|Marvin and Trent scan their homework assignments into the Imagination Station and discover new and exciting ways to solve mathematical word problems!
"Thy Boredom Come"
Written By: Shadowpaw
Adventures in Odyssey usually serves as a means to escape from reality... a nice diversion from the facets of life. With that said, it's incredibly difficult to find enjoyment in an episode that deals with math problems.
I don't mean to imply math isn't a fun subject. Afterall, it's a completely subjective experience. There are those who get it, and those who don't. People who love it for its challenges, and people who hate it for those same challenges. It took until the very last month of high school for me to finally come around and realize that I not only understood it, but was actually good at math! Unfortunately, this realization came so late in my schooling that all the years I had spent fearing a math problem were a simple waste of time. Similar to how I feel about listening to this episode.
Ouch. Ok, I'm being a tad harsh here. In the process of writing this review I went back and consulted "The Treasure Room" for some background information and realized something... despite my disappointment in "Think on These Things", the quality of shows today are so much better than they were four or five years ago. I'm happy to say this show could have been a lot worse than it actually is. (I mean, 15 minute shows? Who thought up that winning concept? :o) ) But compared with the thought provoking and entertaining shows we've been treated to in the recent past, this episode doesn't stand out as anything special... and suffers from not being an enjoyable diversion from everyday life.
Though, I don't want to dwell on the negatives. I first want to mention that I did enjoy the nod to "Whit's Flop", the return of Dr. Hawthorne from "Faster than a Speeding Ticket", and reference to the rarely used treasure room. It's no secret Nathan Hoobler likes to remind us of Odyssey's history and it gives the show a lot of depth. I'm also glad the scanning capabilities are finally being employed in the new Imagination Station, which I still feel has a lot of potential to be an exciting story telling device if used properly. And considering the outcry from many people, Whit's Biblical reference is something that a lot of fans will appreciate hearing... these days it seems to be Chris' job to outline the lesson, though most people stop listening before she even opens her mouth. Finally, the acting for both Marvin and Trent wasn't bad and Dr. Hawthorne's performance was wonderful (I'm hoping we hear more from him soon... it's rare we have a teacher stick around for more than a couple of shows).
But what I didn't like goes back to my ramblings about mathematics. The idea of doing math problems in the Imagination Station is a really cool and practicle use for the machine, but I don't think it makes for a very exciting show. Homework is not something people enjoy doing, and the last thing they want is to tune into AIO and listen to twenty-five minutes of characters doing their homework. Sure things got spiced up a bit, but at times it felt like I was listening to an educational tape rather than an adventure in odyssey.
And did anyone else find it weird that Whit spent the night watching Trent and Marvin's recorded Imagination Station adventures? This day and age it wouldn't be surprising if the parents of one of the boys sued Whit for infringing on their son's privacy. While he did ask them if they wanted their lessons recorded to review later on, he neglected to mention he would also be watching them. I think it would have made for a less... uncomfortable thought process (for I have no better way to put it)... if Trent's yelling at his teacher becomes so disruptive that a boy (perhaps waiting in line for the Imagination Station), overhears him and runs to get Whit. This successfully alerts Whit to what's going on in the Imagination Station, without the vision of Whit holed up in a dark room reviewing tapes of children frolicking around in his invention. You already know my thoughts on Marvin and Whit's underwear (see "Nothing But the Half Truth" review), so there's no need to delve further into this topic.
This episode, unfortunately, is a hiccup in a string of several strong AIO episodes that have aired recently. However, I take comfort in hoping that much better episodes will air in the weeks ahead.
Whit says the pizza oven used to be a copy machine when in fact it never worked as a copy machine.