Hey nerds! Today I will be exploring the pros and cons of the “Old” and “New” Adventures in Odyssey. Most of you know that in 2010, Album 51, Take it From the Top was released, marking the first album to have characters such as the Jones and Parker families, while getting rid of most of the old characters, except for Connie, Wooton, Eugene, Whit, etc. This is known as “new AIO”, while albums pre-2010 are known as “old AIO”. We’ve come a long way in the era of “new AIO”, and while I don’t pretend to like the new era better, I think I can give both a pretty fair look (through my own unique style that makes this blog so MEMEIFIED)
Round 1: Artwork
The use of artwork is prevalent throughout the series on both sides, however, there are two different approaches used.
The new Adventures in Odyssey artwork is more along the lines of modern, getting rid of Connie’s green (jogging suit??) with the leggings and giving her an actual pair of pants this time. No one should ever wear leggings alone. Eugene has been given eyeballs and we actually get to see Wooton for the first time.
Adventures in Odyssey has been around for almost 30 years, and has a huge and broad fanbase. As such, the old artwork is dearly beloved and customary to most of the fans who have been listening to the show, and I can understand why most people don’t like the new artwork.
Even though we often refer to the ‘old’ artwork, the fact is that it isn’t the oldest artwork. During the first episodes, we had the artist named Bruce Day, as some of the original fans will remember. Then, there was that mysterious unnamed artist who created the artwork that Gary Locke based his work on. The artwork is actually changing over the years, more frequently than may be obvious.
How many of us have felt sorry for Jimmy at one point or another?
Whether we realize it or not, the fact that the older episodes of Adventures in Odyssey were set before younger fans were born, that doesn’t stop them from being relateable. Jimmy Barclay’s conundrums don’t stop just because of modern convenience. And most of the fans’ problems don’t either. Being afraid to come home because you blew all your money on something, or because you got in a fight, is just as prevalent today as it was 20 years ago. Old AIO has done a fantastic job putting its characters in real situations that are still around today.
Connie finally made it to college, Eugene and Katrina have become parents, and Whit has finally had health issues, all thanks to new AIO. I’m not saying, however, that old AIO hasn’t had its own character development.
New AIO has had some popular and unpopular characters. Buck Oliver is a fan favorite, while the “Emily Haters Club” has been formed to voice their titular opinion. Barret Jones has been in No Man’s Land for quite awhile, while Jay is 100% thumbs-up.
This problem goes for both old and new AIO. Can’t people just get married?? We have waited since the GRC for Wooton and Penny to get married, it took SIX FREAKING YEARS. But, old AIO had that problem as well, as we all remember how it took NINE YEARS for Eugene and Katrina to get married. Ughhhhhh I hate to even think about how long…
We won’t talk much about the Odyssey videos. Needless to say, the “old” era includes those and they weren’t pretty.
A huge and continuing controversy within the AIO community is whether or not it was a good move by FotF to introduce the Odyssey Adventure Club (Now the Adventures in Odyssey Club). Users pay ten dollars a month for exclusive Odyssey episodes and to stream the entire Odyssey library as much as they wish. It also includes ClubHouse magazine and a bunch of other stuff. The downside to this method is that the non-paying listeners now only get six new episodes of Odyssey per year, however, the paying users don’t have to buy all the physical albums which cost an average of twenty dollars per album. I hold that it is a good move to have the AIOC, while other people aren’t so sure.
I’ve always held that Whit looks like a hamster on the original tapes, but notwithstanding, the other problems with the ‘classic’ AIO included the fact that they weren’t as widely available. The good old days of listening at the appointed time on the radio, however, are long gone with most of the people I know. We now just stream them on-demand over the Internet.
The quality and popularity of episodes has differed between old and new AIO. On the one hand, episodes from new AIO such as The Jubilee Singers were instant classics. In old AIO, the popular classics include The Mortal Coil and of course I Slap Floor, to be very brief. Of course, all fans have different opinions, but I think we can all agree on the least popular episodes of all time. For old AIO they include The Lyin’ Tale, Castles and Cauldrons, and Caroling, Caroling. Surprisingly, it seems that the ratio of bad episodes is about the same for new AIO. Some of the popularly terrible episodes include Big Trouble Under the Big Top, and Happy Hunting.
So, there you have it, a few points about old and new AIO. I leave it to the reader to decide for themselves whether or not they like the “old” or “new” better. There are gems and cringey ones in each era. I was just making a point and trying to come up with a weekend article because I’m running out of them.
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This is Kungfunaomi reminding you to come in and nerd out at Odysseynerds!