"Called On in
ratings are based on a 5 star scale unless otherwise noted.
by JoyElectric (Town Hall)
was a really fun episode.
The narrative, intentionally disjointed was one of the most interesting
ones in awhile. It's just how kids think.
I could go on and on about this show, but it's one that bears repeating.
Of the positives: Marvin and Trent as friends. It cements the Washington
family a little more into the world of Odyssey. Also, the ending was
great, and kept it from sounding like he was narrating the episode.
Oh, and so I get it right: The Shepards are related to the DeWhites, and
the DeWhites are releated to the McAllisters?? It's a small world after
the Soda Fountain for complete review.
Because Oneplace wasn't able to upload
"Called on in Class" at it's regular time, I was left with an
interesting situation. In the past, I always listen to the new episode
late on Friday night and then write my review before I head to bed. That
way, my opinion is available first thing Saturday morning for fans who are
curious what I had to say. Due to this routine, my opinions in the past
have always been uninfluenced by what others think... as I always write my
review without a clue how the fans will react to the same episode. This
time around however, things were a little different.
I went to bed early Saturday morning
after spending most of the night getting some school work done. My
computer was left running to record several hours of a radio station that
carried AIO so I would be able to hear the episode first thing when I got
up. And I did. After listening to the episode, I went online, curious if
people felt the same way about the episode as I did and I was amazed to
find the majority didn't. Well not so much amazed as perhaps disappointed
that people didn't find the episode nearly as enjoyable as I did.
It may even be hard to understand coming from the guy who hailed simple
episodes over those "over the top" shows anyday in my review of
"Stubborn Streaks". But no, I haven't changed my stance... it's
just this show is a perfect example of a zany story that doesn't need to
be realistic to be enjoyed.
After reading the reviews and discussing
with other people their thoughts on the show, I was prompted with a
dilemma. Do I avoid tainting my (cough) good name (cough) by agreeing with
what other people had said about the episode? Or do I go against the grain
and brand myself as a lunatic? Obviously, the answer was pretty clear to
me... as it would be to anyone who's listened to Odyssey for as long as
most of us have. So after listening to the episode one more time to ensure
I wasn't mistaken, I set about writing a review for an episode I
Many people are drawing obvious parallels
to "Snow Day", in which Alex Jefferson narrates his adventure to
deliver cookies to his grandmother. The episodes are similar in style, yet
I didn't like "Snow Day" very much at all. What makes this
episode work is that Trent's fear of public speaking is something a lot of
people can relate to. He's articulate, well liked and not unpopular.. but
the show isn't about his inability to speak in front of an audience, but
his fear of speaking in front of that audience. "Snow
Day" was about an adventure to deliver cookies to his grandmother,
which not many people do on a regular basis. I know a lot of kids, me
included, feared doing presentations in front of the class and it's great
to take a look at that fear in a satirical light. Especially when it ties
into Odyssey's past so well.
Remember way back in "The Ill Gotten
Deed" when the McCalisters were informed that the land they were
inheriting was known for it's flooding? Or even in "The Curse"
when Eugene discovers that the McCalister family has a cursed history on
days that Odyssey made great advances in communication? Well, this episode
brings those floods and the curse on communication (albeit a tad loosely)
and combines them for a rather interesting and welcome look at Odyssey's
foundation. The characters are a little strange, sure, and it's more of a
childlike view of his ancestors rather than being historically accurate,
but it's a welcome nod to Odyssey's past.
And another nice touch is Marvin in the
show. If we're to embrace the Washington Family even remotely similiar to
the way we did The Barclays or the Jacobs, we need to see the members of
the family properly integrated into the community. The Shepards failed...
due in no small part to the fact Aubrey and Bethany were homeschooled and
only interacted with the other kids outside of school. The Mulligans were
miserable failures as they don't even live in the town of
Odyssey. But here we have one of the Washington kids in class just being a
kid and not having to be the focal point. His shared fear of
public speaking was nice and he never once uttered the word
"oink". It was just good to hear a kid being a kid in an
otherwise bizarre episode. Even Brenda, whom we heard briefly before in
"For Trying Out Loud", seems to be a strong addition to the
cast. I'd like to hear more of her and this trio... rather than be forced
to learn new people's names and recognize their voice every other week.
However, while all these points I made
are valid reasons for me liking the episode... the crux is the unique
style this episode is told in. We take a trip into the mind of Trent
deWhite and hear what's going on in his head. Considering he's the younger
brother of Jared, the fact he has a wild imagination should come as no
surprise to anyone. Though rather than aliens and conspiraces filling his
mind, he's got the fear of speaking in front of his class. He's a smart
kid, as evidenced by "It's All About Me" (and notice his
original report was going to be the "Skeletal System"?), and
likely has no problem putting words down or paper or speaking with his
friends. But to actually talk in front of the class is an entirely
different story. Even I got afraid speaking in front of my class and I was
heavily into drama at my school. The things he imagined are all quite
wild, but not entirely out of the realm of possibility. Obviously the
Governor isn't going to sit in on his class, Trent and Marvin aren't going
to tunnel out of the bathroom, and he's not going to forget his pants. But
as none of these events really occured, it's really a moot point. It's all
in his imagination. Though as revealed in the twist at the end, the entire
time he was reading to the class. His presentation was about the
fear of public speaking.
However, everything was brought to life
with the terrific sound design. It was an extremely immersive
experience, with top notch production elements across the board. Music,
voice tracks, and background ambience all combined to create the best
production so far this season. I don't know if 10 seconds went by without
some new effect being introduced. And I very well could be alone on
this... but the scene with Trent approaching the desk, finally being
forced to present, had my heart pumping. Todd Busteed and his
team were able to take such a simple scene from the script, and turn it
into an incredibly dramatic moment. Kudos to everyone involved.
So that's all I have to say. My score may
seem high to some, but I feel it's well worth the rating. Check it out for
yourself, and let me know what you think. Fans can agree to disagree! :o)
Hoose is undeniably a gifted writer, but his style just didn’t do
justice to this episode. I found “Called on in Class” disappointing
for several reasons:
1. It didn’t feel realistic. The characters seemed more like
caricatures—sitcom kids, if you will. Fear of speaking to a group is
something nearly every child can identify with, but I think listeners will
find it hard to identify with Trent. He’s too articulate for us to
believe he actually struggles with public speaking.
2. The format worked against the premise of the story. Trent’s narration
seemed awfully slick and flowery for, what, an 11-year-old? How many kids
do you know that would say “All eyes suddenly turned to look at me with
an oily glare?” Either Trent is a creative writing prodigy (which would
cast doubt on his stated fear of communicating to an audience) or he can
afford an adult creative writer to ghostwrite his thoughts.
On the other hand, what if a reminiscing adult had instead done the
narration, a la “The Wonder Years”? The mature-sounding writing would
have been more believable coming from an adult.
3. Despite the fantasy sequences and “historical” flashbacks, not very
much actually happens in this episode. The narrative device and plodding
pace reminded me of—am I alone here?—the infamous “Snow Day.” As
well, I don’t think the characters were strong enough to carry the whole
episode. Even a cameo appearance by a longtime regular—Whit, Connie,
Bart, anybody—would have added some interest.
4. The “lesson” was…what? Learn to face up to your fears? Take a
step of confidence? Fine, but facing your fears isn’t necessarily the
same as overcoming them. Realistically, would mulling over an ancestor’s
life experiences instill confidence in most kids facing very real fears in
the here and now? More importantly, where was the spiritual dimension—a
desperate prayer to God for courage, perhaps, or a scripture verse to
remind Trent that God is with him? This is Adventures in Odyssey, after
Straussberg (Town Hall)
gave the episode two stars. I found it extremely boring. It just seemed to
drag on at such a slow pace, I almost fell asleep. Definitely not up to
thought is was a good ep. Not the best I've heard, but certainly not the
T. (Town Hall)
agree with Mandy, it was boring and seemed to drag. It didn't really have
a profound lesson or biblical reference. I'm hoping they get better this
Charles (Town Hall)
know, I won't be as hard as others on this episode. I agree a lot with
Okay so, it was a bit like the disney show of "Recess," and I
don't usually don't enjoy hyper eps, or even Bob Hooses eps that much.
It's just his style.
But it was original. It really was. The entire story was good and
different, and unlike others, it kept me into the show.
I especially liked the sound quality. And this especially really helped
develop characters like Trent and Marvin. And, I didn't mind Marvin one
bit. For one moment...he sounded like a Jimmy character. Trent actually
fitted the part quite well. So, I liked it. I don't want Odyssey to
produce too many of these episodes, but I enjoyed it very much.
M (Town Hall)
main Complaint: In the end of program, Chris listed Townsend Coleman. Of
course he is Jason, and Jason did not appear. And he rarely appears
anymore, so my thought is, if Townsend Coleman is there, use him as Jason.
Jason could have helped teach lesson here and could have been used very
well. It may have been better.
It was ok. 3 stars. not great. I didn't hate it. maybe 2 1/2.
Anonymous (Frank's Breakfast Inn)
Frank's Breakfast Inn for complete review.
now, as I'm typing out this review, I'm listening to this episode...for
the first time. It's somewhat hard. Typing and listening.
impression is that it is very fast moving and kinda confusing. Trent
likes to reflect back to weird events about his rather annoying
grandfather who has some sort of strange metal disorder when it comes to
public speaking. (but then overcomes his dilemma by having fourteen
children that created an audience for him to practice in front of.) And
the whole episode is narrated by Trent, the things that are happening
and all the reels that are playing in the theatre of his imagination.
It's like "Story Time with Mr. Trent!". Fun and silly, wacky
and quaky! (Emphasis on "quaky".) Although it probably
reminded us all of "Snow Day", which some of us fans aren't
too thrilled with.
that the moral of the story is...well...Trent gave it to us. He had
overcome his fear of public speaking, and now he can give some handy
advice to the rest of his class. (Being an expert on learning lessons.)
Chris doesn't even have to do her little spiel in the wrap-arounds. That
was something new.
CPR incident reminded me of a movie that I very strongly dislike.
be fun to make a papier-mâché toilet though.
is having that much trouble, he should practice more, talk to Whit about
it, (the sensible and AIO way to do it....) or just buckle down and do
it. There's really no other way to overcome a fear like this. It is
strange for Odyssey to let a boy's emotions overwhelm the entire
I can see
why a lot of you show some dislike for this episode. It reminds me of
one of those dumb little Saturday morning cartoons, (not that I watch
them...) and I hope that Odyssey will never develop that sort of
reputation. I guess AIO can't please everyone. For the fun-loving,
little kid, it's probably great! (Better than all the romantic drama we
have been seeing....) If you're older, please remember that AIO wants to
appeal to a large demographic, so therefore deal with your hatred. (or
other strong emotion.)
my opinion: The humor and storyline was somewhat immature, I must
confess that at first I didn't really like the episode. But now I do.
And I'll treat it like "Whit's Flop"; the episode isn't all
that great, but I commend AIO for addressing this particular issue.
for reading my opinion. My reviews are never very long...sorry. If you
like long, then go to the AIOSF or The Odyssey Scoop, which both have
exhaustingly long reviews. (How can they think of all that stuff to
quote: "Just remember my slogan: Mrs. Meitchew can teach you!"
(How do you spell her name anyway? Meechoo...Miechu...Meatchew...)
enjoyed it. When Trent started the narrarating, I had a flashback to
"Snow Day" and was worried about how the ep would go. But it
was actually pretty good.
amazing at how long it's taken me to notice the time warp going on
here...........in "The Pushover" Jared's little brother (who I
don't think had a name in that ep) was "almost two". Now, 6
1/2 yrs later or so, Jared and Trent appear to be in the same
school.....or Jared is in highschool and Trent is in Jr. High. so in 6
1/2 yrs, Trent has aged aproximately 10 yrs. Though it has occured to me
that Jared could actually be a highschooler with no "timewarp"
since he was probably in 5th or 6th grade the last time we regularly
heard him, so now it wouldn't be too far-fetched for him to be in 11th
or 12th grade.
I got a little off topic there...........all in all I thought it was a
really good ep.
thought that this ep was pretty good. I can do identify with Trent.
(Remember on chat you guys, *Jiang Zemin*) I thought that it was told in
a funny way, and I like to know that I'm not the only one who is
horrified of oral reports. (*help*) But, I do have to say this wasn't
the best I've ever heard. Could have been better, but it was still good.
thought it was quite dull I almost couldn't listen to the ending! I am
just thankful that AIO is still producing episodes! :-)
liked this episode a lot, it's humor and creativity were cute and I
liked Trent DeWhite. Many other AIO fans didn't like this ep, but I did.
Called on in Class is a good show to listen to. I give it 4 stars out of
episode was really confusing because he would think about one thing
after another. This episode was so stupid and boring! It kept dragging
on! Finally I had to turn it off!
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