Written By: Broadcast
Adventures in Odyssey is a show that's been on for over 17 years. Whether or not that means ideas for shows are getting harder—it sure seemed like it today.
Confused? Did I not enjoy this episode? Is he crazy, you ask? Today's episode features a cast of Odyssey's most enjoyed characters: Whit, Eugene, Bart, Tom, Rodney, and, of course, Cryin' Bryan Dern. They each played their parts perfectly to how they've always been. Now, why did the whole show feel so wrong?
I'll get straight to the point. After approximately 64 episodes, Bart Rathbone has played the same type of part over and over again. Today, I remarked how tiresome it's become. They can't keep re-using him the same way repeatedly and expect people to retain the same interest in him as when he first appeared on the show. We already know Bart Rathbone is a crook, and the writer's spent 25 minutes of today's show telling us how low he can get.
I mean, I'm glad that they're trying to keep him the same consistent character. After all, many characters have changed to the worst without them even wanting them to, and Bart, for the most part, has remained the same person as when he first appeared in "An Act of Mercy". Perhaps we'll miss the "Old" Bart if he ever were to change. But, every single episode we've heard Bart has always been the manager who always deceived people, and time and time again, he's NEVER learned his lesson. I can't begin to explain how unsatisfying this has become—and today was no exception. A show or a storyline never having some sort of resolution is very tiresome. I'm not saying that he should change and suddenly become Evangelical-Christian-Bart, but, to borrow the AIO title; "Something's Gotta Change".
Or, perhaps Nathan Hoobler can look over his cubicle and ask Kathy Wierenga for a hand. Though I never thought I'd ever have to type that sentence, Kathy Wierenga brought originality to Bart Rathbone in "Sunday Morning Scramble" that I'd never forget. In this episode, after remarking after the first few seconds, I found that Bart really wasn't all that funny today. In fact, there were many ongoing jokes that weren't comical at all, and simply dragged on endlessly. The ongoing dialogue between Bart and Rodney about losing the remote didn't really thrill me all too much. I simply found the whole situation awkward. And then we come to Rodney; why is he still being grounded with his father? I'm not usually one to quibble over age-technicalities, but he really needs to progress through either out of high school, or leaving home.
Now, I'm not insinuating that we should get rid of these characters. The point I'm trying to make is that Odyssey has done a spectacular job regenerating characters such as Connie and Eugene by giving them interesting storylines. Now is a good time to begin giving storylines to Bart and Rodney. It seems like they've been running on a treadmill, and have never really gone anywhere. Why have an entire episode revisit Bart Rathbone's dishonesty when it's already been seen and we don't even get to learn anything new? A few questions we could ask are; Why did Bart Rathbone turn this way? When will he realize that it's affecting his son? A great example of an interesting Bart Rathbone was in "The Other Woman"; he acted as his typical self, but this time had a slight interesting twist added onto his character at the very end. One situation they must learn to avoid in the future is the Bart Rathbone in "A Glass Darkly". He was uninteresting, and had the same repetitive personality.
However, this criticism only truly applies for long-term fan. For a new fan, they may have found this episode great and thrilling.
Though, even then, I might not agree completely.
The first 5 minutes were amazing. I took notes on the show, and during this period marked down my high expectations for this show. I felt the idea of Bryan Dern trying to bring down the Electric Palace had potential for a classic and brilliant show. However, the focus completely shifted towards Bart trying to act polite, and, though that may have been slightly original, the way it took away from the other adventure was disappointing. Until the very end, we barely returned to Bryan Dern, and when we did it was only to hear a disappointing anti-climatic ending. I can draw many similarities between this episode and "All-Star Witness", another episode Nathan Hoobler wrote. Both episodes started the same way; with an exciting beginning. Tom Riley rushes in with the terrible news that he's being sued. Suddenly, the entire focus changes to Ashley Jenkins's story. And, finally, the story is resolved very anti-climactically, with both Tom and Ashley retelling their sides of the stories and coming to a conclusion.
It also didn't help that the moral in today's show felt like it was slapped in last minute. They may have well left the whole "Golden Rule" lesson out of the episode and it would've sounded better. And I don't think that the misleading title helped fan's expectations either. And then if you take into consideration the jumpy-crazy music that didn't fit too well with the awkwardly attempted jumpy-crazy story, I can't bring myself to give this show a high rating at all.
Odyssey of old was classic, original and wonderful. Now, how about they stop looking back so much and make up there own classic shows?
We want Odyssey to be consistent to the past, but we don't want the show be to obviously imitating it. It's debatable, I know, and I could go on talking about it for many paragraphs to come—but I'm already feeling guilty for writing a harsh review. On the plus side, however, it was a noble attempt for Nathan Hoobler to center Bart Rathbone as the main character, something greatly missed. The same goes for Cryin' Bryan Dern. I also enjoyed some of the consistency involving the facts of Odyssey; such as the reference to Edwin owning the Electric Palace as well as the transformers and 3 speed fans that Bart sold Whit. Also brilliant was Bart Rathbone's imitation of Whit—which actually DID make me laugh, and was probably the highlight of the show, that, and him not listening to anything he was saying. And of course, I enjoyed the way Nathan made good use of the Odyssey cast and was able to fit in a large number of classic characters into one show.
Luckily, the 2nd listen to the show made me forget about all these small flaws. That's the beauty of Odyssey; after you listen to an episode after a while, it becomes like one of the other episodes... and then in a few years you catch yourself calling it classic.