Joan of Arcadia
Queen Of The Zombies

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Deborah: B+ | Grade It Now!
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I See Undead People

Adam stands on the stage, chewing his little finger pensively, as lots of set-building activity goes on around him. Joan comes in as he's playing with a headstone: "Oh, my God." Adam smiles: "It's better than the model, huh?" Joan admires Elizabeth's moon and the "freaky trees." Adam suddenly decides the branches need to be higher and runs off for a ladder, but stops to tell Joan, "You know, I was talking to some crew guys about schools. We totally forgot about Canada." Yeah, that happens a lot. We're only the second-largest country on the planet, but whatever. Frink makes a Joan of Ajax joke that only southern Ontarians are going to get. Joan: "That's colder than Vermont. Plus the money's way different." Sure, but it's not like we use beads and shells, for gosh sake. Anyway, wouldn't they have to pay foreign student rates? Even with the favourable exchange rate, it would probably be quite expensive for them. As far as the cold goes, well, I got nothing. It was at least -21 degrees Celsius last night; -29 with the windchill. (That's -5.8 and -20.2 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively.) I'm wearing so many layers of clothing I can barely get undressed in time when I have to pee. I'm thinking of looking into a catheter. Anyway, Adam says he'll keep thinking. Joan says she will too.

As she leaves the auditorium, she runs into Female Custodian God, cleaning a display case in the hallway. "Pretty nifty set, huh, Joan?" Joan: "Ha! Not even God can bring back the word 'nifty.'" Female Custodian God: "Don't tempt me." Please, please don't tempt her. That word bugs. Joan wants confirmation that this assignment is meant to be about Adam building sets so they can be together in college: "I mean, I know it's never that direct, but it's sort of about that, right?" Female Custodian God: "Right. It's never that direct. One action always has a chorus of consequences." Some zombies emerge from the auditorium, still in character. You can also hear Johnny Broadway hollering in the background. File that away, would you? I'll come back to it. Joan: "Okay. So it's about more than me and Adam." Female Custodian God: "Hard to believe, I know. Don't you just love the theatre? People finding joy in creating whole new worlds? I couldn't keep that one to myself." Joan wants to get back to her: "This 'chorus of consequences' -- can I have a few details? Because I'm trying to stay on track." Female Custodian God swipes Joan's hand away from the glass she's just cleaned that Joan's decided to lean on, and tells her, "You're on track. Just stay open. You'll know your moment when it comes."

Joan's sitting in the auditorium watching rehearsal. Adam's sitting in another row taking notes and sketching. Johnny Broadway is watching, too, hands on his hips, bouncing along to the dance number. He seems a little manic, but engagingly so. I don't know what it is, because he is the kind of character who normally makes me grind my teeth down to the gums, but I find him incredibly likeable. I'm going to attribute that to the actor, Mike Damus. Well done, my friend. Grace comes in and sits down behind Joan, and leans forward, asking, "So, your freak show brother and Glynis…what were they like together?" She doesn't remember? I guess she wasn't paying any attention. Joan: "I'm kind of in the middle of something here." Grace persists: "Because, before, I could make myself miserable all on my own. Now they make miserable. I have a problem with that." Joan: "You're not gonna stop, are you?" Grace: "Every time he and Glynis talk science, it's like, he -- he -- he -- he acts like…Captain Kirk getting it on with a hot alien." Joan: "That is gross on so many levels." Grace sits back in her chair, annoyed: "Tell me about it! Nothing makes sense, dude." She leans forward again: "The inside of my head is like some gross stew the cafeteria wouldn't even serve." Joan explains blithely, "You're jealous! It happens to everybody. Othello, the green-eyed monster. Remember?" Grace: "Yeah, well, I hate it. It's like I'm a girl." Ha! The current musical number concludes and Johnny Broadway claps, and tells them it's fantastic. He asks, "Are we all thrilled?" The cast members shout their agreement. Grace bitches to Joan, "I think this sucks!" Everyone hears her. Johnny Broadway turns: "Excuse me?" Joan laughs a fake little laugh and says Grace is kidding. But Grace is hardly ever kidding: "Well…you got a girl up there singing about how she wants her boyfriend to eat her brains. Not in my world." Johnny Broadway asks, "What happens in your world?" Grace: "I'm not trying to rewrite your show, dude." Johnny Broadway: "No, please…go ahead!" He's not being sarcastic. He looks around at the cast, who all look troubled. Carl, the pianist, openly moans, "Oh, God…" Elizabeth looks anxious.

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Joan of Arcadia

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