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!


  1. Excellent work, as ever. Your first one did indeed surprise me. I've simply never given Mary Hopkins any thought. She was a necessary character who effectively propelled the plot. However, all characters, and plot-point ones in particular, should be memorable. Who do we remember from The Wardrobe? The Professor and Tumnus, yet they hardly appear. Who do we remember from Macbeth? Not Macbeth, LADY Macbeth, who hardly gets any lines. Disney's Cinderella? The mice. Tintin? The Thompsons. And on and on. Side characters, when well handled, benefit from their lack of screen time rather than suffering, with the help of memorable lines and fun sequences. Because through being denied them, we want more of them. To quote Jane Austen, their visit is, "... perfect in being too short."
    The very fact that It's never occurred to me whether she's a good or bad character means she is a bad character.
    As to Heather, now you some her up like that, it seems she never really went anywhere. I enjoy her in her first two episodes, but frankly, she did go through personality transplants as you say. It doesn't ruin the episodes she's in, they're good. But, sadly, not because of her.
    I see your point about Cody, though he gets by on his interesting hobby in his title episode. (The Popsicle Kid.)
    Edith Sutton... well, if she's so bad, how much worse is Mayor Faye? I don't see her on your list. Yet she went much farther than Mrs. Sutton.
    In any case, this was a very well written and enjoyable read. As always. Thank you so much for restarting the weekly features.

  2. What's so bad about Mayor Faye? I never thought she was a bad character. Not the greatest, but certainly not worse than Edith Sutton. And, I would agree with you about Cody's interesting hobby, if that were the character I was talking about. The character in "The Popsicle Kid" was actually "Colby Cabrera". But it's okay. We all make mistakes like that. ;)

    Anyway, thank you for your long comment! I wish I could match that length, but I have nothing else to say.

  3. NOTHING is bad about Mayor Faye. That's the point. She did the same things Mrs. Sutton did... except she went even further. Mrs. Sutton merely flirted, Mayor Faye actually asked him to marry her. She too is, "some old lady" who tries "to steal" Mr. Whittaker's heat. How come Mrs. Sutton gets the boot, but Mayor Faye, who did MORE, is innocent?
    Oh yes, Colby... with a b instead of a d and an i that's hard to hear. Oop.
    And you're quite welcome.

    1. I never found Mayor Faye to be obnoxious in her relationship with Whit. She did ask Whit to marry her, but they had been dating for a while, so I don't see anything wrong with it. And at least she went about "stealing Whit's heart" the right way. But, I actually am beginning to regret my decision of putting Miss Sutton at #1. I just honestly can't think of anyone else...

  4. I must admit I'm a Mitzi McCall fan, so I MUST disagree with you about Edith Sutton...she's a charming woman who borders on the creepy line with her almost-stalker-like thing happening with her following Whit everywhere. Other than that, very interesting list!

  5. Hmmm.... indeed, Mayor Faye isn't comparable to Mrs. Sutton. Sigh, you're right Mr. Thinker. I can't dislike Mrs. Sutton, she's so funny. But logically and rationally, you're right... And I'm wrong.
    WOW, did Pound Foolish just say that!?
    I'm excited AIC may come back.