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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!