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!

Alex Jefferson, creator and operator of Just Another AIO Blog

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Weekly Review: Seeing Red 6/30/12

     Today I will be telling you more about the big surprise, as well as reviewing 'Seeing Red' with my usual in-depthness. Enjoy!

     Connie is becoming obsessed. What is this?
     Connie: How can you rearrange your shop at a time like this?
     Joanne: At a time like what?
     Connie: Isn't it obvious? I'm losing Mitch!
     No Connie, it's not obvious, as we didn't think you would be so annoying and immature as to throw a temper-tantrum about your crime-fighting boyfriend who lives on the other side of the world and misspells Celsius in his letters to you; I mean, it's a wonder he even bothers writing letters to someone so bratty! Was that a run-on sentence? I hear Mitch uses those a lot.
     Okay, that's enough. It's been established that I did not like the way Connie behaved in this episode. I understand the writers are trying to add a little humor by dramatizing Connie's personality, and it was mildly funny. But I was laughing at Connie, and if you want a main character to be likeable, the audience shouldn't be laughing at her.
     But that alone doesn't make this episode horrible. Actually, I didn't think this episode was particularly horrific, I just get really bugged by the first scene. I mean, people who have never heard AIO are turning on their radios and hearing an adult whine about her boyfriend! This is not a soap opera, this is Adventures in Odyssey, a kid's program!
     If you get the impression that I hate Connie, I'm sorry. I don't hate Connie, except in this episode. But enough about Connie. Let's get to the Liz/Mandy storyline.
     Mandy has a crush on Seth! Wow! I, personally, never saw that coming. It's a bizarre and awkward pairing, considering that Seth is played by a girl and - yeah. Also, Seth is the spiritual evangelist with a crazy, celestial mom. You wouldn't think of him as being the type who would attract girls. But still, I can't think of anyone else Mandy could have a crush on.
     Anyway, Liz and Mandy are doing that laughing thing that girls apparently do when they like someone. Being a boy, it was kind of awkward for me to listen to, to be honest. But I survived.
     I must say that the only part of this story that I really enjoyed was Jack and Joanne's fight. It was very interesting to see the two characters have a fight. They're kind of opposites. But opposites attract, I suppose.
     Connie's tantrum is reminding me more and more of Olivia in Anger Mismanagement. I know, I know,  I'm going eight years into the future, but I had to point that out. Except there's one key difference: Olivia was getting angry on behalf of Amber; she was annoyed that Valerie was being mean to her. But Connie is annoyed because Mitch isn't making her the complete center of his busy, action-packed life. Olivia was angry because someone else was being hurt. Connie is angry out of selfishness, she wants Mitch to pay her as much attention as possible.
     The 'Mrs. Gruden' thing is actually hilarious. I love Mandy's line:
     "I just wanna watch Seth. I hear he's the best."
     In which Seth replies, "Thanks."
     So Seth is completely blind to these two girl's affection for him. He wants to evangelize, not flirt.And then, Mandy and Liz ask him who he likes better. I would feel so embarrassed if I were Liz and Mandy. I mean, to walk up to someone and ask him/her who they like better? How old are you girls?
     Okay, you've got the impression that I did not like this episode. That is not a false impression, as I in fact did not like it very much. But it began Connie and Joanne's road trip, which was quite a good saga, and the Jack and Joanne scenes were well-acted and well-scripted. I enjoyed hearing them apologize to one another.
     However, as I listed above, there are many things I didn't like about it. Overall, it was pretty entertaining, but not a good episode.
     Seeing Red Rating: 4/10

     Yep, so far, that's the lowest rating I've given. But I didn't like this episode. Now to the big surprise. I'm going to say, since the big surprise is not far away, that there will be two new pages added. That's the big surprise. These pages will become big parts of the blog, but I'm still not telling you what exactly these pages will contain. You can speculate on the TOO and Soda Shop, where I have posted speculation topics. That's it for today. Stay tuned tomorrow for those two new pages, plus a special interview! Thanks for reading!

     Oh, I almost forgot! I posted something about how I wrote a review of Sergent York on The Soda Shop, and the Old Judge (creator of Twists and Turns) suggested that if I found the review, I should post it on my website. It's not as long as my normal reviews, and it's just for Part 1, and I probably won't be doing the other parts, but here it is anyway! Wow, this is a long post!

Review: Sergeant Alvin York Part 1

     In 2002, AIO released their first four-parter, Plan B, a fast-paced Novacom episode with dramatic twists and turns and lots of action.
     Now, AIO returns to the four part episode with a simple idea: A Kid's Radio episode about a World War I hero. Naturally, I was skeptical. I wasn't sure that Kid's Radio would be the best format for a four part historical drama. I've always enjoyed Kid's Radio's one part parody more. I believe storytelling would be a better way to present this.
     But I have to say, Dave Arnold did a pretty good job. Once again, he does some heavy research. Sergeant York is certainly just as thought-out as The Jubilee Singers or The Amazing Loser with all it's musical trivia. I admire all of Arnold's hard work when he writes an episode.
     Now, to the episode itself. I was rather annoyed at the pairing of Eugene Meltsner and Red Hollard. I felt as if AIO was trying to rekindle the humorous friendship of Eugene and Bernard Walton with an imposter by the name of Red Hollard. Perhaps if Red didn't have to be like Bernard in every conceivable way, I would like his character more. Will Ryan's acting is as usual, quite good. I enjoyed Eugene's narration quite a bit more than I enjoyed Red's, mostly because of the reasons above.
     The story begins with Alvin York, a trouble-making man living in Tennessee. He's walking with his friend, Everett. They see some beautiful young lady and try to flirt with her, though they do not succeed. They soon realize that she goes to church, something that they think is beneath them.
     Alvin is a carefree man, living for the moment. I enjoyed Jon Curry, a newcomer to Odyssey, as Alvin York. His tone matches the Southern fighter that York is quite well. But, unfortunately, Alvin's friend Everett gets in a bar fight and dies. That kind of disturbed me. AIO has dealt with death before, (Karen, Greater Love) but with Never For Nothing fresh in our minds, do we really need to hear about another rather unrealistic death? Honestly, the man who got cheated in cards, Frank, the man who killed Everett, didn't seem angry enough to throw someone to the floor. Also, I felt it was too quick to kill someone. For crying out loud, we haven't gotten to the war part! But you can't change history. If that's what happened, it happened. They could have at least shown some other scenes with Everett before they killed him off. He was in about three or four scenes.
     The character of Arcie Pyle is an interesting one. Almost a grandfatherly figure, Pastor Pyle helped Alvin come to Christ. Gracie Williams, the lady in the first scene, is happy that Alvin turned to Jesus, so that they can court with no guilt. I resented Gracie Williams at first, as it seemed she didn't care enough about the massive spiritual significance of turning to Christ.
     Towards the end of the episode, Alvin is told that he will be drafted for World War I. He says he won't go. But he has no choice. All in all, it was a relatively good first part, though it might not live up to the other episodes in Album 55. I'm not as eager for the next part as I was during The Labyrinth, but I still believe this will end up being a very valuable addition to The Deep End. Classic Odyssey is back. The best is yet to come.

Rating: 7.5/10

Friday, June 29, 2012

AIO News 6/29/12

Once again, there's not a whole lot of news...
Hello, everyone! I'm Alex Jefferson, coming at you live from the protest of Connie and Mitch lovers, near the broadcasting point of the 5th Semi-Annual Avery Awards!
When The Averys were revealed, The Labyrinth won nearly every award, including Best Episode, Best Actress, and Best Actor! A similar situation occurred a while back in the 2nd Avery Awards where The Mystery of the Clock Tower won all the awards except Best Actor.
I'm afraid that the only two categories that I voted for that won were Best Sound Design and Best Line. Also, Bob and Jesse took a little swipe at Connie and Mitch fans by humorously showing what it would be like if Connie did marry Mitch.
And, in other news, Maureen is angry at not being chosen for Best Villian, claiming that she was 'Much more evil than that Mr. Goat guy.' She is now planning on breaking into The Lourve to steal The Mona Lisa before she sells it to quirky French art dealers in Ohio, in order to prove how evil she is.
Well, that's about it. I'm Alex Jefferson, and I'll see you next time on... AIO News!
The big surprise is only two days away! I'm planning on giving you more details tomorrow, when I review today's episode, Seeing Red. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

AIO Article: The Boredom Buster Podcast 6/28/12


     AIO fan podcasts have been around ever since The Unofficial AIO Podcast started five years ago. That podcast is gone now, but other podcasts have taken it's place. One such podcast is The Boredom Buster Podcast.
     When you listen to the first BBP episode, you may not like it. The show is just getting started, the audio quality isn't exactly top-notch, and there is a lot of awkward silence. But don't worry, the show improves a lot from there.
     The second episode is better than the first, but it still didn't seem like Noah and Hallie had that special edge that makes a podcast great.
     Then, for some reason, when I listened to the third episode, everything clicked. The audio quality seemed better, I enjoyed the reviews a lot more, and Noah and Hallie's chemistry shined.
The fourth episode, if possible, was even better than the third. I absolutely loved their new theme song, and the episode reviews were truly spectacular!
     And so, I was very excited to listen to their interview with Dave Griffin. Obviously, someone is very good at coming up with questions. I was expecting an interview with the typical questions: What do you like about working with AIO?, What is your favorite episode? etc. These are fine questions, but BBP went above and beyond and asked questions that we (the fans) were really wondering about.
And so, I just can't wait for the next BBP episode! It'll probably be the third part of their interview with David Griffin. As much as I love interviews though, I am looking forward to hearing more reviews from Noah and Hallie. And as long as this podcast is here to stay, I am really looking forward to future additions. Great Job, BBP! Here's a link to the Boredom Buster website: http://boredombusterpodcast-aio.blogspot.com/
     That's it for today. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

AIO News (Or Lack There Of) 6/27/12

     I'm sorry everybody, but there is not a scrap of news except that my website is undergoing some minor changes. I told you about that a few days ago.
     I'll be adding pictures to my posts and some new gadgets. Sorry that there's no news, but I decided to post anyway, if only to tell you about the minor change.
     Even though this is a seemingly pointless post, thanks for reading!

AIO Article: The Virtual Kids 6/26/12

     In the episode The Virtual Kid, Alex Jefferson has a website about Whit's End. There's nothing wrong with that, right? Of course not. But Alex takes it to the extreme. constantly updating and posting on his site, ignoring his friends and never visiting Whit's End.
     This episode aired 13 years ago, when AIOHQ had recently become the first AIO fan-site. (As far as I know.) There was no Odyssey Scoop, there was no AIOwiki, there was no Just Another AIO Blog. AIO websites were just getting started. But this episode is a parable of sorts for bloggers like me.
     Alex was so busy blogging, that he never experienced what he was blogging about! This isn't to say that us bloggers never listen to AIO. On the contrary, I listen to AIO quite a bit. But I have noticed a decrease in how much I listen to it when I became involved in the online AIO community and I started a website that I have to post on every day.
     Don't worry, this article is not an announcement that I am ending the website, I just thought this was an issue worth mentioning. I'm not speaking to anyone in particular, I may be the only one who recognizes this. I am acting like Alex. I miss out on socialization with real people, not computers. And I don't listen to AIO as much, because, as Alex said to the news reporter, "The website takes a lot of time."
     Alex had never gone on any of the adventures in The Imagination Station, The Room of Consequence, or The Transmuter, because he was so busy with his website. I just listened to The Virtual Kid before I wrote this article, but that's the first episode I've listened to in quite a while. (I did listen to Hindsight a couple days ago since I was about to review it, but I didn't listen to it for entertainment and life lessons, I listened to it because I felt like I had to, so I don't count that.)
     So you see, I was slightly in the wrong. I did exactly what Alex, the character who was being taught, did. I'm not saying anyone else is doing this, because you might not be. This might just apply to me. But if it does apply to you, consider spending some time in the 'real' AIO world. I think blogging and using message boards is great, but we need to remember why all these blogs and message boards are here in the first place, just as we need to remember why AIO is here in the first place: God. It's all because of God.
     You need to spend time in the 'real' AIO world instead of the virtual one, but also, instead of listening to Odyssey all day, spend some time with God. After all, he's the one who inspired AIO, and the one that gave it all it's success and greatness. The AIO team would be the first to admit that. I'm not trying to tell you what to do, I'm just pointing out something that I noticed in myself.
     Did you enjoy the article? If you did, leave a nice comment. If you didn't, leave a rude comment. (Just Kidding!) Thanks for reading!

AIO News 6/25/12

     There's not much news today, so this'll be quick...
     Hello, I'm Alex Jefferson, reporting to you live from the Cambell County Message Boards, where Bren, the site's creator, has reopened the board after an extended hiatus. I was the second person to join, and I'm starting to settle into this message board. It's quite similar to the TOO, and it only has a few new members. So go join the Cambell County Message Boards!
     That's all for tonight, so I'm Alex Jefferson, and I'll see you next time at... AIO News!
     I know that was a pretty short post, and you guys are all anxious for the big surprise, but thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weekly Feature 6/24/12

For this Feature,  I will be listing what, in my opinion, are the Top 5 Best AIO Albums of all time. And, you'll finally find out when the big surprise will come...

#5: The Deep End - Yes, you read right. A post-hiatus album actually got into this list! Can you believe it? I know how much everyone hates post-hiatus albums, and how Emily is so annoying, and how they brought in new writers, and how Andre Stoijka doesn't sound like Whit at all. There was a time when I agreed with you. But now, having listened to Album 55, I can appreciate Album 54, 53, 52, and 51 a lot more. And from the exciting espionage and intrigue of The Labyrinth, to the historical-driven epic Sergent York, and all the way to the comedic hilarity of the return of a loved character, Something Old, Something New, Album 55 truly deserves #5 Album of all time. It is hands down the best post-hiatus album. But it's still not as good as...

#4: Battle Lines - Yes!, you're thinking. He put an epic action-adventure album in the Top 5! But it's really not because of the dramatic explosions and creepy phone calls that this album got in this list. It's because of the excitement, intrigue, and emotion of the epic finale of the Novacom Saga. They could have left out the tower explosion, (though it was vital to the plot) and I would have still put it on this list. Because, you see, it's not action or intensity that always counts. (Though I love it when Odyssey gets a little intense!) It's heart. But though Battle Lines is good, the album that beat it is...

#3: Other Times, Other Places - I love the early days of Odyssey. Albums 1 - 15, The Gold Audio Series, are some of the best albums. And honestly, Other Times, Other Places represents the best of The Gold Audio Series. It has slice-of-life, action-adventure, biblical episodes, and strange dreams by Jimmy Barcaly. All of the episodes are good, and some of them are really, really great. And so, Album 10 deserves a spot as #3. But what deserves #2? Could it be...

#2: Darkness Before Dawn - Oh, yes. You heard right. Against all odds, Darkness Before Dawn is not named #1, and you'll never visit this website again and leave a bunch of comments asking what my problem is. You don't even need a reason for Darkness Before Dawn getting #2. It's just a terrific album. And to make it interesting, they even threw in a slice-of-life show, A Little Credit, Please! Need I say more? And what's #1, you ask? #1 is...

#1: The Best Small Town - I know, I know, some people don't like this album. And this is just my opinion. I think that The Best Small Town has something that no other albums have. It has episodes that really flow together, if you know what I mean. If one episode in The Best Small Town were left out, none of the others would make sense. But, that also applies to Darkness Before Dawn and even Battle Lines. So why didn't Darkness Before Dawn get first? Because, Darkness Before Dawn may have one normal show, but it's not an especially terrific one. Don't get me wrong, I really like A Little Credit, Please, it's just that Album 50 has good old, classic Odyssey. Darkness Before Dawn is hands down the best action-adventure album, but The Best Small Town is the best album. After all, it's a celebration of everyone's favorite town. There's something nostalgic about the last scene in The Forgotten Deed. And while no one else may agree with me, you can't deny that this is a really great album. You just can't deny it.

     Thank you. Are you surprised? Write a comment saying you are. But if you knew all along what #1 was, drop a comment about that too.
     And didn't I mention something about the big surprise? Oh, yes. The big surprise is coming in three parts, the first two tiny, the last one big. You already got the first part: the new logo. The next part of this mysterious addition, which is bigger than the logo but not as big as the last surprise, will come on Wednesday. And finally, the biggest part of this renovation will come on Sunday. Are you excited yet?
     When I post next feature, the surprise will be up. By the way, I'm doing an interview next feature. I'm not telling you who I'm interviewing, so you'll just have to wait till Sunday. My, Sunday is going to be a big day for this blog! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Weekly Review: Hindsight 6/23/12

     Before I start my review of 'Hindsight', I would just like to give a very special thank you to Wooton Basset from the Unofficial AIO Blog for giving me my new fancy logo. A couple people have commented on my lack of a logo, saying that I needed one. And so, hearing that Wooton was great at designing logos, I contacted him via the Soda Shop Message Boards, and he said he was happy to design one.
     So check the logo out! I really like it, but what do you think? Leave a comment and tell me what you like/dislike about the logo, this review, or the website in general. And now, I'll finally get to the review.

      Has anyone ever noticed how Room of Consequence adventures a lot of times begin the same way? In almost all Room of Consequence episodes, the show opens with a kid talking to Whit. They have a problem, or they need his help, or whatever. Then, he escorts them into The Room of Consequence, and they experience what would happen if they: were able to read minds, have no rules, or watch as events play out backwards, the latter one being the case in today's show. The first scene has Liz talking to Mr. Whittaker. 
     After a quick explanation of what the ROC adventure will be like, Liz climbs in and hears a strange talking clock that says: "You will now travel three years into the future." Liz finds herself in a hospital. Doctor Morton informs her that she's been unconscious for thirty minutes. She also says that the police will question her in a few minutes. That line made us realize that this was no fall down the stairs.
     After a quick chat with Doc Morton, Liz travels back in time thirty minutes. I would like to say before I go on that Marshal Younger's idea of backwards time travel was brilliant. I've never heard anything like it before. It brings an interesting angle to the Room of Consequence.
     Anyway, Liz is dropped in the middle of Pete's Gas & Chow, the beef jerky co-op that Bryan Dern advertised in 'Top This!', another Marshal Younger episode. Soon after realizing that she will hit her head and go unconscious, a teenage hoodlum comes in, openly stating that he plans to rob her. Liz makes constant remarks about how he'll hit her in the head, and then, he recognizes her.
      "It's you," he says.
     "Yes, it's me," Liz replies. "But that's no reason to hit me in the head!"
     The criminal kid replies that he was in Juvenile Detention for a while and he's on wanted posters. He starts to leave, but he shouts one last thing: "Be careful, you just mopped the floor!"
     Liz slips, and falls on her head, though she feels no pain. She then travels back three years and witnesses the criminal, who she discovers is named Norton Hollingsworth, steal Mandy Strausberg's TV.
     She keeps traveling back and finds that Norton is in The Bones of Wrath, and he stole the TV for them. I must say that although I liked this way of travel, when Liz talked to herself in between time traveling, it got to be unrealistic. She just had to say a few sentences to know one in particular, just to let the audience know what she was thinking. I know it's radio drama and it's hard to convey thoughts realistically, but I think they could have just had her say nothing.
     She travels back to the schoolyard, where Rodney approaches Norton and refers to 'what happened on the bus'.
     This is another element that the backwards time traveler can be used for. The element of suspense. We're seeing this whole story backwards, so we don't know what they're talking about a lot of the time.
     Rodney asks Norton if he wants to join the Bones of Wrath. Just as Norton might make a decision, Liz travels back again. This is the part where Max Hampton. I've always liked Max. He's mischievous, but not excessively mean. Until now.
     Really, Max? Are you that insensitive to comment on Norton's odor every two minutes? And do you really have to stupidly mock him every chance you get? Max was incredibly immature in this episode.
     Once again, I believe it was unrealistic. Middle-Schoolers may pick on each other sometimes, but if they did what Max did, they would look like idiots. Liz travels back one last time, denying Norton a seat next to her and realizing that, in the broadest possible sense, her not letting Norton sit next to her caused her to have a serious head injury! She silences Max and says she wants Norton to sit next to her.
     I actually admired Liz's integrity. If I was faced with a similar situation, I'm not positive that I would have done the same thing that Liz did. And I liked how Liz said, "Believe me, it's for the best." Finally, the talking clock brings Liz forward in time, to Whit's End.
     She sees Norton, and asks him if he's in The Bones of Wrath.
      "No way," he replies. "Why would I want to be one of them?" She finishes her conversation with Norton and comes in for a landing at Whit's End, where Whit tells her that Norton is, in fact, a real person who comes to Whit's End.
     Overall, this was a great ROC episode. It had a couple flaws, but it was a great slice-of-life show in a time of job decisions, long road trips, and almost marriages. And I would definitely rank Hindsight among the best ROC episodes. Thanks for reading!
Hindsight Rating: 7/10

Friday, June 22, 2012

AIO News 6/22/12

     After a day-long break in order to write a comprehensive article discussing the future of everyone's favorite radio drama, I will now return to boring old news. (Just kidding, sort of.) And there may be an announcement at the end...
     Hello everyone, I'm Alex Jefferson reporting to you live from Tyndale Publishers where the Kidventures series consisting of two books is said to be published in July 2013. But there's a surprise contest involved. The artwork has not yet been released.
     We all thought that someone slipped up in the art department, but really they didn't reveal the artwork on purpose. Because, viewers, the person who will design the artwork will be... Gary Locke! Oh, wait, I forgot. He's already working with AIO. Okay, you will design the artwork.
     That's right! Tyndale is presenting a contest for someone to design the artwork for these novels that could be slightly related to Adventures in Odyssey. Here's a link to find out more about the contest: http://www.tyndale.com/kidventures/ More on that as the story unfolds.
     And, in other news, The Unofficial AIO Blog, a new blog by Wooton Basset, an active member of The Soda Shop Message Boards, published a website review of Just Another AIO Blog yesterday. So check that out. We posted a link to Wooton's site on the link list. Well, that about wraps it up. I'm Alex Jefferson, and you can join me next time for... AIO News!
     And now, for that announcement I was telling you about. You're probably all wondering what I'm about to announce. There have been hints on message boards about it, but now it's official. Something big is going to happen at Just Another AIO Blog. Something really big. I'm not kidding when I say you should check up on this site. What this important thing is I don't want to tell you yet. It should get started in a couple weeks, and I'll post topics on the Town of Odyssey and Soda Shop Message Boards for speculation on what this will be. That's it for today, everybody. Check back tomorrow for my review of 'Hindsight', the episode that aired today. Thanks for reading!