While Joan of Arcadia had a longer run than most of the shows on this list (45 episodes to be exact), I still believe it qualifies as a show that was cancelled too soon and really could’ve been great.
Joan of Arcadia was presented as a modern spin on the story of Joan of Arc, a French girl who alleged that she spoke with God and angels. In the show, Joan Girardi (Amber Tamblyn) is a teenager in high school who is visited by God (who speaks to her through random strangers) and reminded of a promise she made (to God) to the effect that she would do whatever God asked of her if He let her brother survive a car crash that ultimately made him a paraplegic. To that end, each episode sees Joan given some “task” to perform, the benefits thereof not usually being seen until the very end of the episode. In one poignant example (and I feel it might be the best episode of the series), it is revealed that Joan’s actions in befriending a school bully directly prevented a school shooting from taking place the next day, with a short montage revealing who would have died in said incident.
The show debuted to critical acclaim and was promptly renewed for a second season. Even though the acclaim remained in the new seasons, the ratings began to slip (from an average of 10 million to 8 million, which doesn’t seem like that big of a drop) and the show was cancelled after season 2, despite campaigns by fans to bring the show back. Because of this, the show doesn’t quite have a proper conclusion (a dark character, hinted to be the Devil) is introduced and Joan is told by God that the past two years were all preparation for this moment. But due to cancellation the payoff never comes.
I liked the premise of this show and I was very sad to see it go. Did you see Joan of Arcadia during its brief run? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments below.
For more Cancelled Too Soon, see here
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