Joan Girardi (Amber Tamblyn) is your ordinary disgruntled teenage girl. But one day, God appears to her in the form of a teenage boy ... and she remained disgruntled, if slightly more hopeful. That alone makes “Joan of Arcadia” a better show than one might expect it to be. Joan is a skeptic, her wheelchair-bound older brother (Jason Ritter) is only occasionally self-pitiful, her other brother (Michael Welch) is a nerd and proud of it, and her parents (Joe Mantegna and Mary Steenburgen) are way more interesting than the Camdens. Even God is snippy, for crying out loud.

The mix of sweetness, cynicism and clever storylines makes “Arcadia” a smart drama that just so happens to count the Almighty as part of its cast. You don’t have to give a lick about religion to invest yourself in this show. Includes 23 episodes, plus deleted scenes and three behind-the-scenes features.

DVD Grade: A-

© 2005, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

Joan of Arcadia: The First Season is currently available.