Welcome!

Welcome to Just Another AIO Blog, a site that is dedicated to the popular radio drama Adventures in Odyssey. We provide news, reviews on the latest episodes, articles, features, and we also are home to Adventures in Connellsville, a unique look at the town next to Odyssey through book form, We also provide a U.S.S. Response page that gets updated every other day. This page provides a response to recent comments on The Soda Shop Message Boards. And just recently, we started a unique Adventures in Odyssey podcast: called JAAIOP, or Just Another AIO Podcast. Feel free to post comments or subscribe to this site by email or with Google Friend Connect. Thank you!

Signed,
Alex Jefferson, creator and operator of Just Another AIO Blog

Sunday, December 16, 2012

AIO Article: Pound Foolish Wisdom #3 12/16/12

     I apologize for not posting the last two days.  I'm afraid blogging was not my highest priority.  But, PF saved me yet again with a new Pound Foolish Wisdom.  It's not Christmas-themed, but... eh, who cares?  But before I get to PF's article, allow me to write a short introduction to it...

     Magazine and website articles are often made to sway the reader's view on things.  This is not the case with newspaper articles, as newspaper articles are boring little things that are "fair and balanced".  I actually enjoy reading the newspaper, but not because I think it's great writing.  Articles on the other hand, can be rich of information and opinionated at the same time, and that's what makes them so great.
     And there are some articles that don't make a dent in the public's view on a certain subject.  These articles are weak and void of meaning and good writing.  I am embarrassed to say that I have written some articles such as this on this blog, mostly because I was in a rush, or I didn't really know what my opinion was on a particular subject.  But either way, those kind of articles do nothing to sway anyone's opinion or even give information on something.
    But there are other articles that do stir things up just a bit, and do change the someone's view on a subject just a bit.  I believe I can safely say I have written a couple of these as well.  These articles could be considered merely "good" or "average", as they're certainly not bad and certainly not fantastic.
     And, finally, there are those articles that might cause an earthquake, metaphorically speaking of course.  These articles are so brilliantly written that they can sway a reader's opinion on a particular subject, even if they give both sides of the argument.  These articles can cause a good or bad effect, depending on what the writer's stance on an issue is.  I can also safely say that I haven't written a single one of these kinds of articles.  But I believe PF has.
     Now, you may be wondering where this intro is going.  It hasn't mentioned the article yet at all, and I apologize for that; I will get right to the point now.  This article might be PF's best yet, though admittedly the Liz one could arguably be his best.  I will tell you right now that this article is on Emily.  For all you Emily-haters out there, prepare to have your view on Emily changed forever.  Well, if you are a really stubborn Emily-hater, this article may not change your view completely, but it sure makes a good argument for the brilliance of Emily's character.  So I will now present you with: an article that could cause an earthquake.  (Metaphorically speaking, of course)

    

          Pound Foolish Wisdom


               Where AIO Characters Are Put Beneath the Microscope
 

#3:  Emily
     In Defense of Goin’
Green


“Some characters…. Won’t do much, and they fade out of the strip. Others, like Snoopy, just take off, and will do anything. These are the characters that stay.”
Charles Schulz, the Peanuts Golden Collection

    Such a character is Emily. She can do anything. She behaves terrifically, recklessly, then sadly and humbly regrets it. And, one of the most amazing moments of Emily is… she giggles lovingly with Buck… then, with a clearing of her throat, assumes a business manner of authority as she begins her case of Buck’s missing phone.
    Some months ago, I made this remark (here it’s a bit shortened):
    "I'm a bit sad as I find that so many AIO Soda Shop Board Members look down on Emily. She is charming and wonderful. The very things so many despise about her are the things that make her amazing: her passion, her boldness, her incredible natural talent for knowledge and deduction, her forcefulness, yes, even her rudeness. Emily is all that a woman should be, and possibly the best role-model of all the female characters in the show today. YES, she is forceful. YES, she outspoken. YES, she speaks her mind. And that is what a female should be.I cannot say it passionately enough. Thank you, AIO, for Emily Jones."
Mr. Thinker – err, that’s a pet name my friend “Suzylou” came up with for CreativeThinker101, aka “Alex Jefferson.” You know, the guy who runs this awesome blog. Anyhow, here’s a bit from an article he wrote, in which he used my remark to represent the side for Emily, and then tried to debunk it:

     “Sorry Pound, but I think your hearing aid needs to be adjusted. (No offense, if you're reading this! :) Emily is by no means the best of the new child characters… And I wouldn't call Emily 'naturally talented'… a small sense of deduction does not mean you are at the same level as Mozart. And in episodes like 'Game For A Mystery' and 'Stage Fright', she almost seems to just stumble upon the solution without doing a whole lot to solve the case. And she even got the wrong culprit in 'The Malted Milkball Falcon'. For someone who's a naturally talented detective, that's bad.) And you said that Emily was rude, so how does that make her the best role-model?
     Emily is very complex. She is stubborn, bossy, ambitious, perceptive, helpful, and a normal girl all at the same time. I like that AIO has an incredibly complex character, and I like that we get to see a lot of different sides of Emily. But her voice is rather annoying, and all that complexity gets to be too much. And so, Emily is my least favorite AIO kid character, though she's not too horrible.”
     Oh, did you notice he said she’s “not too horrible”? Isn’t Mr. Thinker so kind? Anyhow…
     The debate, as all you Soda Shoppers know, rages on. Mostly, it has evolved into a ridiculous everlasting showdown of shamelessly absurd remarks and fake insults. On a whim, I formed the club  E.R.K. on the Soda Shop. (the Emily RULES! Klub.) Which led to… well, mayhem, including a barrage of people starting their own “Emily Klubs” as they unsurprisingly came to be called, particularly the E.S.K. (Emily Stinks Klub) and both E.R.K. and E.S.K.  now have their own separate, independent site!  http://emilyrulesklub.wordpress.com/ http://emilystinks.webs.com/
      Months later, E.R.K. and E.S.K. are still consistently towards the top of the first page of the Character forum.

     The battle still rages and new miniature character wars, about Mitch and Camilla, are springing up, but so far nothing has challenged the Emily monstrosity that reigns continuously over the character section. But this is all just the tip of the iceberg. Just about every single big AIO blog has snapped at Emily, revised their opinion of Emily, and praised Emily, and condemned Emily to death. Everyone, for some reason, has something to say about Emily (!):
     “In previous episodes, such as "Stage Fright" and "The Malted Milkball Falcon", she's been the bossy, know-it-all. I'm surprised she didn't flaunt her test results in front of everyone's faces or tell Matthew or Barrett they could be as smart as she was if only they worked a little harder. And yet, today's episode takes the stronger and more attractive sides of her personality--her dedication, her willingness to persevere--and combines it with a dash of much needed humility, giving someone I could easily empathize with for 25 minutes.”

Ben Warren in a review of Emily’s first title-episode, Emily the Genius
“… disliking Emily Jones (She grows on me)…”

The Josh and Ally Company, Out of Control in Odyssey
“…to me, Emily Jones has been the most annoying new character. This episode made me change my mind about her. She was embarrassed by all the attention she was getting for being a "genius" and then when she was told that she wasn't, she brushed it off and took the advanced placement test anyway. I really admire that in a person.”

Odyssey Thoughts
So, why all the controversy? Just what exactly makes people get so insanely and irreversibly opinionated about Emily, with others lost in the middle unsure what to think?

      Before we answer that question, we must understand Emily herself.
     How mysterious Emily is. She falls in love and giggles, then clears her throat and calmly sets about piecing together clues and investigating. She bosses Matthew around, yet values him as her best friend and closest companion. She is everlastingly confident, yet doubts herself.
     Mr. Thinker complains she is “too complex.” SS moderator T.S. suggest we cannot understand her, cannot see where she is going, cannot piece together who she is or what God may wish for her.
     Nor can she. She is soul searching. Wandering. Are we meant to understand Emily? Or is she to be mysterious, (an interesting idea, since then, her cases could be seen as a metaphor for her own being.)     However, before we assume Emily to be impenetrable, let’s take a careful look at her. That’s my job with these, after all.
     One of the most basic, everyone-knows-this elements of making a character is there has to be something they want. They have to desire something. After all, it’s what we want that so often determines our destinies, and what we sometimes must sadly abandon when called in the opposite direction. So, what does Emily want?

1.    She wants love.
We know that from Buck and the lengths she went to maintain Matthew’s friendship. She goes about trying to make her peace with Matthew, desperately.
    Emily Hater Interruption: “But she blackmailed him!”
     Yes, but that’s the point. She did things she knew were unkind to get what was important to her heart. That’s how badly she wanted it. Now, I’ll conveniently move on.

2.    She wants meaning.
     As I said, T.S. once was wisely pointed out: “She is… like pieces of gravel or sand. I know that God must have a plan for her, that these pieces, however small, fit together to form a creation of determination and flame for God, but I cannot see how the pieces fit to form that being. I wonder whether Emily knows that that being could one day exist.”
     It’s true. She doesn’t know who she is. But she wants to. She needs significance. All she does can be seen as striving for significance. Every case, every time assertion of her opinion over another’s, every argument and bossy remark.  Every time she asserts herself. She wants to have direction. Purpose.
Emily Hater Interruption: “But all that means is she’s bossy! She’s out to control everyone! She’s overbearing to Matthew! She’s a BRAT! Argh.”
     No it doesn’t. Emily is seeking who she wants to be. She is trying to have an impact on the world. Her forcefulness shows her desire to head in particular direction. In her heart, she wants to make a difference. If you think she’s doing it the wrong way, fine. The point is she’s trying.

3.    She want to be heard
     She wants this so badly. She just can’t contain herself. Her own emotions and thoughts explode out of her. Her energy has to get out. She knows her opinions have worth and shouldn’t be ignored.
Emily Hater Interruption: “I  think they should be ignored!”
     I’ll ignore that.

4.    She wants to love
     Maybe tonight, true love will show-owww, under the mistletoe… sorry. Ahem. You may be rolling your eyes right now, but it’s true. Emily wants to show love to people. She doesn’t just do things for her own benefit. In fact, to quote myself (ahem) we “People accuse her of doing things for her own benefit, yet we never see her doing a deed that only she benefits from.”
    Emily Hater: “Yes we do! Who else benefits from all her griping!? Huh?”
     She thinks she’s right. She’s trying to fit the world into her view of perfect. Yes, mostly she just can’t shut up. But she does care about others.

     So, there’s Emily in a nutshell. She’s wandering. She doesn’t know who she is. She’s a growing, changing girl. Emily wants love, importance, other people to pay attention and know what she thinks, and she wants to love.
     Does that seem all that unlikable to you?
     If you really just can’t like Emily, then you just can’t. But maybe we just can’t get passed what at first seems brattishness and her “annoying” voice. Maybe we haven’t really tried to care about Emily. Maybe… dare we admit it… we’re not really listening to her?
     Emily is all a woman should be. Her rudeness is one of her ways of being strong. We aren’t meant to constrain ourselves. Emily dares to show us this.
     She’s Emily.
     In closing… how can I resist? Emily RULES!
 “She stinks! She stinks! You hear me!? STINKS I tell you!”
     Oh, shut up.
    
     My view on Emily was, in truth, not completely changed after reading this article.  I still think she has an obnoxious voice and attitude, but I can see her more clearly now.  I suppose that's the point of "putting AIO characters beneath the microscope": so you can see them clearer.  So that's it. 
     Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

JAAIOB 16 Days of Christmas: The Ideal AIO Christmas 12/12/12

     Ooh, I just noticed the date is 12/12/12!  This will be the last time in 89 years that the month, the day, and the year would all be the same, so I think this calls for a moment of silence in honor of those three beautiful 12s above you... *silence* 
     Okay, great.  After that completely random first paragraph, I shall get my post grounded back in reality with an AIO Christmas Article of... um, epic proportions...

     There have been many great AIO Christmas episodes: Gifts For Madge and Guy, Back To Bethlehem, Unto Us A Child Is Born, and Silent Night.  But I wonder... what would the perfect, the ideal AIO Christmas episode be?  In this article, I shall attempt to shape the ideal Christmas in AIO.  I will not include a plot, merely a theme, a cast of characters, and other information to make the perfect Christmas based on the success of past Christmas episodes.  I would like to give a challenge for all you readers: once I give you the info on the ideal Christmas episode, you can construct your own plot.  This doesn't have to be anything in-depth, just a basic plot that lines up with the info I have here.  If I get enough entries, I might even have a contest to see who has the best plot.  So comment below if you read this and write your plot!  And now, here is the info...

     Episode Title: (This is simply to give you a hint for what the plot should be, though it could be interpreted multiple ways) O, Christmas Three

     Characters: (In no particular order) Whit, Penny, Connie, Jay, Santa Claus, Eugene, Angel, Jason, Spencer Hicks

     Theme: True Christmas Spirit

     Writer(s): Paul McCusker, Nathan Hoobler

     Director: Nathan Hoobler

     Sound Designer: Chris Diehl

     Year: 2012

     Quality of Episode: 5 Stars

     Number of Parts: 2

     Music Composer: John Campbell

     Genre: Holiday/Drama/Comedy (It would have a bit of both)

     So, that's all the info I shall give.  Now it's up to you to write up a plot.  Just leave it in the comments...  For now, that's it.
     Thanks for reading!

     
     

    

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

JAAIOB 16 (Make that 15...) Days of Christmas: A Birthday Cake For Jesus 12/11/12

     I apologize for my negligence in posting yesterday; I realized last night when I was in bed I hadn't blogged, I'm afraid I forgot it.  However, I will be making a 15 Days of Christmas post today...

     My church is doing a special series on Christmas called, interestingly enough: Christmas Is Not Your Birthday.  It's produced some fascinating sermons, and they've been getting me thinking...  Someone should make a birthday cake for Jesus.  And a quick Google search tells me that someone has.  In fact, many people have.  Today I shall be showcasing some actual birthday cakes for Jesus.  There's obviously no need to make a birthday cake for the Lord of all, but it's a gesture that will bring everyone back to what Christmas is really about.  So, without further ado, I shall present the cakes.  (Jesus had better have a pretty big appetite! ;))

     
    
          Notes: Though it's not exactly a cake, this one is worth mentioning.  I'm honestly not sure what those blueberries are supposed to be, but the hearts after "Jesus" are very sweet... (No pun intended)

        

          Notes: This cake is quite amusing...  I wish I could count the candles, but the image is a bit too blurry...

    
          Notes: Hmm... Another great one.  I notice there appear to be 12 candles.  Does this symbolize anything?  Perhaps the 12 disciples?  If you think so or have another theory, post in the comments. 

          Notes: Very nice...  I notice there's a depiction of Bethlehem at the bottom.  I like that they put the manger.  It reminds everyone instantly of the Christmas Story.

          Notes: This might actually be my favorite of them all.  It shows a Christmas tree to the side and a snowflake above, but baby Jesus in his manger, is, of course, the centerpiece...

        

         

          Notes: This is another one of the best.  I like how Jesus is the only thing aside from the star that draws your attention, and the simplicity of the cake is brilliant and touching.

    

         

     There are a few more, but you get the idea...  I hope this was a nice, gentle, delicious reminder of what Christmas is really about.  Tomorrow I shall have an AIO Christmas article, to fulfill my promise of giving you AIO-related Christmas posts.
     Thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

JAAIOB's 16 Days of Christmas: The Kickoff Interview 12/9/12

     I thought that, though I'll be doing some deep, scholarly Christmas articles later, I should kickoff the JAAIOB event with something fun.  So, I will be doing something that has nothing to do with AIO, and it won't have much to do with God either.  However, I'm hoping this will ease everyone into the 16 Days of Christmas.  So, I shall be doing a fictional interview with... Santa Claus.  Here it is:

     AJ: So... Santa Claus.  How are you today?

     SC: Well, I've been hibernating for the 25th.  I haven't eaten anything in a month, and I've been sleepin' a lot too.  All that milk and cookies is hard on my body, so I devised a fasting plan.  However, I do get a bit hungry occasionally.  It's especially horrible when I dream about the gingerbread man...  That's why I only come out of the North Pole for... interviews and such.

     AJ: I see.  Well, for the first actual interview question, I would like to ask you: When exactly did you start giving gifts to children everywhere?

     SC: Well, as I recall, in the year 1861, Abe Lincoln and I were playin' checkers together.  I was in my late 200s back then, so I was practically a freshman in the game of life.  *chuckle*  But Abe wanted to do something special for Christmas for the USA.  And do you know what he decided to do?

     AJ: No, I don't.  Please tell us, Mr. Claus.

     SC: He decided to declare war on them Southern states!  *hysterical laughter from Santa, but only a blank stare from Alex*  Well, he didn't declare war on them on December 25th, but it was close enough.  So anyway, the country didn't really want to be involved in a war, so Abe realized he hadn't exactly picked the best Christmas present.  So he came to me and asked me to fix things.  I told him I could break into people's houses and go down their chimney and then throw presents down their fireplace, so that's what I did.  The police didn't like it very much, but the kids loved their gifts.  So I've been doin' it ever since.

     AJ: That's quite an amazing story.  However, I do believe there was more to Mr. Lincoln's declaration of war than a Christmas present.  But anyway, let's continue with the interview.  My next question is: Do your deranged Eskimo elves really make all the toys themselves, or do you have a deal with another company?

     SC: Well, we used to have a deal with the Hostess snack cakes Company, but they shipped us so many pastries for free that they finally went out of business.  So now, we have to make all our pastries ourselves.

     AJ: Interesting.  Next question: There are some rumors going on that you are not real.  Would you like to address these?

     SC: Well, it's all hogwash!  I'm as real as... as... as -

     AJ: The Easter Bunny?

     SC: O course not!  That guy was tryin' to steal my thunder.  He's just a hairy college dropout in a bunny costume.  And as for them rumors, they're all spread by celebrity magazines!  You can't trust them anymore than you can trust... me.

     AJ: Ahh... now we're getting somewhere!  Are you admitting to being an untrustworthy, 400-year old fugitive from the law?

     SC: No.

      AJ: Okay.  Well, we only have time for one more question.  This final question is: do you ever receive any gifts for Christmas?

     SC: The only gifts I get on Christmas morning are a buncha raindeer poop, a stomachache from all the cookies, blisters from cracking that reindeer whip, a stiff neck from going down that chimney, and some sappy little letters from rich kids in New York!

     AJ: I'm sorry.  But, not sorry enough to do anything about it, as I'm afraid we have to go.  Thank you for talking with us, Santa, and we hope you'll join us next time in JAAIOB's 25 Days of Christmas!

     I hope you enjoyed that.  Tomorrow's article will be a bit more realistic and serious, but, until then, I'm Alex Jefferson, and this is... JAAIOB's 16 Days of Christmas!
     Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Weekly Review: The Lost Riddle 12/8/12

     I realize I should be reviewing The Holy Hoopster, but because I have downloaded The Holy Hoopster but haven't downloaded The Lost Riddle, I will have to review The Lost Riddle before the 16 Days of Christmas starts.  By the way, I would like to thank Wooton Basset for designing the new Christmas logo!  But now, here's my review...

     AIO seems to be obsessed with the theme of forgiveness in mysteries.  Of course, with 700+ episodes in the AIO canon, there are bound to be some recurring themes, and I don't have a problem with that at all, but what I do have a problem with is five episodes all in the same genre with the same theme.  The theme of forgiveness has repeated itself throughout AIO mysteries, starting with the classic What Happened To the Silver Streak?  This episode was looking to be a boring, predictable "don't jump to conclusions" detective show, but then everything changed with a twist ending I don't think anyone saw coming.  This episode had the theme of forgiveness, but it's not the only mystery to have this theme.  The Painting, Buried Sin, Call Me If You Care, and now, The Lost Riddle all explore forgiveness.  And the funny thing is, with the exception of What Happened To the Silver Streak?, all of these episodes are dealing with the same type of forgiveness, and the latter four are all dealing with forgiveness in pretty much the same way.  Allow me to elaborate just a bit before launching into my review of The Lost Riddle...
     The Painting, Buried Sin, Call Me If You Care, and The Lost Riddle all start pretty normally.  In the first, Jack and Joanne receive several paintings from Whit.  In Buried Sin, Eugene, Jared and Dwayne are digging around in the backyard of Whit's End.  In the third, Connie is whining about her Dad and her new phone.  And in The Lost Riddle, Emily and Matthew are waltzing around the schoolyard, checking their lockers.  The episodes progress, and a character finds something.  (Examples: a painting, possibly an original: a time capsule with a gun: a strange phone message: a piece of paper that turns out to be a riddle)  Next, the characters take the clue to someone and investigate.  They find out about a person who might need to forgive someone.  In a climatic finish, they find that person and that person and another person have a heartfelt forgiving scene.
     This pattern repeats itself for literally all four episodes, and it's getting to be annoying.  AIO switches the pattern up just a bit with The Painting and Call Me If You Care by adding some new twists, but the overall story structure is the same.  And the fact that all four episodes are mysteries is even more repetitive.  Didn't it ever cross the writers' minds when writing The Lost Riddle that the storyline was just a bit reminiscent of Buried Sin or The Painting, or Call Me If You Care?  I think The Painting was by far the best episode of Album 29, because back then, it was original.  And Buried Sin and Call Me If You Care stood out as good episodes as well, though by the time Call Me If You Care came around, the storyline was getting a little familiar.  But this is just ridiculous.  You may notice that for this album, I've been complaining about reminiscence to past episodes quite a bit.  Well, I simply believe AIO is repeating their roots a lot.  And this is not exactly a good thing.  AIO should progress without copying what they did 10 years ago.  But this isn't really a review anymore, it's just a big long article about The Lost Riddle being redundant.  And all that said, there are still many pros to The Lost Riddle, and overall it's quite better than Happy Hunting.  So I shall finally get to the review part.
     Emily is getting more tolerable with each episode she's featured in.  Great Expectations was overall a good episode, and this one truly is as well.  Emily's voice is no longer irking me, and I really have no character issues with her anymore.  I still don't find her as interesting as Barret or Jay, but she's not as bad as I was making her out to be.  And with this episode, she's back to her ol' detective self again.  I like this, actually, and I look forward to more episodes with Emily in her 'detective' role.  But this episode is a bit more serious; Emily is not just solving relatively trivial school cases anymore, she's unearthing a case from decades past.  I like this as well...
     I also believe the addition of Dale Jacobs was wise.  Phil Lollar has such a great voice, and was such an asset to AIO in the past, his characters only bring back the old Odyssey.  And learning more about Dale's past only lengthens his AIOwiki page and makes him more of an endearing character than ever.  And I think that this episode and The Labyrinth are showing Dale's mysterious side very nicely.  I just hope he won't run off and join the FBI or become the next Jason Whittaker...
     The plot of this episode progresses almost like a children's mystery series book, with clues, riddles, new character introductions, and a finale where a character tells us a story at the end.  I think the AIO team used some very nice plot devices, like the classic watermark and lemon juice clues.  I just wish the plot hadn't been so similar to the episodes mentioned above...
     And the final confession scene is typical of AIO, with the dramatic music in the background where the guy tells his tale and asks for Dale's forgiveness.  I thought it was handled well, and they got the perfect actor to play Kenny Rutherford.
     As usual, the sound effects, production quality, and music were all top-notch, as well as the acting and character development.  So, overall, The Lost Riddle would have been a great episode.  But... it's not.  I can't award it a 8/10 or even a 7/10 rating because of the huge issue with the plot that I explained in detail above.  So, with a heavy heart, I must award this mystery drama a relatively low score.  Album 56's 4 weakest episodes are Happy Hunting, The Lost Riddle, Groundhog Jay, and Push the Red Button, and the bummer is that these 4 pretty much come in succession, so the latter half of 56 is overall pretty weak.

     The Lost Riddle Rating: 6/10

     Thanks for reading, and prepare yourself for the festivities starting tomorrow!
    

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Weekly Feature 12/2/12

     This isn't really a feature, more like a massive news segment giving a preview of what we'll be doing at JAAIOB for the next couple months in what I would like to call, "JAAIOB'S Big Epic Revival".  I'm actually going to try to get back to blogging at least every other day, so expect more frequent posts. Anyway, here's the news...

     The first big thing I have planned is JAAIOB's 16 Days of Christmas.  On ABC, they have a 25 Days of Christmas thing where they play Christmas movies in stuff, so that's kind of my inspiration.  But this will be much bigger than Christmas movies.  Each day will be a very special post or article involving AIO, God, and the Christmas season in general.  I'll try not to make them all long articles, as that's not what the Christmas season is about, of course.  This will be JAAIOB's biggest event since the "big surprise" a while back.  I am also going to hope to get Wooton Bassett to design a great logo for the event, but no promises.  The event will start on December 9th, so in one week, and it will last till December 24th, where all the stuff we've done for the past 16 days will come together with one epic Christmas finale.  I'm also hoping to get a Christmas podcast during this time as one of the 16 things for this Christmas, so JAAIOP listeners can get excited.

     The next thing I have planned, almost as big as the 16 Days of Christmas, is something similar to the Websters that I like to call The AJ Awards.  (AJ stands for "Alex Jefferson". I know, I'm conceited.)  These will be like the Avery awards, except more in-depth.  I will not have fans vote on these like I do with the Websters, but instead I will choose the awards myself.  The categories will include Best Screenplay: Comedy, Best Screenplay: Drama/Action-Adventure, Best Overall Episode, Best Supporting Actor/Actress, Best Leading Actor, Best Leading Actress, Best Sound Effects, Best Music, and a few more!  I will hold these soon after Album 56 is done airing, so probably in early January.  I don't want to hold the award ceremony (which will be a little less glamorous than the Websters) during the 16 Days of Christmas, as it doesn't pertain to the Christmas season.  But this will still be a very exciting event for JAAIOB.

     I'm also planning a change in the podcast for Episode 4, after the Christmas Special.  I would like to get actual guests for The AIO Show at least, probably AIO fans at first, but then I might move into AIO cast and crew if the podcast becomes popular.  I'm not planning on releasing Episode 4 till February, so I don't need to start searching for guests for another month or so.

     The U.S.S. Response will be making a return as well in the near future, (probably in either January or February) but it will be different.  I've been thinking of possibly making a CC Response (Campbell County) or maybe even a ToO Response (Town of Odyssey).  However, I can only do all three if I have help with at least one of them.  So if any of you SSers would like to submit an occasional Response, I would love to have your help.  If no one would be willing to do this, I shall not add a CC Response or ToO Response.  However, I would still understand if you couldn't help...

     The Webster Awards will also be making a return pretty soon, probably in April.  I need to get a lot of things organized, and since this ceremony is so far away, I'm not revealing the nominees till January.  I will have a better and more clear voting system this time, and I will try to get more audio speeches.  It will be much bigger and better than last year, so expect the unexpected.

     As a final sidenote, I realize I missed AIO's 25th Anniversary.  But in truth, I didn't.  The "big article" I told you about in an earlier post will be a lengthy celebration of AIO in honor of its 25th Anniversary.  This will be a little late, coming out in January or February, but I have not doubt you will all enjoy it.

     So, for the next week, I'll be preparing for all of these things.  Therefore, you probably won't hear from me again until next Sunday when the epic 16 Days of Christmas starts.  But I felt I should just reveal to you some of my future plans.  Until then, I'm Alex Jefferson, and this is... JAAIOB News!  (JAAIOB News will not be a regular thing, I just had so many plans in the works, I thought I could load them all into one feature.)
     Thanks for reading!

    

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Weekly Review: Happy Hunting 12/1/12

     I'm very sorry I didn't get to the past 4 reviews. I have no excuses, I just didn't do it. However, I will be continuing to review Album 56. Here is my review of Happy Hunting...

     The combo of Wooton, Connie, Penny, Jacques Henri, and Whit is being used more and more frequently. From the relatively mediocre "A Penny Earned" and the classic "Childish Things", to the hectic rom-com "Something Old, Something New" and this new installment, the writers seem to think that these five characters mix well together. And they're 4/5 right. Kimmy Robertson and Katie Leigh have great chemistry and their characters now have an interesting friendship.  Dan Hagen does an excellent job with Jacques Henri; he is perfect with Penny and has some great, humorous moments.  And Whit is also great with Penny, pointing out the faults in her ideas while encouraging her in her journey through life.  But the one character that I am starting to passionately despise is... Wooton.  But I'll get to that later.
      The episode begins with quite a funny scene taking place in the art gallery.  As I said before, Penny and Jacques are pretty much polar opposites: Penny is the dreamy, immature artist who seems to take life and its various trials more seriously than her artistic work.  Jacques is the sincere, French art dealer who always means business and seems to take his artistic endeavors more seriously than life and its various trials.  So, when these two characters clash, it produces fascinatingly funny results.  This is probably my favorite scene of the episode.  It's certainly better than the scenes with that scoundrel Wooton.  (Pardon my insulting, I am just becoming quite irked with post-hiatus Wooton in general.)
     The story continues, and Penny is on another one of her now famous "quests".  The same story format that was used in "Childish Things" is used here.  I will explain the format below:

     1. Penny starts to become bothered by something (i.e. body language, happiness) and so she researches it.

     2.  Penny trusts the research she has acquired and begins to do the things the research suggests, with disastrous results.

     3. Penny gets in a fight with one of her friends (In Childish Things: Wooton/Jacques Henri.  In Happy Hunting: Connie) over the thing that's bugging her and the research she did it on it, and she becomes discouraged.

     4. Penny goes to Whit and Connie, who set her straight.  She learns her lesson, and the episode ends.

     I think this storyline works very well, but since we've already heard it in "Childish Things", I don't see any point in repeating it with this episode.  I didn't see much in "Happy Hunting" that "Childish Things" didn't have.  I would like to make it clear that this is a complaint, and it affects the episode's rating.  (I only say this because you might be surprised by the rather low rating I give this episode.) 
     So I basically gave the whole storyline away up there.  However, there are a few surprises along the way.  As a homage to "Happy Smilers", one of the most strangely hysterical and touching episodes ever, Penny attends a happiness support group.  This scene prompted a few chuckles from me, but ultimately wasn't anything hugely special and didn't achieve the big laughs "Happy Smilers" did.  From me, at least.  I realize some listeners were annoyed by "Happy Smilers", but I myself found it hilarious.
     And now, for my big, long rant about Wooton...

My Issues With Wooton: A Mini-Article Extension of My Review of Happy Hunting

     I would like to say that this is not a reaction to this episode in particular, but simply a reaction to post-hiatus Wooton.  This episode was just kind of the "straw that broke the camel's back".  And it cemented in my mind what I had been thinking for a while now: obnoxious Wooton needs to say bye-bye.  I had always found Wooton to be a funny, likeable character.  In episodes like "For Trying Out Loud" and "Tuesdays With Wooton", I would laugh my head off and think, "I wish I could be as funny as Wooton..."  With post-hiatus Wooton, however, I roll my eyes and think, "I'm already funnier than that guy." 
     Now, I don't for a second believe this is Jess Harnell's fault.  I saw that guy being interviewed at the live show, and he was as funny, if not funnier than pre-hiatus Wooton.  I believe Jess is trying his best to make the character of Wooton funny and likeable.  But you can't change obnoxious lines into funny ones.  So basically what I'm saying is that, in truth, this is not Jess Harnell's fault.  This is the writers' fault. 
      Wooton has changed from a hilarious mailman who is passionate about God to an obnoxious guy who tries to be funny but just doesn't have anything funny to say and who hardly ever mentions God or Christianity; and when God and Christianity is mentioned, he attempts to say something funny to break up the spiritual conversation.  But maybe I'm being too cynical...  However, Wooton's behavior lately is inexcusable.  If you're yelling, "What the heck is this guy talking about?  Wooton's still got the laugh factor!" then I'll give you some lines...

Barrett Jones: I lost a friend.
Wooton Bassett: Uh, did you check your locker?

 Wooton Bassett: You know, I've always found that running along the top of a train gives me inspiration.

 Ted Humpfries: About the verdict?
Wooton Bassett: Oh yeah, the verdict. That was a good call, and the jury foreman had good diction when he read it out. Very Shakespearean.

 Wooton Bassett: The point is Olivia, that sometimes we have to try to be understanding even if we don't understand what we're supposed to be understanding about. Understand?

 John Whittaker: So what do you think upset Penny?
Wooton Bassett: Well it had to be the lack of soda's at the vending machine in the court house.

 Connie Kendall: So what are you gonna do with all these confused feelings while Penny figures things out?
Wooton Bassett: I'm gonna wait and silence my body language.
Connie Kendall: How are you gonna do that?
Wooton Bassett: Oh I'm thinking about wearing a space suit whenever I'm around her.

 Wooton Bassett: Mrs. Mitch is a mis-match!?!?!

  Matthew Parker: Hey, maybe Wooton knows.
Wooton Bassett: Wow! Well, I never did before, but there's a first time for everything. What is it?

 John Whittaker: Paris, France?
Wooton Bassett: Actually, it was Paris, Arkansas.

     If it looks like I copied most of the post-hiatus Wooton quotes from AIOwiki, that's what I did.  But I think these quotes prove my point to some extent.  If you laughed at any of these, you can disagree with me, but I don't think you can disagree with me about Wooton's spiritual attitude.  I don't see any huge problem with not talking about God in regular discussion, but saying something funny and trying to change the subject when spiritual things are brought up is, in my opinion, a problem.  Wooton did this in "The Green Ring Conspiracy" and a couple other episodes, if I remember...
     So, forgive me for going on a mini-article rant.  I just wanted to explain why Wooton annoyed me in this episode and all other post-hiatus one.  I'm hoping he changes and the writers recognize his obnoxiousness, but I don't have my fingers crossed.  I shall now get back to the review...

     The episode ends with a moral that is simply this: seeking happiness is a noble endeavor, but it can also become self-indulgent and selfish.  Truthfully, this sounds like a Brady Bunch moral, not an AIO moral.  I don't feel like AIO elaborated on this enough.  Self-indulgence and selfishness are only part of the problem for seeking your own happiness.  Whit touched briefly on the spiritual side of this, saying that a relationship with God can help our happiness, but he didn't explain why or how this is.  He also didn't take the opportunity to offer Penny Christ.  However, as PF already talked about that in his review on his CC blog, (a very excellent post, by the way) I will not elaborate too much on that. 
     Ultimately, this is the worst episode of 56 so far, mostly because of three things: the repeated storyline that was used in "Childish Things", the obnoxiousness of Wooton, and the underdeveloped moral.  Also, the scenes seemed much shorter than normal, as if the writers were rushing the plot by throwing a new scene at us every minute and a half.  I have a couple positives with this episode: the first scene was good, Connie and Penny have good chemistry, there were a couple funny lines that didn't involve Wooton, but that's about it.  Overall, this episode is quite disappointing, and I can give it no more than a rather pathetic 4 stars.

     Happy Hunting Rating: 4/10

     Thanks for reading this rather dismal review!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

AIO Article: The Modern Classics 11/15/12

     I had two ideas for an article, but I figured I should use this one first, as the other idea will probably be more in-depth. For some of you readers who have been reading my blog pretty much since its creation, you'll remember I did an article several months ago that showcased the "classics" of AIO from albums 1 - 5. I wanted to do a Modern Classics article, but I hadn't heard all of Album 51 yet, so I held back. But, I heard the rest of Album 51 about a month ago, and so, I shall now write the article...

     Most people complain about entertainment at some point in their lives. Specifically, people like to tear down music, movies, and TV that have been made in the past 10 years. I think this is, in most cases, quite biased and unfair. Sure, entertainment might have been better 50 years ago, but why does that have to mean it's awful now? I think there are many great music, movie, and TV alternatives that are being produced now. I believe many elderly folk (Like 40 and up. LOL (that may seem unprofessional, but I had to put it.)) are used to the entertainment back in the "good old days" and simply can't confront the fact that entertainment has changed. It hasn't necessarily changed for the worse, it's just moved on. It's for a new generation now. And I personally find both old movies and new movies great, both old songs and new songs great, and so on. And so, the same is true for radio dramas. Radio dramas like... oh, I dunno - AIO?
     That's enough ranting about entertainment, I suppose. For this article, I shall acknowledge the new era of AIO, and put up a lengthy list of episodes that I believe embody it from Albums 51 - 55. Here goes...

     The Inspiration Station: Ah, yes. I remember first hearing this episode. I was just 9, and still a relatively new AIO fan. I remember being confused about all the changes; I didn't really understand why the AIO team was doing what they were doing. I was frustrated that there was a new Whit, as I had listened to Paul Herlinger for three years. Also, I had just figured out AIO was producing new episodes, and the ones I had at my library were not the only AIO episodes out there, so to be plunged into an unfamiliar setting with an unfamiliar Whit was a bit perplexing and annoying to me. However, I quickly got into the episode, and soon discovered it was actually pretty good. It's not perfect, but it was a brilliant introduction to post-50 AIO. And for that, I certify it a Modern Classic.

     The Jubilee Singers: The illustrious Avery winner is still just as great as it was 2 1/2 years ago. I recently heard the episode for the first time, and I must say it was a refreshing reminder that, in the midst of Emily Jones and all the other atrocious things going on around Odyssey, there was still good old-fashioned historical fun. However, this episode and Sgt. York have a different feel than previous Odyssey historicals. Dave Arnold treats each history episode more like an epic, and I like this approach. Ultimately, you can not simply ignore this choir of Christ, as they're absolutely amazing in nearly every way, and the episode they star in is without a doubt a Modern Classic.

      The Owlnapping: Where's The Mystery of the Clock Tower? you may be wondering. I considered putting it on here, but I finally decided it had too many plot holes and cliches to be put on a list of classics. As I said before, Album 52 is the worst AIO album in history, but it includes this little gem called The Owlnapping. The thing I adore about this episode is its ridiculousness. Of course it's ridiculous to rely on an stuffed owl for athletic victory, but that's Marshal Younger, and Odyssey in general, for you. It was rather funny as well, and Adam Wylie's vocal performance was stunning. And so, though I believe this album as a whole is mediocre at best, this episode is really quite grand, and is a definite classic.

     The Green Ring Conspiracy: I didn't really want to post this on here, as it would be incredibly predictable, but I really have an obligation too. This is such a great series of episodes, I can't really praise it enough. I have very little flaws with this, as everything from Monty's appearance to the finale was handled almost perfectly. I truthfully don't know what else to say, except this is absolutely a classic.

     The Amazing Loser: I probably just love music, and that's why this episode really struck a chord, (pardon the metaphor again) but I really believe it's one of the best of the new era. Barret and Priscilla's classic flirting is something AIO hadn't really fully explored until this episode, the musical trivia was exciting and interesting for both music fans (like me) and people who would prefer to sit on the couch and eat. And Jay topped the whole thing off. So, I truly think this is a Modern Classic.

     Childish Things: Penny + Wooton + Jacques Henri + stupid book about body language = BEST EPISODE OF ALBUM 54. Enough said there...

     The Labyrinth: Jason is an interesting character. I'm gonna quote PF on this one:

      "Jason, Jason, Jason! Every darn person around here (The Soda Shop) is Jason-happy! Jason is fantastic as an AIO character, but he fails to stand out much as a fun agent action character. A good children's comic writer or cartoon making team could've constructed his behavior and character when he's being "James Bond."

     I would like to say that PF is absolutely right when he says a children's comic writer could've constructed his personality as an action-adventure hero. But isn't that exactly the point? Jason's supposed to be cliche and goofy, and it's put in a funny, interesting way. Most 8 - 12 year old listeners of AIO aren't allowed to see James Bond, so Jason is an interesting alternative. And The Labyrinth is truly him at his finest. And so, I award it the highly-coveted "Modern Classic" award.

     Mistaken For Good: This is just a nice, nostalgic, relatively slow-paced by AIO standards, touching, and amusing AIO episode that stands out. It's my favorite post-50 episode, as I think it combines some great chemistry and emotions, and is just plain great to listen to. Jay is the highlight of the episode, and with the comic foils of Olivia and Mrs. Kramer, as well as his fascinating relationship with Mrs. Wilson, he is entagled in many things, and Whit Hertford does a stellar job of capturing these complex emotions. And the moral is an interesting one as well. Everything is pitch-perfect and this episode is a certified classic.

     Sgt. York: This episode is everything The Jubillee Singers was... and more. Dave Arnold is a very excellent writer. He managed to pull out a diary and a few books on York along with extensive research, and turned it all into a full-blown epic drama, complete with parental warning, great moral, and relateable, fun characters. The sound design was top-notch, as well as the accents. Overall, Sgt. York is a highlight of the post-hiatus era and deserves the last spot on this list.

     Well, that's it for now. I want to work on my links page, but I shall be busy this weekend, and won't have access to a computer. So, for now, I hope you enjoyed the article.
     Thanks for reading!
     

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Weekly Feature 11/11/12

     Well, I realize I haven't had an interview for a while, but that's all about to change, as I have an interview with Josh and Ally from Out of Control In Odyssey right here. Here it is:


1. I think all readers of your blog know how you were first exposed to Odyssey. But when did Ally start listening?

Ally: Hmmm...well, I've gotta say I started listening when my brother first listened! But of course I was very young and actually not really into it. It didn't really draw me in yet. I'd say, when we went to Colorado Springs, that was when I really became more into it, listening and becoming an AIO lover.

2. How did you first get involved in the AIO online community?

Josh: Well, I knew at first that there was the Official Site, but one day I must have stumbled around on Google and found the Odyssey Scoop! I later found AIO Wiki, Christian A.'s The Voice of Odyssey, and several other blogs. This year, it's been really cool to find a cache of brand new, exciting, original sites that rivals the number when I first started looking!


Ally: Once again, it was Josh who persuaded me to help him do an Odyssey blog. I wasn't really in any online communities before then though.

3. What was your inspiration for Odyssey Nerd?

 
Josh: Honestly, when I first listened to the Ceiling Fan, I had just started to listen to Odyssey, so I didn't get a lot of the jokes and was like, "What is this?" A couple years later, I relistened to it and realized its awesomeness, and so I kept on listening! We tried out for the Fan Hijack to create your own podcast, but we weren't as prepared, so when the next year came with a new contest to "hijack," we wanted to be ready! My idea was to do some kind of song about how I use AIO phrases in real life, similar to how Star Trek fans say, "Beam me up..." and started out with "I'm an Odyssey nerd, Israel's Jason's codeword"...and we went from there!

Ally: Josh came up with a song about an Odyssey Nerd, because Ethan Daniels, the main character for TCF, says that he is. Also because we both know so much about Odyssey!

4. Why did you decide to start a blog?
 
Josh: I've always had that little idea in the back of my head, but I wasn't really inspired until I met the actors and fans at the live show. I was on an Odyssey high after we left, and the conversation went like this:

Ally, we should totally start an Odyssey blog!
Okay.

I wanted to pick up where At Whit's End left off and try to review every single episode, but add my own experiences and knowledge about storytelling. I also wanted to continue my Odyssey Nerd message about using Odyssey references in daily conversation! 

Ally: After the AMAZING, awesome time with the Odyssey actors and fans in Dallas, we were so inspired to do something Odyssey related. Josh had been online looking at other Odyssey blogs and with our previous experiences with blogs, so we decided to go for it!

5. Were you surprised at the extreme success of Out of Control In Odyssey? (Such as your acceptance of two Websters)

Josh: The whole experience of OCO has been amazing. We've been excited and blessed by everyone who has visited and commented on our blog! What we did was to try and fill a niche that wasn't being filled, and we're glad that people have enjoyed that niche, and that we can continue to provide that! 

Ally: I was for sure! I thought it wouldn't reach a lot of people with such a small blog, but as time progressed I saw how our blog had impacted on others. But at the same time I wasn't, because I knew God had plans for this blog, and well I knew our blog would do okay haha. For sure I was surprised and honored to be nominated!! I never expected it and it was just, wow, it was just all God, man.

6. What do you plan on doing with Out of Control In Odyssey in the future?
 
Josh: We don't have any new plans with the blog - that should continue, and we'll update the Odyssey Phone Book. We are coming up with new features for the overall website, though!

Ally: THIS ANSWER HAS BEEN ERASED BY THE EDITOR.

7. Are you planning any other AIO-related or non-related projects in the future?

Josh: We have several big projects that we're hard at work on - one of which we're hoping to get out before the end of the year on the blog (I'm really excited about it!). I'm trying to get a certain AIO actor for my radio show (if you're interested, visit my blog for more information)! Also for radio, I'm working with the Future Leaders Institute to develop a short film and film festival to bring attention to the sanctity of life: rape, abortion, and adoption. I'd love your help, if you're interested!




Ally: If I have time, maybe draw some scenes from AIO episodes, but other than the BLANK, I think...right now: not too much. We don't wanna make too many promises and projects that busy us too much for us not to live our out of odyssey lives. Sadly, I wish we could have some more.

8. Who is your favorite AIO character?
 
Josh: My favorites are Paul Herlinger's Whit, Connie, and Bernard. I loved his grandfatherly warmth that he brought to the role, and it made Odyssey a very, very special place for me. Connie is a very relatable character, and Bernard is definitely one of the funniest people on the show. I miss you Dave Madden!  

Ally: I actually got a lot. And I will be writing a post about that sometime in the near future! but if I had to choose, Bernard Walton. Sarcastic, funny, loves God, likes to be clean, adventurous, who doesn't like him? Plus he's played by Dave Madden, who's extremely talented!

9. What are some of your favorite AIO episodes?
 
Josh: There are so many! However, I do have some top eps. My favorite comedy is "Broken Window," my favorite action one is "Exit," my favorite biblical one is "The Perfect Church," and my favorite mystery is "The Pact." I love how Odyssey can continue to bring us quality, faith-affirming, GOOD stories year after year, with great writing. True, sometimes there are rough spots, but Odyssey never fails to make me light up.
 
Ally: Eugene Returns (about prayer), Malachi's Message (angels), Broken Window, Gloobers, I got a lot haha.

10. If you could have any AIO character return, who would it be and why?

Josh: Hmm...great question. When you say "return," I'm gonna assume you mean from before the relaunch, so my answers are Bernard and Jack! Sadly, I hear that Alan Young is in poor health, but if he recovers, I would love to hear him one last time (and record the openers and closers for all of the Passages series just in case) in Odyssey with Joanne. Dave Madden lives in Florida, so it's tough for him to make it to recording sessions, but I hope that he'll be able to! I really love them because they're two pillars of the show; they move the show forward, they're markers of where the show has come from, and they're part of Odyssey! I feel that Odyssey has seemingly lost a lot of that older generational wisdom - Whit may be wise, but he can't do it all by himself.

Ally: BERNARD, definitely. He just made the show funnier, the way he interacts with the kids and adults with a somewhat sarcasm. Or Tom I wish. ); Tom and Bernard were great together, I loved the way they interacted with each other; great times I'd love to have that again!

11. Have you ever personally met any AIO actors/crew?

Josh: I had the opportunity to meet everyone at the live show, which was truly a remarkable experience. It definitely ranks as one of my top memories. They're all so nice and so personable, and it was a honor to meet them. 

Ally: Yes! Nathan Hoobler was our tour guide at Focus on the Family in 2007, we met all the actors at Dallas (Katie Leigh was soo sweet, Chris bubbly as ever). Man, I wish I could meet them all again, plus more of the actors!

12. How has AIO impacted your spiritual life?
 
Josh: Oh my. I'm really similar to Katie Leigh in the fact that God uses these stories to speak to me. Most recently, this year, I'm a junior, and I'm often worried about what God wants to do with my life and what I should major in..."Great Expectations" spoke to me about how God uses our goals and dreams for his purposes, and to leave it up to Him. But many episodes have been listened to just at the right time, and hey, God has a funny sense of humor about doing that.
 
Ally: Hearing the characters stories, the way they portray it, say it, make it feel, it just brings me all back to God. Their lessons are so great, and what I think helps is that (even though I like happy endings way better), they show how times of sorrows approach and how the characters feel. Sometimes it's like God's way of saying "See Ally, this character didn't trust in me when he/she could've. You CAN trust me" I feel that I wouldn't be the same person if I didn't listen to AIO. AIO showed me God's worked in our lives in so many ways, and the great adventure isn't over yet.

     I do hope you enjoyed that! I would like to thank Josh and Ally for agreeing to do this and giving such long, great answers! I wish I could tell you I have an AIC out, but... I don't. However, it should be out next week! There's a big surprise in Installment 12 that you don't want to miss. Whoops... I've said too much already. ;)
     Thanks for reading!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Weekly Review: The Bible Network 11/10/12

     I realize I'm a week behind; I suppose I'll just finish up the season reviews a week after "Push the Red Button" airs. However, here's my review of The Bible Network...

     "You are listening to The Bible Network. We're all Bible, all the time." That was the first line from this episode, and it pretty much sums up the whole thing. Who else got tired of that announcer guy by the end? He reminded me of those annoying advertisers on TV. Maybe it was the voice...
     Anyway, this whole episode was basically a "Hidden In My Heart" spoof. I honestly don't have a huge problem with this, as the episodes were different enough to stand out, and I quite honestly thought "The Bible Network" was just a tad bit funnier than "Hidden In My Heart". In fact, I would go as far as to say that "The Bible Network" is the funniest AIO episode since "The Triangled Web". I laughed out loud at every one of these sketches, and I thought all but the 2nd taught a very valuable lesson. I'll elaborate on that later.
     The episode begins with Connie once again over the airwaves. It's interesting how Connie started announcing Kid's Radio with "The Twilight Zone" only because Whit was gone. But gradually, she became the signature announcer, and Whit was almost dropped entirely from Kid's Radio. I prefer this, as Connie has a nice radio voice.
     Maybe it was because I just listened to "The Devil Made Me Do It" a couple nights ago, but the first sketch of this episode seemed quite reminiscent of the Guilttrip Jeopardy! sketch in that episode, if only because they're both game shows. As I said before, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, only a neutral note. I found the various panelists simply delightful, and I laughed at almost all of their answers. Panelist #4's answer was stellar, and one of the funniest and cleverest lines in the episode. And, naturally, we had the upholder of Biblical truths, who taught a helpful, albeit obvious, lesson. I actually took away more from this episode than I normally do, as it inspired me to read my Bible more.
     The 2nd sketch was also entertaining, but I found it to be the worst of the three. I found it the least interesting with its repetitiveness, and the overall theme was a bit unclear. I didn't really get any valuable lesson from it, only a few random Bible verses. I understand what the writers were trying to communicate through the sketch, but I don't think it ended up the way the wanted it to be. It ultimately just sounded like a silly crime show with a little message thrown in, and it didn't have the power of the "Hidden In My Heart" sketches. But that's just my opinion.
     The 3rd sketch was superior in nearly every way to the first two. I think it could quite possibly contain some of the funniest moments in AIO history, and it really took a little time to explain the moral in the midst of the humor. There was always something fresh and funny with each scene, and the final scene tied everything up nicely, though it was a bit predictable. This conversation is great:

          DRILL SERGENT: Rick!

          RICK: Hi.

          DRILL SERGENT: How much have you - Hi what?

          RICK: Hi... sir.

          DRILL SERGENT: How much of your Bible have you read?

         RICK: Well, you know, I was just changing my clothes, and -

          DRILL SERGENT: Is the name of this program the "Change Your Clothes Boot Camp"?

          RICK: No... sir.

     So, what are my final thoughts on Kid's Radio's latest installment? It's a winner. The final sketch makes up for the 2nd, in my opinion... And overall, the episode is just a perfect homage to old Kid's Radio.

     The Bible Network Rating: 8/10

     Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 5, 2012

AIO Article: The Land of the Free 11/5/12

    Sorry this took so long, (I should've had it up 6 days ago) but here's PF's latest edition: (it wouldn't copy, so just click on the link):

The Land of the Free

    Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Weekly Review: For Three Dollars More 10/27/12

     I will be writing Installment 10 today, as well as (finally) releasing the links page. But for now, here's my review of For Three Dollars More...

     Dave of Dave's AIO Blog once said, "I think by the end of this album (Album 56) I'll be quite machined-out. The IS and ROC are best used occasionally, and having around five episodes (three with the IS and two with the ROC) featuring these inventions will probably be too much, especially since recently taking trips in Whit's inventions has become a somewhat rare occurrence in comparison with when these inventions were newer."
      I'm not sure if I completely agree with this statement, or that I completely disagree with it. I just thought I'd start with it. I will say that having the first four episodes in an album be machine-related was not the smartest idea, but AIO still made these episodes interesting enough for me to not be too "machined out" by this fourth episode. I also think this episode exceeded "Great Expectations" (I'm sure Ben Warren would disagree. ;)) and came close to the greatness of "The Perfect Church".
     The episode begins with Matthew and Connie. Matthew has become the standard AIO kid, as Jimmy, Sam Johnson, and Mandy Strausberg were before him. He's appeared in 38 episodes, and while his siblings seem to be fading away, he and Jay are only getting more popular. And I like him. He has a sense of humor not seen in previous Odyssey kids, and his personality is likeable and energetic. He rivals Jay for best kid character, and his sense of humor shined in this episode.
     Barret walks in (with a seaseme seed stuck in his teeth) and explains his moral dilemma. I didn't realize that the Get in the Show! scene would actually be taking place in an episode, and I couldn't help but think of the kids when Barret was talking. And I have to say, some of the kids did it better than him! (And some, not so much...) I couldn't exactly sympathize with Barret's situation, but I was interested.
     Matthew's adventure was overall rather predictable. I knew almost exactly what would happen a couple minutes before it happened. But I suppose the point of his adventure wasn't to be shocking and unpredictable, the point was - wait, what was the point? After all, there was really no need to have two adventures that basically communicated the same thing. Connie's adventure was funnier and more interesting, so I felt they could have removed Matthew's and the episode would have had the same effect. And so, having three adventures came off as a filler, as if AIO didn't know what to do in the first half of the episode, so they concocted two unrealistic yet funny stories. But, considering neither of these adventures taught anything worthwhile, I thought one of them could have been omitted. But, oh well. They were still funny.
     Connie gives Barret the trip of his life! This line = priceless epicness-

     Robber: If only someone had given three more dollars! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!

     I was literally laughing about that for five minutes afterwards! And I love that Brandon Gilberstadt is back! I was just listening to a Jared episode (It's All About Me) last night, and I missed him. And though Matthew doesn't have Jared's humor, it was still great to hear Brandon's voice. He did a great job! And though it seemed to take Barret's older brother Jeremey a scene or two to get into the part, (His first scene seemed boring mostly because of his "Where am I? I'm old!" talking to himself bit.) I thought his performance in Whit's adventure was stellar.
     It's interesting that, during Barret's third and final adventure, AIO would take ROC and turn it into more of a movie. I liked the new format, and, though I don't think it should be used too often, it worked well for this episode. I think Whit's version of the adventure made a valid point about tithing, one that should be taken to heart. I'm noticing AIO is experimenting with new morals and themes, instead of going back to lying and salvation, themes that they've done many times before. I admire this and hope it continues for future albums.
     So overall, this was quite a great episode, with a few flaws. I enjoyed almost all of it, and look forward to more episodes like it. We'll just have to see if the remainder of the album lives up to the first four episodes...

     For Three Dollars More Rating: 7.7/10

     Hope you enjoyed that. Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 22, 2012

AIO News 10/22/12

     Well, I officially have over 100 comments on this blog. I thank all of you for responding to my ramblings. Speaking of ramblings, I'm hoping to write some reviews using that site I told you about. I'll keep you posted on that. Anyway, here's the news...

     Hello, I'm Alex Jefferson, reporting live from the Official Site, where there is a new Official Podcast involving last week's episode, Great Expectations. Also, the three finalists for the Get In the Show! contest have been chosen. I won't give them away, but I'll say I was a bit surprised. The reviews of episodes are also flooding in, with three AIO blogs (JAAIOB, The Voice of Odyssey, The Changing Times) reviewing episodes week by week. Other than that, most unofficial blogs are not churning out the number of posts they usually make. This is surprising since the new season just started. Let's hope we get news from TNT, UAIOB, and BBP soon. Well, that's about it. Until next time, I'm Alex Jefferson, and this is... AIO News!
     (P.S. I'm going to start work on a grand article, longer and better than anything I've ever done soon.)
     Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weekly Review: Great Expectations 10/20/12

     Alright. Today I shall be reviewing the episode Great Expectations. I'll be releasing Installment 10 and working on JAAIOP tomorrow, so expect more from this site in the near future. I will also try to get my links page going today. But for now, here's my review...

     Young Whit episodes are always fascinating. Giving a peek into a character's past is something these writers, particularly Nathan Hoobler, do best. And I can let go of my bias for Emily quite quickly to sit down and listen to a truly good episode exploring the past of Whit further.
     The episode begins with Whit and Connie at Whit's End, discussing Whit's list of things that he wanted to do as an adult that he compiled as a child. This was a good opening scene; I really have no thoughts on it. The episode progresses to Emily Jones and her relate-able predicament.
     My first thoughts are: Joanne is back! Simon is back! Jim Custer is back! Following the trend there seems to be in this album, this episode seemed reminiscent of other episodes. And that's a good thing.
     Emily's voice seems different to me. Almost... (dare I say it) less annoying. It seems higher-pitched. There was some discussion on SS (The Soda Shop) on whether or not this episode would show us Emily's true character. However, it did almost the opposite: it made us more confused about her. She is now unsure of what she wants to do. This is unsettling, and it makes me wonder where Emily's character will end up 3 or 4 years from now. Will she go back to solving mysteries and following her father's footsteps, or will she follow a different path? Or will she be dropped altogether by then? We don't know. Emily is quite possibly the most  confusing character AIO has currently. I only hope she will become less confusing as time goes on.
     But I'm ranting. The episode goes along nicely, with appearances by Joanne and Simon. I almost laughed at the scene in J & J Antiques. It was almost pointless to the story. I think AIO just wanted us to hear Joanne's voice, or to clarify she and Jack were leaving. But that's fine with me. I wanted to hear Joanne's voice, even if she had no incredibly significant role in either the episodes she was in.
     Then, Emily gets into the IS to experience, though she doesn't know it when she steps in, Whit's past. I must say, I'm loving the new IS! The sound effect they use to transport the character from place to place is mindblowingly epic! And the doors are a very cool new feature, (pardon my use of the elementary word 'cool') as they allow characters to go places they could have never gone before, making the IS seems more like a time machine than ever.
     I don't have very many thoughts on the young Whit scenes, except: they were pretty good. A couple tiny flaws, though... I'm wondering why the writers are showing us this. It seems as if we really didn't learn anything about Whit that we didn't already know, aside from that he wanted to write for National Geographic and went to a University in California. But these are minor details. I didn't get to see any experiences that Whit had; the whole episode was talking about what he did with his life, while not really showing what he did with his life, only mentioning various things. If that makes any sense.
     But though that may seem like a big problem, it's really very minor. I loved Jim Custer's performance. When he was coming out of the Junior High School, he had a hint to his voice that made him really sound like a 50-year old. He sounded old yet young. And that was brilliant on Mr. Custer's part.
     And at the end of the episode, we have yet another great moral that AIO hasn't exactly covered yet. I actually never really thought about this either. I suppose we all think as children that we will do exactly what we are dreaming of when we are an adult. But the truth is, in most cases, none of us end up doing what we thought we wanted to do. It's interesting to think about, and it's important. So I give an extra star for the great moral.
     In conclusion, (it seems as if that's always the way I wrap up my reviews) this is a good episode, though not flawless. It gives a peek into Whit's past, which is always great, but I don't think it is even close to The Triangle in greatness. But that doesn't mean it isn't good...

     Great Expectations Rating: 7/10

     I hope you enjoyed that. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

AIO Article: The Music of AIO 10/18/12

     Having listened to a lot of music in the past couple weeks, I figured I should do an article on the music of AIO...

     In the special episode 500, they (the Odyssey team) did a short documentary on the creation of the Odyssey theme song. Apparently John Campbell, AIO's brilliant composer, stumbled upon those seven signature notes while at the piano one day working hard at composing the Odyssey theme. Since then, those seven notes have been incorporated into every one of Odyssey's theme songs over the years. Let's take a quick look at all five theme songs, shall we?

     #1: Classic Theme: This is the theme most Odyssey fans generalize the series with. It's a grand, loud affair, with Whit talking in the background. This is probably not my all-time favorite, but it's still good, if only because it's the first one. It was used from Albums 1 - 12

     #2: Golden Theme: This is the theme used from Albums 13 - 31. It includes the seven notes familiarized with Odyssey and a preview of the episode. This is quite possibly my favorite theme, though I enjoy them all. It has a nice intro and closing.

     #3: Jansen/Novacom Theme: This is the theme used from Albums 32 - 38? I'm not entirely sure where this theme stopped. This is a nice fast-paced modern theme, but it almost seems too fast-paced, so I'm quite honestly glad Odyssey dropped this and went for something more classic.

      #4: Classic-Modern Theme: I call this the Classic-Modern Theme because it combines elements of the more classic Odyssey theme and the modern one. It is genius on John Campbell's part and was used from Albums 39 - 49. (Album 50 had a different theme song to itself, essentially.)

     #5: Modern Theme: This is the latest theme now, but in 20 years, they'll probably be calling it the 'Classic theme'. It is a nice homage to the original while still sounding incredibly different. It's short and sweet, and I like it, though not as much as the Golden or Classic-Modern. It was used from 51 - I don't know, we'll find out when AIO switches themes.

     Yes, I'm aware that was brief, but I only wanted to give a quick, simple rundown. But naturally, the themes at the beginning have not been the only music Odyssey has ever put out. Let's examine some other musical episodes...

     The Great Wishy Woz: This was really the first episode with real songs, original songs I might add. It gave the classic Kids Radio episode a nice feel, as though you were watching a Broadway rendition of The Wizard of Oz. All of the remixes of the original Oz songs were brilliant and catchy. I sometimes find myself singing "Follow the Big Fat Road" instead of "Follow the Yellow Brick Road". And the performances were all outstanding as well. Aria Curzon has a nice voice, though it was obvious she wasn't a professional singer.

     Odyssey Sings!: This is the golden standard for all Odyssey episodes having to do with music. It's nearly perfect in every way, from the songs themselves to the performances, to Cryin' Bryan Dern's hilarious interruptions. I particularly loved Bart and Harlow's songs. And Eugene's performance at the end was a nice introduction to the Eugene Sings! CD. (Which I still haven't heard...) I only wish I could've heard Connie's song! The "I tripped" line was intriguing...

     A Thankstaking Story: This is another nice little musical episode. Though the songs are not as grand as in The Great Wishy Woz, they are still fun and catchy. I think the song Good News was the best, with some sweet performances by Katie Leigh (who knew she could sing?) and Will Ryan. And Whit Hertford was surprisingly good as well.

     Of course, there's always M'kalister Park, (which I'm listening to as I write this) but that's another article. Anyway, the music in Odyssey is amazing. Enough said.
     Hope you enjoyed the article, and thanks for reading!

Monday, October 15, 2012

AIO News 10/15/12

     Here I am again! And here is the news report...
     Hello, I'm Alex Jefferson, coming at you live from... various - websites. *cough* Anyway, there have been a couple new sites popping up lately. That's why I'm organizing a links page! The first one is The Odyssey Gallery, a brilliant site dedicated to AIO and art. The second one is actually a site that I just created about five minutes ago. It has nothing to do with AIO, but I thought you might like it. Here's the link to it: Ranting and Raving Reviews.
     Well, that's about it. Until next time, I'm Alex Jefferson, and this is... AIO News!
     Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

JAAIOP and AIC

     I'm sorry, but I don't have a feature. But that's the only bad news I have...

     I just wanted to make a random post stating that JAAIOP Ep. 1 is finally out, as well as Installment 9. And, well... I'm back. For good. I want to post five times a week at least. So expect more than ever during the next few weeks. I thank all my readers for sticking with me, and I hope you all enjoy the new features.
     Also, my Chain Links page is coming soon!
     Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

AIO Review: The Perfect Church, Pt. 2 10/13/12

     I'm back! I do hope this blog doesn't turn into something like The Changing Times or The Voice of Odyssey, that pretty much specifies in reviews, but, for now, reviewing Album 56 will be just about all you'll hear from me. But here's my review of The Perfect Church, Pt. 2 anyway...

     After the cliffhanger ending of pt. 1, I was eager to hear this episode. Whoever came up with two-part radio and television episodes was an absolute genius. Not only are these super-sized episodes great for suspense, they can open up a story and take it to new heights. The Perfect Church, Pt. 2 is a perfect example of this. This next installment expanded on the original and illustrated some of the best stories in the New Testament, even if, as Ben Warren said in his excellent review, they were not witnessed by Matthew, but were told secondhandedly.
     However, I feel as if the first five minutes were the worst minutes in the episode. They seemed rushed, as if there were so many stories to tell in the Book of Acts, that the writers decided to jam about three into five minutes of audio. This was probably a bad idea. I'm not saying they should have gone larger and made it a three-parter, but they could have shortened Stephen's speech and expanded on these stories. I didn't particularly love the prison scene for this reason. (Though the voice of the angel sounded pretty cool)
     But the episode picked up after that. I enjoyed the deep discussions that the characters had. The argument between Stephen and Seth was done quite well, and some of the conversations that Matthew had with Rhoda were very interesting, and really illustrated the moral more than any scene in the first episode.
     Speaking of the moral, I was a bit puzzled about what exactly the moral would be in pt. 1. I knew Matthew would see that the church wasn't perfect, but I wasn't sure what Whit would tell him at the end. And I have to say, this is one of those life lessons you don't really think about. But it's true that I do sometimes picture the saints and patriarchs of the Bible as nearly perfect. So I'm glad this episode is out there, as it points out a moral that's not quite as obvious as lying or stealing.
     Anyway, I thought it was interesting that AIO would decide to stone Stephen... again. I honestly think that this episode bared a striking resemblance to St. Paul: The Man From Tarsaus, but I suppose AIO has illustrated many Bible stories twice, so I can forgive that. Besides, the trial was illustrated better here, I thought. Stephen's speech was fascinating and brilliant, but, as I said, it could have been shortened.
     I really, really enjoyed Georgina Dolenz's performance in this episode. I am hoping she can appear in future episodes, and have a feeling she could become a fixture on AIO. I would even say her performance as Rhoda is better than her performance as Sue. She has the perfect voice for the part, and her emotion was well conveyed in every scene she was in. I could genuinely feel scared for Stephen, though I knew of his fate, because of her tone in the scene before the trial.
     But, I said in the first episode that I noticed Matthew didn't play a big role in the episode and that I hoped he would at least do something in pt. 2. Well, I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up. Matthew's role was to spectate and learn a lesson, and I suppose that's enough, though I do wish he could have gotten involved as Sam and Rodney did in St. Paul and Eugene and Connie did in Back to Bethlehem.
     Whit's talk at the end was perfect as usual, and it wrapped the episode up nicely, before hearing the closing music, and those classic 6 notes. Those 6, beautiful notes! Ah... Never mind.
     In conclusion, these are strong, inspirational, classic Biblical AIO episodes. And though I honestly preferred Pt. 1 to pt. 2, both were well-done, though they had a couple minor flaws. But I believe we as critics can forgive minor flaws and just sit back and enjoy an episode.

     The Perfect Church (Pt. 2) Rating: 7/10

     Thanks for reading!
    

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Weekly Review: The Perfect Church Pt. 1 10/6/12

     I never thought I'd take a two week break. Let's just say an alien attacked me and I broke free this morning. Anyway, here is my review of The Perfect Church Pt. 1...

     The Imagination Station has been a staple of the Adventures in Odyssey canon ever since it was first introduced way back in the good ol' days, when AIO was new and the Barcalys were still around. It was used many times after that, taking Odyssey kids (and adults, in Back to Bethlehem and Moses, the Passover) back in time to witness the action-packed stories of the Bible, as well as history.
     However, though the IS was always used infrequently, after The Imagination Station, Revisited, it was never given a second look, except in the rather dreadful Fast As I Can. Until now...

     The Perfect Church is, in many ways, unlike any recent AIO episode. I notice, after listening to 8 of the 12 episodes in Album 56, that Odyssey is really going back to their roots with this album more than any album since... oh, I don't know when, with nostalgic episodes for the fans who have been listening for 10 years or more. The Perfect Church is one of these nostalgic episodes.
     The nostalgia (I love that word!) started in the very first scene. I don't know if anyone agrees with me, but seems as if Whit hasn't been at the counter listening to one child's problems in a long while. But someone might find another recent occurrence.
     I also noted that Matthew's voice had changed a bit, or was at least starting to change. I don't know how this will affect the character, but I hope he can stick around. I sure like that kid.
     I noticed that Eugene replaced Mabel! I wonder what made the Odyssey team decide to do that. Perhaps so he could be the one to state the word definitions, very fitting for his character. I almost missed Mabel, but who knows? She could be back next time.
     At this point, Matthew is meeting Seth and Rhoda. I was expecting a Georgina Dolenz role in this album, as Paul McCusker mentioned that she would have one in a podcast, and I think she did a fine job. Her voice was well-suited to the part, though it could get a bit annoying at times.
     I originally thought Ananias would have a larger role in this episode, but it turned out he was just in two scenes. Perhaps in part 2 he'll be more prominent...
     Anyway, Matthew is navigating the area and finding that this church isn't so perfect. I loved Eugene's dictionary, but I do hope it will be used sparingly. It could become overwhelming in a future adventure if Eugene comes on to give us a definition every couple of minutes. Thankfully, however, Paul McCusker didn't go overboard with this plot device.
     I loved the scene where Steven talks about Pentacost, though I had already heard it from the podcast preview. It was brilliantly done, and the music was terrific during that part. Bravo to John Campbell for this episode! He went above and beyond and composed some truly great music that fit the mood of the story.
     Later in the episode, (bear with me while I skip ahead a bit) Seth has an interesting breakdown of sorts after the blind man is healed. I think it was well-done, and truly showed the magnitude of spreading the gospel. I honestly thought that after that, Seth would stop following Jesus, so what he did next surprised me.
     I actually feel like Matthew had almost no role in this episode. He was a mere spectator, watching everyone else while not really doing anything himself. This irked me, as I believe he could have had a big role in the adventure, as Sam and Rodney did in the Saint Paul episode. But, considering that's essentially my only complaint for this episode, it's pretty minor. And perhaps Matthew will have a larger role in the story in pt. 2.
     I was simply captivated by this church, all the twists and turns of this church. Seth selling his house and giving the money to the poor was unpredictable. And the appearance of Saul was quite exciting at the end. I'm not sure whether they'll show his conversion experience again in Pt. 2, but, considering they already showed it in the Saint Paul episodes, I hope not.
    In conclusion, this episode was a terrific season opener, with great music, great acting, and an interesting moral. I'm eagerly awaiting pt. 2 and have high expectations. I just hope Paul and Marshall don't let me down.

     The Perfect Church Rating: 8/10

     Well, that's it. Until next time, Thanks for reading!
    

Friday, September 21, 2012

AIO News 9/21/12

     Well, for various reasons, (like life) I've taken my longest break ever, nearly a week. Now it is really time to get back into the swing of things with news!
    
     Hello, I'm Alex Jefferson, reporting at you live from Clubhouse magazine, where the new Captain Absolutely comics in there have everyone excited. I do not get Clubhouse anymore, but I look forward to reading these comics on their website http://www.clubhousemagazine.com/. For more info, visit Whitsend.org and listen to the podcast.
     In other news, a new ESK development will have the whole Emily-loving and Emily-hating world a frenzy. I shall not tell you what it is just yet, but it's pretty big.
     Well, that's about it. Until next time, I'm AJ, and this is... AIO News!

     Thanks for reading, and I'm really sorry I don't have the podcast up yet!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weekly Feature 9/16/12

     Sorry I didn't get this feature out for a while, but I have a truly awesome excuse. I've been listening to Odyssey! That's right! For just about the entire day, I've been indulging in the clean, hilarious, character-building entertainment that this amazing show offers! I just got a boatload of albums for my birthday yesterday, so I listened to some episodes I had actually never heard before (in Album 8), as well as revisiting the captivating Novacom Saga in Volume 38 and chuckling at all the unfortunate missteps in Album 51. (Including the character of Emily) But I also had time to record a podcast today. I'll have it out for you soon, though I'm afraid not tonight. I also am starting to get a guilty conscience about AIC, but I just can't bring myself to sit down and write it. I've had a busy weekend, though, it all seemed to fly by in just a couple of hours, what with my birthday party, listening to Odyssey, and recording a podcast. And after listening to the epic Novacom saga for hours, I simply had to do a feature on sagas! So here it is, my take on the Top 5 Best Saga Episodes:

     5.   The Top Floor: In Nathan Hoobler's interview with me, he said this was the best episode that he had written. I wouldn't go that far, but it still deserves a spot on this list. Why? Quite simply, because it's great! The African scenes, the intensity of it all, Eugene's conversations with his Dad, the shocking revelation that Everret is alive, and the ending are all well-done. It is easily the best Eugene Searching For His Father episode and, in my opinion, is better than several Novacom and Blackgaard episodes. It's a true action-adventure masterpiece, and I love it! But the epic ep. that beat it is...

     4. 38front.jpg Box of Miracles: Yes. Yes, I'm sure this is a bit of a surprise. You were probably thinking "Exit!" But I honestly think that the last three Novacom episodes were a little rushed, and the saga could've been given another several episodes to really develop. But Box of Miracles is a perfect example of an ideal Novacom episode: it's intense, chilling, it references God without being cliche about it, and it reveals more of the plot without seeming rushed. I love the idea of Tom and Whit butting heads about Novacom, and Bryan Dern and Arthur Dent just made this episode great. The acting was superb, the writing was perfect, and it set the stage for the last 5 episodes in an entertaining and satisfying way. I say it is one of the best Novacom episodes and it certainly exceeds Expect the Worst, Exactly As Planned, and even Exit. But it's not the best...

     3. 05front.jpg The Battle: Ah yes, the Blackgaard episodes will always come late in the list. And while The Nemesis was good, I think The Battle is better. It certainly exceeded fan's expectations and got far bigger and more intense than anyone thought Odyssey could at the times. Blackgaard and Maxwell are ideal villians, and Lucy's conversation with Richard int eh hospital was fascinating. I just love this episode, it's a true example of a great, classic AIO episode of an era from days gone by. So what other saga episode got on the list?

     2. 25front.jpg The Final Conflict: DBD always seems to finish in 2nd place in my lists. I am a big fan of Blackgaard, but I can't honestly say that The Final Conflict was the best saga episode ever. However, it was a mind-blowing conclusion that blew all previous saga episodes out of the water and set the standard for future saga endings. The way they picked off the villians one by one before it was just Blackgaard always excites me. The entire saga just makes me want to jump up and down with excitement. And, the winner is...

     1. 37front.jpg Plan B: Collision Course: I'm just a sucker for this episode. I really am. There is no way I wouldn't give it first on a list like this. It's more exciting than any other episode in Odyssey history, (yes, that's a bold statement, but I believe it's true) and the way it was a ll sewn together to make way for the ending was great. It was unpredictable at every turn, and Arthur Dent put on another stellar, mad-man performance. Mr. Charles was just plain epic, and the emotion, intensity, and occasional comedy with the brilliant David Griffin all just came together to make the episode that is by a shadow of a doubt the best saga episode ever.

(Note: If you're wondering about The Time Has Come, I don't consider it a Blackgaard episode, and this list was for action-adventure sagas only.)

     I hope you enjoyed that, cause I sure enjoyed writing it! I love these little lists, and I haven't done one in a while. I'll try to post more often, so you guys can get your daily dose of JAAIOB. And don't worry, the podcast should be out tomorrow.
     Thanks for reading!