Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Ties That Bind

Woah. I still exist.

Instead of writing a super long post on the SS about my final thoughts on Album 58, I decided, oh, what the heck. Why not make people ecstatic by bringing back this old thing? (I'm looking at you, PF.)

Well, here you go, my thoughts on album 58. Spoilers. Duh.

First, how did I even get to listen to this thing? Believe it or not....the OAC. *hides in shame* In my defense, a friend got me a subscription so I could hear 58, because he knew how much I wanted to. So, thank you, friend. :D

But, was it worth it?

Well, let's go into it, and have a typical Audrey Rants About Everything post.

Now, here's a shocker.
I actually didn't like it that much.

I expected to love it. I really did. Because unlike the past few albums (with the exception of Life Expectancy in 57), it looked like AIO might go back to actually talking about serious subjects. No more mysteries *coughEmilycough*, Penny complaining about something or other, or Whit doing nothing. Maybe an actual episode, or even album, with some depth!

Some is the key word here.

Because what I found out after listening was that this album was maybe 10% serious topics and 90% we-threw-in-this-storyline-to-please-younger-listeners-and-help-them-not-get-bored. In reality, I was the one who wanted to skip past whatever thing was going on to actually get into what I was told this album would be about. And honestly, I expected the words gay marriage to be used at least once. Sure, I get that FOTF wants the kids to ask their parents about this stuff. But seriously, you are going to have to actually use the words, Half the time even I didn't know WHAT everyone was talking about.

Do you guys remember Home Again, in album 56? When Jason was finally returning to Odyssey to stay? And how, in my opinion, that part was good, but Penny and Wooton (And Eugene, sadly) destroyed the episodes with some other sub-plot that had almost nothing to do with anything? They would have been such great episodes without the unnecessary storyline.

That was basically this entire album, multiplied by a thousand. I keep trying to think of some of the sub-plots to mention in this post, but there's so many I can't even remember them. I've seen people compare this album to the Green Ring Conspiracy, but the Green Ring Conspiracy actually had relevant subplots that made sense, instead of, "Okay, Jay is going to be in a movie! Yippee!" Or maybe it was a TV show. I kind of tuned out.

This album was all supposed to relate back to family. And in a way, I guess it did. There was talk about family in most of the storylines. But it was either more like 3 minutes in a 24 minute episode, and the dialogue was basically, "Well, guys, looks like our family is fighting! Poof, all better now!" or the only way it related to family was that there was a relative of the character in the episode.

There were so many storylines I just didn't care about. It got to the point where I actually started skipping over them, because not only were they boring, but it was obvious who the Perilous Pen, or who burned down Wooton's house, or whatever it was. Seriously, I get that Odyssey is for a younger age range. But does Focus honestly think kids are that dumb? The entire album was one big "Hey guys, guess who's doing this? It's this person! Oh wait, guys, who is it? It's obviously this person! Hmm, who is it?" Even the eight year old end of the spectrum could have guessed it. I'm going to be that person and compare these episodes to pre-hiatus ones. Back before the hiatus, I was around eleven or so, and I had no idea who did what. And I liked it like that. I liked it to be a shock. Now, it's more like, "Ugh, we know this already, get on with it!"

The problem (Yes, there is ANOTHER problem) with these pointless subplots is that while they were paced alright (still a bit too slow for my taste, but I digress) and took up most of the episodes, the actual lessons seemed to be snuck into the episodes. They were put in for, if we were lucky, four or five minutes per episode. One or two little storylines took up 14 episodes, because we had to hear about the Perilous Pen, AGAIN. It was like the things that were really necessary for kids to hear weren't as important as something to keep them entertained.

My younger brothers are both in public school. I know that they are surrounded by "Gay is Okay!" propaganda. I liked the storyline about Emily and Matthew getting lower grades because of their opinions, because it was actually realistic. Same with Whit's role in another storyline, when Whit's End was getting trashed because of his beliefs. But if I wanted to teach my brothers as to why this is wrong using these episodes, I'd have to really look for that lesson. I'd have to skip around for the actual moral, maybe finding three or four minutes per episode of actual worthwhile material. That is not what I want, and I don't think it's what parents want, either.

But what do I want?

What about, instead of this fourteen part episode thing, it was split up? Put the Perilous Pen storyline, and maybe the one about Jay wanting to be in the movies, in a 2 or 3 part episode. Have the whole Buck, Eugene, and Katrina thing (which I actually forgot about until just now, despite, you know, Buck. That accent tho. xD) in another episode. And have Emily, Matthew, and Whit's dilemmas in a two parter. That I would listen to.

These stories truly aren't all that bad. But it was balanced completely wrong. If I made a pie chart of how I wanted the storylines to be distributed vs how they were, it would probably look like this:
That's right, people. PIE CHARTS.

Okay. I've got two more things to talk about.
Next up, Whit collapsing. To me, this was a TOTAL cop out. It seemed to be like, "Well, looks like this isn't interesting enough! Let's have Whit almost die, then miraculously recover and have it never mentioned again!" Seriously, what a plot hole. It was unnecessary and not handled correctly at ALL. And really, that's all I have to say about that. 

Now. There's one last thing I have to discuss. 

The ending. 

COME. ON. 

Alright, so, an enemy (JK) of mine actually told me the ending. But, I thought he was joking. I truly did. And then I read the ending on the SS by accident (TAG YOUR SPOILERS, PEOPLE.) and I thought THAT was a joke. Because it was so gosh darn ridiculous. 

Look, I haven't made it a secret that I'm not a huge fan of Penny and New Wooton. But that ending? By far one of, if not the stupidest things I have heard post hiatus. 

A proposal. Really?! Did I miss the part where they started dating? Am I just blind? (More like deaf. xD) Usually dating starts before marriage. Yeah, I know these two have never been normal. But seriously, AIO?
You know what this was? It's like what they did with Whit. It's like they realized how lame the Penny and Wooton storyline was, so they needed to spice it up. WITH A MARRIAGE PROPOSAL. I get that they're best friends. They like each other in that way, or however the kids say it these days. But still, throwing that in out of nowhere? That's just plain bad writing, in my opinion. The writers wanted to get people talking, and they did that. But that was NOT the way to go about it. 

Now, I guess I should end on a positive note. I liked the Doctor Who references. Matthew's new voice actually did sound a little like him. Jules (I didn't talk much about that storyline, because for once, I didn't have TOO much to criticise. Plus, you know, all I can remember anymore is the Perilous Pen.) is back, and I actually do like her character a lot. And I did like the storylines where they actually discussed the topic of what family truly is. 

And, that's pretty much it.

If you enjoyed my not-so-triumphant return, agree with my opinions, strongly disagree, or just want to say something random, comment.

Well, thanks for reading, guys. 

Over and out, 
Audrey 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

No More Matthew Parker?

Hey guys!
Woah, another blog post! It's amazing what procrastination from doing school can do!

Today, I am making a post based off of a suggestion. Which is: "Write about Zach Callison not playing Matthew Parker anymore." And, I shall.

So, as a lot of you probably know, Zach Callison tweeted this:

"Just had dinner with some AIO people.  I am no longer able to voice my character due to my voice change, but I will forever be grateful!"

*attempts not to cry*
This was my reaction: (appropriately in two pictures of Matthew Parker)

First I stared at the screen like:

Wait, is this for real?


And then was like, well, that really stinks. 


Seriously, though, I am quite sad about this. Zach Callison is one of my favorite AIO actors, and Matthew is easily one of my favorite kids post-hiatus. Personally, I don't think his voice changing is THAT bad. I know people keep saying this, but they kept Jimmy on, didn't they? Plus, unless his voice has drastically changed since the last album, I didn't think it was too noticeable. I could tell his voice was getting deeper, yeah, but it didn't distract me from the episode or anything. It was also sorta gradual, unlike Jave Griffin's. Is it really THAT big of a deal? 

I know I just pulled the Jimmy card, and you guys are thinking "That was a while ago." . Well, I present Andy Pessoa, everybody. They kept him on, even though he sounds like a high schooler. (He plays Barrett, in case you didn't know.) 


But, my personal opinions aside, I am quite curious about a few things. 

First off, what are they going to do with the character? Are they going to replace his voice, or *gasp* get rid of Matthew entirely? I really hope it's not the second one. I mean, the Parkers are a big family on AIO. To quote someone from the Campbell County Message Boards: "What are they going to do, pretend Matthew went to boarding school?" Plus, that would mean that Emily would be left on her own, and while I have mixed feelings about her, I know I do NOT want her without her sideki-er, partner. Matthew is quite a big character, and he was even the only kid character who did the AIO live show! I would even go as far to call him the post-hiatus Jimmy, in a way. Not in personality, but because he is a big kid character who's family is also involved in the show. I do NOT want him to leave the show.

However, what will happen if he stays? 

Right now, I'm debating with myself. Would I rather have an entirely new voice for Matthew on the off-chance he sounds like a younger Zach Callison, or take Zach with his now deeper voice? I vote the second. Zach is who makes Matthew such a great character. If there was any other actor, it would not be the same kid. 


I'm very curious as to what the AIO team is going to do. I at least hope that if they do replace him, they choose someone who sounds similar. Often times when an actor's voice changes, they then choose a new, much younger actor who's voice is even more kiddish. And Zach's has never been TOO childlike.I think they will replace him. But I don't think I'm going to like it.

So, would we rather have this new Matthew, without knowing if the voice would be the same, much less if he would be almost a different character, or have no Matthew at all? 

And, that's my time ;) Thanks for reading, and leave suggestions for future posts (and what you thought of this one) in the comments below! It really helps me out!
Over and out,
Audrey

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Sad Day in Odyssey

Hey guys,
I actually had something else planned to post, but I had to post about this.

Dave Madden has passed away.

He was 82.

Needless to say, I, along with so many others, am deeply saddened by this. He played one of my favorite characters on AIO, and he brought Bernard to life like no one else could have. He will be missed.

For more information, click here.

Over and out,
Audrey