2002-2003 Review Summaries

Reviews for: November 2002 - January 2003 | February 2003 | March 2003 | May 2003 | June-July 2003

Consensus: Thumbs Up (14/18 positive reviews)

Reaction is positive to the first primarily comic episode of the season. Most reviewers liked the combination of Edwin and Wooton and many even enjoyed Liz (a previously loathed character). Some wished there were more funny parts, while others called the episode "hilarious." A few wondered if Odyssey was recycling ideas, while others defended the episode as very original.

Review by Shawn, age 23

I also think it is the best of this season so far. I like hearing from Edwin & Shakespear and even Liz. The show needs more permanent, likeable characters (kids in particular), I think. I personally could do without the Wooton character.

Not classic Adventures in Odyssey, IMO, but about as close as I've heard recently. Thanks AIO!

Review by Robyn, age 14

I thought it was great! Liz is nice now! And I am glad Ashley's back...I'm tired of all the kids on Odyssey coming and going!

Review by Kitn, age 21

Wooton, Liz and Edwin are near the top of my "least favorite characters" list and yet I found myself completely enjoying this show. Stranger yet, I'm looking forwards to future pairings of Edwin and Wooton as well as upcoming stories using Liz's reporting skills. A tad predictable to all who grew up with Lucy and the Owl, but that didn't distract from the charm. Great job, Kathy Wierenga!

Review by Dave

Can People Change? Liz Does! A More plesant, kinder young lady. Did anyone remember Ashley was in "The Popsicle Kid?" There was a hint of the old days of Odyssey.

Review by Carolyn (Town Hall)

Maybe it was all the medicine I've been on when I listened to this episode, but I thought it was fantastic. Probably the best all season? I'm so in shock that I can think of "For Trying out Loud" in a good way because it has Liz and Wooton in it. I was almost going to skip the episode, but my loyalties to AIO prevailed.

It was humorous, and had a good message...without pushing the message way too much throughout the episode. The situations seemed likely, and I think Kathy seems to have a good grasp of the character's personalities she used in this episode. Bravo

Review by Tianlet, age 16

Wooton may have the gift of connecting with some people, but he does not connect with me. Somehow his "cutsey" attitude—what with most people not being his mother, "happy thoughts," and Shakespeare in Candyland—simply annoys and repels me, rather than attracts me. His voice grates on my nerves and his imbecilic mistakes... Words fail me. I would say Wooton is childish, but that would be redundant. Particularly annoying was the fact that he could not say his own line, but helped Edwin out, and that he spoke to members of the audience after professing nervousness.

Liz seems interesting, at any rate. Whether she will amount to anything remains to be seen. Apparently we have yet another Odyssey female reporter. We need some new storylines! The terrible singing at choir tryouts seems to occur often.

But, still, this show wasn't totally worthless, we heard from Edwin Blackgaard and Shakespeare again, which is always a treat.

Let it be known that the music on this episode was absolutely marvelous! The composer did a splendid job and I hope he continues along this line!

Review by Mark, age 13

I say this has been the best episode of the season, so far. Although it is not very original at all, and could possibly be the least original of the four shows of the season, it was the most enjoyable. We may hear stories almost identical to this all the time, but it is an important lesson, and AIO makes it interesting.

Edwin Blackgaard allows people to try out for roles at the Harlquin Theatre, but the only person who shows up is Wooton Bassett, that kiddish guy who is easily (I think) an exellent replacement of Harlow Doyle. Wooton's acting skills are somewhat lame, but upon Shakespeare's advice, Edwin allows him to stay working in the studio. When Mr. Bassett mess that up, Edwin finally gives him a very minor roll in the play, and Wootan obsesses with memorizing his lines.

Liz thinks that she is not good at anything, and is trying to find her groove. So she tries out for many things around the school, but can't seem to find anything that she is talented at. But her friend Ashley is good at everything, and seems to be making every team and club in the school. But when she somehow doesn't make the cheerleading squad after a perfect try-out, Liz smells a rat, and investigates the matter.

Good acting brightens this episode, and a funny combination of characters makes it even better. For example, Wooton Bassett and Edwin Blackgaard? What a duo! I hope that we see Wooten working at the Harlequin more often in the future, because I enjoyed Mr. Blackgaard and he together.

Liz, as we have seen in the past, is the kind of kid who isn't good at much, and definately not one of the popular kids. But she has friends anyway, because they enjoy her company for who she is, and not WHAT she is. I'm not sure how many other people noticed this, but I did. It is a good lesson inside of a lesson, even if the writers did not intentionally put it in.

I give this episode three stars because of good acting and a good lesson. I do not give it four stars because I still feel this story is much too unoriginal. But it is an important lesson, so it is good to hear, especially when you add to it good dialogue and good acting. A good episode overall.

Review by Paul B

What a great show! Kathy Wierenga does it again. If you haven't heard this episode, order the tape. Wooton trying to be an actor was funny...well, to me anyway...not to Edwin. It's good to hear from Edwin and Shakespeare again. Liz tries to find out what she is good at and finds a hidden talent for being a reporter. Look out Lucy...there's a new Odyssey reporter in town. Great show!

Review by Michael P, age 19

Ok.... this was a hilarious episode. Wooton works well with Blackgaard because he is so short fused unlike Wooton. Liz sounds much much older in this episode and now it seems as if she's becoming a Lucy Cunningham-Schultz. I also get the feeling that Wooton is becoming much like Harlow Doyle. Since it seems as if Will Ryan has vanished from the face of AIO forever......maybe this is a good thing, although Wooton is very very strange. The message was good too. I really enjoyed it.

Review by Dave, age 16

I can't really give "For Trying Out Loud" too many high marks. It just wasn't funny. Granted, nice, calm action after all the Novacom stuff is nice, but I think the only thing that made it work was Wootan. The AIO staff should know that he doesn't make every show needs extra dialogue and stuff that can be good and funny. Blackgaard is always great to hear, but overall, this episode needed a little more humor.

Review by Judah Ben-Hur, age 14

This was an okay episode. Liz sounded a lot like Alex. Liz's singing sounded very real (like me!), not like other episodes I have heard, such as "A is for Attitude," when the person sounds so bad they don't sound legitimate.

Wooton, well, what can we say about Wooton? He is gross, what with the tongs up his nose, and his unused Q-tips.

I wish Whit weren't gone so often to Connellsville. Whit's End isn't quite the same without Whit.

Review by JWG, age 13

This wasn't really a good show. However, there are some REALLY funny parts. It is hard for me to picture Wooton giving spiritual advice. Shakespeare was as funny as usual!

Almost all of the parts with Liz and Ashley were really dumb. Just about the only funny part was where Liz bowled over the teacher! Also, I think it is hardly likely that people throw ballot boxes in dumpsters when they are done with them.

It was funny when the audience said Wooton's line for him!

I didn't LOVE the ep, but it was okay.

Review by Bennett Charles (Town Hall)

It was a good episode. Liz was a lot nicer. Her voice changed a lot, though. Wooton was a bit stranger. This episode was a bit like "My Fair Bernard." Maybe a bit too much like it. This finished the storyline of Mr. Blackgaard's money problem (finally), Liz's mean problem, and "what is Liz's last name" storyline.

Review by Jacob Isom (Town Hall)
NOTE: Jacob will soon be posting a full review.

I liked the episode a lot... and was very surprised that I DID like the episode with Liz in it. I still want to know what her last name is. It's a miracle! Liz wasn't a brat! I actually like having Liz back in the show... there's also this new girl who is Liz's friend... I wouldn't mind having her on the show in the future either. Good job, AIO! Wooton was hilarious and it was great to have Edwin and Shakespeare pop in again... for some reason it seems like the old days when they show up for a visit. And that's a compliment!

Review by Heather (Town Hall)

I loved it. It felt like the old days in Odyssey. I think it was the best this season.

Review by Ferder (Town Hall)

A while ago one of the Odyssey writers said that after more then 350 episodes (now 500), it can be hard to come up with original plots. I thought that of course, no matter what, they could keep coming up with ideas. I am now excepting the fact that, unfortunately, every idea has been used and now all of the future episodes will be recycled from older ones. I desperately hope I am wrong, but that is how things are looking right now. Besides the above, the episode wasn't bad. Mr. Blackgaard isn't funny any more. He's too predicable a character. Wooton had his moments ("Think happy thoughts: Safety scissors, carrot sticks, lamas!). The Liz plot was okay but for one thing: Why does everybody in Odyssey sing terribly? From Sheryl to Aubrey to Liz Odyssey has been plagued with bad singers.

Review by JoyElectric (Town Hall)

Random ramblings:

1) Blackgaard and Shakespere are the closest thing to a comedy duo on the show. (Bernard and Eugene come close, but with Eugene AWOL, Bernard is still funny on his own) They're almost pure comic relief—no one really expects a serious show with them in it. They were great, again.

2) Wooton. Every show with Wooton reminds me of people I went to college with. This is why he gets funnier every time I hear him. Also, his attitude is great: a little bit of a doofus, but a talented, loving, and insightful doofus. We need more of them in our life

3) Liz still has something of a shrill voice, but it's been tempered a bit. This makes her a lot more listenable. Plus, she finally shows some redeemable qualities. She sounds young enough still (lucky girls), so maybe she'll stick around now.

4) Liz Horton. I thought they said Morton, as in "related to Issac." Oh well, it was a small speaker I was listening to it through.

5) Recycling ideas. I really don't see how they are out of ideas yet. On the contrary, as most serials have no inerta after 6 or so years, Odyssey's more than doubled that, and I believe they just got done with one of their best seasons yet. There is a difference between a reocurring gag and a recycled show. Blackgaard's show being a miserable failure is a reocurring gag, "Whatever Happened to the Silver Streak" is a recycled show: from 12 years ago.

6) Singing: Did anyone force themselves to watch 10 or so minutes of "American Idol"? Not to be too cruel, but a LOT of people can't sing. Few of the people who got selected were that good, either.

7) Not much to complain about here. People with interesting last names write the best shows!

Review by Felicty Carden (Town Hall)

It wasn't too bad for me! I haven't tuned in for years until the new season. I finally got a taste of Edwin Blackgaard and I needed that! ... But it was excellent!

Consensus: Thumbs Up (14/16 positive reviews)

An episode which sort of "tied up" a few remaining threads of the Novacom saga (while still tellling a seperate story) is getting mostly positive reviews from fans. Thumbs up comments mention the music, the Connie/Mitch interaction, and hearing more about Novacom. Thumbs down comments hoped for more excitement. Reviews are decidedly mixed on the character of Colby. Some liked him and thought he is developing as a character, while others hoped a more interesting friend for Alex.

Review by Paul

With novacom and the black box problem finally gone, Mitch must find himself a job in Odyssey or go work for Agent Bourland. Many people laid off from Novacom must find new jobs. And that's not going to be easy with no one trusting Novacom employees. Connie must put her bad feelings about Novacom behind her as she finds out not all of them are bad.

Review by Peter, age 12

Magnificent music! Cool character development! Superb story! Dynamic dialogue!

Review by Josh

Thank you! I LOVED THIS EPISODE! Colby and Alex are awesome characters...not as good as the old ones...but still, not annoying. Did anyone else notice Colby's dad sounded like Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Review by Julie, age 15

I liked the show, except I don't like that Colby kid. What kinda parent would name their kid after a cheese? I especially liked the banter between Connie and Mitch at the end. We need more episodes with endings like that! :-)

Review by Alyson, age 13

Yahoo! Mitch is staying! Connie must be VERY HAPPY! Thank you, God so much!

Review by Fletcher

"The Benefit of the Doubt" was the best episode. It dealt with a topic rarely discussed on AIO—discrimination. This episode dealt directly with the aftermath of the Novacom Saga, and was a compelling story. Connie was right in character, as was Alex. However, I'm confused about Colby. In every show he's been in he's had three very, very different voices. Strange. However his character had improved a lot since "The Toy Man," and I think he's a good adittion to AIO's every growing list of kid characters. Overall, "The Benefit of the Doubt" was a great episode, and I can't wait for next week and, "The American Revelation, Part 1!"

Review by Tianlet, age 16

Talk about a dazzling soundtrack! If you missed the music, I recommend listening to the episode again just to get an earful of it. It was beautiful!

Actually, contradicting earlier information, this episode was more about Colby and his relationship with his father than it was about Mitch and his search for a job. Still, I did like the episode and the fact that in the end Colby's dad didn't end up being totally absolved of everything, but seemed realistic instead.

Did that little thing about the walkie-talkies remind you of "The Spy Who Bugged Me"? A little repitition there, but otherwise, a VERY original episode.

Connie did a great job of apologizing to Colby and there was none of the awkwardness in her acting that I had noticed earlier. Also the bantering with Mitch at the end was hilarious! This is the first show in a long time that actually had me laughing out loud.

Marshal Younger does it again! I think he is the best writer on the team, and I can't wait to hear more from him.

Kudos once again to the rest of the composers for AIO. You've done an outstanding job this season.

Review by Judah Ben-Hur, age 14

This was a great episode! I think one of the best.

1) The music was great. Whoever composed this music was terrific. Now and then it had a beat, but the rest of the time was just so pretty! Quite a relief after the Novacom saga music! =)

2) I don't know how much I like Colby. He acts a little bit like Cal and Jared mixed in together. Good idea about sticking the walkie-talkie in the meeting! I think Colby should have trusted his Dad more to tell him the truth. Dads do not have to tell their kids everything that is going on in the workplace, but if it is important enough that the kids should know, Colby should realize that his Dad is not going to lie to him.

3) I LIKE MITCH!!! He sounds a lot like Rodney though (wonder why!), especially when he was being interviewed for his job. Rodney sounds a little like Mitch, too! (Wonder why!) =)

4) I really like the "witty bantering" at the end of the episode. Mitch is so crazy! He sounds just like me and my siblings we joke around with each other. I think that he and Connie should keep dating forever (like Connie being sixteen!) and never get married.

All in all, this was a great show, and I loved the music, Mitch, Connie (good to see she hasn't lost her touch of being unsensitive! LOL), and Whit. It was so nice to see Whit again! I don't think I remember hearing a lot out of him, and his wonderful advice.

By the way, Alex was good too. I think it was pretty good of him to stand up against Colby listening in on his father's meeting. It sure was nice to hear from Alex again.

Review by Mark, age 13

It was okay, but I wasn't that satisfied. The first few scenes with Whit, Connie, and Mitch, and then Alex, Colby, and Rodney was great, and I thought it would be a good episode. However, it turned downhill after that, and just got boring.

Novacom has just released a large number of employees, leaving lots of people jobless. Colby might be moving after just arriving, and he suspects (after Rodney Rathbone tells him) that his dad was in on Novacom's plans, because he worked there. He then sets out to find out what his dad is up to, and tries spying on him with walkie-talkies when his dad calls a meeting with ex-fellow Novacom workers.

Meanwhile, Mitch is trying to find a job in Odyssey to hold him over (untill he, IF he, joins the FBI), but finds it virtually impossible because he worked at Novacom, so no one wants him. Finally, he decides to start his own buisness at home.

After the episode was over, I still wasn't sure what the lesson was, and that's never a good thing. I thought it was "don't assume things," such as in 'Naturally I Assumed', and 'Green Eyes and Yellow Tulips'. Even then, I wasn't sure. Then Chris announced what the "lesson" was, and I was confused. Where did that come from? The show was basicly boring, with nothing exiting happening, and then suddenly Colby's father says two lines at the end and that's a wrap? This show did not seem to have any apparent moral, and what was supposed to be one wasn't that impressive. And what did Mitch's story have to do with the lesson, or was it just an updated story?
Colby's acting was questionable in several scenes, but other than that the acting in this show was good. However, boring dialogue and no obvious lesson make this episode one to pass.

Review by Dave, age 16

This episode deals with some of the fallout from Novacom...families being unemployed, such as Alex's friend's father. Mitch is also searching for a job. Connie is prejudiced against Novacom, and badmouths those that used to work there, even those that are innocent.

This episode is linked to that whole doggone Novacom thingy, but it was a nice episode overall.

Review by Robyn, age 14

I thought it was really good. Probably the best yet for the new season.

Review by JWG, age 13

Awesome ep!!!!!

Review by JoyElectric (Town Hall)

1) This is something of a Novacom wrap-up show. Mitch is looking for work, as is Colby's father, who also worked for the company.

2) Anyone wonder if this show intentionally drew a parellel to the Enron/Global Crossing/WorldCom breakdowns? Connie's "Guilty by Association" mentality is like the mob mentality that tries to blame anyone related to the companies and claim that they "must have known" something.

3) Novacomm is still alive, but only 65% of the employees

4) Rodney's back in bully mode. I like how he takes his job as a bully "seriously." Cute.

5) Nitpicky fan alert: the old music was back at the beginning! Not a bad thing, mind you, just an observation.

6) I guess it's a rule of thumb: Whit's End Odyssey hires teens and young adults. Whit's End Connellsville hires middle-aged men

7) Whit couldn't take the witty comments at the end? That's his name!

Nice to hear a little more about Novacom, it's employees, and a little more finality on Mitch. Good job to all involved!

Review by Steev75 (Town Hall)

This wasn't a bad episode, but I have a few observations:

1) Colby's personality still isn't well-defined. I keep looking for that "hook," positive or negative, that will make his character appealing or at least interesting.

2) It's good to have Alex back, but he isn't given much to do in this episode except play off Colby. When the two are paired, they sound somewhat alike, so at times I kept mistaking one character's lines for the other's.

3) Steven Cabrera's Hispanic accent wasn't convincing—a bit too thick, perhaps. (This may be nit-picking; then again, my name is Steven and I'm half Hispanic, so I'm holding him to a pretty high standard.)

4) The "old" theme played at the beginning is still my favorite version. Maybe they'll alternate it with the "new" music periodically.

5) Any idea how I might get in touch with Mitch? I sure could use his online computer consulting services!

Review by E87M2 (Town Hall)

Glad to hear more about Novacom. I see they are expanding the Colby character more, too.

One thing caught me: Connie seriously sounded like "Between You and Me" had never happened. I mean, what happened to leaving things in God's hands? Connie kept trying to find Mitch jobs (yeah, even a flight attendant!) to keep him in Odyssey.

Mitch found his own business in Odyssey. I guess he'll stick around for awhile. Not bad for some. I am also glad to hear more finality on everything.

Review by Bennett Charles (Town Hall)

Anyways, heres my review...

-I thought it was a boring episode.
-Though, it brings us back to one of the peaceful days in Odyssey.
-The music itself was good. But it reminded me of the albums "14" and "15," which I hated those episodes. It also didn't fit the Odyssey time so, I hope this music won't continue.
-At first, I liked Colby's voice. But now, it's sorta annoying.
-Alex seems to be everyone's friend. Alex and David. Alex and Nathaniel. Alex and Cal. Alex and Colby.
-I'm glad we heard Nathaniel's dad again, even if he wasn't a very good guy.
-Rodney was okay. But he doesn't seem like a bully when he's always by himself. He needs his gang back.
-I didn't really like Mitch's new job. It deosn't really sound like a REAL job.

Consensus: Thumbs Up (16/18 positive reviews)

While getting mostly positive reviews, the first history show of the season ("The American Revelation") is getting a few criticisms as well. The music, story, and historic characters are recieving much praise. Marvin's "oink," sound production elements, and even some of the "political" issues raised are getting some criticism. Fans are divided on the new Imagination Station and the character of Marvin. Many are reserving their full opinion until next week's conclusion.

Review by Paul

As you may remember, the Imagination Station had to be blown up in the show "Exit." In this new show, Whit builds the new and improved Imagination Station. The way Whit talks about how it looks, it sounds like the Station on the Odyssey board game box. The new Station can now take ten people on an adventure. Also sounds like the Station has a rumble option. I look forward to seeing what kind of show can be done with 10 people. Oh, and don't thing has stayed the same—the ever popular Red Button. The Station also has a book scanner so now you can be part of book adventures. Marvin Washington, the first kid to use the Station, goes on American Revelation Station episode. The first part is good. Tune in for part 2!

Review by Robyn, age 14

I liked most of it, however...what's with Marvin saying "Oink"?? It was one thing to say it once, and get critized by William ("Oink?! Did you say 'oink'?") but then to say it again...a little dumb.

The characters of William and Caesar were good. This show was interesting, because it was so researched, and seemed well done to me.

At first Marvin (or the actor that played him...) sounded a little strained, but it got better later on.

All in all, this was a fairly good show, and I definately enjoyed it much better than any of the previous episodes, and can't wait for next week!!

Review by Paul, age 9

It was great. I can't wait to Part 2.

Review by Pharra, age 13

I thought that this was an excellent episode. I liked how we got to hear from Marvin (Ed's son). This episode lets us know what an important role African-Americans played in the American Revolution. One thing that annoyed me though was how whenever Marvin was scared or nervous, he would say, "Oink!" like he's a pig. Other than that the episode was good. Bravo, Odyssey!

Review by Joseph, age 14

I enjoyed it! It was good introducing Ed's son Marvin. The new Imagination Station sounds wonderful. I like how Whit can scan a book into the Imagination Station and you can be part of that adventure.

Review by Tianlet, age 16

I think Odyssey is beginning to touch on some disputed topics, a good thing, but I also think that the message can come across as TOO strong. I find it strange that Marvin is so prejudiced after what his father said in "The Toy Man." Still, I suppose the issue needed to be addressed. I'm also surprised that Marvin didn't do any research about the Revolution if he was going to make a speech about it. Crispus Attucks always comes instantly to mind when one thinks about the early days (as this episode mentioned).

The new Imagination Station—I guess Whit did do something about that ride (mentioned by Connie in "Back to Bethlehem"), but I'm sad that Eugene could not help him. It's something he would have loved. I'm not sure I like this new Imagination Station. I have gotten comfortable with the old one and I don't like change! Also, every time Whit or Eugene did something "new" to the Imagination Station they added more seats, which I have never liked. Two persons maximum is a good number, and what is the good of having ten seats if you only use one at a time?

As to the acting, Marvin was "stiff" sounding at the beginning, and this program didn't have the smooth clear production of, say, "Patrick: A Heart Afire." Still, practice makes perfect, and I'm glad we have heard a little more from the Washington family.

All in all, I'll be looking forward to the next episode.

Review by Judah Ben-Hur, age 14

This was an okay show. I don't think I like the brand new, super duper Imagination Station. Why do you need to fit ten people in the Imagination Station anyway? Two is okay, but not ten. I was glad, however, to hear the old Imangination Station noise.

I don't like "Barrel Boy." I think he is a big wimp, and a worrywart. I can't believe he doesn't like the American Revolution! I don't know why he didn't know that colored people fought in the American Revolution. I don't know why he thought that every black person he saw was a slave. He should know not to used words like "cool" and "jamming" in the 1700s.

I really like William and Caesar! William, I think, has a great sense of humor, and Caesar is quite patient with people like Marvin (aka Barrel Boy).

The music on this episode was terrific! I really liked the way it flowed, because it sounds like the old Odyssey music.

This was an okay show, and I want to hear the next episode and the battle!

Review by JWG, age 13

This was overall a good ep; However, Marvin's acting could use a little boost. I liked the "Hail, Caesar!" bit.

Review by Meleah, age 15

This was a pretty good episode. There haven't been any Imagination Station episodes in awhile. I thought the new Imagination Statation technology is cool! Great re-intro to Whit's greatest invention!

Review by Alyson, age 13

Marvin had a good point about not hearing alot about African Americans in the American Revolution and thought it was funny when he tried to explan "cool" to the people he met and how he would blow up when they thought he was cold.

Review by NaweLegin, age 11

I didn't care for this episode as much as I thought I would. It's interesting this is th first "black history" sort of episode they've done.

Review by Elizabeth Rosenberg, age 12

Review by Bennett Charles (Town Hall)

Wow, I found it was a great episode. Marvin is an okay character, but I thought maybe he couldv'e toned it down at times.

I found the story great. It was very original. Though, I didn't like at the beginning of the episode when Whit said if he could scan anything and have the person go into it. I mean, it sounds exciting, but it also sounds that Whit can do anything he wants. Also, that's a great storyline for a new bad guy. The bad guy can use it to evil and um....stuff.

The music was cool. But I also found they couldv'e made the episode more intense. Also, the sound effects were a bit low. There should've been more sounds of guns being loaded and people yelling, it sort of sounded a bit pathetic in a way. But, I'm being way to picky.

All in all, it was a great episode.

Review by Jacob Isom (Town Hall)
NOTE: Jacob will soon be posting a full review.

I thought the acting of Marvin wasn't that well done, but it was a good episode. The music was very well done. If you liked the music then I'd suggest getting the Radio Theatres because that type of music is all through them.

Review by JoyElectric (Town Hall)

I was very impressed with this show. I think this is the kind of show that draws people to Odyssey the first time...I remember the historical shows being the ones that everyone talked about in my church way back when Odyssey was new.

This is a very nice addition, and interestingly enough, aired during Black History Month. Odyssey still knows what it's doing

Review by The Top Crusader (Town Hall)

I thought it was a good story and stuff. But I really just didn't get the "oink"ing... was that supposed to make sense? And I agree with Bennett Charles... it sounded like one guy loading a gun, or something.

Review by Gandalf (Town Hall)

To be perfectly honest, I didn't like this show at all. Once I hear part two my opinion will probably change but I have the same complaints you all had, sound effects weren't good, bad acting, not realistic enough, etc.

However, my biggest complaint came at the very beginning of the show when Marvin says something like "I just don't find the American Revolution intereting because it's so white." TALK ABOUT RACISM! The "old" Whit would have talked to him right then about how he was just as American as anyone so, whether there were any blacks involved in the founding of this nation or not, it should mean something to him. I think it's just ridiculous because if AIO produced something with a character saying something to the effect of "I don't care about slavery because it was just so black" people would be offended, they would write and the episode would probably go on the "unreleased" list. Now don't get me wrong, I've heard black people say things like Marvin did (and personally I thought they were the most racist people I've ever met) so I know it was realistic. I'm not saying it shouldn't have been in the show because it DOES reflect what some people think, but I really think Whit should have addressed it like the "old" Whit would have. It should have gone something like this...

Marvin: "'s just too white...."

Whit: "You're saying you don't care about the history of your country because the people you think fought it had a different color skin than you? Marvin, it doesn't matter what color skin you have, it's just as much your history as it is any other American. African, Asian, Hispanic, White. We're all Americans. And we're all people."

Marvin: "I know, but sometimes I hear people say things... You know, that there weren't any black people involved in the Revolutionary War."

Whit: "Is that so? Well I may have something for you..."

Anyway, just a gripe I had. I don't like Christians encouraging the "different race, different culture" thing. It's something we get from Saturday morning cartoons and I'm just really disapointed...

BTW, I realize the whole point of the episode was to get Marvin to realize he should be interested in the Revolutionary War, but in my opinion the did it the wrong way. What if there hadn't been any blacks in the war? Would that make it okay for Marvin (or any real person) to not be interested in it?

Okay, I think that's the end of my rant. I really wish AIO would change the album version to reflect more of the "American" side of the issue versus the "black and white" side... but it probably won't happen...

Review by Dave (Town Hall)

It may of been close to the best of the season. Though I don't know why. Maybe because of it sounded more like the "old days" of Odyssey. I remember when I used to think AIO could do nothing wrong—that was quite a few years ago. Then the splits came along, and though I like them at first, something wasn't quite right. Something was not right at all. Something was very wrong. Something was very, very wrong.

That was when I realized Odyssey was not perfect as I thought it was. Then the Novacom storyline came along and I was back to my old theory—Odyssey could do no wrong, there was just a slight "pause" when they got off the rails, just a little bit.

Then this season came along. It was not perfect. I was not happy. I was sure hoping it was another quick "pause." But now I don't think it is. This episode made me think. When was the last time "Adventures in Odyssey" did a history episode?

Okay, I've gone off the episode a lot in this review, now onto the music. As Jacob said, the music was alot like Radio Theatre. (Which I own the own set of "The Chronicles of Narnia.") I've always admired Radio Theatre for it's suspense-filled music. Odyssey finally got the hint—kids don't want happy, nothing-could-go-wrong music. They like action music.

Why did they have the parental warning on the beggining? It was nice to hear the voice of Marshal Younger, but it really wasn't needed. It's a war. So what? Under eights don't listen to it anyway.

John Beebee (who's changed his last name) is very good at writing different types of scripts. He's written comical, mysterious, biblical and now history. (It's sounds like school.) You go guy, Beebee!

The acting was okay. Marvin was okay, Whit was Whit, Caesar's name scared me, and the drummer-boy had a nice voice. I liked the continuing joke of Marvin saying something like "I'm cool," and all the people in the adventure misunderstanding him and offering him a coat.

The adventure itself had a lot to be desired. It got a bit boring at times, there wasn't enough humor (is there ever?), and they could of made it more exciting, there being a fight and all. They didn't fit a whole lot into twenty-five minutes. As usual, I liked the portions of next week's show being at the end. All in all, an okay show.

Consensus: Thumbs Up (8/11 positive reviews)

Though reaction is light so far, the second half of "The American Revelation" is getting very similar reviews to part one. Many reviews are positive, stressing the drama, historical background, and sound effects of the show. The negative remarks largely return to the same complaints from part one—Marvin's "oink," political issues, and some acting questions. Regardless of overall opinion, most thought that the music and the actor who played Caesar were very good.

Review by Dave

This episode was pretty good, slightly imporving on part 1.

Music: The music was a lot like Radio Theatre. It was great!

Acting: Acting was okay, though I love William's voice. Caesar was a pretty good voice, very American. Marvin's voice has a lot to be desired. I hate how he says "Oink" too often. Thank goodness he only said it once in this part!

Script: The script was okay, John Beebee did a fantastic job on it. John Beebee's good at the ones that work at a level for kids and adults. (I didn't say teenagers, though!)

Review by Judah Ben-Hur, age 14

This was a pretty good show. For a while, I thought that William was going to die, not Caesar! I was surprised that Barrel Boy left Ceasar too, but I guess that he couldn't really do anything about it. Really great music!

Review by Bradford Goodridge, age 12

It would take a whole lot of courage to do what Marvin did. I mean carrying an American soldier who was wounded and doing anything he could to help him. And this show answers a question of mine about African-Americans in the war. Good job AIO!!!

Review by JWG, age 13

This was a good show, if they hadn't put in all the stuff about black people and if Marvin's acting was a little better, I would say that it would have been the best show that they have ever made, or at least one of them.

I thought for sure William would die, not Caesar. It was funny to hear William talking rings around that officer! The batle scenes did sound like one guy loading his musket!

Marvin should know what a bayonet is. Oink?! It annoyed me when he said it in the first part, but it nearly sent me off the edge this time.

Once again, the "Hail Caesar" line was funny. "Captain, about the hail Caesar bit..." "Oh, my apologies!"

The acting was a bit realistic in some places, and the whole thing about the black history and stuff was little annoying, but I would say that this was a good ep.

Review by Paul

The first episode in the new Station was good. I'm looking forward to more shows. I'm glad they kept the red button. It scared me there for a minute after Whit talked about all the new stuff and the new look of the Station.

Review by Tianlet, age 16

The average of two things is right in the middle. Great parts averaged with crummy parts makes a mediocre conclusion. That is the conclusion of this episode: mediocre.

I think if less was said about black men vs. white men, this would have been better show. Still, I am sure I have delivered enough diatribe on that score.

The basic story was good, the sound effects were okay, and the characters were at least believable. I think there would have been more pathos in the "death scene" if it had been William who had died.

We have already had at least one episode about the American Revolution before this one. If Odyssey wanted to focus on the accomplishments of black Americans, why not do an episode on George Liele? After all, as the first American foreign missionary, there would be more Biblical emphasis. Which brings me to another point. There was certainly a moral lesson in this episode of Odyssey (I think), but where was the Biblical lesson?

With the good ideas in the episode and the poor presentation, this episode averages out to be just plain average. (No pun intended.)

Review by Dave, age 16

A historical drama in the Imaginatin Station! What we've all been waiting for, right? Well, it was a bit of a let-down.

First of all, if you've read these other reviews, you know that Marvin has an unusual utterance: Oink. Why oink? Who knows? They were running down the list of animal noises, and had already rejected moo and neigh, and settled on oink, I guess.

Other negative elements. This show is basically a token of peace to politically correct thinking, whether intentional or no. I can't count on both my hands and feet the times that the words "African-American" were used. This is the politically correct term. Why is it so offensive to say black? I'm a "white" American. Indian natives are now "red" Americans. Why not "black" Americans? We're all Americans! Whit should have made this point rather than say “Well, actually there were African-Americans in the war, Marvin.”

And what was with William’s acting? He wasn't a good actor. The guy that played Caesar was a pretty good actor...but somehow the death scene failed to touch me in the way that some have.

It was interesting to hear a historical drama, but I think there were a few points that could have been improved on.

Review by Ferder (Town Hall)

I just heard the second part to American Revelation. To be honest, I thought both parts of it were rather boring. The American history episodes have never held my interest as well as the ones that take place in Odyssey, though there have been some (like "The Underground Railroad") that have been very interesting and enjoyable. I think the reason for this is because most of the time I didn't understand the history (being Canadian I didn't learn the stuff in school). This episode mainly centered around Marvin and Ceaser talking. I'd rate this episode 4 out of 10.

Review by Bennett Charles (Town Hall)

I find you're crazy Ferder. This episode was great. It was a major improvement from last week's episode. Sure, I'm Canadian and I don't have a great understanding of American history. But it had a good story. The music was good, very similar to Radio Theatre. The kid's acting needs improvement, though. The sound effects couldv'e improved greatly (especially when they were unloading the guns).

Review by Gandalf (Town Hall)

I thought the second episode was MUCH better than part 1. I really loved the action, music, and sound effects, though the sound effects could have been a bit better. Being American, I found it quite interesting, however, I completely understand if Canadians or other people not from America found it uninteresting.

I only have one beef with the show, it focuses WAY to much on "race." I was really sorry that Whit didn't address Marvin's thinking that there are differences in whites and blacks. For instance, when Marvin was talking to Ceaser about "fighting this war if there are slaves," it sure sounded to me like he was acting like there are STILL slaves in America in the time he is living in, I found it quite offensive. AIO had better address this issue in future show.

As far as the episode itself, it didn't stand up to a lot of the recent AIO history shows, or even the not so distant. Patrick, Amazing Grace, It Is Well, Arizona Sunrise, and even Telemachus were a lot better than this one. As an American history show, I think it was better than Lincoln (which I never cared for), but not quite as good as The Midnight Ride or The Underground Railroad. Anyway, over all I think the episode was probably a 6 out of 10 stars.

Review by Hawkeye (Town Hall)

I liked it for the most part. It told a good story, and "oink" was only declared once, and it sounded to me like the nearby people wondered out loud why he kept doing this.

It wasn't all "happy-go-lucky," either, since Ceasar had to be left behind, and thus died, and the battle was lost.

Review by Dave (Town Hall)

It was an okay episode, slightly improving from part one. I'd only listen to it once, and I wouldn't mind if they didn't put it on an album. But they are.

The music was good, Marvin was okay and it was a bit more realistic than many Odyssey episodes.

John Beebee did a good job on the script.

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