Hey! If you're reading this, I highly commend you for your faithfulness in keeping up with my blog, even when I take several-month-long hiatuses. I continue to consider officially bringing an end to this thing, but I keep deciding to keep it alive for a while longer, for just such times as today, when I have some free time and I feel like reviewing an episode. :D
So, yeah, I'm going to review "Your Servant Is Listening, Part 1." I don't think I'll make it very long, but I thought I'd at least put something out. I'm so far behind with Odyssey these days that I still haven't heard one of the episodes from Album 56. Life has finally gotten a hold of me, and I'm no longer a young teenager with too much time on his hands. This summer I've had two jobs, and during the schoolyear I've been taking college-level classes at a vocational school. All of that adds up to...no free time. At least, no free time that I feel like spending on writing long reviews of episodes. ;)
The other part of the problem is that I found myself writing longer and longer reviews, because as I've further developed my theological convictions and opinions, I've found that they often clash with those of the creators of Odyssey. And if you've ever had a theological conversation with me, you know I can't just let something go if I disagree with it. ;)
So anyway. I had my wisdom teeth removed on Tuesday, so I've had a slow, relaxing week. And I figured, since I don't really have anything to do this Saturday, I might as well give you guys some of my thoughts about the pilot episode of this new season.
I actually found myself really liking this episode. I probably won't have a final opinion on it until I hear the resolution next week, but overall I found this show to be to my liking. And it's funny, because this is the way I felt with "The Perfect Church" last season. It gave me new hope for Odyssey....and then I was let down by other episodes in the season. So I'm trying not to get my hopes too high after this one good episode. But I think it must be that I really like these biblical episodes. In "The Perfect Church," Matthew learned things directly from the Bible that applied to what he was experiencing in modern times. And it seems that Camilla is going to experience the same thing.
And I think that the issue that this episode explores is even more relevant than was the church conflict issue in the other one. In my own family I see several Camillas, who don't really get the point of reading their Bibles or praying consistently. And I thought Mrs. Parker had a very good point: They don't hear the voice of God in Scripture. They don't desire to spend time with God in His Word because they haven't yet come to truly know God. 1 Corinthians 2 says that the things of God are foolish and impossible to understand for those who don't have the Holy Spirit. Now, something tells me that the Odyssey writers aren't going to go so far as to say that Camilla isn't saved, but I still think that's an application we can derive.
But that's not the only lesson we learned in this episode. In a typical Odyssey episode, there's only one moral point that is trying to be brought across. But I was very impressed when I picked up on at least two other semi-related points. Not only did we begin to learn about the importance of reading our Bibles, but we learned about the nature and power of prayer, as well as the meaning of sacrifice in the Old and New Testaments. When the Parkers were noticing the animals around them in the marketplace, I thought to myself, "This would be a great opportunity for the writers to talk about Jesus!" And when Lucia went so far as to say that sacrifices were offered for the forgiveness of sins, I was pleased. But then she went the extra mile and described exactly what I was hoping for! That the sacrifices required under the Law of Moses were pointing to the ultimate sacrifice: Jesus! I was very happy to hear that explained in a way that kids could understand. I've found that not many people understand that connecting strand between the Old and New Testaments these days, so I'm thrilled that AIO took the opportunity to explain such a core Christian concept in the language of kids.
Anyway. I told you I couldn't help bringing theology into these reviews! :P And it looks like this is going to end up being long anyway... Oh well. I think I've done this before too, and I don't remember anyone complaining then. But hey, I'm not forcing you to read it all anyway, so it's all good. ;P
Okay, back to the episode. On the more superficial side of things, I know people have been complaining about Camilla's new voice....but I really didn't mind it at all. I think the former Camilla had a more annoying voice, personally. Plus, she was starting to sound too old for the part, so I thought it was a good decision. And the new actress sounds so similar to Sydney Shiotani that I think it would have taken me a good while to notice had I not heard about the interview with her on the Official Podcast.
I actually surprised myself and liked the part that Lucia played in this episode as well. At the beginning, she wasn't that great, but during the actual adventure I thought she was a great asset to the story. She added some elderly comic relief, as well as a good amount of wisdom. She almost felt to me like she was playing the part that Wooton used to play, once upon a time. She was funny, but that never came at the expense of her maturity and wisdom. If she can maintain this balance, I would not at all mind seeing her more often on the show.
And then Eva. I liked her just about as much as I usually do. She's not the greatest of characters, but her actress does a good job with her, so she didn't bother me. She's always seemed to me to be somewhat of a pushover when it comes to handling her children, and that showed through a little bit in this episode, but it wasn't too bad. And then I thought it was cool that she got to use her nursing skills (wasn't this the first time ever on the show?) to help deliver Samuel.
I think one of the best things about this episode for me was that Mr. Whittaker was not involved. I know that sounds wrong, but I think it was a good break to have a show where Whit was not the only delivering the moral in a short lecture at the end. Now, that could be coming in Part 2, but for now, I'm very happy with the way it is, without him.
Well... I think that's all I have to say about the episode. I had forgotten how fulfilling it is to finish a long review. I may just have to try to make time for writing one next week... You probably shouldn't get your hopes up though. ;) Next week I have work in the morning, and the week after that is the Bible Bee. So I really doubt I'll be consistent in putting out reviews. But I promise I will think about it, and I will review Part 2 if I feel like I have enough time.
Thank you for reading!
-- Christian A.