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AIO vs. Down Gilead Lane
By Jacob Isom
| August 17, 2001


Radio dramas... you gotta love 'em. They start out new at first, branch off into bigger dramas, and before you know it, you're listening to "Adventures in Odyssey." Unfortunately, when one radio drama becomes very popular, other companies try to imitate that show by producing their own. And a new show has risen the tide: "Down Gilead Lane."

"CBH Ministries would like you to meet the Morrisons! They have lived on Gilead Lane for 13 years, in the small town of Coleraine. Itís through the five Morrison children and some kids in the community that we first discover the mystery unfolding down Gilead Lane."

During its first thirteen episodes, "Down Gilead Lane" has shown its growth already. The first few episodes are okay, but once you get into episodes four and five, the show becomes different. As you finish up the first season, you are a fan automatically!

There is one difference between "Adventures in Odyssey" and "Down Gilead Lane": family relationships. It's a huge transition to listen to the kids actually talking to their parents after listening to AIO's recent episodes. AIO hasn't had scenes with the kids' parents (give or take one) since the old characters of Odyssey. And with the stress that the split episodes era brought, will this cause AIO to end their glory days on radio? Split episodes were the pits of AIO's popularity. It was a good idea gone bad. Yes, there could have been some good story lines, but it was impossible for AIO to show character development and serious situations. They were the carefree days, when the good people of Odyssey lived very unusual lives. Everything was very unrealistic (no episodes mentioned), and it seemed like the kids were never stressed about school, everyone was a good comedian, and life was good. Or was it? No, the characters were happy, they joked, which left us...to be stressed and serious.

The days of split episodes are long gone. No one misses them and "Adventures in Odyssey" is attempting to get on a firmer footing. They will never be the same. May it be the writers, actors, or producers, there have been a couple bombshell episodes since then. Will they regain their former glory?

Fortunately, AIO has regained some of its glory. But it may be a few seasons before they really do prove themselves. Some of the writers (no names mentioned because I think we all know who) just need some time, re-evaluation, and skill to continue with their talents.

"Down Gilead Lane," brought to you by CBH Ministries, is very similar to "Adventures in Odyssey." For instance, there's a theme song. It sounds like an ordinary theme song to us all, but during the theme we hear little portions of the episode that we're about to hear. What does that sound like? And there's a host, Jacob (I feel honored because my name is Jacob), who isn't as good as Chris Anthony, but still pretty good. Now we come to the episode. Not only does the music sound very similar to "Adventures in Odyssey," but it's written by one of the music composers of AIO! John Campbell has done who knows how many renditions for movies and shows. But "Down Gilead Lane?" In my opinion, I actually am glad that he chose to work with CBH, who produced "Children's Bible Hour" for over 50 years. It adds a whale of a good listening to the show.

AIO needs to look out for this new competition. The actors of "Down Gilead Lane" are getting better by the episode, and so is the music and sound effects (not to mention the storylines). Even though AIO has had a solid footing throughout the years as a great radio program, things may slip, and they already have (refer to split episodes). But we're all confident that AIO will stay confident in their work.

Now I'm not saying that you can't listen to just "Down Gilead Lane" or just "Adventures in Odyssey." No. I actually listen to both! Both of these radio dramas are great in every aspect, and have great Christian morals that everyone (not just kids) can learn from.

It is good to keep in mind that "Down Gilead Lane" is going for more mature topics such as Anorexia, Work-a-holism, and depression. If you're getting tired of the repeating topics on AIO, check out "Down Gilead Lane." It's a program that is not going the way of the buffalo.

The reason CBH Ministries began "Down Gilead Lane" is because they knew "Adventures in Odyssey" would make "Children's Bible Hour" seem boring during the Saturday morning lineup. And they were right. It's been 50 years, it's time for something new.

If you're interested in getting to know the Morrison family on "Down Gilead Lane" a little better, you can visit http://www.gileadlane.org where you'll find character synopses and episode schedules. It's definitely worth sinking your ears into. The Morrisons are a very sweet family. Get to know them now!

Visit www.gileadlane.org for more ordering information. There you can order the first thirteen episodes in the album called "Meet the Morrisons."

"Lately, the rumors that have been flying around town are causing a panic! And when the kidsí curiosity leads them wandering down the lane, will they stumble upon one of Coleraineís deepest, darkest secrets? Youíll have to travel down the road with us if you want to find out what the secrets are.

Down Gilead Lane is a Bible-based story that reminds us of how much we need Godís grace in our every day lives. We hope you have fun getting to know the Morrisons. This is one weekly adventure you wonít want to miss!"


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