Episode Reviewed:
Teacher's Pest (531)

Writer: Torry Martin

Director: Marshal Younger

Production Engineer: Bob Luttrell

Music Composer: John Campbell

Original Airdate: 11/01/03

Rating (out of 5 cones):


Episode Summary

Mandy is the perfect student. She always gets her work done perfectly and volunteers to stay in for recess to help the teacher. Max is...the opposite. He tries to get out of work whenever he can and blows up pickles for science projects. So, what will happen when Mrs. Sweeney tells them to work together on a project? It's not gonna be pretty...



The Review

In recent episodes, Mandy Straussberg hasn't been around. It seems to me as if the Washington's swept into the town of Odyssey and showed no remorse for the longer-lasting characters. The way in which they were introduced was overdone, and it seems like AIO ignored Mandy for a little bit. That is why I was so pleased to hear that Mandy's still around in Teacher's Pest.


To be honest, it hurts to be honest. I'd greatly enjoy my job as a reviewer if I could give every single episode a positive review, but that's never the case with reviewers. My job is to critique, not lie to the audience involved. This episode is an alright slice-of-life Adventures in Odyssey episode, but that's all it is. In the beginning of the episode I cringed as I heard Max Hampton's cheesy taunting of Mandy's motivation. The beginning of the episode didn't catch my attention as do other shows. I think the very storyline itself has been tackled once or twice on AIO in other forms. Hearing it again doesn't really do much for me. No way, Josť. It's not working for me as Hooked on Phonics did.


Each week of a new season, I anxiously wait for AIO's time slot to arrive, anticipating how the show will turn out. Sometimes I am happy, sometimes I'm displeased. With the introduction of Miss Sweeney, I was very displeased. Teacher's Pest seems to take on a slow role, Mandy Straussberg as a main character, not at all a pest, but instead the pest is her teacher. There's just something obnoxious, cheesy, insipid, lifeless, dead, decaying, ANNOYING about the voice of Mrs. Sweeney. Mrs. Sweeney talked really S-L-O-W and it was bitter to my earlobes, something poetry isn't. She had a distinct accent which bugged me every time she appeared on set, pulsating into my eardrums. Thump. Thump. I'm making you two work together on the science fair project. THUMP. THUMP.


So typical it is to center a story around a science project. It's been done so many times I have a grudge against science fairs. I hated participating in the science fairs at school when I was younger. Why can't we just leave well enough alone?


John Avery Whittaker's character has taken a positive step in this episode, even with all the negativity. It was nice to hear Whit give valuable lessons (notice the emphasis there) and talk to the kids once again.



The Rating

As one of Torry Martin's early episode debuts, I'd say he did a pretty good job. Some improvements could be made here and there, but hey. It's a good listen, for the most part. I give Teacher's Pest 3 out of 5 cones.

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