|Liz tries to bring Solly and Irving out of retirement while Mandy tries to figure out what her career strengths are.
"Now What Are You Gonna Do With Your Life?"
Written By: Shadowpaw
There's few episodes that I'm willing (or perhaps even capable of) laughing out loud to. So when one comes around, I treasure those moments because of their unique ability to put more than just a smile on my face. This episode was fully successful on that front and I found myself, for the second time, very much enjoying the antics of Mendelson and Greenfarb... the greatest comic duo since... come to think of it, Odyssey's never had a comic duo.
Yes, the voice of Solly is different than the one we got in "The Case of the Disappearing Hortons", but I appreciate the change. Though it didn't bother me all that much, the original voices of Irving and Solly were so similar that it was quite confusing for casual listeners to differentiate between the two. Now it's far easier to tell them apart and the new Solly's voice has a more pleasant quality, as opposed to the guttural mumbling's in the past. As a result, the duo not only retains the magic they originally had, but builds on it for some very funny scenes. Their failed attempt at an escape to Mexico was certainly a highlight of the show, considering they didn't even leave the property of the retirement home! I also noticed that John Campbell has composed a distinctive tune for the duo, which was also used in "The Cast of the Disappearing Hortons", so I can only hope they make many more future appearances. However, while I can't imagine how often two retired magicians can be utilized on the program, they're still a welcome addition to AIO's wide cast of characters!
On that note, I also want to discuss Liz and Mandy's guidance counselor: Mr. Douglas. In the past, listeners have come to expect flat, undeveloped characters in the 'extra' category. Teachers in particular are rarely given much of a personality, which is why it's such a joy to hear Mr. Douglas being so colorful! An awful guidance counselor perhaps, but a wonderfully quirky character. It's little details like this that can separate a mundane show from the rich and exciting!
Of course the show was rounded out with your typical Odyssey characters. Whit really does seem to be heading down the right path, as his advice in the past year brings me back to the days of classic AIO where you respected the man and didn't feel like his advice was too judgmental or intimidating. Liz was still annoying, but that's just built into the foundation of her character. Unfortunately, I still (after all these years) have a hard time forgiving her for the way she treated Connie in "You Win Some, You Lose Some" and I don't know if I'll ever get over it! And as a surprise to no one, Mandy was terrific as usual and I can't say enough goods things about her. On a bit of a trivia related note, I believe this is the first time we learn how old she is... fourteen. Six years ago she was the doll loving baby in "Tornado!" and now she's nearly the same age as Rodney Rathbone! The Odyssey timeline just boggles my mind.
Overall the episode had strong characters, a great message, and some very funny scenes which added up equal a very strong slice-of-life show!