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A note of about the ratings... All ratings are out of four unless otherwise noted.
Reviews of "Lost by a Nose" are probably the most negative of the season so far, though most aren't saying many bad things about it. The number one complaint is that it is was just kind of a "so-so" episode.
No "main" adult characters appeared in the episode (with the exception of Nick) and some didn't like an episode based almost entirely on kids. However, others liked seeming Mandy and Liz together as friends again.
"Lost By a Nose," was, in my opinion, one of the best episodes this season. It was a wonderful story, and, regardless of the characters involved, there was an excellent moral at the end: It doesn't matter what others think about how we look, or who we are...it matters what God, the one who created us, thinks about us. We need to look at life "beyond the window."
Thank you, John, the episode was perfect, and poem was absolutely beautiful.
I didn't find myself enjoying this episode too greatly, or with high enthousiasm. But the story was interesting enough, and it was nice to hear from Mandy and Liz together, and Nick.
Speaking of which; everyone knows that I am a big fan of the character Nick Mulligan. (I am now going off from my review...) However, I find that his character style changes in almost every episode. Is it the writer? I just don't know. I enjoyed him when Kathy included him, and when Marshall included him, as well. The show that Nathan did with him was all right, although he sounded slightly different. That's the thing; he's the type of character which isn't as expendable as the others. If you write for Connie, then she can pretty much adapt to anything you toss her way. She can be immature, wise, annoying...anything...
With Nick on the otherhand; the "mysterious, clever-lined packed, New Yorker bad boy, and slick-man" character is for him. When he dishes out ice cream to a kid, I wince. It doesn't fit. Having a New Yorker say in a pleasent way, "Here you go" doesn't work. He has to have his own style of speech...
There were both big differences in how he spoke in "Sounds like a Mystery" and in this episode, compared to how he'd act in others. So I went on a quest to find out why he'd act so uncharacteristic in one, and so terrific in another. I suspected it was simply the actor who was losing his touch. But that's impossible, since he was nearly perfect in "A Lamb's Tale"..."That kid's gonna get himself killed...I like him."
So, was it the writing? John Fornof did both episodes of "Sounds like a Mystery" and "Lost by a Nose," and in the former, their were no words said by Nick indicating that he was the "Slick New Yorker." You could've replaced his character by having Connie, Wooton or Marvin Washington act in his place and it wouldn't have sounded at all different.
Am I not making sence? Has anyone else actually noticed differences in how Nick would act in one in the then different in the other?
Luckily, Nick Mulligan was hosting a girl's beauty contest. That's so him. On the other hand, I don't think his knock-knock jokes are very him at all...I mean, admit it...that joke was terrible.
(back to my review)
The ending to this episode was where the similarities between "Lost by a Nose" and "A Model Child" really clicked in my head. Luckily, it was a character that we already new a bit who was doing the crying. Brenda Fraser, in my mind, does a pretty good job at being the popular girl. She isn't stuck up, or snobby, or anything...she just isn't the stereotypical popular girl. Afterall, you don't necessarily have to be stuck-up to be popular.
I wasn't a huge fan of Gwen. It's not to say that I didn't like her, but I'd rather see her not returning to the series. If their was anyone who I'd enjoy hearing from again who appeared recently in an episode would be Grady. And having a Gwen and a Grady on the show at the same time would sound, well, a bit bizarre. Both names are both similar and uncommon.
Overall, it was a good enough show. I don't enjoy giving ratings, but I will this time; 7.5/10. Not bad, not great, but just good enough.
1. The poem was excellent.
2. Liz's [change from being a bad girl] has always bothered me. I know people complained, and if the AIO team wants to change her character as a result, they absolutely have to give a reason. It was extremely odd to hear her attempt to be "sensitive" with her words. And besides, I thought she acted the "bad girl" part wonderfully. Without an explanation, the believability and continuity is hurt.
On its own, the ep was nice. Nice storyline, nice lesson, nice ending. But compared with all the other recent eps, this one was so average, IMO. I guess I'm getting tired of these "basic" episodes.
Mandy and Liz are a great team. I really liked Gwen and would love if she became regular character. I liked the fact that the moral wasn't glossed over or tacked onto the end like an afterthought, but woven throughout the story.
It was in a sence, predictable, but not in annoying way. I mean it was easy to guess what would happen to Liz when she found out she made the finalists, but the strength of the performance and message outweighed predictablilty in my part.
So far this season has been great, two episodes that I love, one I really liked and one that was "uhhhhh". I hope they continue to deliver the rest of the season.
This show deals with a "Young Miss Odyssey" Contest that judges personality, talent, and academics. Liz feels that the competition is really centered around outward beauty, so she joins the contest to get an inside perspective. She ends up being chosen as one of the finalists, and she forgets about her original intentions and hopes to win the contest. Liz is horrified to discover that just before the contest a zit appears on her nose. Because of this, Liz withdraws from the competition. She learns from a girl named Gwen, who only joined the contest to have fun, that outward beauty is unimportant.
Speaking of Gwen, I was pleased with her being in this show. I wouldn't be surprised if we never heard from her again, but I was happy with the way she behaved in this show. Despite the fact that Liz discouraged her from entering the contest, she entered anyway, and she handled herself very well. Gwen entered the contest for the right reasons, and she was much more mature than any of the other girls in the contest. I was also pleased with the poem that she wrote.
I knew from the start that this episode would be about the importance of inward beauty rather than outward appearances. I suppose this is a relevant topic to cover, because our society seems to be much too focused on outward beauty, as Liz said in the episode. This was the biggest similarity I found to "A Model Child."
I didn't have a problem with any of the music that was chosen for this show. However, I was slightly distracted by the music in certain points of the show. This was because some of the music pieces were the same pieces used in the AIO video games. The music was only distracting because it gave my mind a reason to wander toward the video games rather than the story. I suppose AIO likes to recycle music, which is something they have been doing a lot recently (and I know that other fans have noted the distraction of recycled music in recent shows). I guess shouldn't be so picky about such things.
As I said earlier, this episode was only a "so-so" slice-of-life" episode. The plot wasn't the most dramatic or exciting in the world, and the story was slightly predictable. However, it is good for AIO to include some everyday slice-of-life shows. My rating is a 3 out of 5 stars.
Hmmm. AIO, the suspense and drama and excitement was all tossed around by a pimple? What? It's not usual for AIO to base the all of their show on a usually not-discussed-in-public bodily dysfunction.
Second AIO modeling contest. Good thing Liz didn't get some sort of eating disorder. Good thing it wasn't sponsored by Bart Rathbone.
Mandy and Liz have makeup. Bad! AIO does not endorse makeup in the young with God-given beauty! Bad AIO! Number one - Mandy was allowed to use makeup, number two - she knew how to apply it and thirdly, Liz agreed to wear it, with no reference to the Biblical reason why you shouldn't wear it. Hmmph. I say no makeup until you're 18! Unfortunately most people don't agree with me...
... Liz, the best thing to remember is that if you win the beauty show, big deal. No one will remember you in two years. But if you are a good friend, then your name will go down in history. That's sweet.
It seems that AIO is still snorkeling. Their faith episodes are good for new Christians and the very young, but they never get any deeper. Maybe AIO is trying for outreach, but I wish that they at least mentioned the Bible once or twice. (Because you can get these same sort of morals from most cartoons...although in a slightly rougher form.) Maybe I'm being overly critical, but I liked the days when Whit would gather the kids around him and tell them what they were doing wrong and what the Bible says to do about it. Nick isn't very qualified for this sort of thing. (Not being a Christian himself...although he's getting more towards a decision...)
All of the humor was well placed and very funny...I'll give them credit for that.
I've said a lot of not nice things about AIO...and I apologize. This is a nice slice-of-life and I'll listen to it many times in the future.
"The Last I Do" is getting the most positive reviews of the season so far. Many are praising the arrival of another history show and the interesting parallel between this show and the current marriage debate in the U.S. and other countries.
Also Specifically praised is new Odyssey writer Leilani Wells. Some mentioned concern over a "newbie" writer, but reviewers liked her first Odyssey effort. Also praised was the acting, music, and production of the show. A stand-out scene was the running wedding.
A few quibbles also popped up. Most notably, some wondered about casting choices (Should they use Pete Reneday for every historical episode? Should Connie have a part?) and the pace (should it have been two parts?). Finally, a few felt that they had heard the Valentine history story several times before.
I do think AIO should have made this story at least two episodes long. A story as beautiful and epic as this one deserves it, I hope there was a substantial amount that will be added for the album version. One major problem was that the episode provided very little emotion. It was basically a "here's the story, guess you learned something new, ha ha" presentation. A story like this could have been one that makes even the toughest guys need to borrow some Kleenex.
The acting was superb. I'm not sure who played who, but most of the voice talent was perfect for their roles. One role I disliked though, though, was Katie Leigh as Pauline. I personally think AIO overuses Katie and should stick with her as Connie and maybe, every once in a great while, have her play a minor character. It was just too hard sitting there thinking 'that's Connie!' when Pauline was saying stuff like how much she loved Titus.
Lastly, the music was average. It didn't feel original or inspired for this episode, which, as I keep saying, is a pity because it could have been such an epic and intriguing story. I should have liked The Last I Do to contain music on par with, or superior than, Patrick: A Heart Afire, which I believe is one of the greatest works of John Cambell in the whole AIO cannon.
Overall, this episode was a good one. It told the story of Valentine, one that many people aren't familiar with, in a good way. We learned facts, even if we didn't "feel" the episode. I commend Leilani Wells for a job well done, this was a good "first episode" and I hope she writes more episodes in the future. I also loved the way they put the whole marriage protection thing into this episode in a way we, in American and Canada, could relate to.
It is hard to judge this episode on what it is, rather than what I think it could have been. It is very wonderful to hear an epic history show from AIO, and I think if I hadn't already been working on this idea, I would have probably given it at least a four, which I shall do as I am convinced it deserves.
Sorry for the long review, contratulations if you made it all the way through!
As I said; Most of us know the stories...however, to be quite honest, I didn't know beans about the story of Saint Valentine. And so, after the episode, I decided to do some research about the man.
I often worry about these episodes that re-tell the story of a historic man not listed in the Bible. Why? Because, most of story told sometimes can be legend. You see, with the Bible, we, as Christians, believe that it's the absolute truth. If theirs a plot twist in a Bible-story, then that's what really happened. We should give credit to God for pulling such a miraculous stunt off (are you with me so far...?) For the stories of Telemachus, Saint Patrick, and Saint Valentine, I've done research about the character after I hear them in the episode. I'm saddened to say that much of the details are muffled, and are accused to be legend. Afterall, legend has it that Saint Valentine left her a note. It's not fact... It's giving credit to God for doing things that he might not have nessecarily done. Is that wrong? I don't honestly know.
Aside from that, I was glad to finally know the story of Saint Valentine. (I honestly always thought it was a girl.)
Feel free to call me a romantic, but I enjoy hearing a nice romance once in a while. They're often just "feel good" movies and episodes. But oftentimes, it gets dull after a while. The plot gets predictable. The characters are jerks. You don't really care for any of them. This episode beats those overwhelmingly bad romance-factors. I enjoyed the characters. I enjoyed the prison guard's daughter. She was sweet and had a very nice and unique voice. It was one of those voices where the picture of the character is emmediatly painted inside your head. Valentine had a good voice as well. As a matter of fact, practically all of the voices was a refreshing break from the usual ones. That's why episodes like these distinguish themselves from the rest of the series.
However, and I'm referring to something Shadowpaw commented on in his review: Pete Reneday appears way too much. Don't get me wrong, his voice is terrific. It has that real "history" sound to it. But, they may want to slow down in how much he's used during historic shows
Speaking of Shadowpaw's review, I had banged my head on the table trying to figure out who Felix's voice reminded me of. Thenardier, of course! Him, along with Julia, and Valentine, were cast perfectly for each of their roles. I wasn't a big fan of Connie taking on a role, however...but that didn't bother me too much. I had assumed when I first heard her that she would be the main character of the story.
The music was a nice change. Enough said there.
I enjoyed Valentine's deffinition of marriage. Considering the state of the world these days, it's a nice way to pound into kid's heads that marriage and families are important.
In conclusion, I was a little hesitant in enjoying this episode from an unknown writer. I felt she knew exactly what she was doing. However, each and every scene seemed shorter then usual. I almost felt like it could've been a two part episode. The exchange of converstation would've had a greater effect if they were more drawn-out. Right after an event happened or a point had been said, it was immediately followed by another one. No time was waisted; however, because of that, I felt just a little rushed through it. On the plus side, much was accomplished this way.
Overall, great episode. I'm glad it made it to the series.
I also thought this was a classic.
As a writer, I think Ms. Wells has great promise in the Odyssey universe as long as she stays away from the historical episodes. There is one primary reason for this. To wit, the dialogue was not of the proper antiquity/vintage. Many of the phrases employed jarred the senses as being entirely too modern. Not exactly what one wants in a historical episode.
Aside from these quibbles, the episode was excellent. However, the latter problem was so pronounced that I must rate it at three out of five stars. Were it not for these shortcomings, I would have given this episode a five, which only two other historical episodes have merited in my point of view.
I loved it. Excellent. The music, acting, sounds, flow, history, story, it was excellent. This was the first episode in a long long time since 1997 that I've felt like I was listening to an old episode. This had the classic AIO feel all over it.
And so, with my foot appropriately in my mouth, I give it 5/5 stars.
Which is personally of great value to me as historical and biblical shows are not my favorite Adventures in Odyssey genres. The shows themselves aren't bad, but they are often simple re-tellings of stories I have heard many times before. And despite the fact the plots are generally approached from a unique angle, the episodes don't involve any of the main characters and as such, don't lend a hand to character progression. So while some might be enjoyable, they rarely get the privilege of sitting in my tape player. However, Valentine and his adventures were new to me and I was actually invested in the character and what he would do next.
And it is an interesting and romantic story. Despite the fact Leilani Wells, the writer of the episode, is not a member of the Odyssey staff, it still felt like an Odyssey episode and she's obviously comfortable with the format. And contrary to what many people may think, it's often harder to write a story based on material that already exists than it is to create a story from scratch because you're limited in what you can do. Thankfully the episode adapted the story successfully without feeling bogged down with unnecessary back story or prologue and there was also plenty of action. It takes some creative thinking to turn a typical exchange of dialogue into an exciting moment for radio and it always felt like the characters had something to do... which is not an easy feat. A perfect example is the marriage between Paulina and Titus. It might be nice to hear these two characters get married, but does it make for exciting radio? No, especially if we don't know the characters very well. But have their wedding take place while they are running through the woods from Roman guards... now you've got a scene on your hands! It was a fun way to do it and the music elevated that scene to a new level. In fact, the music throughout the show was terrific and made for a very cinematic experience. Another scene with great music was where Valentine is discussing the different colors of flowers and the music changes to reflect the color of the flower being described... small details like this are essential to a quality show.
Though it does bug me that it seems Pete Reneday must take part in historical/biblical shows on a regular basis for AIO. The short list of his AIO credits include Blackbeard, Paul/Saul, John the Baptist, St. Patrick, and now Claudius. I'm all for actors playing multiple roles, but not when every single time the voice is identical to the previous character. It's just frustrating to think that in a place as big as California, there aren't any actors who can perform the role with even a slightly different take on a historical figure. On the other hand, I thought Julia was terrific and the character of Felix reminded me a lot of Thenardier from Les Miserables.
In the end, the show succeeded in what it set out to accomplish. Those who have already heard the story of Valentine might discover that no new ground has been broken, but for others like myself, they should be able to enjoy it for both it's plot and it's message. A tragic story, yes, but one that we have not yet forgotten.
Once again, another episode has taken the title of "Best Reviewed" episode this season. Taking the torch from "The Last I Do," which took the torch from "The Present Long Ago," which took from "The Coolest Dogs," the latest Odyssey episode is getting mostly estatic reviews. Fans seem to agree that the season is getting better and better.
Praise is heaped on both Wooton and Grady, for their characters, their great voice acting, and the writing behind them. All reviewers hoped that these two would stay around for a long time. Specifically, many noted that Wooton continues to find a way into people's hearts and Seth is a terrific voice actor for one his age.
Two smaller roles also join the category of great charactes with Mr. Blaylock (the bus driver) and Mrs. Drummond (the thrift store worker) turning into memorable performances.
First of all, I've got to say to the fans that you make my day every time I hear from one of you. Coming in and reading the reviews is sometimes scary for me because not everyone is a fan of Wooton and it's hard for me to distance myself from taking it personal. It kind of feels like when you bake a white cake with lemon filling and then add chocolate frosting sprinkled with dried banana chips for a friend and then the friend says they don't like white cake with lemon filling, chocolate frosting and banana chips. I mean as crazy as it seems for someone not to like that ya still can't help but get your feelings a little hurt on accounta it's your favorite which is why ya made it for them in the first place. I'm an emotional eater too by the way so just by my sharing how that feels to have bad reviews sometimes, it's already making me crave a white cake with lemon filling, chocolate icing and dried bananas. Gotta cook. I'll be back in an hour and a half to finish this.
(Ten minutes later)
I didn't have all of the ingredients to make my cake so I just rolled a corn muffin in cream cheese and sprinkled it with raisins. I learned an important lesson though. A corn muffin isn't cake, cream cheese isn't frosting and raisins well, raisins are okay no matter what so I picked them off and ate them but left the corn muffin and cream cheese.
Anyway, the reason I am writing in here is because your reviews were so wonderful that I had to set some things straight. As much as I appreciate the compliments, I really don't deserve them all to myself. This particular episode was written by Marshal Younger AND myself. I don't know why they listed the credits the other way around but the truth is that Marshal Younger does far more with my episodes than I do. He puts the polish on everything I do and he adds so much brilliance to my shows that it takes what was originally just on "okay" script and turns it into hmm what's good? Oh I know! He turns it into a WHITE CAKE WITH LEMON FILLING, CHOCOLATE ICING AND BANANA CHIPS SCRIPT! Yeah, that's what he does. He makes my stories sweeter and easier to swallow. I aspire to be able to write like him. Let me tell you just some of what he did in this episode alone.
The entire Miss Drummond scene was written by him, the bookstore scene, the treehouse scene and the entire montage of Tuesdays at the end were also all written by Marshal. (The bookstore scene was my favorite by the way and I also loved Miss Drummond.) The bus driver though- THAT was mine and if Marshal tries to take credit for it I'll hunt him down.
He writing is full of heart and humor. Just like Marshal is as a person. I don't know what I'd do without him. I'll tell ya this, thoughI wouldn't be writing and I love the guy.
That "Pseudo Max" line in this episode? He wrote that. He sent me an outline where he had written that in it and I used it because it was so funny. He also did the "I used to belong to that troop when it was still 408" line which also cracked me up. By the way, Nathan is probably the nicest person I have ever met and I think of him as a little brother who got all the brains for the entire Martin lineage. He's just THAT smart.
Kathy Buchanan and John Fornofwell,
they didn't have anything to do with this episode but they're okay as people
(Heh-heh- just having some fun) They are WONDERFUL people both of whom I am honored to have as friends but still they didn't have anything to do with this particular script that I'm aware of so I'll rave about them at a later point. OR they can just do what Marshal does and come in here, rewrite what I've written about them and make it look REALLY great! (I love you two, though, and you both know it!)
Anyway folks, I mainly wanted to say thank you for the compliments for this episode from ALL of us. We each have different abilities and approaches to our writing but the one thing we have in common is our love for Odyssey and for the listeners. You're the best. Thank you.
PS- If there is someone out there though who posts something later here and says that they absolutely HATED this episode...well, then the ENTIRE thing was written by Kathy Buchanan and neither Marshal nor myself had anything to do with it. Heh-heh.
With every episode I grow more appreciation for Wooton. "I'm thinking Cougar? Or maybe Puma?" I'm still laughing about those lines.
This was a good episode. I wouldn't call it classic or anything, but nice. Which is probably good b/c we all know the next episode won't be slice-of-life, which this one is.
Seth is a puzzlement to me. It seems like he's gone farther down the road of stupidity. I think he's ok for the show, and could make for some good stories, but here he's annoying. I'm also wondering if Grady will figure it out. This also could make for some good stories.
Have I mentioned I'm really liking Wooton. I didn't when he was first introduced, but he just keeps getting better and better. And better. He's quickly becoming one of my favorite characters. He's got a big heart. He shows wisdom, campassion, he cares for his friends, and goes out of the way for people. This episode also proves that Wooton can carry an episode where he is the center.
I'm only 01:41 into the show, but I must say the Bus Driver in the beginning was such a great character! He was so realistic. He had the manner of the kind of guy I'd find in my church. Just the average guy. Wow. What an incredible character. We haven't had anyone normally cool on Oddsey for...a long time.
I also enjoyed the lady at the Thrift store. She knew everything except the important stuff!
Wooton is ALWAYS funny. Listen closely to the things he says and you'll crack up with laughter!
The writer seems to separate himself from the rest of the gang. Why? Well, Im not saying hes the best writer; but when it comes to diologue, well, he should get an award or something. When I listen to Odyssey, I expect to be held onto an episode by the storyline. Storyline is always the key for me which is why "The Coolest Dog" was a downright disappointed. There was nothing captivating about it. Now, Im not saying that this episode was a "terrific storyline." Though, Im not saying it wasnt either. It was a nice cute story which made you want to hear what happens in the end. But, if that was the core of it, it would've been an average episode. However, it wasnt.
He gives each and every one of his episodes that extra kick. His writing is superb. Its original. Its brilliant. It isnt corny, whatsoever.
You know those television shows where you can always guess the punchline and assume whats coming next before the actor says it? Odyssey can sometimes follow that example once in a while. Torry Martin episodes rarely do.
This isnt to say that this was the best Wooton episode out thereit wasnt. My heart still lies with the hilarious antics in, "Nothing but the Half Truth." And "Do or Diet" and "Bassett Hounds" take second place. However this one takes the bronze medal, slipping into 3rd place.
It goes without saying that everyone enjoys Wooton more and more each time we hear him appear. I can see it everywhere now; little Tommy turns on the radio, and hears the voice of Wooton joking around on the airwaves. He then excitedly calls his brother Joe, Hey! Its a Wooton episode! Common, youre missing it!
Hes the real classic character.
This episode showed a newer side of Wooton we havent seen. He has a big heart. Hell work hard to be liked by anyone else; no matter what age or size you are. He doesnt treat a kid any stupider as he treats an adult. He may not be the most clever character in the series, but hes a role model for kids everywhere. Hearing Wooton in his 16th episode, I look back and think at what Ive learned from him. Ive learned be kind, be myself no matter what, to be honest, to be a good friend, be compassionate, and to never look down at someone just because he/she is younger.
Its definitely something Harlow never had. I dont know about everyone else, but Wooton sounded an awful lot like the mentally-challenged detective at the beginning when he was looking at the clues in all the wrong angles. This is a big difference between the two characters. (Many people think they resemble quite a bit.) I dont think that way anymore, to be honest. Afterall, if they had stuck Harlow in there, there was no way the conclusion to the episode wouldve turned out the way it did.
Im a little disappointed that this Wooton-episode didnt have any new music. I usually look forward to a new high-energized tune in these eps. All the music was re-used from the past.
Anyways, turning away from Torry Martin and Wooton
As much as I dislike new characters, I feel like Grady should stay. Hes a nice, young, fresh, and interesting kid-character. Hes young enough that we can enjoy him quite a bit in the years ahead. However I now feel like we have too many kids. I sure hope no one gets bumped out anytime soon.
Although, Im a little concerned with the fact that Grady has both a sister and a brother. Does this mean well have to be introduced with them as well? Hmm I sure hope not. I mean, I can get to like one kid, but to learn how to love three at once isnt much fun. Look at the episodes in "Signed, Sealed and Commited." Now thats an example of a lot of characters where we had to like and which none stuck around.
As for the rest of the characters; Connie was nice and normal (for once), the Thrift-Shop Clerk was perfect for the role and performed it quite nicely, and the bus driver was a nice addition as well.
Seth always seems to be everyones hated character. I dont mind him that much, to be honest, but I only wished they could flat out tell us what hes doing is wrong. Unless maybe they feel they dont need to. Afterall, Seth has been wrong in every episode hes appeared in (almost).
Still, I felt like Wooton could've gone over to Seth in the last few minutes of the episode and talk to him. There was this time near the end where I was sure that he was going to. It would've wrapped up two storylines into one, which, I felt, would've worked well.
The story itself couldve been only slightly better. The ending could've been just a little more climactic if it wanted to be. I mentioned it earlier that I was expecting a "Father Figure" type of episode (Just South of Normal) with a serious episode involving a serious episode.
To be honest, Im still waiting for Wooton to deal with a serious issue. I think wed like him all the more. Look at sitcoms the best episodes are the ones where the actors deal with something sad, or serious. Its a well know fact that mixing humour with grief creates tension. Want a good example of this? Just go rent "Life is Beautiful" and youll see what I mean.
By the way, did anyone else notice that this episode took place over nearly a months time? There were at least three Tuesdays (if I remember correctly)
Overall: Nice episode. Everything was just about perfect. Its a good way to end these "slice of life" episodes, and get on to the action-packed ones.
I liked Grady's personality and he does have reactions that a kid might have around that age to that experience and that was good. But I dislike his voice. His voice is too perfect and poilshed for any kid that age. But especially coming from his low income home, I think his voice is off the part he is playing. His voice level dosen't change much no matter what feeling he is trying to get over to us. While on the other hand Wooton does a great job with his voice.
Wooton was great in every way. He was his funny self well at the same time helping Grady. He didn't drive Grady to give him infomation about himself insted just went along with it until he could be trusted by Grady. He also had the Thrift shop lady to help him make two very funny scenes.
When I listened to the opening scene, I was ecstatic to hear from Grady. Jordan Orr's pretty good for a young actor. Grady's a good character, in my opinion, because he doesn't come across as the typical Odyssey kid (two-parent home, comfortable life, wild imagination). He's different from the way most of them were at his age (which I'm guessing to be between eight and ten years). He seems intent and focuseda man on a mission who keeps his word. Sure, he lied and stole, but I admire how smart he is. Hopefully, he'll become a consistent Odyssey character (along with his family!).
The only problem with that is that some of the older Odyssey kids may disappear. I hope that is not the case this time...
Wooton was awesome, as always. With the help of Torry Martin's great writing, Jess Harnell has this knack of making his character flow from one scene to the next! I especially loved the scene where Wooton got Grady to admit that he was "pseudo-Max." Wooton had so many outstanding funny lines I can't pick my favorite one!
The lesson was great, too, and one that I can easily apply. Now, I will try to reach out more to those I don't know, especially newcomers to the groups I'm in.
The only low part I found in this ep was the reappearance of Seth. He annoys me to no end, mostly because of his over-emphasis on evangelism. I think Odyssey should make him grow up, realize the error of his ways, and make him friends with Jared. After all, the number of older boys in Odyssey seems to be dwindling, so why mess up one of the few remaining?
By the way, the fact that Wooton actually solved a mystery proves that he's smarter than Officer Harley/Detective Harlow.
Before I get on to the main portion of the review, let me just voice my opinion about Wooton. I love his character. Call me crazy if you want, but Odyssey just wouldn't be the same without him. In fact, when I first heard "Welcoming Wooton," I knew there was something about him that was really likeable, but I just couldn't put my finger on it. Was it his jovial attitude? That was part of it, but what made me enjoy his personality was his love for people. As I thought about it more, I realized that Wooton and I share a lot in common. (Okay, hopefully that doesn't scare some people. :-))
All right, on to the episode. The main thing I enjoyed (besides Wooton) was the character development of Grady. When I first heard him in A Lamb's Tale, I thought he would disappear and never appear in another episode. (Hey, it did happen with Austin in another Christmas show - The Popsicle Kid!) But it is great to hear Grady again, and I think the actor's voice is so much more clear and believable than it was in A Lamb's Tale. The only time it seemed forced was in the second scene with Seth. It may be just me, but it almost sounded like Grady was performing his "angry voice" ("No...you DON'T!"). A minor problem that doesn't really take away from the episode.
Wooton, like always, is fantastic.
It's amazing to hear him interact with such a wide variety of people, including
a little boy, Connie, Max's mom, and some woman at the thrift store. All
of his scenes contain excellent dialogue ("That's it! I deliver oil
change coupons then! HE CHANGES HIS OIL ON TUESDAYS!!" or "I'm
thinking...cougar? No, maybe leopard.") that makes the show all the
more memorable. One of my favorite parts of the show was the running gag
of Wooton calling Grady by different names. Hey, maybe this is why Grady
finally gave his name away at the end! :-) Anyway, I always enjoy hearing
humor like this from Wooton. Jess Harnell is a very versatile actor, as
we have seen with his Wooton, Bennett Charles, and Arnold Schwartzenbanger,
and it's remarkable how he can breathe life into such a charming character.
My least favorite part of this episode was the "Powerboy Fan Club meeting." I wish we could have heard some interaction between Grady and Marvin (although a conversation about Powerboy without Wooton probably would have sounded pretty boring :-)). It's kind of sad to not hear Grady talking with other kids, except for Seth, unfortunately. I don't particularly care for Seth and his personality, and I think it's rather appropriate for the writers to portray him as doing wrong. :-)
The music in this show was okay, but I don't enjoy it as much when mostif not allof the music cues are recycled from old episodes (in this case, Do or Diet) . First it was And That's the Truth, then A Glass Darkly, and now this? Don't get me wrong, I think it's good to reuse library music sometimes, but it's been kind of going overboard lately.
But, imperfections put aside, this is definitely what I consider to be "classic Odyssey." The storyline may not seem like much, but it's enjoyable because of its lesson and the fact that we somehow already knew these characters. Somewhere, there's a Grady in our lives. A Mr. Blaylock. Or maybe even a Ms. Drummond. :-)
Torry Martin's latest episode was another terrific slice of life show, containing that Wooton charm we've come to love and those laugh out loud moments we've come to expect. I'm not sure if more credit should go to Torry or Jess, but this character is quite possibly one of AIO's most lovable characters ever created. The former crafted an interesting and complex back story (not all of which we've heard) as well as writes some fantastic jokes, while the latter takes those jokes off the page and still makes Wooton feel like a real character. It would have been easy for him to become another Harlow Doyle - a bumbling buffoon who lacks intelligence and heart - but Wooton possesses both attributes in spades.
And recall in the review I posted for "True Calling" that I mentioned the guidance counselor was a great secondary character because he wasn't just window dressing... it seemed like his story might as interesting as any of the major characters. And both Mr. Blaylock (the bus driver) and Ms. Drummon (the thrift shop employee) are two more examples of well developed sidebars that elevate the show to a more memorable platform. The interactions between Wooton and Ms. Drummon were particularly delightful and reminded me of long lost people like Mr. Watson (the "bad joke buzzer" guy from "Heatwave") and the annoying teller from "Feud for Thought", who refuses to help Eugene and Bernard except at the correct "window". Interesting characters like these are solid additions to AIO's rich library of characters and subtlety make any given episode that much funnier.
I'm also very pleased to hear from Seth. Actually, no, I'm not pleased to hear from Seth but rather I'm pleased that he was accused of doing something cruel to Grady and his sister, and was not cleared of wrong doing by the end. I don't like his character and I never will... in fact, I would be more than happy if Seth and Liz got married and the two moved out of town. They're perfect for each other! Having a church going character in Odyssey who isn't a good role model is actually quite interesting and different for the series. Normally this is where I would say "let's hope we hear more of it", but sadly, if Seth is the one we must suffer to listen to, I would gladly bypass this plot line.
There were also some weird things in the episode. When Grady and Wooton were working on his tree house and Grady mentioned that there were "all these people" working with them, I just didn't buy it. Maybe it will sound different on a CD, but the area around Wooton and Grady sounded deathly quiet for most of the scene. Where was the ambient voices of the "twenty people" playing and laughing while they worked? So from a technical standpoint, that irked me. And then from a plot standpoint, wouldn't Max have found it incredibly strange that he stopped receiving his weekly Power Boy comic? If I went a week or two without receiving something I had paid good money for, I would be calling to complain. But here it seemed Max was completely ignorant of the fact he was no longer getting them in the mail. There was never really an attempt to explain that.
However, there were too many good points to overshadow the bad. From the acting of Grady to the running gag of Wooton calling him by different names, the episode was a great slice of life show to lead into the groundbreaking episodes to come.