Joan of Arcadia
Romancing The Joan

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The Duffening II: Electric Boogaloo

Shout-out to madmango. Also, props to me: I passed my driving test. Whee! Also? Look out.

An English teacher lectures a class about Romantic poetry. As she wanders around the room, snapping her fingers to wake up one particularly riveted student, Grace mimes making a noose and hanging herself. Joan smirks. The teacher catches it, and tells her a substitute can send people to the office, too. As the teacher returns to her subject, we see that Joan is writing variations on "Mrs. Adam Rove" in her notebook. My middle-aged self is grossed out, but I can't honestly say I never did the same thing in high school -- over a couple of boyfriends who probably wouldn't recognize me if we passed each other in the street now. Not to rain on your parade and all, Jane. Mind you, neither of those guys was as all about me as Adam is about you. As the teacher drones on about the importance of imagination to the Romantic poets, Joan slips into a daydream.

We see an apartment full of funky and kitschy stuff (jukeboxes, neon signs) and Adam's art. Joan comes breezing in, all business-womany in a tight black suit, with her hair slicked back in a chignon: "Hi honey, I'm home." I want that bag she just plopped on the foosball table. (Dude, my spellchecker didn't choke on "foosball," and yet I cannot remember ever using that word before. Is it in the Microsoft Word dictionary?) I also want the bracelet she's wearing. Adam, all in black with a plain black toque, replies, "Hey baby…how are things on Wall Street?" She's all blasé: "You know, just trading stocks and making deals." She kisses him and then looks at him funny, like something doesn't make sense. Then we hear that record-scratching sound, and suddenly the whole scene rewinds and we start over.

This time when Joan comes in, she's dressed much more artsy: boots, peasant-y blouse, patchwork skirt, suede coat, long hair, lots of jewellery. They go through the same routine, except this time Adam asks her, "How was record producing?" She sighs: "Usher is so needy." She asks what she should cook for dinner, and Adam says he's ordered pizza. She giggles very fakely and says, "You are the best!" He smiles: "Anything for you." Then: "Guess what? The Guggenheim called and they're giving me my own wing." Too funny. I'm sure the Guggenheim is the only museum Joan's ever heard of, besides maybe the Louvre. Joan says that's incredible. He unveils a large canvas to reveal a portrait of a woman looking off to one side. I guess it's supposed to be Joan, but the hair is really blonde if it's Joan. As the camera swings back and forth between them, she gushes: "You are so amazing!" Adam: "No, you are." Joan simpers: "No, you." Adam: "No, you." Frink is casting about for a barf bag, here. I may join him.

Cut back to the classroom, where the bell startles Joan out of her daydream. Grace mutters to Joan, "I think I actually lost body mass from boredom." I want to see Grace's daydreams about Luke, don't you? As they walk out, Joan says she can't believe she's looking forward to the return of Mrs. Gross: "I even miss her mole." The substitute calls Joan back and Grace whispers, "Do not cop to anything." The teacher asks, "How can you not be interested in Romantic poetry, Joan, with your imagination? I like that you made yourself a record producer." Joan looks dismayed: "God shouldn't be boring. And you're in my daydreams? That's worse than spying." Substitute Teacher God suggests that Joan do the extra credit assignment. Joan: "What for? This is my good class." Substitute Teacher God: "Because you might learn something, you might enjoy it, and because I'm asking you to." Joan: "Yeah, but those first two don't really matter, do they?" Substitute Teacher God says nothing. Joan: "What is it? I'm already late for lunch." Substitute Teacher God glances toward the board, which reads: "Choose a poem by Byron, Shelley or Keats:- Analyze and explain." (And yes, that's the punctuation. I don't think I believe an English teacher would actually punctuate that way.) Frink thinks the handwriting on the board isn't very female. He also thinks they should be more subtle about who's God. Joan says she almost fell asleep reading the assignment. Substitute Teacher God tells her to give it a shot. She also tells her to go before her fishsticks get cold. Joan walks out with a sarcastic wave, saying, "Stay out of my daydreams!" Good luck with that. Theme song.

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Joan of Arcadia

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