As a US history fangirl, I can only agree. I loved "License to Deprive".The Old Judge wrote:and the one on Album 50 with the old cabin and Abraham, the history specialist.
I love, love, love the Washington family. They always felt so real with each other, especially Ed and Elaine. The Kelly arc was great, too; I was delighted to see AIO talk about foster parenting. (They did do that a bit with Eugene and his parents, but they didn't really explore it.)
I'm going to have to admit, though, that I really didn't like "The Toy Man" and "The American Revelation" when they focused on the fact that the Washingtons were black. The AIO team had good ideas about the marginalization of blacks in American history outside of slavery and the Civil Rights Movement, and they had a point when they talked about blacks in high positions in the corporate world; those are good and necessary points to address, and not that many kids' shows do. However, I think these should have been handled further down the road after the Washingtons were simply established as another family. I don't think that coming right out of the gate and spotlighting the fact that the Washingtons were black did favors; it made them come across as social justice devices or tools to bring about diversity rather than actual characters. (And I say this not just from my own thoughts, but also because I've read reviews from various listeners, and most agreed that the issues were not handled as gracefully as they could have been—it was a bit heavy-handed.)
So how about the fact that Marvin has had as many voice actors as present-day Whit? Personally, I think Marvin's character was much stronger after Kendre Berry took over from Jordan Calloway—I think Kendre's acting gives the character a lot of spunk and energy that he didn't have in his earlier episodes. The fun-loving, laid-back Marvin makes for a much better foil for a more reserved, neurotic character like Trent or a responsible, high-achieving character like Tamika.
I liked Xavier, too. I thought it was great that he didn't feel just like a part of the family for a little while, and how he felt removed from them. I think sometimes, kids' shows have a new member of the family who wasn't born to them—a cousin, for example, like Xavier—and they all mesh perfectly well together and there's no conflict of interest. With Xavier, it wasn't at all like that, and it was good that both sides had to learn a lesson about it.