Monday, August 20, 2012

FP#8: The Letter

Quick announcement before getting to today's review. Alex Jefferson is hosting the first AIO Webster Awards for achievements in Odyssey fan sites! If you've been liking what you see, we'd really appreciate it if you voted us for Best Blog and Best New Site/Blog/Podcast by emailing Voting runs until Friday, August 24, so vote soon! Visit his blog at to view all the nominees! And now, on to the review!

Just kidding! Quick update first. We started school today (Ally's first day of high school) and it looks like it'll be a busy year. Hopefully we'll be able to keep this blog up! I'm taking Radio Broadcasting this year, so I'm looking forward to DJing and talking! Maybe I'll ask if we could do a radio drama...and now, seriously, here's the review.

 THE ODYSSEY TIMES (Facts, notes, and quotes about Odyssey from this ep):
-I really really want to learn how to play this Family Portrait theme on the piano.
-Dr. Dobson mentions that this drama is aimed at the all we need is an audio drama series (cough cough spinoff of Odyssey cough) for teens in today's day and age!
-So teenagers were allowed to drive other teenagers within a few weeks of getting their license? Ah, the 80s.
-A teenager being embarrassed by their parents driving them to their places. Very relatable to most teens, although at my school, parents are still a normal chauffeur and it's not embarrassing or anything. What's your school like?
-Yay! Katie Leigh and Alan Bergman, the future Connie and Bill Kendall! And this father character named Stan is very similar to Bill.
-I like this mother's voice - I wonder who the actress is?
-"Every time you make a new discovery or make a new skill, my pride dims when I realize that you need me a little bit less. Will I be outgrown someday like pajamas with footies and squeaky teddy bears? ...I pray that as that time draws near, our relationship gains depth, not distance. That when you're grownup enough to stand apart from me, you'll choose - even so - to keep your heart close by. Your daddy's love is as strong and real today as when you first saw the light of day...whatever struggles we face, whatever thoughtless or hurtful deeds we as fallible humans may do to one another, that love will grow with you for as long as I live." -Stan to his daughter Stacey
-Pretty sure the music from today's episode will be recycled into later Odyssey episodes.
-This is the shortest Family Portraits, clocking in at only fifteen minutes.


While we've skipped five Family Portraits, I can tell you that this is the first one without Whit. It's also the first one aimed at teens. It's also the first one with the fabulous Katie Leigh and Alan Bergman, future Connie and Bill Kendall.

This portrait of a daughter embarrassed by her father and her mother trying to show her how much her father loves her is very touching. The mother gives the best performance as she tries to navigate both sides of the argument. 

Once again, this episode uses the Kishōtenketsu structure. Similarly to the last portrait we heard, the introduction and development are interesting, but the twist slows the momentum down as the same plot device is used. 

I thought it was fascinating when Dr. Dobson mentioned that the father was wrong. Parents are not perfect. They are vulnerable, they have feelings, needs, hurts, and problems they don't tell you about. They are people too, and that's something difficult for a lot of teens (including me occasionally) to understand. I could relate to both Stacey (the teenager) and Stan (the father) not being as open because of rejection and insecurity; it's a very real issue today as competition intensifies. There were a lot of great take-aways from this episode, including a verse from Ephesians 4:26; something about not letting the sun go down on your anger. Oftentimes, anger is stagnant, and it shouldn't be that way; if it's righteous anger, we should do something about it, and if it's not righteous, we should ask God to help us stop and find His love and peace and grace.

Overall, this episode was better than the last one; the reconciliation (last part) was great as well. We'll see if in future episodes with this format, the team can work on making that twist interesting! I give this episode a 88/100, or a 


Listen to The Letter by purchasing Album 14: Meanwhile, In Another Part of Town on CBD

NOTE: Today I can officially announce that a new site feature and two new videos will be coming your way later this month! However, this is only one of the two new features we plan to bring you by the end of the year. As Sarah from the Unofficial AIO Podcast would say, "Yayyyy!"


  1. Hey, guys, that was awesome! I really wasn't expecting a post for about another week. Keep up the good work!

    P.S. (What are your ideas for your next couple of posts?)

    P.S.S. (I updated my links page with your site logo and TWO NEW FAN SITES that you might want to see.)

    1. Thanks! We try to keep you on your a post, there a post, everywhere a post post. We're working on two videos - one parodying the Get in the Show competition and another to start some sort of campaign...I'm working on another FP review and a review of Taken by Brock, and Ally's working on her first solo post. Unfortunately, I can't view the new sites yet because I can't be spoiled - after finding out about Mitch on AIO Wiki - so I'm taking extra precautions. Thanks for the update though!

      Oh, and the picture of me and Ally is on the T&T thread in the Soda Shop.

  2. Great review! I've never heard that episode, but your review makes me want to! All those new posts sound fascinating. I can't wait to hear more from you guys!

    1. If you're interested in listening to it, it's a bonus feature on Album 14!