Thursday, September 19, 2013

731: More Than a Feeling

Hey y'all. Hope you're enjoying the last days of the actual summer. Be sure to let me know what you thought about the episode!

If you haven't already, listen along with me and read The Odyssey Times below as you listen to More Than a Feeling for my quick takes and thoughts (aired originally September 7).


THE ODYSSEY TIMES (Facts, notes, and quotes about Odyssey from this ep):
- Four days of rain.
- I don't know why, but the way Katrina says "I need a jolt" is hilarious.
- If Camilla decides to start a new ministry, she can call it Crochet by Camilla.
- "That's how you're going to commemorate the beginning of your love - with chicken?" - Connie
- The Smell of Love seems like a particularly atrocious rom-com by the title. Their marketing team needs some work.
- Eugene and Katrina are adorable together. 
- I love Eugene and Katrina's definition of unhealthy food.
- Connie at work once again!
- Panzini's went from upscale Italian fare to the world-famous 23 different varieties of nachos. Quite the downgrade. Perhaps an abrupt change of management?
- "The everyday stuff may not be romantic, but there's a lot more to marriage than romance." - Katrina
- "My love for you is much more faithful than any feeling. My love for you is constant, and always will be." - Eugene

The premise of More Than a Feeling feels so basic. Camilla stumbles with her faith; Eugene and Katrina stumble with romance. But as we learned, feelings are fleeting, and this episode definitely hit that lesson out of the park.

One word that describes this episode to me is charming. Marshal Younger's script feels very light while getting across some very heavy themes. In fact, I would argue that this exploration of the true definitions of love, marriage, emotion, and being a Christian is the closest that Odyssey will get to tackling, ahem, more controversial topics. But his deft balance of large topics, new Christian hijinks, and romantic comedy is an utter treat to listen to. 

One thing that really supports Marshal's script is the chemistry that has really began to blossom in the Odyssey cast once again. My previous impression of Whit and Camilla's relationship was in Forgiving...More or Less ("Big scoop! I've got one for the ice cream...har har."). Mr. Whittaker was definitely more warm and human here, and that's due to Andre Stojka's increasingly wise portrayal. There's still a lot of Owl that I hear and vocal inflections that I loved from Paul Herlinger, but I feel like the spirit of Whit, if that makes any sense (and not to break any theological bubbles, just for metaphorical purposes, por favor), is definitely something that's starting to come back. It was great to see Connie getting back into meddling and continuing the great Eugene/Connie scenes as of late. I also enjoyed seeing Connie and Katrina at it again, and the Parker family's chemistry continues to impress (understanding that Michaela Dean is only on her second episode as Camilla). 

In previous David-watching football episodes, Mark Evan Jackson has to record his shouts before the sound goes on. This issue was also apparent in Happy Hunting with Connie, Penny, and the bird noises. Something must have happened, because the sound was a lot smoother this time around, and that's thanks to great work by Christopher Diehl. The music was once again fabulous by John Campbell, after last week's not-up-to-Odyssey standard work by a guest composer.

However, it's the Eugene/Katrina storyline that really stands out. Marshal turns the conventional idea of a happy, successful marriage often exemplified in the media and our imaginations (illustrated through Connie) and turns it on its head, dissecting the issue with that assessment in a very real, raw, hilarious way. I've often complained recently as how Odyssey seemed to downgrade itself to a lower brand of humor, seemingly to appeal to the age group after the relaunch. However, the writing has vastly improved since then and the humor is back to being funny for me, and hopefully for more people than the candy-coated days of Game for a Mystery. But the bits, from the late night conversation to the nacho dinners, were spot on. The characters felt completely in character and everything just felt incredibly natural. 

Camilla's enthusiasm for her faith was another element of this very charming episode. Her scene with David celebrating Jesus while watching the televangelist is simply adorable. Michaela Dean (voice of Camilla as of Album 57) is definitely growing on me. Her struggles with her faith is something very real that all Christians face. It's often a reason why many people turn from the faith, and something that Odyssey addresses spectacularly.

More Than a Feeling goes above and beyond in more than one way. The script is fantastic, but the episode really works thanks to incredible chemistry throughout the entire cast. So much happens in the twenty three minutes or so that the listener is left breathless by the end. The mix of heavy themes, light comedy, and Odyssey staples is a fantastic blend. Look for this episode at the Averys. I give this episode a 95/100, or an


Catch up on Josh's summer by reading his blog from the past several months here
Read a really good article about love, emotions, and marriage here:
Buy this episode and 11 others on Album 57: A Call to Something More via CBD
Talk about this episode and a bunch of other Odyssey stuff over at Campbell County

Best Episode
Best Script - Marshal Younger
Best Sound Design - Chris Diehl
Best Actor - Will Ryan (Eugene)
Best Actress - Audrey Wasilewski (Katrina)
Best Scene - Eugene and Katrina attempting to rekindle late-night conversation

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