The Stojkan Era: Inferior or Not?

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The Old Judge
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The Stojkan Era: Inferior or Not?

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Now, for those of you who have read my comments (if you haven't get ready to learn), you know I often refer to the Classic Era (1987-1998), Herlinger Era (1999-2008), (First of all, even though Paul Herlinger, God rest his soul, took over the voice of Whit in 1997, characters such as Lucy stayed on until the First Hiatus. That's why I use Classic Era.) and the Stojkan Era (2010-Present). From what I have seen browsing through the Soda Shop, I have seen that a lot of people consider this an "inferior era". I want to know reasons why this idea has been publicized. Like I said in another discussion, the seasons of the Stojkan Era have had higher user ratings than any other season. I love all AIO episodes, seasons, and eras, but I think that means something. So if You could, Astarte listing pros and cons that you think are in this (what I consider) wonderful era of Odyssey.
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Re: The Stojkan Era: Inferior or Not?

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I think it could be that there's more a negative response on the internet, because the majority of the users fit under the category of "older listeners". who obviously enjoy less "kidsy" episodes. Even though the online community is mainly older users, I think think the larger portion of the audience of Odyssey is actually this community. I'm thinking there are probably a lot more young kids that listen to AIO than there are of us.
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Jason
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Re: The Stojkan Era: Inferior or Not?

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I do like the Stoijkan era, but I guess in a way I almost look at it as "the reboot" episodes.

Album 1-50 have a lot of uniqueness to them. Some episodes are very funny, and others are intense. Here's some pros and cons of the Stoijkan era.

Cons:
Change in Businesses: Sometimes since the reboot it feels like they've recreated the structure of Odyssey. They've introduced several new places in the area, while rarely mentioning older ones. They have gotten a little better about that by mentioning J&J's antique's and Finneman's Marketand Hal's Diner. But it feels like other character's such as Dern, and Edwin could have stayed longer.

Older characters not returning: Odyssey naturally has many eras of kids, but with the reboot we haven't heard from many key characters such as Jack and Joanne, Bernard, Edwin, Dern. It feels like it's mostly around Wooton, Whit, Connie, and Eugene. The kids have been good. Although I would have liked to have seen more with Grady and his Dad. They could have continued that story line but seemed to have dropped it.

Many Old Characters returning: I like the sense of nostalgia by bringing in older characters. But at the same time it almost feels forced. Monty was great in GRC and it was a huge surprise. But he only served the purpose of that album. Will he be back maybe? It's hard to say. Dale in the Labyrinth seemed really forced. We hadn't heard from Dale for the longest time and when we do it happens to be in London at the same time that Jason needs help. Hmmm. Mith was an exception to this. Sure they brought him back, but it's interesting that he's getting married to someone else.

More Kid Friendly: This isn't just a con but more neutral than anything. It's not necessarily bad that it feels like it's geared more towards the target age group again, but it sometimes doesn't feel as timeless as it once was. The Labyrinth seemed simplified in some ways. (Still a great episode though.)

Pros:
Jason: Jason has always been a fan favorite. The fact that album 53 and 55 both have him in it makes me very happy.

New Long Term Stories: I like the twist with Eugene and Katrina not being able to have kids. It opens opportunities for episodes down the road.

New Characters: They have brought some new characters to perhaps balance the ones that haven't returned yet. Such as Lucia, and Red. Red is a great addition to the show.

Mitch: (While bringing back Mitch also seemed a little forced) It's a very nice touch. He may not be back for long, but the fact that he was brought back is awesome.

Points by album-Post 50
Album 51 isn't one that I listen to over and over. I didn't really care for the style of Game for a Mystery. however Clutter, target of the week and The Jubilee Singers are great.

Album 52: Better than 51. Wooton's Broken Pencil Show while entertaining seemed weak to me and Stage Fright was eh too. Stage Fright's format reminded me too much of scooby doo. however I did like the Mystery of the Clock Tower 1-2, and a Thankstaking Story.

Album 53: This picked things up a bit. by far one of the best albums so far.

Album 54: Mostly Strong episodes including Wooton Knows Best and Never for Nothing.

Album 55: No huge complaints besides the forced character returns. Having Mitch return to announce his engagement to someone else is interesting but it makes sense if I think about it. (I haven't heard the rest so I'm merely speculating) If it is true that he's getting married, it adds closure to fans that Mitch and Connie will never get married. I liked York's history episode because it has such a powerful theme. And Mistaken for Good and the others still make this a good quality album. 53-55 have improved quality over 51-52.

Final Thoughts:
Post 50 albums are still a good listen, but I guess I'll always enjoy ones like Arizona Sunrise, The search for Whit 1-3, and A Name Not a Number, and album 25 more. They're elements are interesting for both kids and adults.
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Re: The Stojkan Era: Inferior or Not?

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I don't really like the Stojkan era so far. Its okay just not as good as the older eras. The Stojkan Era=Inferior

What happened to the Washingtons, Grady and Sam, Eugene's father and brother, Mandy Straussberg? We hardly hear from Whit and he isn't giving as much good advice as he used to. He's becoming more crazy and not as serious.
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Re: The Stojkan Era: Inferior or Not?

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The main reason I don't enjoy the Stojkan era as much, is because it seems like there are only three different families in Odyssey; and (I will probably get a lot of rap for this...) some of the characters, I feel, are rather shallow and poorly developed.
It also seems like they are "redoing" the plotlines of some of older episodes, and adapting them to the current cast/audience.
Now, don't get me wrong, I do quite like the newer episodes, they just don't quite feel like Adventures in Odyssey to me.
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Re: The Stojkan Era: Inferior or Not?

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~JCGJ~ wrote:The main reason I don't enjoy the Stojkan era as much, is because it seems like there are only three different families in Odyssey; and (I will probably get a lot of rap for this...) some of the characters, I feel, are rather shallow and poorly developed.
It also seems like they are "redoing" the plotlines of some of older episodes, and adapting them to the current cast/audience.
Now, don't get me wrong, I do quite like the newer episodes, they just don't quite feel like Adventures in Odyssey to me.
I agree with the last part mostly. It's not so much that the "redone" episodes are bad, but they feel to similar to be their own, in some cases.
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Re: The Stojkan Era: Inferior or Not?

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Whit still gives good advice, and he's not becoming crazier. I'm on Album 52, so unless something horrendously changes, Whit's fine. Also, I've been seeing some of the Classic Era (1987-1998) humor, where they would put little jokes in. Whit jokes more like he used to when Hal Smith did it, and that kind of stopped when Herlinger took over. So there's a pro.
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Re: The Stojkan Era: Inferior or Not?

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~JCGJ~ wrote:The main reason I don't enjoy the Stojkan era as much, is because it seems like there are only three different families in Odyssey; and (I will probably get a lot of rap for this...) some of the characters, I feel, are rather shallow and poorly developed.
It also seems like they are "redoing" the plotlines of some of older episodes, and adapting them to the current cast/audience.
Now, don't get me wrong, I do quite like the newer episodes, they just don't quite feel like Adventures in Odyssey to me.


I agree it doesn't feel like Odyssey any more. Partly because most of the "old" characters were about the same age and left for college or other jobs at the same time and partly because of some people died, Hal Smith (Whit) and Walker Edmiston (Bart & Tom). I think the Stojkan era is fine, but I prefer the other eras better.
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Re: The Stojkan Era: Inferior or Not?

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I personally have liked Odyssey during all the so-called eras, but I like lots of radio dramas because the acting, writing, and sound FX, make the show come to life without pictures!
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Re: The Stojkan Era: Inferior or Not?

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I really don't feel the Stojkan era (SE) is inferior at all. In fact, I'd say so far, it has a stronger percentage of good episodes than the Herlinger era (HE) had. Don't forget the "Dark Ages" (actually the Al Jansen era) stunk up a season and a half or more of HE eps. Writing aside, I'm grateful PH was able to step into the role of Whit and that he served AIO for so long. Dramatically speaking, though, I feel Andre has acting skills more akin to Hal Smith. I know folks are hung up on his voice not sounding like Paul's, but, for me, Paul did have similar...tone to Hal (ie lower register) but not the warmth or delivery of Hal. Whereas Andre's tone certainly isn't like Paul's and isn't as close to Hal's, I find his warmth and delivery to be closer to Hal's 1st Whit. As Katie Leigh said, (paraphrasing) he has the heart of Whit. I do agree with some who say this new era Whit is written a little differently but I think there are changes within every era w/ different writers and cast combinations. There was many a HE ep. where I thought "that just isn't Whit's true "character" because of the writing.
For me, the current team of Paul at the helm, Nathan,who was an Odyssey fan first before coming on board, in there in multiple capacities and writers like Kathy Buchanan really are creating some classic strong Odyssey episodes. As a fringe benefit they're even bringing back some long ignored characters (Monte , Dale & Anne Jacobs...) and name dropping other characters and long forsaken places in Odyssey (Fishbines, Finneman's Market...) as well.
Listeners will always have favorite eras & favorite Whits, usually the one they either heard first or heard most. I sometimes chuckle at fans who refer to "the real Whit" as Paul when Hal created the character and all who come after him are essentially building on his foundation.
I'm grateful for the revitalization of Odyssey. It is indeed a rare thing for a broadcast to last this long and still be plugging away.
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Re: The Stojkan Era: Inferior or Not?

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Paul Herlinger was a really great man, but when Andre Stojka talks, I really can feel emotion and passion that I haven't heard in Whit in a while.
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Re: The Stojkan Era: Inferior or Not?

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At first, I also felt it just wasn't Odyssey either. But, it kind of has grown on me. Trust me, if I would, I definitely would chose to use the Paul Herlinger, bring back some more characters, etc. But, life does change, and I suppose I'm willling to except that AIO must change as well.

I'm not sure if it's the more albums they produce, the better they get, or if it's just because we're getting used to them.
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Re: The Stojkan Era: Inferior or Not?

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One episode that I especially dislike of the Stoilkan Era is As Fast as I Can. I like the story itself, but one scene just ruins the episode for me. It's the scene when Matthew is in the IS. Thomas Jefferson has a computer and uses words like emoticon and cool stuff. And then acknowledges that he is in the IS. This is totally uncharacteristic of the IS. I mean, it's one thing if Mr. Whittaker programmed this adventure specifically to make it hard on Matthew... But for Thomas Jefferson to say that it's the IS and that everything is filtered through Matthew's brain... It doesn't make sense to me that Matthew's imagination would effect the backbone of the adventure. With the same philosophy Jared could use the imagination station and have an adventure that supports one of his theories about WWII. I really don't like what they did there.
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Re: The Stojkan Era: Inferior or Not?

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BUT,(when I use that word, it usually means a long explanation is coming), the Imagination Station's programs technically are powered by the imagination. Granted, most are historical or biblical adventures where you can't change the outcome, but in A Touch of Healing, Zachary and Jenny imagined they could walk and see, respectively, and they could. So with designed programs, the imagination can change the outcome of an adventure, or even cause a character to acknowledge it is one's imagination.
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Re: The Stojkan Era: Inferior or Not?

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The Old Judge wrote:BUT,(when I use that word, it usually means a long explanation is coming), the Imagination Station's programs technically are powered by the imagination. Granted, most are historical or biblical adventures where you can't change the outcome, but in A Touch of Healing, Zachary and Jenny imagined they could walk and see, respectively, and they could. So with designed programs, the imagination can change the outcome of an adventure, or even cause a character to acknowledge it is one's imagination.
BUT, it doesn't state that Whit changed the program. For a Touch of Healing, Jason specifically changed the IS so it would do that. In this episode it makes it seem like I could just imagine that a french speaking woman can be understood.... (While that would make sense it wouldn't fit in my mind....) Any other time the imagination station has been used it's always been the program has the ultimate control. And the people inside are always confused when the kids bring up the IS. Why change that philosophy? *shakes head.
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Re: The Stojkan Era: Inferior or Not?

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Oh boy. This topic is playing with fire. I shall do my best to state my case strongly without getting the entire AIO Board Association screaming at me. The Hal Smith era started alright, but weak at times. Witness, for example, Isaac the Benevolent, a really not very funny comedy, except for the one-time character Big Ed. Compare to the hilarious and enjoyable later The Trouble With Girls.
What I'm saying is, classics got more interesting, by and large, as they went along. Paul Herlinger sounded MUCH like the first Whit, though with very different acting. I never knew the difference at first apart from the credits (which is why he got the part, after all.) These goldies are full of unforgettable moments and, most of all, characters.
When Andre took over to carry on the legend, in my family, it was DRAMATIC. I and my sibs were quietly enjoying listening to a new Odyssey on the internet. The episode started with some person we didn't recognize talking. Then a kid called him, "Mr. Whittaker." We yelled "WHAT???" Andre doesn't sound very similar in voice either to Herlinger or Hal. Over time though, he won us over, and we learned to see the similarities to the predecessors. Now, we love him as much as the passed two.
And so, the new era... it is a bit more kiddish, ins some ways, isn't it? It's kinda getting back to Odyssey's roots. AIO is about the seemingly small things in a child's life: cleaning the clutter in a house, a crush on a much older boy. Much like Jane Austen's books. Her masterpieces centered on balls, chit-chats, and walks. One either has to be dead bored or admit such things matter. Another comparison: Peanuts. In order to understand its world, one has to accept the gravity of a child's life. Peanuts can make one sad. We can ignore that, or admit that their problems really are as great as our own, in a way. I'm not saying Care Bears is great art, or even watchable, but if a child's world is shown in a more genuine way, like AIO, then it's amazing. The older listeners... teenagers and adults... of whom I am one... we like to shrug off the trials of a child, focusing entirely on our problems and missions. Yet, Odyssey forces us, if only for half an hour, have our hopes and hearts pinned on a bike race, or a baby bird, or a machine made by a boy named Davey. After all, are not the decisions of a President... the actions of the head of large charity... the blood of a soldier shed for his or her country... made of single steps, small decisions? Is not the tear of a single child as great as a gushing dam constructed by a thousand adults?
"You cannot do great things, only small things with great love." Mother Teresa.
"Thank God for Odyssey." Whit, The Forgotten Deed
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Re: The Stojkan Era: Inferior or Not?

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Pound Foolish wrote:Oh boy. This topic is playing with fire. I shall do my best to state my case strongly without getting the entire AIO Board Association screaming at me. The Hal Smith era started alright, but weak at times. Witness, for example, Isaac the Benevolent, a really not very funny comedy, except for the one-time character Big Ed. Compare to the hilarious and enjoyable later The Trouble With Girls.
What I'm saying is, classics got more interesting, by and large, as they went along. Paul Herlinger sounded MUCH like the first Whit, though with very different acting. I never knew the difference at first apart from the credits (which is why he got the part, after all.) These goldies are full of unforgettable moments and, most of all, characters.
When Andre took over to carry on the legend, in family, it was DRAMATIC. I and my sibs were quietly enjoying listening to a new Odyssey on the internet. The episode started with some person we didn't recognize talking. Then a kid called him, "Mr. Whittaker." We yelled "WHAT???" Andre doesn't sound very similar in voice either to Herlinger or Hal. Over time though, he won us over, and we learned to see the similarities to the predecessors. Now, we love him as much as the passed two.
And so, the new era... it is a bit more kiddish, ins some ways, isn't it? It's kinda getting back to Odyssey's roots. AIO is about the seemingly small things in a child's life: cleaning the clutter in a house, a crush on a much older boy. Much like Jane Austen's books. Her masterpieces centered on balls, chit-chats, and walks. One either has to be dead bored or admit such things matter. Another comparison: Peanuts. In order to understand its world, one has to accept the gravity of a child's life. Peanuts can make one sad. We can ignore that, or admit that their problems really are as great as our own, in a way. I'm not saying Care Bears is great art, or even watchable, but if a child's world is shown in a more genuine way, like AIO, then it's amazing. The older listeners... teenagers and adults... of whom I am one... we like to shrug off the trials of a child, focusing entirely on our problems and missions. Yet, Odyssey forces us, if only for half an hour, have our hopes and hearts pinned on a bike race, or a baby bird, or a machine made by a boy named Davey. After all, are not the decisions of a President... the actions of the head of large charity... the blood of a soldier shed for his or her country... made of single steps, small decisions? Is not the tear of a single child as great as a gushing dam constructed by a thousand adults?
"You cannot do great things, only small things with great love." Mother Teresa.
"Thank God for Odyssey." Whit, The Forgotten Deed
What an interestingly thought-provoking post. I like the quotes you did at the end.

Personally, I believe that the Stoijkan era has its flaws. Completely booting out all known characters except Whit, Connie, Eugene and Wooton may not have been the best move after the terrific (see my Top 5 AIO Albums of All Time Article) Album 50. And the new families were a bit unlikeable at first. Album 51 was pretty good, but when Album 52 came around, I thought Odyssey would be going down the tubes. (see my Top 5 Worst AIO Albums of All Time Article) I think there were three key things that AIO did before I really liked the Stoijkan era:

1. Have an action-packed series! After the slice-of-life 51 and 52, I really wanted some intrigue and action! And so I got it in the form of a twelve part mystery called The Green Ring Conspiracy. And the opportunity for characters to return (Monty, Katrina, Jason) was great too. It made me realize that AIO hadn't completely restarted in Album 51. After GRC, I liked the Stoijkan era better.

2. Have Olivia's voice change from Hope Levy and Kelly Stables. It sounded so much better. And less annoying too! And I also noticed that Olivia's personality changed when Stables took on the role. When Levy was around, the AIO team made Olivia a whiny twelve-year old. When Stables took on the role, Olivia changed into a mature, kind young girl. I like the latter personality better, don't you?

3. Have them use Emily less. Did any of you notice that Emily only appeared in one episode in Album 54 (Emily, the Genius) and only one two-parter in Album 55? (Something Old, Something New) Obviously, AIO is realizing that Emily is only good if she is used sparingly. I actually liked Emily in Emily, the Genius and in Something Old, Something New mostly because we hadn't heard from her last episode! I hope AIO continues to use Emily less, and then maybe one day get rid of the character completely. It happened with Heather, Julie, Dwayne, and others. It even seems to be happening with Camilla. Maybe Emily is next...

After those three things happened, I loved the new episodes! Album 55 was, in my opinion, one of the best AIO Albums ever! (Once again, see my article Top 5 Best AIO Albums of All Time) Overall, the Stoijkan era was pretty good.
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Re: The Stojkan Era: Inferior or Not?

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as long as anyone plays whit, It's fine with me.

But his voice took a little getting used too
here from time to time....

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Re: The Stojkan Era: Inferior or Not?

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The Stojkan Era has kind of brought Odyssey back to it's roots. (not that it was ever far from where they started from) The nostalgia that Odyssey conveys is really remarkable. The snippet of child likeness (not childishness) That Odyssey captures in it's shows is what makes Odyssey 'feel' like Odyssey. The Herlinger Era had the 'feel' of Odyssey for the most part, but when sagas come in, sometimes nostalgia is lost simply for the purpose of plot line.
Now, I'm not saying saga's ruin Odyssey. I LOVE saga's. Odyssey needs sagas. All I'm saying is I think this is why some think Odyssey has almost lost itself. In the Classic era there were no saga's. Then came the Herlinger Era, and with it almost all of the sagas we know of. Then towards the beginning of the Stojkan Era we had the GRC. I think Having a saga at the beginning of an era threw many viewers for a ride that not many were ready for. (especially since most were still getting used to Andre's voice as Whit)

Currently, however, Odyssey is settling, and is becoming comfortable for all again.
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Re: The Stojkan Era: Inferior or Not?

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I think most of the reason that I don't like the Stojkan Era as much is just the sudden change of voice. It took me a long time to get used to the new voice, and I still don't quite like it as much. But also, I like the episodes that are really emotional. There haven't been many of those in the Stojkan Era. My favourite episode is The Mortal Coil because it made me cry a lot. I pretty much felt that Whit was going to die, even though I knew he wouldn't. But there have been some emotional episodes, and I think once I get used to the new voice and different characters, I will like the Stojkan Era about as much as the other eras. It's not so much that it's inferior, it's just new and takes some time to get used to for me. But I still love the new Adventures in Odyssey.
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