TV Article

Heavenly Riffs

Even 'Joan of Arcadia' is an indie godsend

If rock critics are frustrated musicians, then maybe television writers are frustrated rock critics. Case in point: CBS' religion-themed drama ''Joan of Arcadia,'' where the creative team uses the dialogue and soundtrack to tout their favorite artists -- and casually dis others. In one recent episode, for example, a priest tells Joan that the devil can fool even the holiest people. ''Yeah,'' Joan says, ''like at first [music fans] think Dave Matthews is great, then...not.'' Ouch! A final knife twist: ''I don't know who that is,'' the priest responds. It's all in good fun, says series creator Barbara Hall, a former rock scribe who plays guitar for L.A. alt-country band the Enablers. ''We don't want to hurt anybody or put anybody out of business,'' she says. ''But we have some fierce opinions about music, and sometimes they leak into the dialogue.'' She adds that music for many of the staffers is more than a passing interest. ''All of us have other jobs because almost none of us can support ourselves as musicians.'' Hey, if that TV thing doesn't work out, we've got some reviews that need writing...

Originally posted Feb 13, 2004 Published in issue #751 Feb 13, 2004 Order article reprints