I love Odyssey because of the seemingly never-ending adaptability that the show can provide. The show can take chances and different formats and still be the same show with the same characters that we love.
So now, every Parker child has been replaced by their original voice. Jury's still out on this new Matthew, and of course I am strongly biased toward Zach because he did such a great job with a character that originally seemed like another bland Sam Johnson, but the new actor did well. Time will tell, although at the moment, my ideal Parker family includes Marc Evan Jackson (who I've seen all over TV this past year), Amanda Troop, Kelly Stables, Zach Callison, and Sydney Shiotani.
- Eugene and Katrina likely hosting Buck at their house
Loved Connie's little meta commentary on our fan discussions regarding Buck. I don't know how I feel yet about a full-on adoption, but this trial run opens up a lot of possible plot and conflict possibilities.
Nice to see continuity from Album 57 and Connie still realistically grieving over June's death. A welcome addition to the overall discussion and conversation about family.
Loved the clever references to fan culture and Pin Tweaks, referencing Kimmy Robertson's most famous role in Twin Peaks, an anthology mystery series in the early '90s. I enjoyed seeing Wooton back in the comic world - it was disappointing when Powerboy could no longer be used (some copyright thing). I've since felt that Captain Absolutely, although an equally great character and symbol to discuss truth, wasn't able to define Wooton as that comic genius as Powerboy did, showing his money and fame and his struggles with that part of his life, which could partly explain the lapse of character for him since the new era began. His new secret comic idea could bring that back. Penny's line, "I'm here because Wooton's interested in comic books and I'm interested in whatever he's interested in," might've been sweet, but to me, it only reinforced the lack of direction and character for her character, which is a shame, because Kimmy's a real talent. She has been defined by her interactions with Connie and Wooton, and when she's given a chance to shine, it's an episode where she tries some *wacky* new idea, fails, and gets a gentle sermon from Whit. SHE'S NOT A CHILD! What I just described is what used to happen to the first generation of Odyssey kids! Give her something to grow from! Bring her mother into town (the ties that find, amirite?)...
Yay for continuity! Good thing Shona lives closeby to Burbank, where they record. I pray Jules is not the Perilous Pen and that it's Penny (which could give her character an intriguing new dimension), but I could be wrong.
Oh my. They're tackling it. Very very excited to see Odyssey take on another controversial topic, and I'm glad Andre Stojka finally gets something dramatic to sink his wonderful owl-y chops into. Paul Herlinger stepped in and immediately got Clara (Album 28: Welcome Home). Andre Stojka got Finish What You... (Album 51: Take It From the Top) and Forgiving, More or Less (Album 54: Clanging Cymbals) ("Big scoop, I've got one for the ice cream, har, har" will live on in infamy).
Paul Herlinger said in the interview following the episode release that the team intends to
"raise the awareness of God's design for marriage and family and then explore it, rather than constantly teach it, but at least explore it in a variety of ways through the different storylines we've created and hopefully give parents and kids a lot to talk about, because in the fourteen episodes, there's a lot there, and it's not all heavy-handed teaching, in fact, I'd say the vast majority of what you've hearing will be subtle lines and references and assumptions on the characters that teach as much as the moments when we're overtly teaching something."That's really heartening news to hear. In a world where the image of those against "tolerance" and "inclusitivity" includes the Westboro Baptist Church, LGBTQ bullying, and hate crimes against the gay community, it's great to hear that Odyssey intends on exploring these issues with love, not hate, not explicitly, blatantly preaching, but still trying to get across important truths.
Odyssey was always at its strongest when it opted for subtlety and ambiguity as opposed to preaching. That's how good storytelling works. It whispers truths. It connects with you on a deeper, more meaningful level. I'm dismayed by the fact that you admit to "whining and complaining" when those storytellers weren't always choosing to make it easy for you.
Is this where Evangelical "artistry" (dare I call it that?) has ended up? Do we demand that the things we already believe be spelled out for as in explicit detail, rather than let ourselves be surprised or convicted by the subtlety and nuance of a good story?
- Jelly, The ToO
Sometimes the little things, like looking at the nuances, beliefs, experiences, facts, and feelings in these difficult issues and the people that define these discussions, allow us to place a human face on the debates that are currently playing out all around the U.S. In addition, exploring the family doesn't only necessarily mean those members of our communities - it's the nuclear families, dynamics between friends and mentors and teachers, and societal problems resulting from broken families that also need to be addressed.
And that exploration? Looking at it through a lens of love is great, but if you want to really make an impact - well, you need God's love for that. And his ties always bind.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Listen to Part 1 here!
Sign up for the Odyssey Adventure Club here
Preorder Album 58: The Ties That Bind here