Thumbs Up (19/20 positive reviews)
Reaction to "Inside
the Studio" has been positive, if subdued so far. The episode is
a sequel of sorts to "500" (with actor interviews and behind-the-scenes
tidbits) and many are enjoying the new interviews and fun information.
Most wished the show was longer, but liked the Hal Smith/Will Ryan sing-along.
by Asher Anthes, age 15
show! I really liked the conversation with Bart and Tom.
by Patrick, age 12
enjoyed the behind-the-scences look at how it is all made. It also gave
the feeling that you were actually in the studio. Great job on 15 years!
by Ebby Dunlap, age 17
It was great!
It gets a 10! ADVENTURES IN ODYSSEY FOREVER!
by Eiram, age 15
loved it. Keep up the good work AIO!
by Tianlet, age 16
AIO!!! Will Ryan was obviously missing. :-( Otherwise, I really enjoyed
it. I wish there were more questions for the actors. I was SO surprised
to find that Corey Burton was Crock on "Hidden in my Heart."
The "singalong" was so sweet and I was breaking up by the time they
had finished reminiscing about Hal Smith. I loved it!
by Stephen, age 17
Loved the conversation between Bart and Tom! One of my favorite episodes!
by Anakin, age 12
done and organized!
by Linda, age 46
my heart to hear about Hal Smith and the background to "The Mortal Coil."
Very well done.
by Amanda Harris, age 14
Adventures in Odyssey is the coolest radio show that there ever was.
My only question is when can I start working there? Thanks for teaching
kids about God!
by Gandalf, age 18
I loved it!
It's basically a great episode. Everything behind scenes that wasn't
in "500"! The only thing I still didn't like was the that Will Ryan
was missing. I really wished he could have been in it. Over all, it's
a great episode that will leave a smile on any AIO fan.
by Julia, age 15
It was so
cool. I felt like I was really there.
by AIOfan, age 14
I think it
was great. I actually liked it a lot better than the Odyssey 500th.
I can't wait till next week's "Live at the 25"!!!
by Michael P, age 19
A very good
episode, although some of it has been heard before in the Complete
Guide to AIO. Still, it doesn't take away from the episode. Very
good job, AIO team!! Keep it up :)
by Paul B
I like the
Will Ryan song at the end. Great stuff...it reminded me of "New
Year's Eve Live." I hope this episode gets its own CD like the
500 episode did. I can't get enough of a look behind the show. What
a great idea! I hope everyone at Focus makes another show sometime.
I would have like the questions and answer part to be longer. Great
by Chris, age 14
It's been a while since we've heard a "brand-new" show. I especially
liked hearing the actor's thoughts and feelings toward AIO, as well
as Walker's short comedy: Tom vs. Bart. I can't wait for "Live at the
the Studio" is a pretty good episode. It gives you interesting tibits
about what happens behind the scenes of AIO, and even better actor interviews
than "500". However, It would have been much better if it was a two
parter. The Odyssey Team covered a lot of the production process in
"500" and this episode, but I would still liked more personal cast stories.
The talk about Hal Smith is probably one of the best scenes in the episode.
Overall, good episode, and lets hope "Live at 25" is even better!
by Alyson, age 13
It was really
cool!! The stories were great and it is about time they mentioned Mitch's
was really fun! Sure, it's not a "real" episode, but it certainly is
welcome after near 6 months of waiting. This is kind of like a 2nd part
of "500," which in and of itself is a good thing. I like hearing from
the actors go on about their characters and joking with themselves.
You get the feel, as they've said more than once, that these guys are
family. My personal favorite points where when they asked when Connie
was going to get married, and the ending with Will Ryan and Hal Smith
doing some old-time banjo ditties, which sounds like it should have
been on the "O Brother, Where Art Thou" soundtrack. Only complaint?
It's too short!!
by Jared Walczak (Mole Board)
voices over the theme is basically... a bunch of laughing that sounds
obviously fake...I liked the Hal Smith tribute and some of the goofs
were funny, but I still am waiting, waiting, endlessly waiting, for
a new actual episode.
by Sapphira (Mole Board)
it! I love it when they do the behind the scenes/ outtakes/ inteviews/
etc. My only regret is that it wasn't long enough. But I must put my
selfishness aside, if all they did was behind the scenes shows, there
wouldn't be room or time for new shows!
by Oxanna (Mole Board)
the info about Hal, and the little things that they mention like Townsend
Coleman's being discovered as the voice of the 7-UP dot (whatever that
is). But they are never long enough!! What I'd like to hear one
time is an entire episode filled with all of those bloopers and the
impromptu "ad libs." Surely they often get carried away and say humorous
little things that never get inserted into the episodes, right? I'd
like to hear one with some good behind-the-scenes stuff like that, when
they get carried away.
Thumbs Up (11/15 positive reviews)
the 25" is the third live episode in Odysssey and it's getting
decidedly mixed reviews. Some enjoyed the live feel and different perspectives,
but others were disappointed. Connie's conversation about being the
same age forever and the Rathbone TV commercial drew accolades, while
some of the interviews and the lack of more characters were called disappointments.
The main sketch of the story was a re-done version of the Western skit
from "Over the Airwaves." Some enjoyed hearing the re-telling
while others wondered why a skit was re-used in place of new material.
by Tracy, age 36
And lot of fun to listen to. I would have liked to hear from more characters,
and I think it could have been done if they hadn't rehashed old material.
Still, I loved it.
by Bradford, age 12
was maybe not my favorite. But it is one I would like to own. I liked
the part where the cast sees what it my be like years from now. Can't
wait to hear more of Adventures In Odyssey. Cool new theme song too.
by a listener, age 13
was very...strange. I didn't like it as much as many of the other ones.
It wasn't bad, but it definitely wasn't the best.
by Ian Chai, age 36
I agree with most of the others. I loved the "Connie's still 16" skit,
especially the part about Donna Barclay being a mother with kids now
and Connie's still 16, then Tom's retort about Dennis the Menace. Connie's
unaging-ness has always been a cartoon-like anomaly in the otherwise
almost-realistic universe of Odyssey. The "Connie's still 16" skit gets
a 4 out of 4, but the rest of the episode dragged down my rating.
by Amanda, age 14
It was great!
but, how does Towsend sound so young?
by AIOFan, age 14
it was ok...one thing I was disappointed in was that I thought someone
was going to write a whole new show...and it turned out to be just an
old one redone with different actors and some parts taken out. I liked
last week's one better; where it had them all talking at the 25th.
by James, age 14
Wow! I really
enjoyed this episode! What a funny spoof of "Over the Airwaves"... my
only disappointment is that Will Ryan is still absent from these past
episodes, including this one.
It was a
great episode! I do wish that more characters were there, though! I
by JoyElectric, age 25
one for the fans. The opening part about trying to figure out how old
everything and everyone is was great, and it sounded like a few conversations
at the Town Hall. I never was one for the original "Over the Ariwaves"
sketch, although the people did a great job on it. The Rathbone's ad
was wonderful, mostly added by the booing of the audience. The "in 25
years" thing was funny, especally since it still had Connie as 16 and
Whit and Tom even older than now. It runs the "Connie never ages" joke
in way we've all expected. It was a little sappy (everyone "awwww"s
and claps when Mandy's kid says she's a Christian) but was still fun.
Tom's paranoia of the Imagination Station is still alive. Overall, this
is one for the fans, but would probably go over the heads of less-then-devout
fans. But, as the live shows go, it was great!
by Anakin Skywalker, age 12
by Michael P, age 19
a good episode, although some of it was rather silly. There were plenty
of memorable lines in this episode. I just felt that it didn't feel
any different than a regular episode. I'm glad to get a new episode,
though. Too bad we have to wait now for a little over a month.
by Tianlet, age 16
was a regular show, I would not be impressed, but things are different
when a show is live. The audience seemed to love everything and I really
enjoyed it. Congrats, FOF, on 25 years. It's just like Bart to invent
an anniversary to promote the Electric Palace.
by Paul B
live show was great. The western part was okay, but I like the rest.
Bart's going to get in trouble for that line about "even women
can use this equipment." LOL. I like how they make fun of Connie's
age and Donna getting married and being older than her. Great stuff!
by Kit, age 21
for the third (and last) "special" AIO episode for... well,
quite a while. The first gave an exciting review of 500 episodes, the
second shared wonderful memories and this third one.... didn't do much.
It was set up in a "Candid Coversations with Connie" format
in front of a live audience at FOTF's headquarters and while I'm sure
it was wonderful for those in attendence, it wasn't too exciting for
those of us on the listening end. While many (myself included) had hoped
that sometime during the three special episodes we'd get to hear from
old voices like Lucy and the Barclays, it wasn't to be. Instead, Connie,
Whit, Jason, and Tom/Bart (or, rather, their respective actors) were
the only voices clearly heard. The whole format was a bit questionable.
Though it was supposed to take place "inside" of Odyssey with
Connie doing a broadcast on KIDS radio, the live audience and the whole
"feel" made it hard to believe. It sounded much more like
Katie Leigh than Connie and the entire premise was quite implausible.
with Whit and Jason about Whit's End opening fell short of what they
might have been and the two skits inside the story were disappointing.
I was really excited when they started telling the story from "Over
the Airwaves" of the parable of the tenants. When I first heard
it all those years ago (quite a few!!) I nearly cried, it affected me
so much. This telling of it was decidedly lacking. It seemed rushed,
the sound effects were a tad "off" (likely due to it being
live) and it just had the feel of four or five actors sitting on stage
in front of a live audience speaking into microphones. I failed to see
the purpose of it. The audience must have loved watching it, but they're
the only ones to get anything from it.
The second scetch
was concerning what Whit's End would be like in another 25 years. It
had potential but really only made me laugh once, when Connie complained
about meeting Donna Barclay's who's married with four children and here
she (Connie) is, still
16. Wasn't there a forum post about that? That was the highlight of
the entire episode. Then the skit ended with Mandy (actually, Mandy's
daughter) coming in and trying to make some point about how much Connie
meant to her mother, but it just didn't work.
Overall it was
a fairly disappointing episode. Had it been made between many "real"
AIO episodes then it would have been fun, but it's just been overload
on these specials. I loved the other two, but this one simply added
nothing when it could have done so much (like two previous eps!). Perhaps
some interviews from around FOTF about what they think of AIO or even
a cameo by Dobson. But, instead, we have a rather lame "just pretend
it's a real episode only it's not" episode. Quite disappointing.
by Ferder (Town Hall)
they do a re-recording of an old skit? I don't want to hear redone old
material; I want a new episode. Some things just aren't that funny the
second time around. The second skit was kinda humorous though.
by AOG (Town Hall)
the skit was well done for the second time around. They did cut parts
of it short. I missed the Fish-face Francine line.
Thumbs Up (24/30 positive reviews)
The season opener
of Odyssey (and the first "regular" show in over six
months) is drawing positive, if not overly enthusiastic reviews. Most
enjoyed the episode and had praise for the writing, acting, and music.
Everyone seemed to like Bernard's part in the show (his first in nearly
two years). A much-debated part of the episode was Whit's lesson to
Connie. Some thought it was cruel and un-like Whit, while others felt
it was convicting and appropriate. Finally, the Connie/Mitch "mushy
stuff" drew a few complaints and some questioned whether Connie
had learned the "getting too busy for God" thing too many
by DaveinChrist, age 22
the episode was really well done and reminded me of what Odyssey is
meant to be like. With a lot of good feeling and points toward our lives
with God and each other. I enjoyed it.
by E. Sheldon Burnside
show is back!
After six months of silence,
not to mention glorified reruns, from our Friends In Odyssey, we finally
find out that everything has been going okay there all this time. Connie
and Mitch are still together and very much in love, Jason hasnt
gone back to the mission field yet, and Bernard has finally returned,
having been MIA since the end of BTV: Obedience
I suddenly realized how much Ive especially missed him.
Between You and Me opened
perfectly. The Bible / Christian book study left over from the very
end of the late great Novacom Saga is still underway and one
cant help but wish this studying had been this deep
in the previous Odysseyian turmoil, where it would have been needed
On to the rest: I loved
this episode. Connie and Mitch interacted just perfectly, and Bernard
was there for some laugh-out-loud feedback, and there were Whit and
Jason, as well as other unheard characters, somewhere in the background,
but still referenced (Wooton, Jana, Jack and Joanne).
I could really appreciate
the theme, too. Although the Connie/Mitch storyline is too adult-sy
for the real target audience, Odysseys never done it this way
before, and I dont think the message can ever be overdone: the
importance of staying in the Bible. Too often other things just seem
to get in the way; even if theyre good, they get out of balance.
Overall, yes, everything
was just normal until Mitchs Big FBI Revelation. And I dont
mean like I am expecting things to finally get back to normalan
over-used Odysseyian cliché probably conceived at the end of
Eugenes Dilemma. This is Odyssey. This is normal.
And I am insulted that a jubilant post-episode Chris seems to think
I am stupid by not realizing this.
But anyway, Mitchs
they want me to come work at the FBI sounded too much like
Soaplessly Devoteds Derrick proclaiming that hes going to
Bolivia for three to three and a half years. Connie will have to take
care of Mitchs dog, then.
In summation: whoopee,
school begins anew, but so does the Odyssey season, so the former isnt
as bad, is it? We will keeeeep lissstening, we will tell our friends
the new shows are back, of course well post our reviews, and well
try not to whine about Eugene and Katrina too much
by Josh, age 17
that this show was okay, and I think AIO producers should take a clear
look at where their show is heading. I've been a listener for MANY years
and it seems most new episodes just don't have the production quality
of older shows. In "Between You and Me," Bernard's lines were kind of
funny but were lacking the genuine acting by him that was so prevalent
in the older shows, the relationship between Mitch and Connie is TOO
PERFECT (which is NOT very believable), we still haven't heard from
Eugene, and the acting from many characters, not to mention the scripts,
is not top notch. I used to enjoy listening to AIO and am confident
that if the AIO writers invest a little more time in developing their
shows, I am sure that the episodes will contain the level of quality
that Adventures In Odyssey was known for.
by boni, age 14
A very good
episode. Very important. I liked it a lot. It's one of those episodes
where teenagers and adults can relate to, as well as children. It's
by Tianlet, age 16
know if anyone else had trouble at oneplace, but we only managed (after
7 tries) to get half of the show, but since I can't seem to get the
rest to work, I'll do my review on the first fifteen minutes.
#1 I don't like mushy stuff.
I realize that it happens to some people, but I would rather not hear
about it. Mitch is a sweetheart and Connie is--well... Connie, and I'm
sure they make a wonderful couple, but it's not worth destroying their
#2 I'm SO glad to see (hear)
Whit giving Biblical advice again! When he asked Connie about her devotions
I was inwardly cheering.
#3 As a (almost) life long
resident of Virginia, I can tell Mitch that if he takes the job, he'll
be staying in (arguably) the most beautiful state in the US, but that
his utility bill will NOT be low since we have recently had a drought
and the water bills have doubled! :-)
#4 I'm so disappointed to
hear that Odyssey is not in my home state! I believe Jacob Isom has
a list of the states where Odyssey isn't and I will hate to see him
mark up Virginia on it.
Except for the mushy stuff,
this was a good episode. It wasn't fantastic, but I did like the "normal"
music and the good acting. I especially liked the proprietor of the
diner and his "hometown" way of talking!
PS It is true that Connie
hurts Mitch! Remember the tennis lesson? :-D
by Paul B
shows are finally here. Is Mmitch going to leave again? To work with
Agent Bourland full time? Again we find Connie hurting Mitch with different
activites. Will he never learn?.This new show has a great lesson. Don't
put someone or something ahead of God.
by Julie, age 15
Mitch and Connie need to get married. ( seriously) :)
by JR, age 13
written, and, for the most part, well acted. I believe we saw almost
this identical thing back in "First Love," where Connie spends
all her time with Jeff and stops spending time with God. The only differance
was, Jeff wasn't a Christian, and Mitch is.
we clearly see how attached Connie and Mitch are to each other, but
are shown how that's not always a good thing. Emotional Connie gets
frustrated again when Mitch considers joining the FBI, and Whit ignores
her to show how God must feel while she's been ignoring Him.
is his typical, cynical self, and adds humor to the story, providing
a wonderful combination of christian values and funny moments.
is shown in their regular light...Whit is out to teach a lesson, Connie
is doing something wrong, but doesn't seem to think that there's anything
wrong with it (becoming emotional in the process), Mitch is still deeply
attached to Connie, and constantly getting "abused" by her,
and Bernard adds little sarcastic remarks here and there.
boring at several moments, it is a nicely written story with a good
by JR, age 13
by Allissa, age 11
to a somewhat normal life in Odyssey hasn't been as easy for some as
others. Jason's hanging out in town for a little while it seems, and
Bernard is back (yay!!), as is Mitch. Mitch and Connie are doing EVERYTHING
together, including making Bernard a little queasy when he's around.
When they forget important things like time alone with God, or time
together with God (a Bible Study) people get a little worried. Add to
this that Whit seems to be absent when Connie needs her, and Mitch might
be moving, and Connie feels like her world is crashing around her.
Novacom's over, so everythings
back to life as usual...more or less. Having Bernard back makes up for
lost time, as we hear some of his timely grumbling...which is perfect
to offset some of Connie and Mitch's fawning over each other (which
is a little like good ice creamgreat at first, but makes you a
little sick after awhile). Then Mitch gets a standing offer to work
with the FBI. Connie starts putting time with God on the back burner,
and Whit doesn't quite like it.
Having Bernard back was perfecthe's
allowed to be comic relief when we needed it. I guess the only things
that bothered me were the times when Whit more or less decided to give
Connie a "taste of her own medicine." This isn't really like
Whit, even if Connie got the point. Also, out of the blue Mitch is offered
a job with the FBI. I mean, he helped them out by playing dead, but
we've seen little else of his abilities, other than PR for Novacom and
a decent amount of hacking. It seemed a little far fetched for me. Also,
the romance between Connie and Mitch is almost a little too sugary-sweet
for us. I'm a guy, so maybe that's part of it, but it helps us see that
Connie is still a little green in the world of relationships. Even Whit
had to admit that she wasn't always responsible. But the end, where
she asks Whit to meet her a few minutes later (so she wouldn't technically
be late) was a nice touch, showing her taking a little more responsibility.
But, Odyssey is back once
again. I liked the new theme, as well as the new recording of Whit's
intro at the beginning. Overall, a good show and I'm ready for the new
by Alyson, age 13
It was very
good and I can't believe that Mitch may go to the FBI! I'm happy that
Connie and Mitch are still dating. I thought that they would break up.
Mitch and Connie better get married!
after six months of waiting a new episode! "Between You and Me"
does a good job of keeping the Connie and Mitch relationship storyline,
but doesn't continue it very much. My one complaint about this episode
is that the character of Connie was distorted, a bit like in "Secrets."
What decision will Mitch make about working for the FBI? It does seem
like he will stay in Odyssey, but he did seem a bit unsure. Can't wait
for next week and "Aubrey's Bathrobe!" And this episode is a good start
to a new season!
by Lissa, age 15
by E87M2 (Town Hall)
as a AIO fan, how does everyone like Saturday's latest episode:
Between You and Me? I am very grateful that AIO has decided to go on
with Mitch/Connie! I have waited for this day when they would continue
where they have left off.
When I finished
listening to this episode EARLY this morning, I crawled back into bed
and started praying. This was a convicting episode which made me wonder
if I had been "putting God on the back burner" and letting
my relationships and activites take over. What are all your thoughts
on this? I think AIO did it again...another wonderful and heartwarming
to the radio for next week!
by Bennett Charles (Town Hall & Submitted)
was good...but it would've been bad if Bernard hadn't been there. He
lit some light on the episode. He was awesome. His character was improved
and his boredom was more exciting. They also showed his faith at the
beginning. I can't wait to hear more about him.
by The Top Crusader (Town Hall)
opening. Not terribly exciting, so to speak, but really good. And like
ya'll have said, it definitely left some conviction, which is a good
I rate it...
7.5/10. Would have been higher if Dr. Blackgaard was in it...
by Odysseygrl1234 (Town Hall)
this episode was really good. I'm a little mad at myself because I woke
up around 10:40 am, so I missed the first ten minutes of "Between
You and Me." The rest of the episode that I heard seemed a more
improved slice of life episode compared to some of the pre-Novacom episodes.
I was glad to see they're finally factoring in Connie and Mitch's relationship
with Christ into their relationship. Very glad indeed. That's what Odyssey
should ultimately be all about, Jesus .
by Gandalf (Town Hall)
Not to put
a damper on anybody's party or to start another big discussion but I
really think it was kind of dumb.
First, Jason and Whit were
both way out of character. Jason cooking in the kitchen? Come on, he's
always been the spy/inventor type person! Second, it just seemed very
un-Whit like to abandon Connie like that. It was just cruel and rude,
I don't care what the point he was trying to make. Also, and this really
bugs me because it may be a big story point in the future, but the FBI
would NOT ask Mitch to come work for them. Mainly because he
showed his total lack of responsibility by leaving the whole Novacom
climax to hang out with his girlfriend, even if it did work out in the
end. He also showed his lack of obediance when he contacted Connie...
TWICE! Not a guy I would want protecting my national security!
This episode was a great
way of showing the negative consequenses of dating. I'm not sure I really
understand the point though, we're supposed to just put a cap on our
emotions? Like that's even possible... I've learned in my personal situations
and watching the situations of those around me that it may be possible
for less than 1 in ten couples to just decide not to go anywhere with
their relationship but to be honest, most couples turn out like Eugene
and Katrina in "The Turning Point," they either have to move
forward or cut the relationship off completely.
My personal opinion is that
the whole episode was just plain wierd. Unrealistic. Sci-Fi. Etc.
I rate it at about 2 stars
out of 5 simply because Bernard was just great in it. And it didn't
have Wooton in it, which is always a plus! I also really liked the "main
character" Bible Study. It's a wonderful thing they could use just
to have the characters talk. Just wish they had had more than five of
them... but then that might have been too much. Anyway, thumbs up to
whoever came up with that idea!
seems so normal compared to the Novacom episodes. This episode didn't
really captivate me and was a little short.
hear from Bernard Walton after nearly two years without him, and nice
to hear life in Odyssey back to normal.
Connie and Mitch
spend all their time together, doing everything together. Whit tries
to tell Connie that she's not spending enough time with God, but she
refuses to listen. Then Mitch informs her that Agent Bourland wishes
for him to join the FBI, and he'd have to go to Virgina. And suddenly
Whit starts ignoring her, not even giving her a passing glance.
Just when she
thought life was so good, it suddenly hits rock bottom. Although it
is still unknown whether or not Mitch will accept Bourland's offer,
we are shown why Whit was ignoring her (even though it was obvious)
and she accepts his correction. It is a good lesson, and a nicely done
is a flashback of two similar episodes, "First Love", and
"The Decision". In "First Love," Connie spends so
much time with her boyfriend (Jeff/Mitch) that she doesn't make time
to spend with God. In "The Decision," someone she dearly loves
(Whit/Mitch) has just come back after being gone for a long time, and
just when she thinks she has him back, he might be leaving her again.
Love," she finally accepted what she was doing wrong, just like
in "Between You and Me." And in "The Decision,"
Whit ends up not accepting the offer from the Missions Board, and stays
in Odyssey. One of these things have already happend (Connie accepting
her wrongs), but what about the second thing? Will Mitch stay or will
he go? And will that affect their relationship? The last time Connie
corrected her wrong when she was spending too much time with someone,
their relationship was broken up. That was under a differant circumstance,
as Jeff wasn't a Christian, and Mitch is. But it may result in the same
way: who knows?
I give it a
good review for good acting, good lesson, and funny lines in the script.
I do not give it four stars because some of the mushy stuff is kind
of dumb, and although the acting is good throughout most of it, there
are several cheap parts.
by DrBlackgaard, age 16
a pretty good episode...It reminded me a lot of "First Love" where Connie
has a similar problem with her boy/girl relationship getting in the
way of her relationship with God. It was great to see Bernard back with
his quarky sense of humor and sarcasm - the story of how he met his
wife was very funny, and definitely in character. All in all, a well
writen episode...everyone was in character, and there was plenty of
references to older epiosodes. The mention of the posibility that Mitch
might join the FBI was great! I hope he joins, that could open up a
lot of new storylines. Hopefully we'll hear more about it in the near
future. Also, that would get him away from Connie..meaning the wedding
would be delayed, which I am in favor of. (Maybe they should get married..but
it shouldn't come on too quick, they just met!) All in all, it was pretty
good, if not slightly too generic and boring.
by Michael P, age 19
I DO NOT
like the way that AIO is headed....if this episode is any indication
of the future. Bernard sounded like he was tired of his character. Whit
just acted cranky...and the whole Connie/Mitch duo is just syrupy sweetness.....
DO NOT become a soap opera, AIO. Mitch is like a yo-yo....he's gone,
he comes back. And now he migt be gone again. I hope next week's episode
improves because this episode was just dull and it had little meaning
to me. I'm optimistic, though, that the future episodes of the season
will be great.
by Andy G Harvey (Town Hall)
It was ok...like
the normal "first eps" of seasons it was mild, lacked some storyline,
etc. But it was ok...that is my ruling.
by Heather (Town Hall)
it was good. I was hoping Mitch would ask Connie to marry him. But he
didn't. Oh well. I think the Bernard parts were the best.
by Ferder (Town Hall)
the episode was just Connie going "goo-goo" over Mitch. That was all
right back in "Green Eyes & Yellow Tulips" but I'm getting tired of
by Felicity Carden (Town Hall)
It was pretty
good! But Connie needs to cool her heels and see if this is what God
wants her to do! Sometimes life deals us cards we don't want to play!
*laughs* Well, for the new season, it was a pretty smooth ice breaker
by Xhan (Town Hall)
It was an
all right episode. But if you've been with the show for a while you
can understand this: Connie has learned every life lesson there is,
but approaches every crisis in exactly the same way - every time. Find
by Kathy M (Town Hall)
show was different from what we normally hear. It wasn't the best show,
but it wasn't the worst either. Whit wouldn't have gone that far to
ignore Connie, though (even if it was to teach her a point). The one
thing I loved about the show was Bernard. He was soooooo funny.
by Robyn J, age 14
really like this show at all, besides for the hilarious lines of Bernard
at Whits End while cleaning up ("Connie! I love how your kidneys work!...")
But other than that, I didn't like this show.
by Michael, age 21
was okay, but definitely not a classic. I have to agree with others
that Connie and Mitch were way too sweet with each other. Connie seems
to act more like a immature teenager than a young mature adult she's
supposed to be. And Mitch being called to work for the FBI doesn't sound
all that realistic. Bernard's presence was okay but he seemed to be
more of a hindrance than a help. Likewise with Jason. The only reason
I give this episode a 2 1/2 is because the writer makes a clear point
about right priorities.
Somewhat Thumbs Up (14/24 positive reviews)
Reviews of the
second show of the AIO season are leaning toward the positive, though
there are also many negative ones. Many liked the episode (some thought
it was better than last weeks) and cited the good Connie moments, a
fun new character, and a good message as strong points. Others disliked
the episode and pointed to their dislike of Aubrey, the annoying little
sister, or similarities to other episodes as downsides. Specifically
mentioned in a number of reviews was the similarity to the "fleece
scene" in "Where There's a Will."
by Bradford Goodridge, age 12
It was nice
to hear how Aubrey searched for the right thing to be, now that she
is a Christian. And Connie...it's been a while since we heard her have
by Tina, age 20
like Aubrey has lost the joy of her conversion...and she doesn't seem
that sincere...although I understand she maybe still learning...like
some others said it didn't really tell us much about Aubrey's growth
as a Christian. But it was a bit better then "Between You and Me."
I don't like
to put the writers down, because i usually really like what they write!
So keep it up,and please don't lose the good old times of Odyssey.
It had quite
a few funny bits (I love the part with Connie misunderstanding Aubrey)
and so on, but it didn't have the same feel as "Between You and
Me." It sounded like the end of Aubery's storyline, but who knows?
We heard nothing about Mitch (even though Connie was in the episode)
and they could have left out the mother. It was okay.
by boni, age 14
It was okay.
It wasn't the greatest episode. It has a good message, but it's just
not one of those 'really good' episodes. But a funny part is when Connie
says, "Yo, kids, ministry time." Ha ha.
by Julie, age 15
annoys me. It's like the writers just keep doing the same thing over
and over. I wish the writers of AIO would go back and do more stories
with all the other kids in Odyssey.
by Lissa, age 15
ep. I enjoyed it a lot.
Bathrobe" is all in all a very good episode. Everyone in this show is
very much in character, not to mention Aubrey is much more likeble.
I'm glad the Bethany's back, she seemed to disappear during "Under the
Influence." Considering this is Bob Hoose's first solo writing project
on AIO, I think he did very well. I look forward to seeing more eps
from him in the future. Can't wait for next week and "The Toy Man!"
by Robyn, age 14
it was okay, but very uninformative. We didn't really learn anything
more about Aubrey, except that she's okay at plumbing.
by Judah Ben Hur, age 14
rather boring. Not that much happened, and the scene where Aubrey was
asking God what to do about her bathrobe was unrealistic. Did we know
that Aubrey had a little sister? Bethany was annoying, and got in the
way. This episode was okay, but it definitely wasn't the best. I've
heard better. Connie jumped to conclusions when Aubrey asked her about
people with their heads in the clouds, and I thought that Connie was
more mature than that now. I couldn't care less how well Aubrey can
spit. Odyssey can do better; I know, because I've heard.
by Tianlet, age 16
I appreciated that the Biblical message was loud and clear, unrealism
pervaded this show. I don't think that Bethany is cute! She is annoying
and juvenile. Aubrey's
episode with the bathrobe seemed hauntingly familiar as I recalled George
Barclay's hunt for a job; and her little speech to God was (for lack
of a better word) tacky. The
bad singing? I won't even comment. Connie's
leap into the realm of conclusions was such a Connie thing to do, but
I though she had already learned that lesson!
What I want
to know is: who is this family, and will we be hearing more from them?
I am leary of them because we all know what happened last time one of
Aubrey's old friends moved to Odyssey. (Why ARE so many of Aubrey's
old friends moving to Odyssey?)
by JWG, age 13
was not the best that I have heard in a blue moon. Most of the parts
were unrealistic and it felt like pretty much the WHOLE THING was cut-and-paste.
For one thing, where
did Bethany come from? Were they expecting us to know that Aubrey had
a little sister?
Seth was pretty funny, but
his "universal evangelism" stuff was preeeetty scary. PLEASE
do not become new age, AIO. The
part with Connie jumping to conclusions was pretty funny and didn't
feel like it was slapped together at the last minute. The
bathrobe part was terrible, and boy was it DEJA VU!!!! BIG time!! It
was just like Jiimy Barclay.
This ep was overall NOT GOOD.
by Mark, age 13
somewhat like "What Are You Gonna Do With Your Life?", only
with a more Christian theme. Aubrey visits an old friend of hers who
just moved to town, and finds out that he tells people about Christ
by "speaking their language". He talks to people in the manner
that they live, such as his mystical mother or a grouchy old lady who
loves botany. That gets her thinking: How can SHE make a differance?
She asks Connie,
who is reading a fashion magazine, about it. She tries to tell Connie
how she feels, without giving away that she's talking about herself.
Connie thinks that she is talking about HER, and handles it Connie stylechucks
the magazine and goes off to tell a group of kids about God rather forcefully.
So Aubrey sets
out doing odd things here and there to try to make a differance, such
as singing to elders at a nursing home and teaching children at church.
This is yet another time we see Aubrey working around town, such as
in "Long Way Home".
turns where she should hve started in the first place: Asking God. When
she doesn't get a positive answer, she turns to the second place she
should have started: her own father. She finally finds the answer between
her dad and her sister, Bethany.
Although I feel this epsisode
sounds a lot like "What Are You Gonna Do With Your Life?",
it makes a good point. Sometimes God has plans for us right where we
are, without being President or something like that. It's good to hear
Aubrey's family appreciating and enjoying each other's company. Most
families nowadays push each other aside as if they're no lower than
However, I feel these first
two episodes of the new season have been much too identical to previous
episodes. AIO had better come up with some new ideas, or the audience
might as well listen to all the old episodes.
by Emily Witt, age 13
episode was funny... But I was disappointed that we didn't hear from
Mitch. The bathrobe scene seemed like a flashback from the episode where
Jimmy puts his jacket on the front lawn to test the same concept. While
I can totally relate to this episode, being a Christian kid, with "searching
for religion" parents. So, while this episode hit home, it wasn't quite
what I expected.
by Paul B
Aubrey episode explores her faith. And an old friend from camp moves
to town. Connie flips out over a fashion magazine. Aubrey wants to make
a difference and find her places.
by Simon, age 13
I love the scene with Connie and Aubrey in Whit's End, with the "catalog!"
Seth is also great, doing the flower scene with that Mrs. Westra. The
scene when Aubrey prays (the thunderstorm) is all great. Overall, another
really good episode, and good humor!
by Michael P, age 19
WOW! I really
like how they finally showed a person who was so far from Christianity
(the mother into New Age). The timing in this episode was perfect, and
it is a very timely message. Keep up the excellent work, Odyssey!...I'm
by AIOfan, age 14
Bathrobe" wasn't all that great, I mean, what did we learn? Not
much, except that her sister hasn't grown up very much even though she
by Jeremy (Town Hall)
this was a very good episode. A lot better than "Between You and
Me!" I want to hear more of Seth, but NOT his mother! That was
enough of that!
by Gandalf (Town Hall)
don't understand why they didn't open with this one. It's a pretty "normal"
slice-of-life episode. Only problem I really had with it is that Bethany
has lost her "cute" voice. She's doesn't sound like a six year old anymore...
*sighs* Other than that it was really good. Nice introduction to a new
kid, good lesson learned, good acting, pretty much everything is good.
I give it a 3.5 stars out of 5.
by Bennett Charles (Town Hall)
has lost her cute voice. It seems like she's trying hard to act cute.
Aubrey also sounds a bit different. Seth sounds a bit too much like
Nathaniel. Odyssey already has a smart acting kid.
by E87M2 (Town Hall)
It was a
pretty good one. I'm glad we could hear more about Aubrey. I want to
hear more about Seth, too. He sounds like a good new character in Odyssey.
by Jared Walczak (Town Hall)
okay, the episode was decent... it raised questions, but they were kind
of confusing questions, weren't they? I don't know... I'm overly picky,
I guess. It wasn't the Aubrey episode of old that makes me cringe, but
neither does it make me shout for joy. Still, that's progress, right?
by Ferder (Town Hall)
It was more
interesting then better then "Between You and Me," but both episodes
didn't really go anywhere. I'm looking foward to some stories not just
a few scenes from the life of the characters. I can see why Seth was
only at the begining of the ep (being a one dimensional character).
His mom sound like she could've come straight from the area where we
live (our community is in a time warp and is stuck in the 60s. Organic
apple juice anyone?) The episode had some funny bits (the Sunday School
and the Nursing home), but as I said, since it didn't have much of a
story I'd rate it 4 out of 10.
by Hawkeye (Town Hall)
it. It showed how we should serve God. It was better than "Between
You and Me" as in it was more interesting, but the lessons both
taught were equally important.
Thumbs Up (19/21 positive reviews)
Man" is recieving very positive reviews, both for the episode and
for the new Odyssey family. In fact, it's getting the most positive
reviews this season. High marks are given to the family development
and especially the conversations between Ed and Xavier. (Some hoped
to hear a bit more from the two younger kids, however.) Reviewers are
generally happy with what's happening to Whit's End Connellsville, but
are divided about whether we should actually hearmore episodes
there. The only character to really draw criticism in the show was Colby,
who was first introduced in "The Popsicle Kid."
by Katie, age 18
I like it.
I really like how AIO is talking about deeper spiritual attributes,
like finding God's will and growing as a Christian (like in the adventure
by Robyn, age 14
this one was okay, but the producers would have done better to have
dropped the character of Colby and used the actor elsewhere, since he
sounded so much older, and not even like Colby. Xavier sounded a bit
too much like Nick Mulligan. Is Mr. Washington going to be the only
one working at Whits End Connellsville? I think Mr. Washington's plans
for the new Whits End were good, and I hope we hear more of 'Steven'...whoever
he is. Are we ever going to hear more from the Mulligans, and Tony and
Brianna? What about the older Odyssey kids, such as Mandy, Sarah, Alex,
etc.? Is Cal ever coming back, or has his character been dissolved?
What about Jared and his family? Where did Nathaniel go? Even though
the Novacom saga is *over*, there are still a lot of unanswered questions.
I can't wait until next week's show! We haven't heard from Liz for a
long time, and Wooton should be...interesting...in the Harlequin Theatre...to
say the least.
by Mark, age 13
AIO has produced an episode that is almost identical to a previous one.
Listening to this reminded me of "A Prayer for George Barclay,"
although different in some ways.
In this episode,
Ed Washington has a great job with a toy company when he starts feeling
bad about how the company thinks of toys as a "baby-sitter,"
rather than a tool that can bring families together. This was a good
addition to the episode, but it wasn't very good everywhere else, as
Whit offers him a job as manager at the Whit's End Connellsville, but
Ed gets a promotion soon after, rising his pay check up 20 percent.
So he asks the
advice of his family and from God to figure out what he should do. His
nephew, Xavier, has his own heavy doubts about it.
As I said earlier,
it sounds like "A Prayer for George Barclay," where George
gets an offer from his old job, and would give him a great job. But
he turns it down, and does what he thinks God is calling him to do:
the ministry. Although in this episode, Mr. Barclay is looking for a
job after not having one, and Mr. Washington has a great job. Now I
know that there are going to be episodes where they sound like previous
ones, because there are only so many differant ideas you can come up
with. But come on, there are TONS of differant ways you can present
it. From what I've heard from these first three episodes of the new
season, I'm not sure Adventures in Odyssey has realized that.
being similar to older episode(s), this one had a good lesson with some
interesting new characters.
by Lissa, age 15
by Alex, age 16
it's great that Odyssey finally has a black family in their cast. The
Toy Man is is funny and would be a great replacement if Whit ever retired.
by Paul B
Odyssey family is here. Ed is a popular toy maker turned ice cream manager.
Whit hires Ed as the new manager of Whit's End Connellsville. He has
a lot of new ideas to add to the shop. I'm looking forward to seeing
what happens. The free ice cream mess up might have thrown him off at
first but we will have to wait and see. Good show!
is a little different than usual from Marshal Younger, with a new family.
This is second best of the new season, with "Between You and Me" beating
it. Why have the Washingtons been living there for six years and we've
never heard of them? Strange if you ask me. I don't think Ed's children
were even called by name and Xaiver was more like his son than nephew.
Not a very Marshal episode, but okay.
by Alyson, age 13
like the new Whit to me!
by Michael P, age 19
liked this episode. Finally a more diverse version of Odyssey.
The only problem I see with this family is how they are going to be
able to use them on a regular basis. Very good episode on following
God's will. Keep up the good work, AIO!! :D
Man" is a very good episode. I like the Washingtons, seeming much better
than the Mulligans, and closer to the Barclays. Ed is a very interesting
character. I'm glad the AIO writers aren't leaving Whit's End Connellsville
in the lurch, and I hope we here more from it in the future. Perhaps
in a couple of years, it can be a main part of a saga where the chairman
from Andromeda returns to Odyssey? I hope we here more from Mary in
the future as well, although she's not one of my favorite characters.
Great episode, and I can't wait for next week and "For Trying Out Loud!"
by Emily, age 13
didn't like this episode. I like the new characters, but it seems as
if we're on a "new character streak" and not giving each new character
time to develop. Older characters seem to be getting left in the dust
as Odyssey is invaded by "dinosaurs." The only reedeming factor of this
episode was the fact that it looks as if Whit can return to his old
position behind the counter... where he belongs.
by Peter Pan, age 23
it didn't have any familiar kid characters, interesting and good plot
development. My nephews would like to say that they enjoyed it very
much but would want more episodes involving familiar kids like Mandy,
by Sam Gamgee
It was good
to see family back in Odyssey again!
by Digger "Digger" Digwillow, age 21
There were three things in particular I liked about this episode. 1)
the focus on God's will for our lives, 2) introducing a new family to
Odyssey (or Connellsville). Hopefully they can provide somewhat similar
excitment as what the Barkley's brought us. And 3) I like the fact that
Whit's End Connellsville was used in this episode to sort of open up
a whole new storyline...much like the introduction of Jack Allen did
for the Whit's End in Odyssey. I hope to see a lot more this family
in future episodes.
is really good example of what has made AIO famous, imo. Keep up the
by Judah Ben Hur, age 14
a good episode. I like Mr. Washington very much, and thought that he
was a great guy. The storyline was rather predictable (except when Mr.
Washington got promoted), but this was a good episode (as I have already
I laughed so hard when Mr.
Washington accidentally gave away free ice cream. I thought that was
a great part of the show. I think Mr. Washington will do well at Whit's
This was a good episode.
by Tianlet, age 16
finally met the Washington's, and I have to say that I genuinely liked
them and that this was the first really good episode since "Expect
the Worst." I was annoyed at all the hype that we were going to
get a new "African-American" family in Odyssey, but now that
their actually here, I don't really mind.
Actually, since they obviously
don't live in Odyssey, since Whit has known them for years and we haven't,
it sounds like we won't be hearing much more from them.
I'm so glad they were "normal."
As Ed said, "My life is not a political statement." He seems
to be a normal guy, and he also seems more in tune with the will of
God than anyone that's been around for a while.
This episode also tells
us what is going to happen to Whit's End, Connellsville, and I hope
it drops completely out of the picture. I'm not interested in Whit's
End anywhere but Odyssey. I just wish the decision had been made to
close it down entirely. One of the special things about Odyssey and
especially Whit's End is that it is special--it's unique. I'm afraid
we are losing that uniqueness in Odyssey.
Younger, you've taken a disputed topic and turned it into one of the
best episodes I've heard in a VERY long time!
I'm excited to hear what
else the producers of AIO have up their sleeves. :-)
by Bennett Charles (Town Hall)
Toy Man" was a great episode. The lesson, where a family tries
to follow God's will, was already done before and explored. But this
episode pened a bit more windows about this topic. It was different.
Ed Whashigton's voice was cool. I want to hear more of him. Though,
I hope he deosn't turn into a silly crazy man. Odyssey has never had
a mature 47 year old man. But he also needs to be good with the kids.
Next, is his familyI
couldn't tell how many kids they had. I think it was three. The two
younger kids didn't talk too much so I couldn't really coment them too
well. But Xavier...he's cool. I think he should work at Whit's End in
Odyssey. His character is a good one. And he has great potential. He
sounds a mix between Jimmy and Nick...
Was it Colby at the beggining? I couldn't tell if he said Colby or not.
His voice was better than before though. Steven is a jerk. He should
marry Liz and have a bunch of whiney kids.
Whit's EndIt sounds
that Whit's End Connellsville might be more popular than the one in
Odyssey. Whit has a bit of competition against himself.
All in all, it was a good
episode. I'd give it 7.5/ 10...
by JoyElectric (Town Hall)
it! Here are a few comments (no big spoilers, at least I don't think
A) Colby's back,
and older. The voice doesn't quite fit
B) The is the second (third if you count the "Between You and Me"
episode, which had somewhat same theme) episode in a row about God's
will in one's life. Not a bad theme!
C) I like the Washington family. The parents sound great. The only minor
caveat is that after listening to the show I can't remember any of the
kid's names, except the nephew. I hope that we hear more specifics about
the kids, and they don't have a mini-zoo in their backyard
D) Whit's known the guy for 6 years. I think this is kind of neat that
Whit knows someone outside the world of Whit's End and what we hear
on AIO. It gives him more of a life than we know about.
E) The family is of African decent, but they made it clear that he wasn't
presented "to make a political statement." I thought this
was kind of neat.
F) Of the newest episodes, this is my favorite so far.
by E87M2 (Town Hall)
liked this one better than the other two. It sorta had a flavor of Odyssey
which I haven't heard in awhile. Ed Washington sounds like a character
that we might hear alot from. I dont think he acted immature at all.
He almost has two sides: 1. He loves kids and toys and will play with
them freely but 2. He has the maturity to make a decision based on God's
perfect will which is best for his family. I guess he could become a
good role model. Like Mr. Green said, not many parents WANT to play
with their kids. It was refreshing to hear that some parents (mainly
Washington) actually took an interest in the lives of kids instead of
making Whit's End a babysitting service. He even helps kids who don't
have a dad to play with them. Now I call that a good character. Well,
you have my two cents worth.
by Ferder (Town Hall)
the best ep this season. It was interesting and lest us know what abouy
Whits End Connellsville and what is going to happen in future episodes.
There was a lot of "deja vu" in the epidsode. Ed's conversation
with his wife was a lot like the one Whit had with Tom Riley in "The
W.E." Ed is like a grown-up, mature, and less silly Wooton. The part
about him working a Whits End reminded me of "Welcoming Wooton" expect
the ending was different. Xavier was like Eric in "Forgive us as we
Forgive" when he didn't want his father working at Whit's End when he
could continue with a better job. That part also reminded me of the
Barclays. I like the Washingtons and look forward to hearing about them.
by Jared Walczak, age 16
it with Adventures in Odyssey and toy-loving adults? Firsttaking
the baby-step towards a virtual infestation of toys in the showthere
was Whit, who revealed to Jared DeWhite and Dwayne Oswald his fascination
with comic strip characters. Worse, it bordered on obsession, as we
found out when he showed the two his complete collection of Captain
Electric spy equipment. The man who once told kids that Whit's End would
not contain comic books because it was a place only for those things
which expanded the mind or taught a lesson (biblical or moral), admitted
that he was himself a huge fan of the superhero adventures.
Then, in a rather dramatic
step forward in the pro-toy movement in Odyssey, the beloved by some,
abhorred by others character of Wooton Bassett appeared on the scene,
dispensing toy-related thoughts at ease and becoming the only adult
(and that's a word I hesitate to use in the Wooton context) in Odyssey
to have a complete obsession with a kids thing. Of course, Adventures
in Odyssey has always stressed imagination and things spanning the bounds
of childhood and adulthood (Whit did make George Barclay enter the Imagination
Station with Jimmy, after all), but the introduction of a person whose
entire life would seem to revolve around toys seemed a stretch even
by Odyssey standards. Some liked the naïve qualities of the man
called Wooton, while others cringed at his fascination with a local
fast food restaurants kids toys.
And now we have a new man,
one Ed Washington, who has a high-level job in a major toy manufacturer
and himself is a toy aficionado. Whats next, the whole truth about
Tom Rileys stuffed animal collection? The Odyssey writers have
introduced an inordinate amount of toy-related episodes, it would seem.
But if after reading the
first three paragraphs of this review, you concluded that I despised
The Toy Man, you would be wrong. Actually, I enjoyed it
and at this (rather early) point of the season, I can say that its
the only episode that Ive heard so far that doesnt merit
significant debate. I imagine that the vast majority of fans will have
enjoyed it and most will want to hear from the Washingtons again
in the near future. But I always have some gripes, so let me get those
out of the way before I talk about the new family.
For one thing, in a repeat
of the Wooton situation, these people have been around for years. Six,
to be exact, and I would assume them to be a rather popular family.
The dad, Ed Washington, who apparently frequents Whits End to
allow the kids to try out toys in order to gauge customer opinion, would
certainly be a well-liked guy. And yet, though Whit mentions the fact
that theyve been in Odyssey for six years, weve never heard
of them before. To confuse matters more, it would seem obvious from
comments Mr. Washington made that hes been making occasional trips
to Whits End with his toys for quite some time, yet
the kids still dont quite understand and wonder why hes
giving away toys.
That ice cream Whit dispenses
to these unsuspecting youth must affect the mind in addition to the
stomach. If this keeps up, Odyssey will have 200 pound 12-year-olds
just learning to recite the alphabet in the near future. But I suppose
Im being overly harsh on a very minor although oddly amusing,
to me at least issue.
Then theres the issue
of Cody and on this I believe I speak for most fans in requesting to
not have to hear him again. His character is weak, the voice not all
that great and his lines border on being abysmal - or at least quite
bad. I would assert that Odyssey needs a more developed minor character.
The prime example is of course Oscar, the perennial minor character
who never had his own episode but was always fun to listen to and enhanced
just about any episode he was in. Im not calling for an exact
duplicate of Oscar; Im simply suggesting that Odyssey needs to
get some new minor characters and develop them a little better.
In The Toy Man,
were introduced to Ed Washington and his family. Unfortunately,
not all of the family members are particularly memorable. Ed, a father
who definitely enjoys spending time with kidsespecially his ownis
an enjoyable, if somewhat abnormal, character. Then again, nothing says
that Odyssey characters have to be based on statistical analysis of
the average American family as recorded by Pew Research or Gallup Polling!
His nephew, Xavier, was equally interesting, albeit the nephew
coming to stay for a while or live with his uncle theme sounded
a little used (Len with the Barclays, Nick with the Mulligans). Still,
the nephew is an interesting character, providing a good (but incorrect)
critique to Mr. Washington and adding someone who would seem to differ
on some issues with the rest of the family. Maybe it was just me, but
I sort of imagined Xavier as being the son of Eds more liberal
brother. (Assuming in fact that hes Eds brothers son
Im speaking generally here, as it is of course quite possible
that Xavier is Eds sisters son. If this was mentioned in
the show, I missed it.)
Eds own kids, though,
eluded opinion. I must admit that I dont remember their names
or remember much about them. While Xavier said thought-provoking things,
the daughter played with the robot. Thats all. Its not that
I have a problem with the kids; its just that they werent
really developed. His wife, while not nearly as interesting a character
as Ed himself, seemed pretty good. Overall, I was happy with the new
But then theres the
plotline, and once again, its very reminiscent of old episodes.
Heres the exact wording of the episodes theme according
to the whitsend.org website: Sacrifice; making tough choices.
Sound familiar? Think Barclays consider move to Washington, D.C. and
weigh the sacrifices involved or Barclays consider possibility of George
going into the ministry and sacrifices involved or even Barclays consider
move to Pokenberry Falls and sacrifices involved! You know, its
entirely feasible that the Washingtons are the newest attempt
to create a family to replace the Barclays, and at first glance, Id
give them far better chances of succeeding in that roleif indeed
thats their rolethan I gave the Mystifying...uh, magnificent...Mulligans
or the Shepards.
In Ed Washington, we have
a man who hasnt quite grown out of toys, but he doesnt come
with the level of insanity that plagues Wooton Bassett. Instead he comes
across as a friendly man, a dad who is incredulous that some families
would just push their kids off to daycare, school and even Whits
End simply as a method of babysitting. His enthusiasm for toys really
stems from his love of kids. He wants to influence them for the better
and he sees toys as a good way of breaking the ice or keeping
his level of involvement with them high. Yes, he plays with the toys
to test them, but as he admits, its not fun without the kids.
His true joy comes from playing with children, not toys. While I do
think hes a little, well, strange, his basic motive is good and
hes definitely a likable person.
His work for a local toy
company was as an executive, but his position enabled him to go out
in the field ant test the products, something he obviously relished.
In the reverse of what happened a long time ago to George Barclay, Mr.
Washington went to his bosss office expecting to get firedand
But then came the difficult
decision: he felt God leading him towards working at Whits End
in Connellsville instead of accepting the promotion. His family responded
admirably, but there was obviously a little bit of incredulity. After
all, he was turning down a vice presidency and 20 percent raise to dish
out ice cream. He could hardly be accused of employing a shrewd business
sense in his decision, but he relied on something far more important:
the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Now, its certainly
not the mission of every person to serve kids dessert, but Whits
End obviously does far more than thatand God needs people in many
places. Could Ed have been used at his company? Probably. But judging
from what he concluded God wanted him to do, theres a greater
opportunity for him at Whits End. When Mr. Washington proposed
the idea to his family, I liked the brief exchange where Xavier complained
that he was giving up something that few blacks havemanagement
positions. Eds reply was great: hes not here to make a political
statement. After all, the catechism of one major denomination doesnt
say that the chief end of man is to attain high status but instead declares
it to be to glorify God. Its something Mr. Washington understands
and I thought his answer to his nephew was very good.
His decision, while life
changing for him and his family, was not much of a surprise for listeners.
After all, do you ever expect a friend of Whits on Adventures
in Odyssey to conclude that a major decision is the will of God and
proceed to ignore it? Not at all likely, I would say!
The most interesting thing
to me about this episode is the potential it gives to Whits End
Connellsville, which no longer seems destined to be a boring clone of
the shop in Odyssey. Having one Odyssey Whits End is good, but
a duplicate would hardly aid in the shows storylines. With Ed
managing the shop, though, were sure to see (or hear) a very different
place than what were used to, and thats good! Sometimes
fans will love the decisions, sometimes theyll almost surely disapprove,
but having the shop managed by someone who can be a little unpredictable
is nice. After all, it worked so well for Jack and Jason while Whit
From what was said at the
end of The Toy Man, the shops will be dramatically different,
and I must admit that the Connellsville shop sounds more interesting,
actually. The new shop would seemingly violate that unwritten rule that
seemed in effect for a while that every activity in Whits End
(excluding the consumption of immense amounts of fattening products)
had to directly tie into God or the Bible. Of course, that is goal number
one, but for quite a while, absolutely nothing was introduced into Whits
End if it didnt tell a Bible story or a biblical principle. The
Connellsville shop does not appear to be molded in the same fashion,
as it will feature a climbing wall, toys and games in addition to the
traditional Whits End fare. Of course, some of the new items will
tie into Bible, but not all of them. It would be a great stretch to
equate a climbing wall with a Biblical lesson, unless of course the
new Whits End will use one of those new translations
of the Bible that reveals that Joshua and his men actually scaled the
climbing wall of Jericho, not marched around it. This can presumably
be found not far from the reiteration of that famous command Thou
shalt not grab jackets. (By the way, Im referring to the
episode Hidden in my Heart, which I mention lest someone
is under the impression that this is actually found in some translation
out there. You never know with these fans
But before fans complain
that Ed is changing Whits End, fans should be aware that Whit
has changed the shop numerous times himself. Consider this: Whits
end originally had a library, which it presumably still contains but
is never mentioned. And not every book had a Christian theme! And there
was a long-since-forgotten train set, which, as far as I can figure,
taught no Christian values. I also would question whether that occasionally-deserving-a-casual-mention
inventors corner, which surely teaches some good qualities to
kids, ever gives them a salvation message. I am equally confused at
how baseball broadcasts on KYDS expounded on Levitical law or any other
Whits End has always
been a place where Christianity is taught, where morals are instilled
and where anyone can ask a question and expect to get a good answer,
but fans shouldnt be worried about seeing items be placed in the
new Whits End that arent explicitly Christian. That climbing
wall is not going to have a negative effect on anyones faith,
unless some kid lets go near the top and tumbles to the ground, which
I suppose you could term as backsliding. Listeners should
welcome the additions to the new Whits End as what they are: good
ways of reaching the fictional kids of Connellsville and keep them out
of doing less wholesome activities, all while drawing them into a shop
where they can learn about God. And, of course, put on a lot of extra
While I do have to wonder
why someone got the shop twenty-two minutes after being introduced to
us, I think Ed Washington and his family make good additions to Adventures
in Odyssey and are a very bright spot for this season thus far. I look
forward to his changes to the new Whits End because, after all,
Whits End is, most of all, a place where kids can just be
John Avery Whittaker should
be proud to hand Ed Washington the keys to the shop.
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