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

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weekly Feature 3/24/13

     Yup, yup, the weekly feature's back.  I'm beginning to see it was a mistake to limit myself to just news and reviews, so I'm bringing both the Weekly Feature and the AIO Article back from extinction. 
     Today I will be giving you the "Top 5 Worst AIO Characters of All Time".  The only stipulation I have for the characters is that they have to have appeared in more than one episode (one-time characters don't count as "characters" in my book).  Enjoy...

     #5: Mary Hopkins -- This name might come across as a bit of a surprise, but I've always considered Miss Hopkins one of the driest AIO characters in the show's history.  She came in as the owner of "Mary's Story Shop" and preceded to become Whit's new "boss" as the one overseeing the construction of the new Whit's End Connellsville.  This lady had almost no distinct qualities or traits about her: she was an old lady, almost always whining about another problem that Whit's End Connellsville faced.  Fans had to put up with her for 6 episodes (4 of them from the Danger Signals album, which was almost completely spoiled by her presence, along with the episode "Snow Day") and, though not everyone disliked her, she has often been cited as a weak character.

     #4: Cody Carper: I don't really know what it was about this kid, but something always got on my nerves.  He just seemed so... boring.  Once again, there was nothing special that stood out to me about him.  Basically, he popped up out of nowhere (like all the other kids on AIO back then) in "The Pushover". 
That episode is often cited as a low point in Marshall Younger's usually excellent writing skills, and Cody's appearance was one of the main reasons why it is panned.  Also, no offense to Dave Arnold's son Landon, but I never thought they got a very good actor to play this already dreadful character.  In my opinion, Landon did a better job as Scrub, another relatively weak character.  Thankfully, Cody's life on AIO was a short one, but I cringe every time I hear his voice come up again.

     #3: Heather (whatever her last name is): Ugh... I don't think there's a single good thing about this character.  She's extremely inconsistent, openly obnoxious, and just bad on multiple levels.  If you're wondering what I mean by "inconsistent", I shall tell you.  I don't know if it's just her hormones, but Heather seems to have drastic personality changes.  In "Poor Loser" and "A Lesson From Mike", she comes across as a whiny, if well-meaning, pre-teen girl.  In "More Like Alicia", she acts like an unpopular yet kind, insecure person.  In "You Win Some, You Lose Some", she's simply a bully.  Finally, in "Chores No More", she's an organized, determined leader who doesn't always have the greatest ideas.  For a character who was only in 5 episodes, that's a lot of personalities.  I could go on about her voice and her shallowness as a character, but that's enough for now.

     #2: Valerie Swanson:
     Possibly the most shallow AIO character of all time, (well, maybe Rodney beats her, but at least he was funny) Valerie is almost universally disliked by AIO fans.  On message boards, people like T.S. (Myself) are vocal Valerie haters, and I agree with them.  Valerie has never shown anything special that previous bullies like Rodney didn't have, except good looks.  She has often played "the bad guy" in the story, and, generally, the listener is supposed to want the good guy to win and the bad guy to lose.  Instead, however, in Valerie episodes, I simply want the bad guy to leave Odyssey forever and I don't care if the good guy wins or not.  She also possibly has more cringe-worthy lines than any other AIO character, and her presence has poisoned many episodes, such as "You're Two Kind" and "Anger Mismanagement".

     #1: Edith Sutton: Hahaha, yes.  I know many people are going to disagree with me on this, but I do have a couple reasons for my decision.  I don't actually believe Miss Sutton would've been such a terrible character if she had had a crush on anyone else but Whit.  Because Whit is the soul of the show: the main character, the ultimate asset, the Cat in the Hat of AIO, and Connie and Eugene are Sally and Conrad.  So, having some old lady come in and try to steal this beloved character's heart (though she does fail at it) is infuriating to any AIO fan.  Many have overlooked this character because she only appeared in two episodes, but she still should always be remembered as a mistake on AIO's part.  I have never found "Edith" to be amusing, and I hope that most true fans wouldn't find her amusing either.  Almost everything about her, from her voice to her behavior, is obnoxious and flawed.  The concept of her character is too ridiculous for AIO, and all the scenes she was in were very awkward for me.  Her role in "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow" was thankfully only a small one, but it still put a damper on the episode.  And in "Broken-Armed and Dangerous", she was completely unnecessary, only there because the writers wanted her to be.  Every time she came on the scene, I just wanted her to go away.  And that's the sign of a bad character.

     Well, that's it.  I actually have no doubt you disagree with me, but... I have my reasons.  I hope you enjoyed that feature, and I look forward to writing another one!  Until next time, I'm Alex Jefferson telling you to be on the lookout for more JAAIOB posts!  (And possibly more AICs)
     Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

AIO News 3/17/13

     It feels  like it's been a while since I've done a regular news post. I guess the last 3 posts were kind of random, as I was still getting used to blogging regularly. I shall now be writing my first news post in over 2 months, using the same style I used once back in January. But before I get started, I'd just like to show you guys the cover for Album 57 (though you've probably already seen it, since it's been out for about a week) before I forget and it gets too late.


     Sorry it's just a link to another site, but I'm actually typing this on an iPad, and I can't post the actual image. Oh, well. Here's the news...

     Hello, I'm Alex Jefferson, coming at you live from... An organization.  I would tell you what this organization is called, but unfortunately... we don't know.  Not entirely, that is.  Apparently the title has two words, and we have received word that one of them (the 2nd one) is "More", but no one will tell us what the first word is.  So, as is tradition at this station, we will simply refer to the 1st word as "Something".  However, as it bothers me to refer to a distinguished organization as "Something More", I will try to discover the actual 1st word. So, I will call then and ask what the 1st word of their organization is.  I will, in a manner of speaking, make "A Call To Something More".  And it's interesting I should be doing this right now, because "A Call To Something More" is also the one thing that is in the minds of AIO fans everywhere.
     Album 57, "A Call To Something More" looks as if it might be the best AIO album since "The Best Small Town".  The title seems to suggest AIO will be taking a more serious approach to making episodes (not that they weren't serious before, but you know what I mean) as opposed to the often comedic approach of the past several albums.  The episode that's getting fans most excited is the three-parter "Life Expectancy".  It looks as if this episode could be a medical drama in the tradition of "A Touch of Healing" and "A New Era", but nothing is known for certain.  The cover art appears to be drawn from this episode, as it depicts Connie sitting amongst artifacts from her family life, referencing Bill Kendall's role in the episode.  "Life Expectancy" is also the episode Get In the Show! Winner Shona Kennedy will appear in.  The episode is written and directed by Paul McCusker, and is expected to be broadcasted this fall, with the rest of album 57.  Another episode announced for this album is "The Friend Formula".  This is a one-parter written and directed by Bob Hoose, and, as far as we can tell, it will be a slice of life show with Olivia, Barrett, and Jay.  Album 57 looks like it could be a very exciting album, and I myself can't wait for it.
     Anyway, I can't seem to get through to "Something More", so I'll try again later.  Until next time, I'm Alex Jefferson, and -- wait!  They're finally calling me back!  (Pause as I listen to the phone) Okay.  Apparently the first word of the organization is "Listen".  "Listen More" is an organization advocating for people to listen to Christian radio dramas more.  But they'll never succeed.  Everyone knows any type of radio drama is too old-fashioned for our modern world...  Television and video games are much healthier for the ears.  But anyway, I'm Alex Jefferson, and thank you for listening.  Come join us next time on... AIO News!

     Hopefully I'll have some more Album 56 reviews out soon.  For now, one of my main priorities is the 100 Greatest AIO Episodes List, which I've been working pretty hard on.  I might start AlC again if anyone still cares about it, but features like The USS Response might be pretty much over.  I hope that post was long and meaty enough for you, and I look forward to writing my next one!  Oh, and I forgot to say this earlier, so I guess I'll just say it now -- Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone!  Though the phrase "Go Green!" Is generally used for the environment, I suppose it can be said on St. Patrick's Day as well.
     Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

AIO Article: The Trash Bucket 9/25/12

     I just realized that I actually didn't have 100 posts, because one of my posts was a draft.  About 6 months ago, I started an article called "The Trash Bucket", but never finished it.  Apparently, Blogger counted this as an actual post, and so they said I had one more post than I actually did.  And so, in order to actually have 100 posts and not have to write a whole lot, I resurrected unfinished piece of writing from the JAAIOB vault, and now I shall release it to the public.  I would finish it, but, first of all: it would take a while, but also, it is, in a way, a part of my blog history, and it would seem wrong to finish it now, after 6 months of forgetting it.  So, here is the article from the "Trash Bucket" of drafts...  (You can just pretend this is the 99th post and the post entitled #100 is the 100th, by the way...)

     I felt I should really do an article today, but I wasn't sure what it should be about. So I actually looked at the Wikipedia article on Adventures in Odyssey and was shocked to find it was not very comprehensive. But that's beside the point. Anyway, I looked at the article and found no inspiration, but I saw the name Walker Edminston in the actors list and decided to click to see what his Wikipedia page contained. It wasn't too big either, but remembering how the Odyssey team dealt with Walker's death inspired me to do an article on why characters are dumped altogether.
     Also, I will be releasing on Sunday: (a) A very special Intereview, (b) A new AIC (finally), and (c) Possibly Ep. 1 of JAAIOP. So that'll be a busy day to close September off. But for now, I just have an article...

     Bernard, Tom, Bart, June, Cal, Alex, Isaac, and the entire Washington family. What do these characters have in common? All were dumped in, as I call it, 'The Trash Bucket'.
     The trash bucket is the black hole, the well, the point of no return. Many characters have gone there, both kid and adult alike. These characters just dropped off the face of the earth with no explanation whatsoever.
     I believe that, for the most part, AIO handles almost everything perfectly. But dropping characters falls into the 'not so perfect' element of AIO. Though the Barcalys goodbye was brilliant, many other characters just left, and new 'citizens' came in to take their place. In this article, I'll give you some prime exampls of this:

     Bernard: Bernard was in 87 episodes, quite a few for an AIO character. He was one of Odyssey's beloved characters, beating almost all other characters in popularity. Dave Madden did an excellent job as him, but, I'm sorry to say, he made his last appearence in The Triangeld Web, though he stuck around for a live show that I haven't even heard. What's the deal? I understand that Dave Madden is in, as Wikipedia put it, 'semi-retirement', but they could have at least said something about him, like that he went away to Florida as Dave Madden did.


     Well, here we are at the 100th post.  Exciting, isn't it?  It certainly took me a while to get here...  I suppose it wouldn't have taken so long if I had posted every day like I did in July...  But I'm rambling...

     Anyway, I hope you're at least just a tiny bit excited at this anniversary, because, when you think about it, most AIO blogs don't get to 100 posts.  And, though I am fully aware my blog hasn't reached the greatness and popularity of "The Odyssey Scoop", "The Ceiling Fan", and "The AIO Blog/Blogcast", I still consider it to be a relatively successful achievement of mine, and I'm happy I started it.  However, I also believe that "The Golden Age of JAAIOB" (meaning in June, July, and August, in my peak of creativity and posting) is all but over, and it is conceivable that I will end this thing this summer.  Just keep reading.  Anyway, that's about all I'm going to say.  I did appreciate the comments on last post, by the way.  I really wasn't expecting comments, considering I had been on a two-month hiatus.  Thank you.
     And thanks for reading!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Um... Hello Again!

     I hesitated to make a new post because I didn't believe anyone would read it, since I've been gone so long. But, if there's any incredibly loyal follower of JAAIOB (though I frankly don't think there is) who's been checking every week, searching in vain for a post that just won't arrive, your efforts have paid off: I have returned, though I'm not making any promises to post every day, every other day, or even every week.  But, I believe that the two-month hiatus JAAIOB just experienced will be the longest break it will have in a very long time.  I have toyed around the idea of ending this blog, but have decided not to, at least not until its 1st Anniversary in May.  So, for now, it's business as usual.
     I am pleased to say this is my 99th post, and I will be having a bit of a commemoration of this blog and AIO in general on my 100th post. (Nothing big of course, just a little mini-ceremony).  For now, all future ideas for this blog are being put on hold, except one that I've had in my head for a while and have decided to bring to life: a list of the best AIO episodes. Now, before you jump to conclusions, I will tell you right now this isn't some "Top 10 AIO Episodes" list.  If it works out the way I hope it will, this will be a "Top 100 AIO Episodes of All Time" list.  I think I will choose the episodes for this list myself, and present it to some trustworthy, dedicated AIO fans in our online community.  This list will take a very long time to compile, so expect it to come, at the absolute least amount of time, within the next month.  I am also temporarily putting a stop to the AIO Articles I normally have 2 days a week, as well as the Weekly Feature.  For now, I shall only have news and reviews.  I realize this is a disappointment to many of you, but I simply don't have a whole lot of time to keep this blog up.  Perhaps in the summer...
     I have nothing left to say.
     Thanks for reading!