Friday, July 13, 2012

How Episode Reviews Work

Well, guys, tomorrow is a big day. Tomorrow begins the journey through Odyssey time to discover how many kids there were in each generation, how old Connie really is, and why Mr. Whittaker's voice seems to have changed. And here's how it'll work!

Whenever I review an episode, first and foremost, I'm looking for clues about Odyssey that help us shape the town in our minds (i.e. From The Amazing Loser, we learn about the existence of several shops in Odyssey). Second, I'll review the episode based on its quality.

Things I'm looking for when reviewing:

  • Characters - Are they consistent with what's already been established? Are they interesting?
  • Theme - central topic, subject, or concept the author is trying to point out
  • Acting 
  • Plot
  • Moral/lesson - Is the story organically told so that the moral naturally grows out of the episode?
  • Acts: a beginning, middle, and end
  • Conflict/Kishōtenketsu - See this page for more.
  • Resolution - Is the story ended well?
  • Action - Is it exciting enough?
  • Momentum - Does the story stall in the middle, or does it stay interesting throughout?
  • Climaxes - At the most pivotal part of the story, am I listening intently (i.e. The Novacom Saga does this well.)?
  • Change - How do characters grow throughout the series (i.e. Connie's growth)?
  • Pacing/Tempo - Is the story moving too fast or not well paced?
  • Rhythm - Does the story flow?
  • Color - What is the writer trying to paint? Do I feel it?
  • Mood - Is the mood conveyed well?
  • Dialogue - Is the dialogue smart, written for its character, witty, and/or moving?
  • Feel - Does this episode feel like Odyssey?
  • Music - Does the music help the story along or distract from it?
  • Sound Design - Does the sound immerse the listener, or distract him/her?
Tomorrow, we'll kick things off with a bang. We're starting with Whit's Visitor, the first episode of Family Portraits, precursor and pilot series to Adventures in Odyssey.

If anyone knows where I can listen to While Dad's Away and In Memory of Herman, please let me know ASAP so we can do the eps in order. Thanks so much!


  1. Well, I think Free Adventures in Odyssey could help. I haven't been there much myself. Your guidelines for reviewing make it sound like you will have some of the most detailed reviews out there.

    P.S. (Whenever you have something new on your blog, I'll write about it on Twists and Turns. Also, thanks for putting my site on your links page.)

    1. Very welcome! And thanks for the advice and the promotion!

  2. Ok, wow. How are you going to fit all that stuff into one review? Not that I'm not confident that you can do it, it just sounds amazing! How long will the reviews be?

    1. A compressor. Actually, those are the things I look forward in a well-crafted Odyssey episode, but I'm not gonna mention them in the review; they're just part of the process. WE'll see how long the reviews get...I'll try to post Whit's Visitor tonight!