saying they ripped off the premise, I’m just saying is all) where Buffy gets a fever and imagines that all of her stuff is imaginary, have I seen such an affecting episode…

Because the whole thing could just be in a girl’s imagination.

Yah. though thanks for trucking out all the fav gods like Mrs. Langinghan God, Little Bee Girl God, and so on.

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About Jim Carruthers

  • Honestly I think that the epistemology is somewhat superficial and facile in the finale because Joan didn’t examine what she saw but took it as gospel truth (geddit??), leaving it up to the episode/viewer to scrutinize the nature of knowledge. Instead, I saw it as a (rather infuriarating) look at the nature of faith, especially the blind variety, a sort that is susceptible to binaristic, all-or-nothing conclusions that we see in the end with Joan’s apparent loss of faith.

  • Please do not use the word “epistemology” to be pretentious. It’s completely misapplied in this context. Thanks.

    That is all.

  • Duane

    My take on this is that you are relativizing discourse not just to form — that familiar perversion of the modernist; nor to authorial intention — that conceit of the romantics; nor to a foundational world beyond discourse- — that desperate grasping for a separate reality of the mystic and scientist alike; nor even to history and ideology — those refuges of the hermeneuticist; nor even less to language — that hypostasized abstraction of the linguist; nor, ultimately, even to discourse — that Nietzschean playground of world-lost signifiers of the structuralist and grammatologist, but to all or none of these, for it is anarchic, though not for the sake of anarchy but because it refuses to become a fetishized object among objects — to be dismantled, compared, classified, and neutered in that parody of scientific scrutiny known as TV criticism. But I suppose that I’ve merely stated the obvious.

  • Y’know what my close personal friend Mr. Ice-T would say about this? Suck my Philip K. Dick.

  • By the way, “Bob”, if you look at the chapter on epistemology what I wrote in “Amusing Our Own Bad Selves To Death”, you’d know I used the word with intent, besides having to say, y’know the concept of how we know what what we know, and how can we verify what we know, is rather cumbersome.

    And while the finale of JoA was okay, it doesn’t really hold up against “Normal Again” from BtVS, which I got on DVD last week. Or the finale script for Wonderfalls. Not that JoA was bad, just they were better.