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Friday, April 30, 2010

The Heart of Odyssey

Hey! There's a new blog out called "The Heart of Odyssey". Our blog community just keeps getting bigger. It is very well done and the guy who runs it knows how to use his computer.

They have put out their very first podcast today except it's called a "heartcast". Very funny. It made me laugh, which is somewhat hard to do. It is a very original idea and I look forward to hearing their reviews on episodes. It'll be a good thing to listen to while we're waiting for Chris to come back from his missions trip so that he and Sarah can start reviewing some episodes for The Unofficial Adventures in Odyssey Podcast.

Also, I'll be adding some new pages to the blog under the poll. Tell me what you think in the comments.

Don't forget to put those questions in for "Ask the Parkers"! I don't know how soon the podcast is coming, but you'd best get them in quick because I doubt they'll ask 600 questions. The ones closer to the top will probably be the ones asked.

So go check out "The Heart of Odyssey" and be back on Monday for my review of "Finish What You..."!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Big Things Are Happening!

There was a conference call meeting at Focus on the Family on Tuesday. Brock Eastman, marketing director, e-mailed all of the bloggers a phone number for a room at FOTF where there would be a question-and-answer session for those who had questions about Album 52.

Audrey S., who writes AIO Insanity, and Sarah Benson, co-host of The Unofficial Adventures in Odyssey Podcast were among those who attended the meeting via telephone. I, alas and alack, did not find the meeting something worth attending, until I read Audrey's post yesterday. I will be getting most of my info from hers and Sarah's posts.

Here are a few things that were discussed at the meeting:

  • The title of Album 52 is confirmed as being "Cause and Effect", while the album art previously released at CBD's website and AIO Wiki was just a fake cover. The real one will look much cooler with three main characters looking around for something in a clock tower. Also, it has been confirmed that there will be two one-part holiday episodes. One Thanksgiving and one Christmas.

  • A new book series by Paul McCusker and Marianne Hering called "The Imagination Station" is set to come out this fall with books 1 & 2. Books 3 & 4 will follow next spring. These will be chapter books directed toward 6-9-year-olds.

  • There is a new feature in all upcoming album releases/re-releases called the Family Fun Panel. You will be able to pop one of the CDs in the album into your computer and watch Brock and Diane Ingolia go into different families to try to complete challenges given in the video. Watchers are encouraged to do these activities with their families, and those who do, and contact Focus will receive a button with the album name, art, and challenge name imprinted on it.

Hopefully more updates are coming soon. Keep on the lookout.

Also, new from the Official AIO Podcast Blog:

Ask the Parkers!

We will be interviewing the Parker family kids on a future podcast.

Do you have any questions for the actors behind the voices? Let us know in the comments below and your question might be answered on a future podcast!

This sounds like a very fun opportunity, at least for me. I'm still not sure if they want you to ask questions of the fictional characters or of the actors. I asked mine as if asking the actors. I can't see why they'd want to have us ask the characters anything. I don't know about you, but I think it'd be exciting to hear my name read before my question is asked on an Official Podcast. Get those questions in and you might just appear on a future podcast! Keep watching for more updates!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Hoy estoy vando reviso semana esa capitula: "La Visita de Abuela"! Yo muy quiero capitulo esa y el es un capitulo que yo escucho otra vez y otra vez.

My guess is that most of you reading cannot understand much of what I just said. Is that how you felt when you listened to this week's episode? If I weren't taking Spanish this year, that's probably how I would have felt, and this episode wouldn't have been as fun for me as it was.

Here is a translation of what I said:
Today, I am going to review this week's episode: "Grandma's Visit"! I really liked this episode and it is one that I would listen to again and again.

I don't know if it's just because I listened to such a bad episode yesterday morning, or because the episode was that good, but I would definitely label this episode my second favorite of the season. I'm going to review it the same way I reviewed yesterday's.

  • All of the acting was amazing! There was not one actor who did a bad job in this episode. The casting was excellent and everyone sounded great. Even Whit, whom I was not expecting a good performance from did a terrific job. Since he was behind the counter as the advice-giving, listening Whit, I expected him to sound fake again. But he nearly nailed the performance this time. I also thought that Amanda Troop did exceptionally well as Eva. I'm liking her character more and more every time I hear from her.
  • I liked the family relationships in this episode. The Parkers came together to make room for their large family and I can relate to that. I loved the playful banters between David and Eva. They are a great example of what a mom and dad should be for each other and for their children. I appreciated how Eva stood up to her mother after trying to go along with her with the wedding plans. It reminded me of "For Better or For Worse" when Eugene and Katrina get married, and Katrina's mother wants things to go along with tradition.
  • I liked that the kids were the narrators and Whit was the one hearing the story. It gave the episode a unique twist and I was sort of reminded of "I Slap Floor" where Bernard tells a crazy story to David and Mandy Straussberg.
  • The episode had good messages about forgiveness, respect, and family.
  • We finally know why the Parkers had to meet in the bathroom! I had forgotten about it until I heard this episode.


  • I agree with those who said that this episode at some points felt like a soap opera. Sometimes it got a little too mature for the target audience. Most of the members of my family hadn't yet learned what eloping was. I found it interesting that Rosalita's love for Rodrigo was so weak that she would elope with her ex-fiancee and leave him in the dust. This aspect of the story sounded like nothing we've ever heard before in Odyssey except maybe in "The Question About Tasha".
  • There was no mention of anything spiritual in the episode, and while the episode had a good lesson and good values, I would have appreciated hearing Whit talk about what God intended marriage to be or something along those lines.

Overall this was, again, a great episode and one that I could listen to many times and keep laughing. I give it a 9/10, just below "Target of the Week". It was good to hear from Bob Hoose again, and I was glad to hear that he's not leaving Odyssey as my April Fool's joke stated.

I was interested to see that next Saturday's episode: "Finish What You..." is written by former Veggietales writer, Tim Hodge, and I believe this is his first episode. It will be interesting to see how it turns out. You only have one day left to vote in the poll!

When I'm Right, I'm Right

I didn't like this episode very much at all. It got a little better near the end, but there were a lot of objectionable elements in it, at least for me. I'll address the episode by giving the positive and negative elements. Negative first:
  • There was a lot of disrespect toward parents, particularly Mr. Jones. As in the episode, "And That's the Truth", we need to be honest, and yet caring and respectful. There wasn't much of that, just a lot of needing to be painfully honest on Emily's part. I don't know who Kirby Atkins is, but he/she definitely has different views than Paul McCusker on telling the truth.
  • I didn't like that a kid who sounds like an 11-year-old had a girlfriend from school whom he meets with privately and accepts hugs from. And when did we find out that Barrett was older than Emily? She sounds way older than him.
  • I didn't like the namecalling or bickering between Emily, Barrett, and Jay. Jay is definitely more of a bully than Rodney Rathbone ever was. He is mean and he hits where it hurts. The kids in this episode sounded like any other kids of the world, not godly, Christian kids from a small town middle school.
  • They didn't really address that what Emily did was wrong. She shouldn't have been messing with her brother's love life (even if he shouldn't have one to begin with). The only good message in this episode was a slightly noticeable message to take advice, and long for wisdom and discernment.


  • I was glad that Mr. Jones talked to Emily near the end, and that there was a message about asking for forgiveness again.
  • One thing that was kind of positive was that Matthew took action against Emily's wrongdoing. He told her that what she did was wrong and that she shouldn't do that to her brother.
  • The acting was good, I think Barrett's actor found the right voice because he sounded good. We heard from Matthew again, and I'm sure we did in "Grandma's Visit" too. Hopefully we get a break from him in "Finish What You..."

Not much to say on the positive side of things. This episode could have been any other radio drama of the world, and that's not what Adventures in Odyssey is. There was an okay message, but over all, I didn't like this episode. I give it a 3/10.

Be sure to come back tomorrow for my review on "Grandma's Visit", and check out my review for "For the Birds" if you haven't already. Also, vote in the poll; it closes on Thursday.

Monday, April 26, 2010

"For the Birds" Was for the Birds

Just kidding. I liked this episode. Phil Walton and Paul McCusker did a good job of putting both storylines together. I want to review the episode by giving my thoughts on each character:

  • First of all, Whit, of course! I didn't like Andre's voice so much in this episode. It seems like he can do a good job in the inventive Whit area, and in the baseball commentator area. But so far in this season, when the writers have put him behind the counter as ice cream-maker and advice-giver Whit, as a friend of mine put it, he sounds fake. I'll hopefully get used to him soon enough but for now, he just doesn't cut it for me.
  • Connie didn't have too big a part in this episode, but when she was talking, I think she did a great job and I was glad to hear from her again. It seems like she's gotten over her obsession with the Inspiration Station. She just doesn't seem like Connie when she's that kind and patient and caring and sweet. It's been interesting that we haven't heard about the Inspiration Station at all since the first two episodes of the season. Hopefully there will be more episodes describing more of what it does in the near future. By the way, when did Connie learn to cut and style hair?
  • Eugene played a big part in this episode as expected. I found it weird that birds were drawn to only his hair. Doesn't Connie have practically the same color of hair? And more of it, for that matter? Why weren't the birds attracted to her? Also, Eugene seemed a bit out of character concerning his fear of the birds. I mean, I guess I'd be scared if birds were chasing me and trying to bite my head, but it's not like Eugene, as an adult, to scream like a little girl, especially around other adults. The first scene was especially weird. There isn't really any chemistry between Camilla and Eugene, or between Camilla and friend.
  • Wooton was definitely back to character today. He was back to his usual quirky self with funny, useless information. I love the scene where he describes to the Parker family why he named his moose Dexter and how nearly immediately after that he becomes sober with the fact that Dexter is barely moving. And then he offers to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but decides not to, for fear of blowing him up. :D I laughed out loud a couple times. I hope we get to hear more of Wooton in the upcoming episodes.
  • It seemed weird that Mr. and Mrs. Parker believed in the Parker Family Curse without really believing in it. They seemed to give past tragedies concerning pets as a reason for not allowing Camilla to have a pet. I greatly liked the relationship that David seemed to have with Camilla. He acted as the spiritual leader of the family, which is what fathers are supposed to be to their wife and children.
  • Olivia's voice keeps getting better. She now sounds more like a fifteen-year-old and that's how I picture her. I thought it was kind of funny that Mrs. Parker was the one who killed her pet. It would be just like my mom to sit on a small pet, paying no attention to the fact that it was there. My mom is the reason we don't have any pets in our house. She doesn't like them.
  • Matthew only had a few lines in this episode, adn one of his lines was something I didn't like about the episode: "They had a suicide pact." Referring to the dead goldfish. It was funny, but a little too mature for 8-12-year-olds. Also, a few other bloggers and I noticed that Matthew has been in every episode this season. I could use a little break from him.
  • I liked hearing a lot from Camilla, and her actress did a good job. I liked that the ending of the episode was unexpected and realistic: The bird died, which I definitely didn't expect, adn we don't hear of her getting a dog. So I guess the sound designers get out of having to record for a dog yet again. : )

Overall, this was a great episode. The ending with Chris was a little corny, but still enjoyable. I'll give this episode an 8.5/10. Check back tomorrow for my review on "When You're Right, You're Right", which I haven't even heard yet. Also, vote in the new poll.

Go check out the important things that happened while I was gone if you haven't already: The Winner of the Act Like Odyssey Contest, and The Odyssey Scoop Surprise Revealed.

Monday, April 12, 2010

To My Utter Dismay...

I am unable to blog for two weeks. Therefore there will be no new posts, no new poll, episode reviews, or new information. I won't even be able to listen to the episodes as they air. You won't see me commenting on yours or anyone else's blogs.

I will be back in two weeks and the good news is--you'll get three episode reviews on three consecutive days. Something came up at my house and I'd appreciate it if you didn't ask what. I won't be answering any comments. But I'll give you more time to vote in the poll. And no, this is not an April Fool's joke.

Come back on Monday the 26th for my review on "For the Birds". Sorry, everyone!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


My family went on a sort of sudden vacation from Wednesday to Saturday, and I didn't have the chance to tell anyone. Unfortunately, we picked the wrong week to do so. A few big things were revealed, including: The Act Like Odyssey Finalists, The Big Surprise at The Odyssey Scoop, and the lesser known Secret Interview at the AIO Blog.

Check those out and then come back on Monday for my review on "For the Birds".

Monday, April 5, 2010

Awesome Picture!

Here is the picture drawn by Gary Locke from the April edition of Clubhouse Magazine:

A few weeks ago, I had tried to scan it into my computer and post it, but my computer doesn't let me post scanned images on the Internet. :0 This illustration is a play off of the cover of an old Beatles' album: Abbey Road.

Gary Locke did a great job. One thing you can't see with this version of the picture is that Harlow Doyle is looking for clues in the bushes on the left side of Wooton.

At the bottom of the poster, it reads: "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"--Romans 10:15. Each character has different things on their feet: Whit--dress shoes, Connie--slippers, Eugene--bare feet (as one of the Beatles in the original picture), and Wooton--roller skates.

Enjoy! Be sure to read my review on "Target of the Week" below!

This Episode is My Target of the Week

I came into this episode with average expectations, failing to remember that it was this week's episode that was promised by Original Joe to be the best of the season. I was looking forward to next week's being the highly anticipated episode. I'm glad that I didn't remember right, because, otherwise, I might have gone into the episode with expectations too high to like it as much as I did.

Here are several thoughts that I had concerning "Target of the Week":

  • There was overall, I thought, excellent acting throughout the whole episode, partly due to great writing. Even Andre Stojka surprised me with his great job as Whit. Andre gives every inclination that, given the right script, he can be a great Mr. Whittaker. Also, I noticed that Georgina Cordova did a great job as Nelson once again. We hadn't seen him in a school setting before (excluding "The Science Club" episode in "The Truth Chronicles"), and the actress again did well playing a younger male of the opposite gender.
  • It was said by Original Joe that Wooton would be in this episode, and therefore I did have high expectations for him. He did not, however, reach those expectations. He didn't seem to be his usual quirky self. (For those of you who vote in my polls, I accidentally misspelled "quirky" as "corky", and unfortunately cannot change it back. So if you like Wooton, but didn't choose "corky" because you didn't know what I meant, sorry!) I think the bad portrayal of Wooton was partly due to bad writing. I don't know if Marshal Younger is used to writing for Wooton or not, but Wooton just didn't sound like Wooton to me.
  • I like the fact that the Odyssey writers are bringing Kidsboro characters into regular shows to interact with regular characters. I really liked the interactions between Nelson and Matthew. They genuinely sounded like two fellow students, as well as friends. Again, there was great acting. My favorite line in this episode was, "Warn me before you speak to me!"
  • I also like the overall real-world feeling of this episode. It really seemed like a situation middle school kids would get into. I liked the realisticness in that there wasn't really a happy ending. Vance will still be a bully, Matthew didn't convert him unrealistically. Nelson and Matthew didn't get away with wrongdoing, got in trouble, and there was a great message about apologizing.
  • I liked all of the new characters. Vance King (and cronies) seem like they'll turn out to be a good replacement for Rodney and his gang (assuming they're not coming back). I loved the new baseball coach. I think he was supposed to be Japanese, and if so, he did a magnificent job (mostly due to good writing). He genuinely sounded Japanese-American, not just his voice, but also because of his emphasis on nature and the way the world works. All of his dialogue sounded like something out of an ancient Japanese haiku poetry book.

Overall, this was a great episode! Great, original, realistic Odyssey writing. Out of 10 stars, this episode deserves a 9.5. Please comment!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

More Updates

So, I got an e-mail from Brock this morning (I'm guessing all the other bloggers did too) concerning Album 52 episode titles and plot summaries. He only gave information on the episodes aforementioned on my last post:

  • Now is the Time Parts 1 & 2--Eugene is making repairs on the town clocktower, when he discovers a mechanism set to shut down the clocktower at an upcoming deadline. Together with Whit, he follows clues carved into the inner clocktower to solve the mystery.
  • Ghost in the Schoolyard--Strange things are happening at Odyssey Middle School: things disappearing or moving right in front of people's eyes, doors mysteriously being opened or closed, then Emily Jones discovers a plot to thwart the upcoming school talent show. Sounds like a job for The Jones & Parker Detective Agency!
  • Think Fast!--The gang at Whit's End decides to begin practicing the Biblical discipline of fasting. Soon, the kids want to join in, and Whit nearly runs out of customers. Wooton is suffering, but for Eugene, it's a breeze. Everyone learns a valuable lesson about what it truly means to fast.
  • All for One--Wooton starts his own radio show, yet to be named. He starts out by having callers decide the topics. But it turns to disaster when people start asking questions, about Wooton! Will Wooton share deep, dark secrets with the people of Odyssey?
  • That Time of Year--It's Christmastime in Odyssey, and the Parker kids want to get something special for their parents. They work together with Whit on the surprise, but Whit doesn't know that Connie and Wooton are working to surprise him! But everything is up in the air when Eugene, who knows nothing of either plot, walks into Whit's End at the wrong time!

There is not yet any information concerning the Kidsboro episode(s), so we'll just have to guess on that one.

In other slightly sad news, Bob Hoose, one of the Odyssey team who writes on occasion, has retired. He wrote the latest episode "Game for a Mystery." And the popularity of that episode was to make the decision for him, as to whether or not he would stay on the team. Because this episode did not do well among fans, he has decided to step down.

Also, for those of you involved, or who wanted to get involved, in the Act Like Odyssey Contest, it's not over yet! The producers of AIO received so few entries, that they decided to lengthen the contest by one week. If your entry is postmarked or e-mailed by this Friday, April 2, 2010, you still have a chance to win!

Until next time, Christian A., signing off. (Please comment!)