A note of about the ratings... All ratings are out of four unless otherwise noted.
Reaction to the latest episode isn't as positive as the last two shows. This time, fans are pointing out plot goofs and noting annoying characters. Some did enjoy the show, but most felt that it was just "okay."
Most agreed that it was great to hear from Aubrey and Tom again. Others liked the "feel" of the show, calling in the classic style.
Most also agreed that the show made some plot goofs. Aubrey said she's only been riding for a year, which conflicts with what she said in "Opening Day." Others had a hard time buying Tom as a comedian, though some wanted to see his act at the end. Many pointed out that Trent's story didn't seem to resolve and it wasn't clear what Trent's final decision was.
One thing I really liked: Aubrey lives! This was her first ep in almost 17 months and I was afraid her character was done. It's nice to know that the Shepards are still around.
Is Tom ever going to get new horses? Leah and Rachel must be at least 20 years old. I guess this ep is my least fav, except Fairy Talevision which is at bottom this season. Not a necessarily bad ep, but not one that made a huge impression on me either.
Trent and Marvin, as usual, were my faves. I know a bit of how Trent feels; I skipped a year in math and did terribly on it when I was in sixth grade.
The last time I heard of the Academic Olympics was with Sam Johnson, so it was great that an old thing like that was brought back. Wish I could be in something like that. I like Aaron; hed make a great Odyssey kid.
Tom in comedy. A scary thought.
I gave this ep three out of five stars because of its old-fashioned style.
Aubrey is alive!!!! I am so glad she was in the episode. I love Aubrey, and I hope she sticks around.
I found the plot with Trent a bit annoying. I don't know how much of it was the whole premise, or just Mrs. Netchew (I can't stand that lady for some reason).
Aside from that there was nothing I didn't like about this episode. The message was good, interwoven through out. The characters were well developed. The plot flowed nicely. I liked it.
I am happy Tom got more horses at the end. I was thinking the same thing about Rachel and Leah, being old. Poor things. But now they'll have a bunch more horses at the Timothy Center.
Aubrey's back! I nearly lept up in the air with joy when I heard her! I give it 4.8.
Woah, I think I may have spotted a goof. Aubreys says she's only been riding for a year. But in Opening Day, she tells Connie her mom taught her to ride, and we get the impression she is a very good rider. Does this sound right?
That isn't to say that it was a bad episode. I enjoy Trent and Marvin quite a bit. (but I'm still not use to Marvin's new voice). I am very happy to hear from Aubrey. She's becoming a very succesful character, and like Nick, is growing on us very well.
But, question, the subject with Trent didn't seem resolved...that is to say, it didn't have that ending feel. Is this a new continuous storyline.? If it is, I'm very happy. This episode felt like the writers just said, "hey, let's have Trent join the special group"...but if it continues, it'll evolve that statement into a new shade of life. I'm looking forward to any expansion of 'Trent's adventures in the Special Group.
Not bad...but just like a few previous episodes, "could've been better."
And what was with Aubrey having only been riding for a year? She's been at the Timothy Centre much longer than that, and even then, we learned in "Opening Day" that her mother taught her how to ride long before she arrived in Odyssey. It also irked me that Tom used to be a comedian. I guess we know very little about his past life and it's certainly possible, but somehow it seemed a little out of character for him. These are all just nitpicks... but added up, they did impact my overall enjoyment of the episode.
It just wasn't a very strong show. The ending felt awfully awkward for one thing: We have no idea what decision Trent ultimately makes regarding his gifted class. He certainly makes it clear to Mrs. Nietchew that he doesn't want to be in it and she prepares to make the necessary arrangements to get him out, but we later hear him regretting his decision while talking with Aaron. It seems odd that his plot was left unresolved and any lesson we are supposed to learn from his story is muddled and unclear. To make matters worse, the one thing I kept hoping to hear was Tom performing his Vaudeville act at some point in time. With the ending music rising just as it began, I felt very cheated. It was a moment that could have upped my enjoyment of the show quite a bit, but it just didn't make it into the final cut and made listening to the entire show rather pointless. Aubrey's plot wasn't all that interesting (though it's nice to hear from her), so there wasn't really anything I could take away from the show.
The first thing that got my attention was a new character. Aaron. He's got quirks and a fun personality. I hope he comes back.
Next spark: Aubrey. She's a nice girl. Odyssey needs more females in key roles. (Where is Connie? She hasn't shown up in this season. Maybe it's for the better.) Good to hear her having fun with Tom and the Timothy Center.
Mrs. Nietchew is back. Ugh. She's rather annoying...and it's hard to take what she says seriously. (Due to her excessively nasal voice.)
Tom is acting more fatherly lately. I like that. He's doing Whit's job. But we still need Mr. Whittaker badly. Where is Whit anyway? Where's Eugene? (silly question.)
I can't think of anything to say about this episode. It was good. "Potential Possibilities" was a really nice and wholesome episode - I would listen to it again.
In "Potential Possibilities", we find that Trent DeWhite has been put into his school's gifted class. But, as soon as Trent is put into the gifted class, he decides that he doesn't like the class since none of his friends are in it, so he pretends that he doesn't know anything. His teacher, Mrs. Nietchew, confronts him, and Trent admits his feelings to his teacher and requests to be taken out of the gifted class. Mrs. Nietchew reluctantly agrees to take Trent out of the class. Later that day, Trent makes friends with one of the other students in the gifted class, who tells Trent about the many great things the gifted class offers.
The subplot in this story was about Aubrey and Tom. Tom discovers that Aubrey is very good with horses, and he encourages her to enter a horse competition. Tom tells Aubrey that several years ago, he and a partner had a comedy vaudeville act. Tom and his partner could have gone on and done more professional acts, but Tom didn't. His partner ended up being a famous comedian. Aubrey agrees to enter the horse competition if Tom will audition for an amateur performance. Aubrey loses the race, and Tom's act is not accepted. But, they both learned that they need to use the gifts that God has given them.
This episode had a very good lesson: when God gives someone a gift, no matter what the gift is, they should use their gift and not ignore it.
A really good thing about this episode was the return of Aubrey! This was the first appearance of Aubrey since "All Things to All People", which was aired over a year ago. I was beginning to wonder where Aubrey was, but I learned in this episode that she is still in her usual place: the Timothy Center.
I noticed something minor in this episode, that may or may not be a mistake. In an earlier episode, Mrs. Nietchew was an English teacher and was in charge of the middle school's newspaper. In this episode, Mrs. Nietchew is teaching the gifted class. I suppose this might not be a mistake - maybe she was given a new job? I liked hearing Mrs. Nietchew's return, but this issue was a bit unclear.
There was something in this episode that really bothered me when the episode was over: the situation with Trent. Towards the end, Trent tells Mrs. Nietchew that he wants to be taken out of the gifted class. Mrs. Nietchew says she would take him out, but that she is very disappointed. Later that day, Trent talks to Aaron, another student in the gifted class, and learns that the two have a lot in common, and that the gifted class has many exciting things to offer. That led me to believe that Trent would change his mind about transferring out of the gifted class, but there is nothing else said about that. This episode was about using the gifts God has given us, so I think it would have been an aid to the episode if Trent had decided to stay in the gifted class. Maybe he did stay in the class, but I wish this had been clarified.
As you can see, I thought there were many good things about this episode, as well as some things that I didn't like. However, this episode was a good one, and I will give it a 3 out of 5 stars.
Listeners to "Call Me if You Care" are giving it decidedly mixed reviews. Some are calling it a classic and the best episode of the season. Others weren't particularly moved by it and thought it was predictable. Many, however, find a middle ground and say it was a "good, but not classic" show. Everyone agreed that it was great to see Jack again and to see Connie and Whit investigating a mystery.
The most debated point of the show is whether Cindy should have returned to see William. Many say that her return didn't fit with her character and made it a "typical ending." Others say it was a good emotional ending.
All that said - the episode was terrific. Great suspense, unlike other AIO episodes. I enjoyed itbest episode of the season, BY FAR....
I identified with Connie's bitterness against her father, even though I have a great dad. I struggle with feeling bitter about dumb things, and I think that I probably harbor more resentment against Bill Kendell than Connie does now! Overall, a good episode, if not a classic.
Wow, I mean wow! That's exactly what I needed to hear. Guess God's giving me a message to not feel so bitter against my father.
It was an excellent episode! I loved it.
Jolly good ep! Not bogged down with too many characters.
Very predictable (but hey, it's for 8 year olds, right?), not something I need to hear twice. After the first listen, nothing stood out that I could laugh at or cry over later if I thought of it.
Since I really don't know what to say. The show had that classic Odyssian feeling with references to not only Whit's children, but Connie's dad as well. Not to mention that Sara Buskirk, the voice of former Odyssey kid Courtney Vincent, played the role of Cindy. I will admit I thought she was kind of a jerk, however that's to be expected after William was imprisoned and abandoned his family. But proclaiming her Christian faith seemed at odds with her attitude earlier in which she only wanted to see her father to discuss his medical history. You'd think, based on her faith, she'd be a little more willing to have given her father a chance to explain himself or even have forgiven him earlier. And what was Connie thinking using a cell phone in a hospital? Hospitals ban the use of cell phones in their halls because they claim the electromagnetic radiation may cause their machines to malfunction (same reason you cannot use one on an airplane). This claim has been challenged recently, but as far as I know, it's still not allowed. Regardless, it's just a nitpick.
However, going back to what I said earlier, the most overwhelming feeling I felt about the show was apathy. I just didn't feel an emotional connection to the events in the episode. Therefore, while I can find few faults with the show itself, there was an unexplainable part of me that just wasn't interested. Maybe it was the subject. Maybe it was Connie being the center of attention. Maybe it was the result of a television marathon in which I finished watching 3 seasons of an hour long television series in just 7 days. Or maybe it's a combination of the three. Regardless, it's not a bad episode and most fans will enjoy it for it what it's supposed to be.
It's nice to see that Bill Kendall hasn't quite faded out of the scene. This Connie/June/Bill storyline has to be resolved someday. I guess it has already. In "Father's Day", Connie forgives him for marrying April, and they'll just accept life as it is. It would be really nice if Bill accepted Christ before AIO comes to a close.
There were several episodes that came to my mind while hearing this one. "An Encounter with Mrs. Hooper", "Last in A Long Line" and a couple of others. Seems to me that AIO has had a hard time of getting new show ideas.
All in all, I think that this will be a well-loved classic.
In the first scene of this episode, Connie discovers that she has three messages on her cell phone. They are all from a woman named Cindy, who has the wrong number, but she is looking for her father William. Connie, Whit, and Jack spend the episode trying to find either Cindy or William. They are finally successful. The episode had a happy ending, but I won't spoil it in case you haven't heard the episode yet!
I think the lesson in this episode was about forgiveness. After Cindy became a Christian, she realized that God had forgiven her for all of the bad things she had done; so she decided that she needed to forgive her father, even though he made some mistakes.
As I said, I thought this episode had the classic AIO feel to it. It was just as good as the older episodes were, it had a lesson in it, and the story was very original. As I have said in past reviews, I sometimes feel that original stories aren't as common as they used to be, but this episode was a very original one.
All of the actors did a wonderful job in this show. Paul Herlinger is always a good actor, but I think he did a better acting job in this episode that he has done in some of the other episodes this season. Katie Leigh did an excellent job as usual, and so did Alan Young. The actress of Cindy and the actor of William were also very good.
It was nice to hear from Jack again. This was his first appearance this season, and I like hearing him on the show every once in a while. It seems as if he always gets caught up in the middle of other people's situations, without meaning to.
The music was also very good in this episode. Some of the music was repeated from old episodes, but all of the music fit the episode very well. The sound design was excellent as well. The cell phone scenes sounded like they were coming from a real phone.
Well, I guess I don't have anything bad to say about this episode. I guess I'm not as critical as other reviewers! Anyway, I am giving this episode a 4.5 out of 5 stars. A wonderful job!
Fans enjoyed "True Calling" for the most part. Many loved the show and enjoyed the humor. Particularly praised are the smaller characters, such as Irving, Greenfarb, and Mr. Douglas. These characters had personality and quirks and fans enjoyed them. Fans also liked that Mandy and Liz were used so well and that Whit had good advice and gave it in a clever way.
The major criticism seems to be that the episode had elements similar to "Potential Possibilities," with old guys unconvinced that they could perform a comedy routine.
There were a few things that bugged me. First is the guidance counselor was, well, words don't come to mind, except annoying. Second was Liz. First, it seems like she's an obvious replacement for Lucy (she's writing for the Owl now). Second, while I do like her acting like a decent human being and mature and all, there was no reason given for her radical change in behavior. This makes it weird to hear her in these new eps since shes not being a jerk, and no reason was given for her change.
All things said though these problems were minor, and the episode was still enjoyable.
I really appreciated the search-for-a-career theme, since I am still not sure what I want to do with my life, even though I'm in my second year of college and I have picked a major. I hope that Mandy's journey will continue in future episodes, even if she never completely decides what to do. It's the journey that is so important and interesting.
Solly and Irving were amusing, partially because they knew that their jokes were lame, which made the jokes themselves that much more amusing. Overall, a very enjoyable episode that I look forward to hearing again.
Yes, the voice of Solly is different than the one we got in "The Case of the Disappearing Hortons," but I appreciate the change. Though it didn't bother me all that much, the original voices of Irving and Solly were so similar that it was quite confusing for casual listeners to differentiate between the two. Now it's far easier to tell them apart and the new Solly's voice has a more pleasant quality, as opposed to the guttural mumbling's in the past. As a result, the duo not only retains the magic they originally had, but builds on it for some very funny scenes. Their failed attempt at an escape to Mexico was certainly a highlight of the show, considering they didn't even leave the property of the retirement home! I also noticed that John Campbell has composed a distinctive tune for the duo, which was also used in "The Cast of the Disappearing Hortons", so I can only hope they make many more future appearances. However, while I can't imagine how often two retired magicians can be utilized on the program, they're still a welcome addition to AIO's wide cast of characters!
On that note, I also want to discuss Liz and Mandy's guidance counselor: Mr. Douglas. In the past, listeners have come to expect flat, undeveloped characters in the "extra" category. Teachers in particular are rarely given much of a personality, which is why it's such a joy to hear Mr. Douglas being so colorful! An awful guidance counselor perhaps, but a wonderfully quirky character. It's little details like this that can separate a mundane show from the rich and exciting!
Of course the show was rounded out with your typical Odyssey characters. Whit really does seem to be heading down the right path, as his advice in the past year brings me back to the days of classic AIO where you respected the man and didn't feel like his advice was too judgmental or intimidating. Liz was still annoying, but that's just built into the foundation of her character. Unfortunately, I still (after all these years) have a hard time forgiving her for the way she treated Connie in "You Win Some, You Lose Some" and I don't know if I'll ever get over it! And as a surprise to no one, Mandy was terrific as usual and I can't say enough goods things about her. On a bit of a trivia related note, I believe this is the first time we learn how old she is... fourteen. Six years ago she was the doll loving baby in "Tornado!" and now she's nearly the same age as Rodney Rathbone! The Odyssey timeline just boggles my mind.
Overall the episode had strong characters, a great message, and some very funny scenes which added up equal a very strong slice-of-life show!
I was pleasantly surprised when this show had nothing to do with Connie Kendall's never-ending plans for life (or marriage decisions).
Our dear little Mandy and Liz still haven't completely grown up. That's good. Alex and the Novacom generation have almost completely vanished, and only the little sibling remnants remain (and what's left of those are struggling to cope with the problems of transitioning to the dreaded middle school life). Maybe I've talked about this before. AIO has a nice little bunch of kids right now, but somehow the "Big Picture" days can never be repeated. Alex, Mandy, Sarah, Liz, Nathaniel. They had no family ties that we had to stay within the limits of. Now whenever the Washingtons come into play the whole clan comes with the package.
Humor. You've gotta love it. Everyone does. Why else does Reader's Digest put a little joke section on practically every single page? Some people have that gift, and Mendelson and Greenfarb have it. (Tom Riley doesn't.) This show had the perfect amount. Not slap-stick, not cornball. Just funny. I loved it. Sometimes we weary of hearing the same old Tom or Whit's tasteful humor, and need new blood in our midst. Congrats AIO, you've fulfilled my wish. I hope that we see more of them. (Like, soon.)
And yet, I thought that AIO just did a show on performing comedy acts in front of a large audience. Didn't they?
What does God have in store for my life? I don't know, but I'll try to find out. (I'm surprised that Mandy found out so early, considering Connie's situation.)
No bother, my favorite scene in the show is when Mendelson and Greenfarb are practicing their routine stuff for Liz. "The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese." Ha! Hahaha!
I love this show! I listened to it only four times today (Saturday)...will listen to it more tomorrow. Break out some eggnog and hear it yourself. I have to go help my father dearest package stuff that he sold on EBay.
This episode had two plots: one plot was about Mandy trying to decide her career. She wanted to be a writer, but was told that writers are usually unemployed. Whit talked to her and told her that she needed to be what God called her to be. The second plot was about Liz trying to convince two people from a retirement home, Irving and Solly, to perform a comedy act at their school's assembly. The two men finally decide to perform.
The lesson of this episode was God has given everyone talents. We should not hide our talents, but we need to do what God has called us to do.
It was nice to hear Whit taking the time to sit with Mandy and give her advice in this episode. Whit talked to Mandy about her career, and he also quoted Scripture that applied to her situation. In some other recent episodes, Whit has seemed too busy to talk with kids, but not in this episode. The advice Whit gave was good, and it applied well to the story.
Part of this episode dealt with a comedy act. I didn't mind this, but it seemed a little funny that we have two episodes in the same season dealing with comedy. Also, I thought this episode sounded very similar to "What are You Going to do with Your Life?" The scenario with Mandy in this episode was very similar to Connie's scenario in "What are You Going to do with Your Life?" These were only minor complaints, because the episode was very well-written.
I thought the acting was okay in this episode. Some of the actors sounded like they were forcing the voices they were trying to do. Also, if I am not mistaken, an actor was replaced for one of the two comedians (Irving or Solly). Paul Herlinger did a good job at playing Whit, and Aria Curzon did a very good job playing Mandy.
As I said, this was another well-written episode. (Good job Bob Hoose!) I enjoyed it.