Episode Reviewed:
Called On in Class (539)
Writer: Bob Hoose
Director: Bob Hoose
Production Engineer: Todd Busteed
Music Composer: John Campbell
Original Airdate: 2/21/04

Rating (out of 5 cones):


Episode Summary

Trent DeWhite has to give his oral report in class...and the mayhem he imagines is earth-shattering.



The Review

I don't think I have ever heard an Adventures in Odyssey episode quite like Called On in Class. I say this from a negative viewpoint, for the episode itself is a shameful parallel to Disney's Recess cartoon seen on national television. This isn't Adventures in Odyssey Recess; it is Adventures in Odyssey. While I like the Recess cartoon (minus the disrespect of adults, like many of Disney's current cartoons in the lineup), I do not want Odyssey to imitate secular entertainment, whether intentional or not. I sat down to listen to this episode after a long week, and expected to enjoy a new episode. However, that was not the case. I sat down for a very long half hour of mindless rambling, poorly-planned drama, and incessant imaginings that could drive one crazy. In my opinion, Called On in Class is positively shameful.


The storyline itself was a bit warmed over, a slice of old chocolate pie on top of a shiny, clean plate. I was not amused by any of the events in the episode as the main character, Trent, talked about his fear of being "called on in class." His overwhelming banter and Lawrence Hodges imaginings were absolutely obnoxious, leaving an unhappy listener at the end of the show. Lawrence Hodges had a more compact and gifted imagination, one that amused the listener rather than driving the listener crazy. Trent DeWhite's imagination was more conniving, pointless, and just a time-filler for the episode. I don't think I have had to tackle a review in such a negative aspect in, let's see, probably years. Not since Snow Day, and even then, there were some good things presented in that episode. This far surpasses the pointlessness of Snow Day, removing it from the "bad episodes vault" and placing Called On in Class in its place. As you can see, I am not pleased with this episode.


When I listen to a new episode of Adventures in Odyssey, I am generally quiet, willing to soak the drama into my mind. This time, however, my mind was racing with thoughts of anger and boredom. Usually I think only about the episode as it airs, wondering what will happen next. This time, however, I actually drifted away from the episode and told my brother that "This is shameful!" My brother agreed.


The repetitive flashbacks to the story of Trent's relation to the McAllister's was the most obnoxious aspect of the episode. In The Ill-Gotten Deed, AIO tackled the idea of how the town of Odyssey came to be, but this time I could not pay attention. The characters' voices were meant to be entertaining, but instead they angered me. I am not a happy camper. I have never had to write a review in which I have become so worked up about. The whole idea of Trent's imagination taking over him during class is overused. The idea of zoning out and then returning back to "class" every few minutes was both irritating for the listener and clichéd at most. I heard the teaser for the episode before it aired and I immediately had an "Oh no, I can see where this is leading" thought.


The only thing I can be positive about in this episode is the sound design and music. While the episode was written and put together in such bad form, the music and sound effects were very professional. It's just sad to me that the episode had to be so dumb.


I have never had to apologize in an episode review, and this is a first. I apologize for my negativity, but it really could not be helped this time. I do support Focus on the Family's Adventures in Odyssey program, but I do not want to hear a Saturday morning cartoon. I am tuning in to hear Adventures in Odyssey, a family radio drama that helps the listener to forget all the troubles going on in life and focus on God. I support FOTF and AIO completely, but when a bad episode arrives, I have to speak the truth. Knowing this, Called On in Class must receive a solid half-star rating.


Rating (out of 5 cones):

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