Josh and Ally are not two of the most popular kids in the world today (sadly, that would be Justin Bieber and some member of One Direction), with a couple listeners who talk to them in the U.S. They have been alive for 16 and 14 years, respectively, premiering in 1996 and 1998, and have sold over 0 products worldwide.
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The first episode I ever heard was The Imagination Station, when I was four years old. I had just recently become a Christian, so God placed the right episode for me to hear at the right time. I was enthralled as Digger Digwillow went into this mysterious invention and was seemingly catapulted back in time, and was devastated when Jesus died and Digger cried. The ending was so wonderful as Jesus came back and Digger accepted Christ, and even though I was only four, I remember being touched.
That was my introduction to Odyssey.
Eventually, a couple months later, I received Album 26: Back on the Air and Album 30: Through Thick and Thin. For some strange reason, I believed Album 30 went first, so when I heard Album 26, I was shocked. Whit had left Odyssey? He had his son and some other old man take his place who didn't sound like Whit? I had known my numbers, yet I didn't figure out that 26 came before 30; in fact, Paul Herlinger sounded so much like Hal Smith that I didn't realize that they were two different actors. I stopped listening, believing that Mr. Whittaker was gone. Forever. To a place which I would later learn was called "the Middle East."
Six years later, I was at my friends' house for a sleepover eating dinner when my friends' mom turned on the CD player. I still remember the first thing that happened. "Ms. Shanks, you said that you had to tell someone the truth. What did you mean by that?" Oh my. Was that, hmm, what was his name, Jack Allen? "What show is this?" I asked them. And those three words came out: Adventures in Odyssey. The next morning, I woke up extremely early, around 7 AM, and turned on the CD player. I listened to all four parts of Plan B and my excitement for Odyssey returned.
After borrowing Album 37: Countermoves, I decided to try listening to the radio show for the first time, back when our radio station still aired Odyssey Saturday mornings at 9:30. A boy named Grady was helping Eugene and Whit find something...and then the episode ended with a cliffhanger. "I'm...Leonard Meltsner. I...am...your...father..." GASP. For days, we would mention "I am your father..." Odyssey had returned to the house (one video, Flight to the Finish, and one book, Start of Something Big, doesn't exactly count as a return prior to this official return).
Today, I am probably one of the biggest Odyssey nerds on the planet. I use Odyssey references in my daily speech, much like a Trekkie might use Star Trek references in their daily lives (here's looking at you, Marshal Younger). In fact, me and my sister created a music video called Odyssey Nerd for the 2011 Ceiling Fan Hijack contest. I frequent Odyssey sites such as the Odyssey Scoop, AIO Wiki, the Ceiling Fan, the ToO, The Voice of Odyssey, The Changing Times, and At Whit's End (please come back). And now, Ally and I have decided to join the ranks of Odyssey bloggers.
Two of my favorite Odyssey reviewers, Ben Warren and Matthew Miller, use the elements of a good story to judge whether an Odyssey episode is or isn't a good episode. This blog was partially inspired by them, and many other reviewers, to continue to inspire an environment to discuss and critique Adventures in Odyssey to make it the best show it can possibly be. Who knows, maybe one day there'll be a Rotten Tomatoes-like site for Odyssey with a benchmark rating system that everyone can follow (for more info on this topic, you might want to search the ToO).
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So what IS this blog? This is a question I'm sure many of you have wondered throughout this long, long post which I thank you for reading in its entirety...right? This blog hopes to take a humorous, modern look at the town of Odyssey, reviewing new episodes, revisiting old ones, and discovering little known facts about the town and ourselves as we go. Of course, this blog will also look at the biggest question of all: what's the most logical way to explain the ages of all the characters without using the words "time paradox?" There are logical reasons for why Connie seems to be a teen forever; we just have to find them.
You'll also find a hodgepodge of other things on here, ranging from Ally's Odyssey artwork to podcasts to Josh's spinoff idea to articles (such as "Why I Didn't Vote The Labyrinth for Best Episode Even Though We Love Paul McCusker"). We'll talk about how God uses this program to change lives, including ours.
We hope you can take some time and join us on our journey through Odyssey.
"Would you like to join us? Then get ready. 'Cause you never know what will happen next when you have an Adventure in Odyssey!"
Totally stole that from Nathan Hoobler's Official Guide, pg. 3.
What a (Odyssey) nerd.