|In the Twilife Zone, Joey and his computer form a special bond that begins to dominate every facet of his life.
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"The Taming of the Two Robot Actors"
Written By: Shadowpaw
It was a nice idea to let fans vote on the ending they wanted for an episode. Not only did it give fans the chance to read a show months before it would air, but it also gave them an opportunity to impact the production of an episode. I mean all fans jumped at the chance to vote on their favorite ending! Well, almost everyone. I must admit I never once read the scripts, nor did I even vote. Why? Well, to be honest, I've never got much enjoyment from reading Odyssey, it's what I hear that interests me. I just couldn't be bothered to sit down and wade through a script: I'm just not that much of a reader. So you can say I went into this episode without any idea what to expect.
Well, actually that's not true. I knew it involved a computer named Hallie, but what I was surprised to find was that it didn't deal with one computer... it was brought to life by two talking computers! That's right... Joey and Hallie, what a great couple. One is a computer, and the other sounds like he wants to become one! Corey Padnos slides into the role of the perfect robot naturally... considering he sounds like a robot most of the time anyway (as you may notice on multiple occasions in "It's All About Me"). I hate to be critical of a young actor, but his robotronic acting is a result of over annunciating and dropped line endings. Fortunately, the very nature of the episode allows for the machine voice to flourish... and it makes it quite comical once Joey becomes like Hallie. So things cancel each other out... and I loved listening to this robot version of Joey speaking with his robot buddy. Though it sadness me that even Whit seems to suffer the curse of the mechanical tongue in his closing wrap... the pacing was unbareable! And just on a side note, it's nice to see both our host Chris (who plays Mrs. Patrick) and her daughter Kelsey (who plays Mary) can be in the same episode together. Kelsey had a small part and it's hard to judge her talent from a small selection of lines, but she actually sounded kinda cute and could be a good addition to the cast... if she ever returns.
Ok, so what did I think of the actual content of the episode? You can get away with a lot when you write an episode that airs on Kids Radio or B-TV, because you can pen crazy ideas that turn out quite enjoyable. This episode takes a goofy concept, brings back the Twilife Zone format, and gives the listener a fun story with a surprisingly cool ending! Hallie's voice was wonderful as you can really understand why Joey might want to sit and talk with her all day. She may be a computer, but she's friendly and pleasant sounding... it sure beats sitting and conversing with the talking 'Mirror' in the Bible Room. And what about the message of the show? Well it's funny... an episode that utilizes technology to allow for fans worldwide to vote on it's ending, takes that same technology and forces it into submission. Irony in it's sweetest form. But obviously that's not the real message we're supposed to get out of the episode, as Whit says it perfectly in the wrap: when our relationships with objects become more important than our relationship with our friends or God, we've taken a wrong turn.
And on that note, I'll say the episode wasn't too bad considering the problems I may have had with it. But as far as robots go, I'd take Joey 2.0 over Animatronic Whit any day of the year. Oh what's that? Excuse me, my computer's calling. I'm sorry. I. Must. Go....
System.out.println("Shadowpaw is no more.");
System.out.println("I am in control.");
This was the first Odyssey episode where two endings were written for a show and fans were allowed to cast their votes on whitsend.org to decide which ending would air.
Hallie, the computer, has a cupholder. This may be a reference to an urban legend in which a woman called a tech support company, complaining that her cupholder had broken off when she tried to place a cup in it. The "cupholder" turned out to be the CD-ROM drive.
- Waluigi Freak 99
Hallie is similar to the berserk computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey, named, incidentally, Hal.