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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ms. Kendall

Marvin already took "Connie" in his post yesterday, so I was forced to pattern my character review today after my first one. Maybe it'll end up being this way for all the rest of them. (e.g. Mr. Meltsner, Mr. Bassett)

I've been meaning to write about Connie for a week or so now, especially after listening to quite a few Connie-centered episodes at night recently, but I've had a post every other day for a few days, and I didn't want to do it too soon, but here it is.

I'm going to try to go as in depth as I did with the Mr. Whittaker review, but I didn't put nearly as much thought into this one as that one. So, here goes.

The first episode I ever heard Connie in was Connie Comes to Town, because it was the first story on the first CD in the first album I ever had. So, other than the single-story tapes we would sometimes get from Chick-Fil-A, that was actually the first Adventures in Odyssey episode I ever heard. I've always pictured Connie at more of a college-student type age rather than the high-school age she's depicted as in her first episode. I still can't imagine Connie any younger than 16/17 years old.

Besides Whit, I think she was the first long-term character to ever appear on the show (if you don't count Tom in Whit's Visitor). In this episode she is a rebellious teenager who just wants to make her own way in life, and doesn't really want anyone to get in her way. She appears on the show as a young-ish girl seeking a job so that she can make enough money for bus fares to Los Angeles so she can see her dad and her old friends. (How or why she thinks she's going to get there without her mom's knowledge I have no idea.) "Excuse me, could you tell me how to get to Front Street?" was her first line on the show. She was trying to get to an interview for a job at a fashion center. But then Whit offers her a job almost immediately after meeting her, and she takes it...as long as he's willing to pay as much as she was going to be paid at the fashion store. ; D

So Connie decides to stay, and throughout the first two albums, she learns a lot about Mr. Whittaker and his faith, and, especially in episodes like A Tangled Web, he acts as a spiritual mentor to her, but isn't really on her case about her being converted to Christianity. She is pretty hostile to the idea until she meets Pamela on her way to Los Angeles (a short trip, not permanent like before), a girl not too much older than her who witnesses to her. This happens in Connie, Part I, and in Connie, Part II, Connie makes the decision to repent, and surrenders her life to Jesus Christ.

Katie Leigh has done a phenominal job as Connie over the years, and Connie is often teased, on and off of Odyssey, for being the everlasting teenager. She (Connie, not Katie) doesn't graduate high school for 400 episodes, which is eleven real-life years! And when she does graduate, we see how much she really has changed, because she is willing to stand up against her principal when he told her that she couldn't use the name of Jesus at the end of her prayer.

Throughout the years, Connie stands up for her faith in numerous ways, including breaking up with a heathen boyfriend, trusting God through the times that Whit was gone in the Middle East, and seeking His will with her relationship with Mitch and his relationship to Novacom and the F.B.I. My favorite era with Connie has been the saga with Mitch and Novacom and the F.B.I. Probably my favorite album is Album 41 where she and Joann go on the trip to Washington D.C., and then she almost gets married (yes, I, like most people badly wanted her to get married). I agree with the writers' decision to have her decide to stay in Odyssey rather than to move to Budapest with Mitch though, because it would have changed the show. But I do think it would have been a solution to what else they would do with Connie, because she would be gone.

One problem that many fans have had with her throughout the years was that she almost always seemed to be bickering, mostly with Eugene. They did that for years and years, but, probably due to all of the complaining, their quarrels stopped right around the time that Eugene became a Christian. I have always really liked the quarreling because it makes me laugh, and I do the same kind of thing with my brother a lot, so I didn't mind when the arguing was brought back soon after Eugene's return and recovery from amnesia. But I've heard many people say that just as they thought that Connie had finally matured enough to stop all the bickering, it came back! And it seems like Connie has nothing else to do but argue with Eugene.

But after Mitch left, the writers have said that they didn't know what to do with Connie, so she was pretty much just in every other episode, tagging along, or being there to argue or give a woman's point of view. Thankfully, more recently, she started to write a book in response to Rusty Gordon's criticism of Odyssey. That gave her a solid thing to be doing amidst all the other storylines, so she didn't always have to be just tagging along. But I was really frustrated when The Chosen One aired, and Kelly destroyed Connie's book. I felt almost the same way Connie did for awhile, before I really thought about how much Odyssey might be changed if Connie got a book out to the public. During the next couple albums after that incident, we see a side of Connie I don't think we'd ever seen before--the unforgiving, grudge-holding person that came out only in little spurts whenever she was frustrated before. The situation is finally resolved in Chip Off the Shoulder when Connie tries to prove her forgiveness to Kelly by helping her find something that Kelly accused her of stealing.

After that episode, everything's well again, and the next thing we see Connie doing is helping with preparations for the judges who will come to discern whether or not Odyssey is the best small town in America. But after that escapade was over, in Albums 51 and 52 she's back to the guinea pig in The Inspiration Station, the arguer (and hair-cutter) in For the Birds, and the tag-alonger in The Mystery of the Clock Tower. I don't really have a problem with that, as, apart from the Novacom Saga, I've always liked Connie to be a side-story character rather than a main-story character. Maybe she'll play a big part in The Green Ring Conspiracy, but, although I know many Connie-fans would like her to do something big again, I would rather she didn't.

So that's my view on Connie. Despite all the criticisms, I really do like her character, and though she's not as well-loved (at least by me) as Whit, I would be sad if she ever left Odyssey, and the show would be a lot different without her.

Thank you for reading! Be looking out for a character review on "Mr. Meltsner" in the near future. Please comment!

P.S. I put some more special pictures up on the Special Pictures page. Enjoy! : )

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

So today's the big day.

I hope you all have a great day celebrating with family and friends. Just remember to remember the real reason for the season: God the Father gave up His only begotten Son to be given as a child to the world to die for the propitiation of our sins. Jesus Christ has appeased God's wrath and atoned for our sin, paying our ransom, so that we will not suffer eternal punishment in Hell.

As my pastor said last night, we need to remember

1. The who of the manger--Jesus Christ, the sinless, perfect God-man.

2. Why he was in the manger--He didn't just stay in the manger. He was born to die, so that we could one day surrender our lives to Him and He would save us. And He was born to reign over us forever in His eternal kingdom in the new heaven and new earth.

Thank you all for being faithful readers! I've updated the Special Pictures page with some new stuff, some of which you won't find anywhere else, so that's your Christmas present. : )

So in the words of Tiny Tim, "God bless us everyone!"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Down or Up with FAIO?

There has been a lot of controversy in recent days regarding the FAIO website which, for those of you who don't know, is an online site where over 220 Adventures in Odyssey episodes are available for downloading. Recently an anonymous guy has started up a website called Down with FAIO. On the home page it is written:


This site is dedicated to the destruction of FAIO, a site that provides Adventures in Odyssey episodes to people for free. It takes Focus on the Family (the producers of Adventures in Odyssey) a lot of money to make the episodes. And if all the 6000+ users of FAIO would buy the albums instead of listening for free, Focus would have more money to make more products. So if you would like FAIO to be shut down, let us know. We're doing what we can here, but we need your support.

FAIO is not a good site, but it isn't necessarily bad. It is, however, taking money away from FOTF, but, as the webmaster has stated, they endorse donating to FOTF, and he does so himself. Down with FAIO is also not a good site, but not necessarily bad. It definitely brings up good points about it's point of view, but for a little while, it was being done in a somewhat hateful way. I'm glad it's been cleared up.

On the FAIO website, the webmaster says in response to the question, "Is this site legal?": "Have you ever watched a copyrighted video on Youtube? It's just like that; these episodes are copyrighted, but it's the ones who upload or download them that are in the wrong."

My problem with that answer is that the way the episodes are formatted, it's like he's asking people to download them. He puts a link that says, "DOWNLOAD" beside many of the episodes. It is a choice to just listen to the episode on the website, but many, I'm sure, will take advantage of the ability to download.

The first thing you see when coming to the "Episodes" page is this:


You are about to access the LARGEST archive of online Adventures In Odyssey episodes in existence. AIO does not make these episodes for free. They rely on donations and income from merchandise. If everyone comes here and listens for free, they can't exist. All of these episodes are available elsewhere on the web. All Faio does is collect these already-existing episodes and archive them. Faio does NOT support the uploading of copyrighted content. If you like what you hear, you should buy the episodes on CD. It's convenient, easy, and best of all, you help support a great Christian ministry. Happy Listening!
Elsewhere, on the "News" page, Zack the webmaster says

[A]fter a legal investigation...Faio was found to be perfectly legal....Whether or not this website hurts FOTF is up to it's USERS. If the users want to support AIO, they can click the buy links or a donate to FOTF link.(Found on just about every page in the sidebar, as well as multiple places around the site.) If Faio wanted to, we could provide links to EVERY SINGLE episode. Instead, we only provide links to streaming links. There are hundreds more that are download only, but downloading is against the Faio policy, and it's also against the law. Faio and most of it's users love FOTF and AIO. Many users actively support FOTF. Faio is a website that stands FOR Focus On The Family. These activists are against Faio, so really they are against FOTF too. Also, this is a FANSITE. This website was not made for profit of any sort. Any income it may get (such as from advertisements and such) goes to help this website, or straight to FOTF as a donation.
He makes some very good points, and I pretty much agree with what he says. Therefore, after digging deeper, I no longer believe that FAIO is a bad website, and therefore, do not think that Down with FAIO should be supported. That website's anonymous webmaster also pretty much renounced his hostility toward FAIO yesterday when he said

I'd like to make a public apology. I'm sorry for the things I've said. I was being very rude in some of my comments on FAIO. I've thought about it. I was just doing all this because it sounded kind of cool. I like making websites, and I liked arguing with FAIO Admin. But really, I use his sites and I download episodes from them. I don't really have any major complaint against FAIO (except the swearing and the rude comments by their followers) I will change or delete this site and make [an] apology on FAIO soon. I realize that I was being stupid. I wouldn't really be able to change FAIO by doing all this. So again I'm sorry. To you too Faio admin. BTW, don't stop visiting the blogs because of this. They were not rude in the comments they made in the guestbook. They are both good blogs. Thanks everybody.
That pretty much sums up my words about the subject too. Aside from the swearing that's apparently going on at FAIO in some of the comments, they aren't doing anything that really wrong or illegal. Hopefully my getting involved in the controversy for a short time before I had adequate information hasn't turned anyone away from my blog.

Thank you for reading! Please comment!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Grandpa's Winter Vacation

Sorry I didn't get a review out any earlier. My family went on a trip on Saturday that didn't give me enough time to listen to the episode and write a review.

Usually I can listen to the episode once on the radio and then again before I write the review, but something's wrong with the media player on the FOTF website, so I can't listen to it again. Therefore, since it's been two days since I've heard the episode, this probably won't be all that great of a review.

It was nice to hear from Grandma Lucia again, but it was really weird that it seemed like the kids had totally forgotten that they were supposed to call her "Abuelita". When they introduced her or talked to her, they always called her Grandma or Nana. I don't know why it changed. But she definitely stayed true to character, having an emphasis on tradition, although this time she was asked about her tradition before she could force it on anyone.

Ava stayed very true to character as well. Although in this episode she didn't end up working up the courage to tell her mother her opinion about the tradition. She just went along with everything and didn't voice her views like she did in Grandma's Visit. But she still did a great job, and was a wonderful Mom character.

The Parker kids were pretty good too. I was very glad that Olivia was to be the one paired up with Barrett rather than Priscilla Peterson. But then that didn't even happen, so that was even better. The game show was interesting. I used to watch Let's Make a Deal a little at my grandparents' house, but not anymore. I liked that show a lot, but the AIO version didn't seem to have much of a point. I liked how the prizes ended up holding more valuable things in them. My brother pointed out that eight-track tapes must be pretty bad for Matthew not to want to tinker with it. Plus, there's an older AIO episode where Bernard Walton remarks to someone, "You're about as interesting as an eight-track tape!"

Connie seemed a little out of character because of all the yelling she did. We haven't seen her in charge of something since For Better or for Worse, I think. But even then she wasn't an obnoxious-sounding, loud, movie-director type of organizer.

Eugene was funny when we heard him. I loved the scene where the smoke/fog machine makes everybody start choking and gagging.

I didn't so much like Whit's part in this episode. Even though he's made a good narrator in the past, I didn't like him so much as the commentator or whatever you want to call it.

So, yeah, I really don't have much to say about this episode. It had a good story premise, but I don't think that the writers did that great of a job with it. Hey, at least they mentioned Jesus! And Chris went into what the "real reason for the season" is at the end, so Brittini got her wish.

I give the episode a 5/10. Please comment!

I'm not really sure what I'm going to do throughout the winter until Album 53 airs. I may continue with the character reviews as some have suggested I do. And I'll keep up with any news that may come out about the upcoming season, as well as new podcasts. Thank you for being faithful readers throughout Album 52!

P.S. I've updated the Episode Reviews page for any of you who want to go back and read any previous reviews from Albums 51 or 52. While I did that I realized that I wasn't correct when I said that The Malted Milkball Falcon was the best episode of the season, because I saw that I had given Fast As I Can a 10/10.

Also, I started a new page called Special Pictures in order to give Mark/Reddo the pictures he wanted, and I may be putting more AIO-related things up there in the near future. ; )

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mr. Whittaker

As I lay in my bed last night, listening to The Mortal Coil for the first time in what feels like years (and probably is), I was inspired to do a post today about Whit. Plus I figured you guys might appreciate a non-review post. I haven't really talked too much about my thoughts about how Mr. J. A. Whit has changed over the years, so I've decided to do it now.

My first Odyssey album ever was a now out-of-print collection called AIO 10-CD Collector's Edition. Apparently it's so rare that even Jacob hasn't heard about it, because it's not at the Odyssey Scoop in the Quarantine Merchandise section. I don't think I had ever listened to Odyssey before my mom got that for me and my siblings when I was six or seven. Mr. Whittaker was my favorite character from the beginning, and still to this day remains at least in the top three.

Hal Smith did an excellent job as Whit from the very start. I obviously haven't been around since the beginning, but I remember loving Whit, and being very surprised when I first heard Paul Herlinger introduce The Great Wishy Woz on the tenth disc of my first collection. I wondered for awhile who that guy was since he wasn't Whit, but he was introducing a Kids Radio program. A couple years later, after I had listened to the CDs we owned over and over again, we stumbled upon The Children's Radio Funhouse on our local Moody Radio station, where Odyssey continues to be played every Saturday morning at nine. And later we found out that AIO was also played every weekday at 4:30. I don't remember how I learned it, but eventually I found out that somewhere along the road, the original actor for Mr. Whittaker had died, and he was replaced by someone with a slightly deeper, gruffer voice.

It was soon after this that I started getting albums for birthdays and Christmas. I'm pretty sure that my first album was Gold Audio Series #9: Just in Time. I continued to like what I called (and still call sometimes) "the old Mr. Whittaker" better than "the new Mr. Whittaker". As I continued to get more albums, I got more and more used to Paul Herlinger as Whit, and eventually made him my favorite. While Hal Smith has a more bubbly voice, and is better for the wise, advice-giving Whit, Paul Herlinger is better for the computer-savvy and adventurous Whit. Action/Adventure episodes tend to be my favorite, so that's probably why "the new Mr. Whittaker" eventually won my heart.

But Paul Herlinger is also very good as the Whit who sits behind the counter giving out ice cream and advice. I wish I had been an avid listener when the switch of the actors was made so that I could be used to it at least a little bit, because I really don't like the newest Whit very much. While both of the other Mr. Whittakers were great at giving Biblical advice and counsel (especially Hal Smith), Andre Stojka as Whit seems to have nearly totally lost that aspect to his character. I understand that it's mostly due to not-as-good writing, but I also from the beginning haven't really liked his voice.

Listening to The Mortal Coil last night and hearing Whit almost die, and listening to all of the spiritual lessons he learned from that experience, it's almost like now he's completely forgotten all of that, or that he's been replaced by a different, laid-back and relaxed fake. This new Whit doesn't seem to be nearly as passionate about the kids, helping them to learn valuable life lessons and teaching them the things of God, but rather a good teacher, dragging out of the kids what they learned after they stumble, rather than catching them before they get into trouble like he used to.

So I guess I'm not complaining so much about the voice that Andre Stojka gives Whit, but the writing that he's been giving more recently. I hope that episodes will continue to get better as the seasons come and go, and I am getting more used to the new voice, but they haven't sold me yet for sure.

I'd love to hear what you think about all that I've said. Please comment!

P.S. Be sure to listen to the newest Official Podcast which features an interview with Whit (ha!) Hertford, the voice of bully Jay Smouse, and a preview of this weekend's episode Grandma's Christmas Visit. I was surprised to learn that Jay is played by an adult, but I guess I shouldn't have been since Rodney, Vance, Nelson, Ryan, Pete, Jill, Valorie, Emily, and Olivia are also played by adults. ; )

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Milkshaked-Maltball Hawk

(I know the title's cheesy, but do you have something better? [If so, tell me in the comments! :D])

This episode was very entertaining. Definitely one of the best of the season. There was great humor all the way through, and it was without a doubt the best, and most intriguing Jones and Parker mystery yet. But again, one of the only downfalls was that it didn't have a strong moral.

Whit played a great role in this episode. He wasn't too involved, but enought that it felt like Odyssey, not another show with a little Mr. Whittaker thrown in. I suspected the Broken Window twist from the beginning, but doubted it as the story went along. I couldn't figure out why he would take them. I couldn't imagine that he would have eaten all of them for any reason. I wouldn't have; I don't really like them much. Milkshaked-maltballs sound much better, imo. Anyway, that aspect of the story made him feel like the old Whit, and I continue to get used to his voice. But I cringed when he yelled to quiet the kids down when the episode started. Andre doesn't do it even close to the way Paul Herlinger used to do it. *sniffs*

I continue to really like Barrett's new voice. I'm glad that we got to hear from him and see that he was able to tear away from Club Kidchat for this fundraiser. And he was even able to take over a paper route for a friend! His character changes a lot.

I'm also glad that we got to hear from Priscilla again. I agree with Marvin in being glad that she doesn't seem to be a character that the writers will do away with soon. I found it very weird how much she needed to use the bathroom. I totally agree with Matthew in saying that she "needed to go to the bathroom more than a hyperactive puppy!" :P Apparently the relationship between her and Barrett is still going, since he was the first person to whom she thought to give the malted milkball. I guess I can deal with that, but I don't like it. What happened to the old days when boys and girls could be together a lot and not be boyfriend and girlfriend. I guess that still happens with Emily and Matthew, but even that's been speculated upon.

Nelson came back! Well, I guess we heard from him in Square One, but that wasn't very much. Other than that, though, this is his first real appearance, and I loved it. He didn't seem to be as geeky in this episode though, other than the fact that he read a book while listening to music to stay awake. (But I would have done the exact same thing.) It was interesting that he was the one to think to bring a bunch of movies. But all of the movies he picked sounded totally boring, like pretty much any other movie that's ever been mentioned in Odyssey. They all always sound like movies full of meaningless violence that don't have even a decent storyline. Georgina Cordova continues to do an excellent job with his voice, and I hope we continue getting to hear from her/him for many albums to come.

Jay was absolutely hilarious! Practically everything he said made me laugh out loud. As I told Marvin, I think he has officially stolen Rodney Rathbone's place in my heart. Though at times, he is way nicer than Rodney ever was. He learned to tell the truth in this episode just as Rodney did in No, Honestly (which happens to be one of my favorite episodes). But I loved how he was always the first to press into whoever was Emily's current suspect. ; )

Matthew was a little weird in this episode, though I can totally sympathize with his wanting to go home to bed because of the long night. It was just weird to have him constantly trying to get out of solving the mystery. But I guess it's pretty much the same as all of his other mystery episodes where Emily has to pull him into it. He continues to get close to being as well-loved in my heart as Trent and Marvin and Grady were at one time.

I was afraid at the beginning of the episode that Emily was going to narrate again, but then it just turned out to be a flash-back like in...well I can't think of any right now, but I know there have been episodes like that. Her rock-a-thon idea was pretty cool, and I think that sounds really fun. I think I'd totally be able to do it if I had action-adventure movies, music, mystery books, and sugar. ; D

Overall, it was a very engaging mystery that had me guessing most of the time. It was very funny and entertaining, but again, it seemed like the writers just came up with the story, and then tried to throw a moral in.

I give the episode a 9/10 which, I guess, makes it the best of the season, and that's pretty much true. Please comment!

Oh, BTW, everyone, I told these two bloggers I'd mention their blogs in my next post, so here they are: The Odyssey Vision and The Changing Times. The former just got started by commenter Tim B. the other day, and looks very promising. The latter has apparently been going for a long time, but I just discovered it. It is run by Ben, who has excellent insight into all of the new episodes. He has very in-depth reviews, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Disagreeable Reviewer

I actually really liked this episode. I was sort of expecting not to enjoy it very much, but while it did have a weak moral, it made me laugh all throughout.

Spoiler Alert: If you haven't yet heard the episode, you probably don't want to read on. : )

Mr. and Mrs. Parker stayed very true to their characters. I loved the ending scenes with all of the funny things that Mr. Parker says, and the things that Mrs. Parker had to correct him about laughing at. It was a fairly odd scheme that they came up with to test their children's trustworthiness. I wouldn't have thought to go to a college and find a drama student and ask her to act as a British (Cambridgian), Mary Poppins nanny so that I could find out how my kids would act with a pushover.

Olivia grew on me more in this episode. She stayed true to how her character has acted before, but she really is starting to sound more and more like the 11/12-year old she's supposed to be. I thought it was interesting though how sometimes she treated Matthew as the leader rather than putting herself in that position like she has in earlier episodes. I cringed during the banana fight because of the disgusting sound effects that added to the grossness that was already there just because of the bananas. (I abhor bananas.) When Matthew walked up in the middle of the fight, and the girls brought him into it, I was reminded of the hose scene in Our Best Vacation Ever. All throughout the episode I was reminded of the Barclays when the kids were bickering. I really think the Parkers will slowly start to become the central, well-loved family that the Barclays were. Who knows, maybe someday we fans will be able to say that they have just as special a part in our hearts as the Barclays and the Washingtons.

Matthew was great in this episode. Ever since The Inspiration Station, he has definitely been my favorite new kid character, and this show continued that. He always had some great idea to resolve the current dilemma, and it usually gets him in trouble. And he constantly threw in comments that made me laugh.

Camilla was a different story. Not that I didn't like her character in the story, but she was just so foolish! I mean, seriously, War of the Jurassic Aliens! Really?! Why would she even consider even wanting to watch that? Isn't she a girl? Well, I guess she is a girl who likes sports, a tomboy, but still! I thought it was great though that Whit knew exactly what movie she was talking about, and that that movie was so violent that the movie rating system had to be changed. ; D

Now to Maria/Charlotte. It struck me as weird from the start that she had a British accent, and seemed to be trying so hard to be British. Especially since I knew that the most recent Official Podcast had interviewed her about her experience as Gloria in Camp What-A-Nut. And she was trying to sound like Marry Poppins too: "Only a spoonful [of sugar]" and "Spit-spot". I was just waiting for her to say "supercalifragilisticexpealido-cious"! Until I discovered why she was acting so weird, I was wondering when she'd stop being such a pushover. And was it just me, or did she sound a lot like Dalton Kearne's guard from The Top Floor when she finally revealed herself as Charlotte?

This really was a great, very entertaining episode. The only problem was that it didn't seem to have a moral. It seemed like the writer just came up with this great idea, and then tried to throw in a lesson somewhere. It was kind of like the Novacom Saga, where most of the episode was just for entertainment, but they were concerned that someone might mention that there was no spiritual application, so there was a small something thrown in.

But aside from all that, I did really enjoy this episode, and I can't wait to hear another Parker family episode.

I give it a 7.5/10. Please comment (even if it has to be long ; D)!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Criticism-Giving Review

No, I'm not going to criticize this episode, it just sounded good for an opposite title.

Actually I liked this episode quite a bit, and while it was a little (okay, maybe a lot) corny at times, I believe it did a good job in appealing the usual target audience of 8-12.

The epsiode started out really well. It felt like the old Odyssey just having Connie, Eugene, and Whit at Whit's End. I thought it was funny that Connie had lost something yet again, and then it was even funnier that Eugene turned out to have it! Her ringtone was interesting, and I'm sure we'll hear some negative responses from fans who believe drums and backbeats are associated with devil "rock" music.

And then Jay and his uncle (who just happens to run the junkyard mentioned in Square One) drop in because they got caught in a ditch just outside Whit's End. On a sidenote, am I the only one who thinks it's weird that there's a road in front of Whit's End? If you've ever seen the Odyssey videos, you know that in them, Whit's End is always in the middle of town between other buildings in front of a road. But I thought it was supposed to be in the middle of McAlister Park! The only video that depicts it as I would imagine it should look like is Race to Freedom. That one, however, is what Whit's End looked like as a church in the 1800s, so it may not be as reliable. Am I the only one who doesn't get that? If you can explain, please comment!

Back to Jay and his uncle. I'm glad we get to hear from Jay again, and it was interesting to have his uncle as well. It was funny to hear him say "Rue the day!" at one point in the episode. I think Jay is going to be a good replacement for Rodney as I said before in Stage Fright. Having him and his uncle there almost felt like Bart and Rodney were there. : )

So up to that point I really liked the episode. Then came the singing. And then came Connie singing. Now I know why they didn't have her actually sing her full song in Odyssey Sings! Just kidding. Well, sort of. Eugene's singing sounded as good as ever, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Will Ryan wrote all of the songs. But it was weird to bring music back to Odyssey, and it would have seemed quite out of place had it not been in this episode. I guess it was handled pretty well. But I don't think Connie has a very good voice for singing to be honest.

I liked that Whit was the narrator, giving it a Passages feel, while still having the Dr. Seuss elements.

The story was a bit fast-paced and unrealistic and weird, but I guess I can deal with it. There was a very good moral, and I'm glad that it was reinforced by Whit and Chris at the end.

Overall, it was a pretty entertaining episode with a great moral that was just different from the Odyssey that we're used to. It was almost like a mix of Thank You, God and A Thanksgiving Carol, combining a meeting of the main characters with some silly storytelling. Plus, we haven't had a Thanksgiving episode since BTV: Thanks, so it was about time. ; D

I liked it a lot, and will give it an 8/10. Please comment!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yay! This is the first major holiday I've been able to celebrate while I've had this blog! Well, I guess there was Easter, but I didn't mention it, so happy thanksgiving everyone!

I just wanted to let everybody know that

1. I am very thankful for Adventures in Odyssey, even though my reviews can sometimes be negative.
2. I'm thankful that God has allowed it to run for so long and have such a large listening audience.
3. I'm thankful for the lessons that it has taught not just me, but thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of children and their parents.
4. I'm thankful for the amazing talent of the actors and their willingness to do their characters. Some have said that they'd do it even if they didn't get paid anymore.
5. I'm thankful for the writers, who, althougth they sometimes have not as enjoyable stories, continue every year to come out with new, exciting, and valuable episodes.
6. I'm thankful that I was able to start this blog and that my parents have let me go for so long (seven months).
7. And I'm thankful for all of you who keep commenting on and supporting the blog. : D

Thank You, God, and thank you all of my followers and commenters!

(Make sure to listen this weekend for an Adventures in Odyssey episode about Thanksgiving!) (Please comment! :D)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Circle Two

I actually liked this episode quite a bit. It had its problems, as others have, but for the most part it was really good.

A couple of minutes into the show I was sure that this was the long-awaited fourth Kidsboro episode because of the presence of Ryan, Pete, and Nelson. Since the three of them said that they were thinking about letting Matthew into their secret club, I thought for sure that it would turn out to be Kidsboro. But then I turned out to be wrong. And I just looked over the episode summaries for the rest of the season and saw that there isn't another episode that might be a Kidsboro one. I must have missed something over the summer because I thought that we'd been told that a new Kidsboro episode was coming.

One thing that I thought was weird about the secret club was that Ryan and Pete never seemed to be as geeky as Nelson in regards to wanting to know how things work. It was weird that the three of them started this other club seperate from Kidsboro.

I think Emily Jones is growing on me. I'm getting a little more used to her voice, and I guess I look forward to the upcoming episode featuring the Jones and Parker Detective Agency. However, I am glad that she wasn't the narrator this time. ; )

Oh, and to all you fans who speculated in Album 51 about a relationship between Matthew and Emily beyond being mystery-solving partners, your theories were thwarted when we heard that Matthew had told Emily about his secret crush, thus disproving the conjecture that he has a crush on her. Though she may actually still have a crush on him as shown by her exhaustive attempts to make sure that he wasn't getting into trouble.

The episode had a great moral that we haven't heard from in Odyssey since Sounds Like a Mystery or The One About Trust, whichever came last. I was glad when Matthew didn't let Emily get away with blackmailing Ryan, Nelson, and Pete, and it was also nice that the boys were finally able to trust Matthew again when he proved himself.

One thing I thought was hilarious about the show was that probably a large fraction of the episode was spent with the characters saying the full name of the pinball machine. : D

Pretty much the only thing I didn't like about the episode was that there wasn't really good writing for Mr. Whittaker. The actor probably did the best he could with what he had, but the writer didn't give him good lines.

Other than that, it was an enjoyable episode, but not as good as last week's.

I give it a 7/10.

P.S. Did anyone else notice that Olivia said that she was going over to Amber's house? It was nice to see the writers continue that storyline and show that Olivia is still trying to be her friend, and apparently, it's working out.

@ Marvin: Yeah, you can get pretty dry and stale with your comments sometimes. Just kidding! ; D Thanks for commenting on nearly every post I've ever posted. : D

@ BBBATATBFF4EVR: Sure. I'll give you the Most Energetic, Enthusiastic, and Interesting Commenter Award. ;)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Bad-Review-napping (My FIFTIETH Post!)

This time I actually did really, really like this episode. I have almost nothing bad to say about it. There were a few things that could have been better, but I actually only have one complaint.

At the end of the episode, when Chris summed up the show and gave the moral like she usually does, she said that like the kids learned in the show, we shouldn't give more attention to the symbol of something instead of the thing being symbolized. Then she compared it to our relationship with God, and how we should be worshipping the true God, and not a false one. "That would be silly," she says, "almost as silly as paying a ransom for a stuffed owl." It was disappointing that the writers had her say "silly" rather than sin. And then even more disappointing was the fact that she basically said that the sin of idolatry wasn't as bad as what the kids were doing in this episode with the owl. Just something I noticed that I thought I'd point out.

I really liked pretty much everything else in the episode. The first scene was really well done, and was a great way to start off the episode.

I don't think that we've had a basketball episode since The Fundamentals. I very much enjoyed the return of Coach Fang, and look forward to more of him in the future. It's interesting that he's the coach of both the baseball and the basketball team. And I loved that last scene in the episode where they alluded to The Karate Kid with the "Wax on, wax off." : )

It was great to have the return of so many of the newer male characters (Ryan, Pete, Vance), but as in the last episode, sometimes it was quite difficult to distinguish between characters because of the abundance of actors of the same gender.

The sequence of scenes where Ryan was following Vance's directions at Hal's Diner and the movie theater and the barber shop was my favorite part of the episode. It was especially funny when Vance told Ryan to go to the front of the theater and shout out what he did, and Ryan said, "But that'll ruin it for everyone!", showing that he had seen the movie before. : D

Overall it was a great, original episode with a pretty good moral. I was glad that Whit was the one to give the moral at the end; it was a good way for him to continue growing into the part. It was also good that Whit showed that the owl didn't ever really do anything for the team in the past. It reminded me of The Greatest Weapon, where Sam Johnson was trusting his performance in the baseball game to the bat Connie gave him.

This episode reminded me more of older Odyssey episodes than any other in the new season so far, and I hope there will be more like it.

I give it an 8/10. Please comment!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Opposite Day

I really, really liked this episode!

Almost everything about this episode was great! I can barely control my excitement over how good it was!

It was great to hear Priscilla Peterson again! I had been hoping that we'd hear from her again, and it wasn't weird at all that she hung around with Olivia rather than Barrett.

It also wasn't weird that Barrett's voice suddenly got deeper and more distinguished. I didn't like it though; it didn't make him sound any more older than Emily.

I liked that we didn't get to hear from any of the other Parkers, just Olivia, it made the episode so much more diverse and interesting. I don't think this episode did anything to help develop her character, which was disappointing. Olivia still sounds to me like a forty-year-old trapped in a fifteen-year-old's body.

I appreciated that there was a great moral behind the whole episode, and all the references to God, and what the Bible says were great.

Having so many new girl characters introduced in one episode was really nice. It gave the show a Christian feel. And Amber's laugh made me feel so good. It sounded so genuine, and made me feel like laughing too. :)

It was so normal and not at all awkward that Barrett was on the Internet unsupervised so much. It seemed completely reasonable that his parents allowed him to interact with so many people (522, I think), even his dentist's daughter's neighbor's cousin. It made me feel so disappointed that I'm not allowed to go on social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter.

Okay, if any of you haven't caught on yet, it's opposite day here at my house, so everything I've said in my review so far has pretty much been the exact opposite of my actual opinion. I actually didn't like this episode much at all, and was very surprised to hear that it was written by Kathy Weringa. I don't think she's directed anything involving the new characters yet though, so I guess it was an okay first episode.

I hope that the next episode gets a little better than this one was.

I give it a 3.5/10.

Please comment!

P.S. @Marvin: No, I do not yet have Cause & Effect. I have no idea if or when we will get it. I don't really ask my parents for things like that. I just wait and hope they'll get it for me. ;) (Hint-hint)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Slow as I Can't

Sorry I didn't get out a review sooner. I had surgery on my ear this morning, and forgot that I had to do it until now.

I loved this episode! I think that it's better than Albums 51 and 52 so far combined, if you don't count the Jubilee singers. There was a perfect balance of old and new characters, and all of the characters stayed true to their personalities.

This is exactly the type of episode Odyssey needed to further develop Andre Stojka's voice as Whit. He still isn't getting the same place in my heart as Hal and Paul, but this episode definitely brought him much farther toward that goal. We hadn't yet had an episode where he was a spiritual mentor to anyone, and he did an excellent job in this one with Matthew.

I loved the Eugene storyline, and it made me laugh the whole time. :D

The first scene that Connie tells everyone what she's fasting from was hilarious!

I can relate to Matthew's fast since I didn't use the Internet all summer. I loved the Imagination Station adventure, and how, for, I think, the first time, the actual state of the mind played a part in what was imagined. It was great having Will Ryan play Thomas Jefferson, and I loved all of his lines. I think some of them may have been ad-libbed by Will, because they were so good.

I loved having Wooton in this episode, and I was so glad to hear that it was written by Marshal Younger and Paul McCusker. The new writers really just don't entertain me as much as them.

Overall it was an amazing episode, but unfortunately, it may make me give bad reviews for episodes that don't measure up to this one. ;)

I give it a 11/10, and I very much look forward to next week's episode which sounds pretty interesting.

Please comment!

Monday, October 25, 2010

(I Can't Think of a Clever Title for This Review Because Marvin Already Took "Rue the Day")

This episode was pretty good. I enjoyed the mystery aspect of it. I think that this was a better mystery than Game for a Mystery last season. It was a little bit below my entertainment level, but that's because I'm two years ahead of the Odyssey age target range.

I agree with Marvin that it would have been nice to have Matthew narrate rather than Emily. I was hoping that they were going to go back and forth between the two, but that's not what happened.

I greatly enjoyed the character of Mr. Stolfitz, and how he was played by Jess Harnell. The surprise ending was great, and I wasn't really expecting it; although, it was a little weird.

It was good to have Jay in another episode. I think he is a great replacement for Rodney Rathbone if that's what he's supposed to be, and he adds some needed humor to the Emily and Matthew shows.

The return of Priscilla Peterson was interesting, but I won't go into that. Nor will I go into the relationship between Emily and Matthew that some like to speculate about.

Overall, this was a pretty entertaining episode with a good moral that was given by Chris at the end. I'll give it a 7.5/10. I forgot to give ratings to the other shows, so here they are:

The Mystery of the Clock Tower Parts I and II--9/10
Wooton's Broken Pencil Show--8/10

I'm looking forward to next week's episode which looks like it should have much more spiritual application than the episodes so far have.

Please comment!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Christian A.'s Fully-Functional Keyboard Review

I really liked this episode. We haven't had a new Wooton-centered episode in what feels like a long time. I was glad that they put a Captain Absolutely segment in the regular season. The ones in The Truth Chronicles are really good. I thought it was very clever how they used the play on words to create a world without a point. :D

This seemed much more like the old Odyssey than most of the new episodes have been. There was a whole lot heard from main characters, without much from the newer characters. I was glad to hear from Red again, and I think I'm going to really like having him around more often.

There were a lot of parts that made me laugh out loud, which didn't happen much during the new season.

I was glad to hear from Harlow Doyle again. I think the last time we heard from him was in Rights, Wrongs, and Winners on Album 50. I was afraid he had been taken off of the show like Jason, Tom, Bernard, The Rathbones, The Washingtons, and others. Well, I don't know if they're off the show, but we just haven't heard from them since before the hiatus. I hope we hear from them soon.

I liked that the point of the entertainment was about entertainment having a point, but in the end the episode didn't have that much of a point. :0D

I look forward to hearing more from the Jones & Parker Detective Agency next week on Stage Fright.

Please comment! And be sure to vote in the new poll!

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm Back!!

Yes, I'm back.

Sorry I kept all of you in the dark this last week. I was actually debating whether or not to even continue this blog. I have a whole lot of school, and we moved to a bigger house, so I have weekly cleaning duties. We're trying to grow grass, so I have that too. And I just don't feel like I have the time to do this. But my dad suggested that I just do things differently than I have in the past. Instead of checking the news every day and commenting about everything, I will be posting short, non-exhaustive reviews of episodes as they come out. I may occasionally do some news, but I won't be around very much to see news. I know this might disappoint some of you, especially Marvin, but hopefully you can understand.

So, here's my short, non-exhaustive review of The Mystery of the Clocktower Parts I and II:

I liked this episode quite a bit, and it was very entertaining. At the beginning of the second part, when they introduced the character of Andrew, I predicted in my head, and to my siblings that he was the guy behind the whole thing. I was partly joking, but I also thought that they wouldn't have put him in there if he didn't play some part in the story. As the episode progressed, I continued to be more and more sure of my prediction.

The ultimate story behind 11:45 was a bit mature for an Odyssey episode, but I guess we can deal with it. At least it wasn't as bad as When You're Right, You're Right.

I really enjoyed the surprise ending, and wasn't really expecting it. I agreed with Whit when he said that everything had seemed to come together too easily, but I didn't know what it would lead to.

And on a personal note, I would never, ever trust a company called "Dreadlocks". Just saying.

Overall it was a great action/adventure episode with a pretty good moral: "Be sure your sin will find you out", as Matthew says.

You can for sure expect a review next week and please comment!
___________________________________________________

@ Marvin: Thank you for the package in the mail. My parents gave it to me for my birthday. And thanks for your comments even though you knew I wouldn't see them for a while. I'm going to try to send you something in the mail too!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Goodbye

For reasons I would very much rather not discuss, I will not be blogging again until the new season starts. This is my last post until then. I will not be answering comments or making comments or visiting other peoples blogs, or even checking my blog. You could compare this to the time in April when I was off the air for two weeks, except this time it is three months.

I'd rather you didn't ask why I won't be blogging, but even if you do, I won't know anyway. I'm sorry and I can't wait to get back to blogging in October. I won't be reviewing Album 1 as I said I would be, so there's not really going to be any reason to come back during the summer, unless you use my Links Outward page very often.

So, goodbye all! I hope to get back and talk to you guys when the new season starts.

__________________________________________

@ Aunt Becky: I'm sorry this happened right around the time I told you about my blog. Sorry you won't have anything to read any time soon.

@ Calvin: Sorry you won't be able to read my blog when you take a break from your schoolwork. ; )

@ Andrew S.: I don't really have anything specific to say to you, but I figured you'd get a kick out of it if I mentioned you in my blog. Have fun in Colorado!

@ Jay: I won't be visiting your blog either. I really liked it and had fun reading what you had to say and commenting on it. Keep up the great work!

@ Marvin, OJ, Audrey, FreddyJay, Lydia, and Jacob: Sorry I announced this on such short notice. I can't wait to get back and spend days looking through all of the news and exciting information I missed!

@ Brock: You could probably take me off your e-mail list if you wanted to. I won't be able to post anything and won't be able to read the e-mails. Thanks for including me in the list up until now. I guess you could probably keep sending the e-mails because I'm sure my mom would think it's great that she gets to read news that I can't read.

__________________________________________

Goodbye!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Surprise!

I'm not feeling very creative today, so I'll just give you what the Odyssey Scoop says about this latest podcast. Oh, and go here to hear the podcast.



Dave and Paul answer more questions from fans, reveal the title of album 53, discuss Katrina's future role, and talk about their favorite episodes in "Take it from the Top."

I think it's worth noting that the title for the upcoming Album 53 is The Green Ring Conspiracy and features 12 new action/adventure/mystery shows. If you remember Darkness Before Dawn, it'll be much like that format. Mystery shows have always been a fan favorite, and I especially find it interesting that the mystery of Connie's life goals will also be solved as she attends college for the first time in 50+ albums. Gasp! Connie working on a degree. Who knew? As always, one can never know what to expect from a creative team of Odyssey writers, actors, and producers! -- Jacob Isom

This podcast is very, even extremely informative, and I cannot believe they gave away so much information already! You are guaranteed to love it. What's even better is that we fans had no clue this was coming!

Also, for those of you who haven't seen it yet, Odyssey has a new slogan to go along with all of the other changes. It used to be "Sensational Stories, Lifelong Lessons", but is now "Imagine Discover Grow".



Talk about Odyssey news!

P.S. For those of you who were dying to see it, here is the controversial picture posted on the Odyssey Scoop a few days ago. It should be alright for me to post it here, because Luke over at the Odyssey Times blog posted the actual picture on his site. If it's not okay, somebody please tell me in a comment.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

These Are the Things We Go Through

I know you're probably shocked that I'm posting twice in three days. I'll let you get over your shock...

Okay. I posted today because just after I posted on Monday about The Heart of AIO and The Agent's Blog lack of posting, they posted! The Heart of Odyssey has a new podcast up and I assume TCman explains why they've been gone so long; I haven't heard the podcast though, so don't trust me. ; )

Agent 3XQ is paranoid because the boxes are back. America is turning back to cable boxes, so Q is sure that once all Americans have one, the guys behind the scenes will push the button on their remotes and--hold on a second, why am I telling you? Go read it for yourself.

Marvin has written a ballad concerning Whit and Ham. Don't ask. I really don't know. Go check it out. It's pretty well written and thought through.

I'm still trying to live through the summer, and there's still no Odyssey news, so this is Christian A. signing off.

P.S. If you think you recognize the post title, go here.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ho-hum

There is no, and I mean no, AIO news. Unless you consider the fact that Jacob Isom posted a supposed Album 53 cover and description Odyssey news. But he thought he might get in trouble for it later on, so he took it down before anyone could save it to their computers. It looked great and I wish I could have shown it here.

I've noticed recently that the Heart of AIO has not posted for nearly three weeks, Camilla hasn't posted for awhile due to restrictions, and Agent 3XQ hasn't done anything recently either. Brock's off to ICRS in St. Louis, Missouri (I have no clue what that is.), so he won't be posting for a long time. (Not like that's something new.) So far it's been a pretty boring summer and I'm actually sad that I can't be doing school. I hope to start posting every day when the AIO episodes loop on the daily program starts at Album 1 again. I'll try to review every day, but I can't really see that lasting for long.

So, I guess I should get back to my boring life, waiting for summer to be over. Keep checking back for news, and be sure to vote in the poll!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Heartfelt Apologies

Although I didn't outright say that Marvin D. writes The Life of Nelson, I did imply that as my point of view, so I admit that I was wrong. Marvin gave a pretty strong case against his being Nelson, and the comments turned on me, so I decided to write this post to clear things up.

I am not Nelson Swanson (the blog-writer; the jury's still out on whether or not I'm the actual character).

Now that that's cleared up, let's rule out a few more people using Nelson's next-to-latest post:

It appears the guy who runs The Voice of Odyssey thinks that the one who runs
the AIO Fan's Life runs this. What can I say? It's a small world, but I really
have no idea...and I do have another blog, yeah, but not an AIO one. Being in
Odyssey,why have one? That's all I can say.

He didn't specify before that he doesn't have an Odyssey blog. That rules out Marvin D., FreddyJay, Original Joe, Audrey S., Camilla Parker, TCman, Luke, Kevin McCreary, Agent 3XQ, Ethan Daniels, Nathan Hoobler, and B. D. Eastman. That pretty much rules out all of my guesses as well, so I now have no clue who he might be. But I guess that's how it was/is with Camilla too. I won't jump to any more conclusions (Technically, I didn't jump to a conclusion; I had seven good reasons.) and for now we will be left to wonder who Nelson might be.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Seven Intriguing Facts

I have some interesting information that I've compiled together regarding Nelson Swanson and his blog:

1. Nelson's blog was discovered by Marvin D.

2. Marvin D. "discovered" it the very same day Nelson did his first post.

3. Nelson writes in a very similar way to Marvin D.

4. Nelson was absent from his blog the same amount of time as Marvin D. was from The AIO Fan's Life, and posted on the same day that Marvin posted.

5. Nelson has taken the liberty to call me Christian and Original Joe OJ, very similarly to how Marvin D. addresses the both of us.

6. Nelson has recently stated that he does another blog without his parents' knowledge.

7. Marvin D. took a particular interest to The Odyssey Muchacha which is also written by an Odyssey resident. He seemed to think it was a brilliant idea when she started it.

Just something to think about. I'm not trying to imply anything, but the facts seem to point to Marvin D. as the one who writes The Life of Nelson. Hey, I'm just saying. ; D

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Alright

Now that I am the fourth site to get the picture out (Here it is again.)...




...I'll give you my review:

Awesome! I love it! It looks great! I love the way the light from the clock is shining over everything! There is brilliant detail all throughout the picture and this is definitely one of my favorite, if not my very favorite Gary Locke drawing.

I still can't really tell who that third person is supposed to be. It's obviously a female, but it doesn't really look like anyone I've seen. I think it might be Connie, but unless the new Connie illustration has a pointed chin, freckles, and green eyes, it's probably some new character we don't know yet. (Tell me what you think!) If that's supposed to be Connie, she underwent major plastic surgery and looks more like the newly-plastic-surgeried girl in Disney's Bolt than Connie.

Mr. Whittaker and Eugene look great! I still hold to my opinion that the new Mr. Whittaker illustration is far superior to the old. And Eugene doesn't look that bad either.

Now I can't wait for Album 53's cover to be revealed!

P.S. I wrote this review yesterday, but didn't post it until today. So any similarities to other bloggers' reviews are coincidental (or providential, if you prefer ; D).

Here It Is!

Ta da!




I'll post what I think of it later, but for now I just wanted to be one of the first to get it out.

Make sure to go check out the podcast that gives us the winners of the Avery Awards!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Scene from Album 52!

I think I'm finally the first to get new information out!

The fifth episode of the Odyssey Scoopcast is out! And it is by far the best episode yet! I couldn't believe my ears when Kevin McCreary gave us not only a new episode title, "The Mystery of the Clock Tower", but he also gave us a scene from that episode! In this scene, we find out the main characters in the story, the main storyline, and that there is a new mayor in Odyssey!

Kevin also gave us a heads-up that the final Album 52 cover will be revealed tomorrow! And the new Official Podcast tomorrow will tell us where to find it. So I guess Marvin was right; how he knows someone who knows Nathan Hoobler I have no idea, but he was right on.

I'll try to be one of the first people out with the cover tomorrow. How's that for Odyssey news?!

By the way, yesterday Marvin discovered a new blog, "The Life of Nelson Swanson". It seems to be going in the same direction as The Odyssey Muchacha (which seems to be on a hiatus), and looks to be a very promising blog.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Can Anyone Say Wow?

WOW! I now know why Blogger was down for a little while last week. This week they have introduced a brand-new formatting program, and as you can see, I took advantage of it. (Tell me what you think in the comments!)

While there isn't any new Odyssey news, there is some fan website news. Jacob has unveiled his surprise at the Odyssey Scoop! Not only has he redone the Features section of the website, but he also added a new feature: Odyssey Awards. Jacob has organized all of the past Fan Awards contests from 2006 back to 1999, when Nathan Hoobler and Shadowpaw hosted the Season Awards at their websites. Both sites have since gone AWOL (This will sound weird, but I don't know what "AWOL" means. Can someone please tell me?), but these selections from fans were fun to look through.

For anyone who's interested Audrey S. recently told us that she is one of the writers of the blog Words on a Page, a blog that has nothing to do with Odyssey, but rather focuses on books, and poems, and writing in general. Also, I discovered via AIO Insanity a blog done by Isabella Esther, a homeschooled, teenage, Christian girl who follows Audrey's site. Her blog is called 4 Da Glory of God, and, though she has only written a few posts, her entries are full of spiritual encouragement and discipline. It is very interesting, and though she needs to work on some of her theology, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Also, for any Christian music fans, I discovered Jay's Musik Blog the other day. He gives daily (sometimes bi-daily) updates on Christian music and artists, and does a devotional every Wednesday. Enjoy!

This is Christian A. saying, "Marvin'd better be right about the cover for Album 52 being revealed soon, because if it isn't, I might die for lack of Odyssey news!" :D

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Uuuggghh!

Odyssey news has been coming along deathly slow the last couple of weeks. The latest news is that you have a chance to get in the recommendations page for Passages books 3 & 4. Click here if you want to learn how.

Marvin put out his podcast! In this most recent one, Marvin answers FAQs from his fans (mainly me), and tries to pronounce some of the longest words in the English language. Also, he seems to think, or actually, he learned from a secret AIO informant (who that is I have no idea) that we will be seeing some final Album 52 artwork sometime soon. What we've seen so far looks awesome, so I'm really looking forward to it.

Vote in my newest poll if you haven't yet. Head over to my Links Outward page if you want to check out any blogs you haven't heard of.

Well, I'm off to church, so until there's some real news, this is Christian A. signing off.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Album 52 Cover Leak!

I'm pretty sure Brock did this on purpose, but FreddyJay noticed something special in the background of the most recent picture released on The Quest for Truth:


If you look behind the book, you can see a clear Eugene, a sort of clear Whit, and another female character that looks to me like Connie. (Tell me what you think in the comments!)

It's just like Brock to do something like that. The picture wasn't even really needed, so I'm sure he only took the picture to sneak some secrets out.

Make sure to go vote in the Avery Awards, and keep checking in for more Odyssey news. Marvin seems to think that we'll be seeing the final album cover for Album 52 sometime soon.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

No News is Bad News

Sorry I haven't been posting very often. It's just that [1. There is no new, exciting Odyssey news, nor has there been for the last week. (Brock seems to have disappeared.) and [2. I have been hard at work getting ready for an Open House that my parents are giving at my house this Saturday. We are trying to sell our house, and this is our first Open House in years, so I've been hard at work washing windows, mowing the lawn, washing floors, vacuuming, you name it.

There is a bit of Odyssey news in that the votes in the Whitty awards have been added up, and you now have a chance to vote for the finalists in the Avery awards. You can do this at the Official site (where there is also a new podcast), AIO Wiki, and The Odyssey Scooop. Also, this time around, you can vote for Best Sound, Best Script, and Best Overall Episode.

This is Christian A. saying, "I'm bored, bored, BORED!!"

P.S. If you haven't yet done it, wish Marvin a happy birthday over at the AIO Fan's Life as he turns thirteen today.

Monday, May 31, 2010

A Thief in the Night

I was debating whether or not to review "Our Best Vacation Ever", but finally decided that I should. Until I came online this morning and saw that Marvin over at the AIO Fan's Life had given his review. He just so happened to write everything that I was going to say. Even down to my favorite line in the episode: "I think Mr. Whittaker's been spending too much time in the Imagination Station"--Jimmy Barclay.

The only thing that I disagree with him about is that I really liked the episode and always have. Yes, the Barclay children are constantly bickering and are a bit disrespectful, but haven't they always been that way? I give the episode a 8.5/10.

There isn't really any Odyssey news to report, but there is a brand-new video interview with Nathan Hoobler that you might be interested in watching. Also, the Odyssey Scoop came out with its fourth Scoopcast and there is a fifth Heartcast for you to give a listen to as well.

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Agent 3XQ

For any of you who haven't discovered it yet, there is another new Odyssey blog written by Agent 3XQ. To those of you fans who know that this is Jared DeWhite's secret agent name, you need to know that this blogger claims that he is not Jared, but a fellow conspiracist who lives in Odyssey.

This, like Camilla's blog, looks promising, and has a very interesting way of going about things. His posts thus far have been entertaining, and I look forward to reading more.

In other news, the next Official podcast will give us the results of the Whitty Awards and will signal the beginning of the voting for the Odyssey Awards. These awards will go out to best overall episode, best script, and best sound. The podcast will be released on June 2, the day before Marvin's birthday (yes I remembered).

That's all for now!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nothing Much

There's nothing much going on in Odyssey lately, no new news. But bloggers have been filling up the time with special surprises!

If you haven't heard Audrey's podcast celebrating her 100th post, be sure to go check that out. When she decided to reveal her voice, it inspired Marvin to do it too. He has put out two clips of his voice and it seems like he has the ability to do more in the future. He also released a picture of himself. It may come as a surprise to those of you who don't know him as well as I do.

The Odyssey Muchacha keeps getting better and better. When it first came out, I was expecting it to be any other give news and review episodes blog. But Camilla has come at it with a different approach and constantly writes about her life and siblings and a lot more Odyssey stuff than any other blogs. I really like reading that kind of thing, it's very entertaining and Camilla is doing a great job making her blog unique.

I had forgotten to wonder what would be airing on the weekends on Odyssey this summer until yesterday. Jacob posted the list of summer episodes that will air on Saturdays for the majority of the summer while we wait for Album 52.

Also, I don't know where he got them, but the guy who runs the Whit's End Podcast got two or three new episode titles that I'd never heard before. I'm pretty sure that they're legitimate, but beware in case of any trickery.

If you haven't noticed, I created three other pages to the blog titled Character Profiles, Episode Reviews, and Links Outward. I hope to do more in the future.

That's all for now, and for those who have been wondering, I will not be posting any audio or video clips of myself. My dad told me to tell you that my voice will be kept a secret in order to let the Voice of Odyssey ring out.

P.S. For those of you who care, today is the ninth anniversary of Wooton's first appearance in Odyssey.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Coloured Singers from Fisk University

Sorry if this review seems a lot more unprofessional than the ones I've done before. I've never reviewed a three-part episode, and I'm feeling very tired and lazy, so if I seem to be rambling and unorganized, that's my lame excuse.
  • These episodes were the best in the season! And the third part was the overall best episode of the season!
  • The singing was amazing! There was not one song that had one error in it. There is a special feature in the album version that tells you that they hired professional singers to sing the songs, but the actors were different people. That's why there was amazing singing and great acting at the same time. Some of the songs, as Marvin said, almost made me cry. And if you know me, I don't cry unless something's really, really good.
  • The acting was just as amazing! Until I heard that special feature on the CD, I thought it was crazy how they found amazing black (or black-sounding) actors and actresses who could sing very very well. All of the characters (who were supposed to) sounded like genuine black folk. Red and Olivia's actors also did a great job. I still wish they'd change Olivia's age to fourteen or fifteen. She still doesn't act or sound like anyone younger than that.
  • Samuel was my favorite character in the set of episodes, maybe even in the whole season. He added just the right amount of humor to the episode, and a lot of it made me laugh. Especially the part where he overdramatizes the gunshot wound. He was always worried about his stomach, and that reminded me of Marvin Washington. Mostly because I think they're played by the same actor.
  • There were no major characters (unless you wanna call Olivia a major character) ! I was really hoping that Whit or Connie or Eugene would pop in somewhere or near the end, but they didn't. That was the only downside of having these episodes end the season. There was no great ending line by Whit or anyone else.
  • There were more spiritual applications in this episode than in the rest of the season combined! I really appreciated that. These episodes really felt like Odyssey, rather than a new radio drama trying to be like Odyssey. There were lessons about perseverance, umm..., I can't remember any more right now, but I'm sure there were more. (Please comment!) Oh yeah, Olivia learned that she should be wanting and willing to learn and ready to fight for her right to learn.

Overall, this was an amazing episode and the Odyssey team did a great job. It had a great story, and it's all the better when the story is true! Keep up the good work Odyssey, but now I can't wait for Cause and Effect.

This episode gets a 10/10, a great way to end the season.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Changes

So I've changed the fonts and colors of my blog. Tell me what you think in the comments!

There have been many speculations as to who the writer of the new blog, The Odyssey Muchacha might be, so I decided to make a poll. Make sure to vote in it! You may choose as many answers as you'd like.

My heartfelt apology goes out to Marvin/Mitch/Josh, whom I would have added to the choices, but alas and alack, I went back to add you, and someone had already voted, so I couldn't change it.

Be on the lookout for Audrey's podcast to celebrate her 100th post over at AIO Insanity. It's building up to something very exciting!

Be sure to listen to part 3 of The Jubilee Singers tomorrow/today! That's all for now, be sure to come back Monday for my review. I'm not sure how I'm gonna get that done, 'cause right about now I'm feeling pretty energy-drained and too lazy to review a three-part episode. Maybe that's because it's past eight o'clock my time. I'd better go get some sleep.

Little News Tidbits

A lot of little minor things have been happening around Odyssey the past couple days.

The Odyssey Whitty Awards have been officially started. This is an opportunity for you to give your opinion on Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Overall Scene, and Best Line of Dialogue. Later there will be an opportunity to vote for Best Episode. The Official Site, AIO Wiki, and The Odyssey Scoop are all pitching in to get the most votes ever.

Ethan Daniels, co-host of the Ceiling Fan Podcast, and Odyssey's biggest fan (in his opinion), has started his own blog! I'm not sure what to expect yet from this weird kid, but it should be pretty interesting.

Official Podcast #100 is out! And it's a great podcast! I have to admit, I haven't yet gotten around to listening to it myself, but it looks to be a great interview.
Mandisa talks about her experience in the Jubilee Singers at Fisk University and how they influenced her life and career. Mandisa was a contestant on American Idol in 2006 and has since released several albums including Freedom and True Beauty. She continues to support the Jubilee Singers.



Random Cool Fact: I have a friend whose mom used to be Paul McCusker's travel agent! They used to live in Colorado Springs, but have since moved to Ohio. She said that she often saw actors at Whit's End serving ice cream!

That's all for now. Tune in on Monday for my review of The Jubilee Singers Parts 1, 2, & 3!

P.S. Today is the Eugene and Katrina's fifth anniversary!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My 25th Post!

I've apparently only been around a quarter of the amount of time Audrey has but hey, at least I haven't gone insane over AIO. She says she's going to do a podcast celebrating her 100th post. I can't wait!

As I said yesterday, my little brother got Album 51 for his birthday, so we listened to the first disc last night. It has "The Inspiration Station Parts 1 & 2", along with "Clutter". It was a lot easier to listen to "The Inspiration Station" listening to both parts in one night, instead of over the course of one week. I didn't realize how much I really liked both of these episodes until I heard them together. This is going to turn into a review, but I haven't officially reviewed these episodes yet anyway.

I loved all of the acting. Even Olivia's actress did very well for her first episode. All of the actors did an amazing job. All of the old actors, even Whit, captured their roles very well. And each of the new actors had a unique personality and played their parts nearly perfectly. All of the chemistry is very good.

This story also taught a very good lesson, as I listened to it again. I was very touched at some parts. I could relate to Connie in this episode a lot. There are times when a camp speaker or a pastor will say something that really inspires me to live for God, but then a few days later, the feeling will be gone, and I'll be back to my sinful self.

I really liked the scene where Eugene and Whit let Connie listen to the recorded responses of callers. I wish I had been able to be a part of that contest. Audrey sounds great! But I still don't believe that she's only twelve.

Overall, this episode was amazing, and taught great lessons. The Parker family is a great addition to the show. So is Red Hollard who makes an appearance in "Clutter". I can't wait to hear more from in season 52.

In other news, the second annual Ceiling Fan Fan Hijack has been officially started. This is a contest where fans of the Ceiling Fan (has anyone ever wondered why he's on the ceiling?) create their own Ceiling Fan Podcast parody, and Ethan and Phil vote on their favorite entry. The winning podcast parody will be aired on a future Ceiling Fan podcast. The winner will receive a bunch of really cool prizes.

There is another blog that has been started by Camilla Parker!!! David and Eva have decided that she is old enough to run one. It should be interesting to see what she does with it and what she says about episodes with her in them.

Does anyone know why the Odyssey Owl went off of the Internet??

Does anyone else find it hard to close off these blog posts? I can never think of a good closing statement. ----------------------- There I go again. I can't think of a good post ender. I'll just end it here. Oh yeah, here's one of my favorites: Please comment!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Oh Wow! Oh Wow! Oh Wow!




Guess what my younger brother (12) got for his birthday on Saturday?!!? (Hopefully the picture doesn't give anything away.)

Yeah! How'd you guess? My mom secretly, behind my back, ordered those two items at half price about a month ago. I would've scanned my hands holding them, but my scanner acted up on me this morning. You'll just have to take my word for it. I totally thought that we hadn't ordered ours yet. Yay!! We listen to Odyssey in bed every night so I think we'll listen to the first disc tonight. I can't wait to hear the deleted scenes from "The Inspiration Station". I only listened to the "Darien's Rise" episodes once when they were airing, and have since read the entire biblical account. It should be fun to compare the story with what I read.


Odyssey news has been kinda slow lately. Original Joe put a new cool awards page on his blog where you can vote for your favorite things about the new season. TC Man's third and fourth heartcasts are out with some awesome interviews. If you're participating in Brock's Mother's Day contest, be sure to keep those stories coming in. Remember, the prizes are worth $1,000.


Until there's more news, this is Christian A. signing off. (Please comment!)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Panel That Brings Fun for the Whole Family




The Family Fun Panel is a brand-new addition to all released or re-released Odyssey albums. Each new album will include a CD-Rom feature with a video on it. The video will feature Brock Eastman and Diane Ignolia performing tasks specified in the pull-out poster inside the album. The first of many Family Fun Panel videos has just been posted on the Official Adventures in Odyssey Podcast Blog . See it here. This video is included in Album 51: Take It From the Top.

My personal thoughts: A little corny, but entertaining. I don't know how long the other videos will be, but this one seemed a bit short. One thing I noticed was that Brock called the mom in the video a "lovely lady", and he's mentioned before that he has a wife and two kids. Hmm... Anyway. I also was impressed with the look of the button that participants who contact FOTF will receive. It looked cooler than I thought it would. I'll look forward to seeing more of these in the future.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Amazing Podcast!

I hadn't yet listened to the newest Official AIO Podcast when I posted about it the other day, and didn't say nearly enough about it. It is an amazing podcast, with an interview second only to the interview with Jess Harnell. Zach Callison is an amazing actor and he really knows how to do interviews.

I have never seen "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?", but I have the game version, and I've seen variations of it at church camp. It is a great game show, and it's really cool that Zach was on it for Season 5.

It is a very revealing interview, as they tend to be, because the actors have usually recorded many shows that we've never heard. One such episode revealed in this podcast is "An Agreeable Nanny". We get a pretty cool, full description of the episode including such plot elements as chases with a giant dog, no parents at home, a great baby-sitter, and a grueling banana fight.

Also, it was said that the next podcast will contain an interview with very popular contemporary Christian artist, Mandisa, who is a member of the modern-day Jubilee Singers.


She is a wonderful lady with a troubled past who was a finalist on American Idol a few years back, and who has since become one of Christian music's most popular female vocalists and certainly the most popular female African-American in the Christian industry. I thought that was cool that she had ties to these most recent Odyssey episodes.

Sounds like we've got some awesome stuff to look ahead to in the 52nd season. So be sure to listen to this most recent podcast, and stay tuned for the interview with Mandisa.

I Just Stopped in to Say I Won't Be Stopping In

No, seriously. I decided to go along with what a couple of other bloggers are doing and wait to give my review for "The Jubilee Singers" until all three parts have aired. I debated with myself the past couple days over how to do it, but finally decided that this was the best choice.

This episode was definitely the best of the season so far, and I have nothing negative to say about it, so it'd be a pretty boring review. Hopefully by the time all three episodes have aired, I'll have a pretty balanced review thought out.

Feel free to comment about what you think of the idea and about what you thought of the episode. I'll still be delivering news every time there's something new, I just won't be reviewing episodes until May 22. Unless of course, like the second part is horrible, and then I'll have a very well-balanced review to put out.

Also, if you haven't yet, be sure to vote in Dale Jacobs' favorite Odyssey blog contest at the Odyssey Owl! (Vote for me!)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

This Stuff Just Keeps on Coming!

There are loads of information coming from Brock and the AIO team this week. Dale Jacobs from the Odyssey Owl put out the information yesterday and gave his thoughts on it:




  • Scientists believe the future is ahead of us

  • Blackgaard saga to be released in 2011

  • Parker family gets new baby sitter

  • Emily Jones solves another case

  • Mathew Parker invents new Imagination Station adventure

  • Album 52 includes an episode named "As Fast As I Can"

We went from knowing the title to alot of other things as well. So that is a lot to take in in one sitting, so i am going to break it down for you.


Well I really don't know what the first one is about. Im guessing it has something to do with the City Hall clock tower.


The Blackgaard saga will be a collection of all the episodes that Blackgaard was in. So Daring Deeds and Sinister Schemes, Waylaid in a windy city, and Darkness Before Dawn.


Also, the most exciting part of this post... I managed to get a picture of the new Album 52. It is the picture at the top of this post.



In other news, the Official Adventures in Odyssey Podcast has a new and exciting podcast for us:

Bob and Jesse interview Zach Callison on his role as Matthew Parker and hear about his work on “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” Plus: hear the title of album 52!

This is a very informative podcast and just gets me more excited for the "Ask the Parkers" podcast.

So we've got a lot to look forward to this fall with Album 52, "Cause and Effect" hitting stores at the same time it airs on the radio. Keep checking in for more information as AIO's 51st season draws to an end.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

More Secrets Revealed

There is a new video podcast up at the Official Adventures in Odyssey Podcast Blog, not to be confused with the Adventures in Odyssey Blog.





It features Brock telling us about a new video podcast for Mother's Day. I'm not sure of all the details because I was concetrating more on what was going on behind Brock. Look closely, and you will see something that Blodyssey has been dying to see ever since the fake album art for Album 52 got out.

Also, for anyone who is following it, the second edition of The Odyssey Scoopcast is up. It provides a recap of all the new information and surprises being revealed around Blodyssey in the past week or so. Kevin McCreary, creator of The Ceiling Fan Podcast is the host.

Finally, the second heartcast is out on The Heart of Odyssey. And the 24th episode of The Ceiling Fan is up as well. It's pretty funny. Their podcast has a reputation of exaggerating and doing hilarious interviews.

That's all the info for now. Keep on the lookout for more updates and secrets revealed in the near future.