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 Post subject: Re: PROTEST CONNIE NOT BEING MARRIED!!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:20 pm 
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Belle wrote:
This is currently the most active i have seen the board in like a year...

Ok good point. So does anybody have any ideas?

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 Post subject: Re: PROTEST CONNIE NOT BEING MARRIED!!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 5:19 pm 
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Let's try again. For real, this time.


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Constance "Connie" Kendall has been a mainstay on the family audio drama Adventures in Odyssey since its inception. Over the years, she's grown as a character, both in her maturity and her background. Connie's arc of becoming a Christian is regarded as one of the best storylines on the show, and her journey into adulthood is just as valuable to her development. When 2001 rolled around, Connie was a pretty solid character, with a decent back story, a well-fleshed out family, and a mature personality.

And then she met Mitch. And since then, Connie has never been the same. [...]
Robert "Mitch" Mitchell entered Connie's life and introduced her to a concept she had long forgotten: romantic attraction. Mitch was perfect, and he loved Connie. But he also had his secrets, so he put his safety on the line to make sure Connie knew all his secrets at the right time. That was how important their relationship was.

And then Mitch joined the FBI. He found another love in his job. And Connie and Mitch left each other.

From the day when Connie was finally over her grief, she spurned any thought of becoming part of another relationship again, and her subconscious wish was granted. Connie Kendall has had no romantic interaction with any man on Adventures in Odyssey since Robert Mitchell. Furthermore, she is in constant denial that there could be any future relationship between her and Jeff Lewis, her "first love." While there is at least some semblance of possibility for Connie to find her soul mate, she rejects it. But deep down, she wants it. Her disillusionment with marriage is a shroud, keeping her safe in her own little bubble. It's not what she wants, but it's not risky. It's safe.

The writers have said as much. Phil Lollar, the co-creator of the show, has argued on multiple occasions that Connie should not get married. Ultimately, the argument against Connie's marriage comes down to three reasons: 1) Connie's character would be drastically changed if she were to get married (let alone have children). 2) Connie's story can be a great example of celibacy and relying on God to be content. 3) Currently, Connie's singleness allows her to relate to the younger listeners of the show.

There's only one problem to this. Nay, two problems. Nay, three! First: the organization is called (and I repeat, the organization producing this show is called) Focus on the Family. Second: it has worked before to get a character married — Eugene Meltsner and Katrina Shanks, for example — without destroying the character and still bringing great content (c.f. 849: "Out to Sea" or 855: "Divided We Fall" for Eugene). Finally, Connie has real emotions, regardless of how the writers are suppressing them. She yearns for the connection that is only brought by a loving, Christian husband. Celibacy is not Connie's calling, and it's a cop-out if anything. But it's not as if Connie's lacking or incomplete in being single, because her character development thus far has shown that she is complete. What she desires in marriage is biblical, and would be a great gift and extension of her character. Now is the point in her life when, after waiting on the Lord, it is time to move forward.

As of this writing, Adventures in Odyssey is about to release episode number 880, and 425 — almost half — have included Connie Kendall. It's time for the writers to let go of the past and the writing ideal, and it's time to move on. We have had hundreds of successful, wonderful episodes with Connie, and we have the potential to gain so many more remarkable stories by finding Connie a husband. Even now, Jules Kendall, Buck Oliver, Matthew Parker, and Jillian Marshall are relatively new characters that are material for good stories and arcs, and the target range of Odyssey gravitates to them — with success (c.f. 860: "The Long End, Part 2"). The time has come to listen to the fans and provide change: introduce into Connie's life the man who will, eventually, become her soul mate.

Dear Focus on the Family, get Connie Kendall married.


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 Post subject: Re: PROTEST CONNIE NOT BEING MARRIED!!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:54 pm 
Dulce de Leche
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Eh, St Paul said it was better to not be married

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 Post subject: Re: PROTEST CONNIE NOT BEING MARRIED!!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:40 pm 
Caramel Crunch
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My comment on the Facebook group link (albeit before I read the petition's full text):

I'm not crazy about there being some directorial decision that 'Connie must never get married', but the alternative to that isn't necessarily 'let's marry her off as soon as practicable'. There's nothing wrong with leaving it up in the air, and maybe doing it someday if it makes sense for where the character, the show (and the fans) are at. I wouldn't like to unnaturally force it one way or the other.

Regarding ED's post, I've heard that claim about Paul's writings before. I think it's a more complex issue than that. The consequence that many people eventually try to logically derive from that, that marriage basically is wrong (because it's supposedly "subpar"), is certainly theologically unsound. I think it bears a more exhaustive study, including that of the context, to be able to make more firm conclusions about this. My inclination regarding the issue is that it's more of a 'calling' thing; some people are meant to be perpetually single, and some (perhaps more) people are not.

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 Post subject: Re: PROTEST CONNIE NOT BEING MARRIED!!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:59 pm 
Dulce de Leche
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I never said marriage is wrong but celibacy and the monastic life are vocations that are equally valid.

But from a writing perspective you don't have to marry off all your characters and I doubt there would be such a fuss if Connie weren't a woman.

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 Post subject: Re: PROTEST CONNIE NOT BEING MARRIED!!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:09 pm 
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I knew you hadn't said that, so I wanted to make sure I didn't try to put you down on record as necessarily having made that conclusion yourself. I brought it up because I do think it's a common track people go down when they're talking about the verse, though. If you say it's 'equally valid', that's fair enough, if it is something you are called to do. That said, it is often portrayed as being *more* valid, which effectively has the end result that marriage is wrong, or at best a second-class state for anemic Christians (who wouldn't have done it if they were just stronger, more spiritual, closer to God, less carnally minded, et al). I believe that interpretation is wrong, and so I wanted to address it even if it isn't directly a part of our conversation.

As far as the second point, I'm inclined to agree. In fairness, though, Connie has been a favorite character for a long time. Fans are emotionally invested in her and view her as being like a friend. For better or worse, I don't think they're displaying attitudes or opinions that they wouldn't for someone like her that they know in real life.

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 Post subject: Re: PROTEST CONNIE NOT BEING MARRIED!!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:23 pm 
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I am more inclined to agree with Bob and ED on this.

Being a single Christian gal of a certain age, I'm used to people trying to ship me with any guy who walks in the door of the church, as is Connie, I'm sure. And this is why she is constantly brushing away any mention of a romantic connection between her and Jeff. Because everybody seems to want her to end up with somebody--ANYBODY, any possible connection with a guy seems incredibly forced and unnatural. So she suppresses her hopes of finding love and avoids any potential romantic entanglements.

SO. What if the point of Connie is not any of the aforementioned reasons, but rather to show that the Christian life is not about always getting a perfect "happily ever after"? God does not owe us an explanation for anything. There are things about life and God's plan for us that we will never understand.

God has created wonderful roles for men and women to play within the family. However, the main objective or means of fulfillment in a woman's life is not necessarily to get married and raise a family. Tantamount to anything else is our purpose as human beings to glorify God with all of our being, wherever He's placed us, even if, to us, it doesn't make sense.

Sometimes, God calls us to get "stuck" (not unlike Connie), in a place where our deepest (even God-given) desires are not met, so that we can learn complete and total dependence on Him.

That being said, I am not opposed to Connie ever getting married. I just don't think it's something that should be rushed into, just for its own sake. I would also love to see Connie grappling with the ideas I mentioned in future episodes. Even though similar themes have been casually mentioned several times, I believe AIO's audience would benefit from a closer look at this type of struggle.

And that's just my two cents. :)

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 Post subject: Re: PROTEST CONNIE NOT BEING MARRIED!!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:19 pm 
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I’d like to reply to all the reasons a single life is great, but right now that’s not the crux of my argument. This is:
ByeByeBrownie wrote:
That being said, I am not opposed to Connie ever getting married. I just don't think it's something that should be rushed into, just for its own sake. I would also love to see Connie grappling with the ideas I mentioned in future episodes.
That’s exactly what I’m asking.


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 Post subject: Re: PROTEST CONNIE NOT BEING MARRIED!!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:00 am 
Strawberry
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I see your point, but I think you may misunderstand mine. I'm not arguing for the benefits of the single life. I'm arguing against the trope of the happy ending.

Maybe we should then be talking about providing Connie with character development through meaningful romantic relationships, rather than "get[ting] Connie married."

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 Post subject: Re: PROTEST CONNIE NOT BEING MARRIED!!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:26 pm 
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I may have already given my 2 cents here, but if not - I have to say I don't mind either way.

If the writers decide to marry Connie off, that's cool. If they decide not to, that's cool too.

What really bugs me though is all of these people who are aghast that Connie is "so old" and not yet married. Dude, there's nothing wrong with not being married. I am a single nearly 25 year old woman with no prospects in sight. Do I want to get married someday? Yes. But I also know that may not be God's plan for me.

I do not think the writers should marry Connie off just to do so, but only if it will help her character further grow and seems right for her.

Also to WD's point, Jason isn't married yet either but I don't see these gobs of people protesting that...

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 Post subject: Re: PROTEST CONNIE NOT BEING MARRIED!!
PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:02 am 
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people complain about Jason not being married all the time

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 Post subject: Re: PROTEST CONNIE NOT BEING MARRIED!!
PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:44 am 
Strawberry
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*high-fives Belle*

YES.

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 Post subject: Re: PROTEST CONNIE NOT BEING MARRIED!!
PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:08 pm 
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i agree as well.
characters should be developing more before they get married.
especially connie.

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 Post subject: Re: PROTEST CONNIE NOT BEING MARRIED!!
PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:37 pm 
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Shadow wrote:
people complain about Jason not being married all the time


yep. i mean that's one of the biggest reasons why connie/jason is such a popular ship.

i'm not personally invested in connie's love life, but i am frustrated that AIO has historically been introducing characters to be love interests first and characters second. i'm glad that characters like jenny, joanne, katrina, penny, tasha, and mitch got to be characters in their own right, but there's a degree to which their primary reason to exist is to be love interests to the main characters. i mean my only real ship on this show is a relationship between two side characters who developed on their own entirely before being shipped together; i'm just not interested in relationships where one character is tailor-made for another. if they could pull something interesting off with connie, then great, but i doubt i'd be terribly invested either way.

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 Post subject: Re: PROTEST CONNIE NOT BEING MARRIED!!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:13 am 
Caramel Crunch
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Well, Jenny exists pretty much only in the past tense. There's a bit of a difference between episodes exploring what Whit's relationship/wife were like (after several episodes in which it was established he's a widower), and Mitch appearing with no 'warning' or previous setup, in a first scene that obviously foreshadows future romantic plotlines.

If there's anything that's curious about how she's been developed, it's that I'm not sure how much she comes up in any of her children's lives. My memory could be off, but it seems like Tom had more to say about her than Jana or Jason ever have. If she was a very passive, demure figure, or died young, it could make sense, but apparently neither of those things were the case. In this sense your criticism seems much more on the mark, since most episodes featuring her are focused on her relationship with Whit, but I still don't think it's exactly applicable in the same sense as Joanne or some of the others.

I'm also not sure Penny is such a clear-cut example of this as the others. She met Connie first, and her portrayal in those first two episodes is a bit different from the 'Wooton/Penny' stereotype (not to mention that they do things totally unrelated to Wooton in the process). In the GRC behind-the-scenes video, the team also talked about the development of their 'villain' characters and the ongoing possibility that it could have been one character or another; if there was a good chance Penny was going to be written as a villain, it's hard to say that the plan all along was for her to be made as the 'perfect match' to Wooton. I can see why someone might think about her like that since they do hit it off quickly once they do meet, and get married relatively quickly (compared to 10+ years, the Odyssey norm for relationship lengths ;) ), but I think the facts of the situation make it a bit less clear than the others, where the 'romance' angle is obviously part of the character from their very first episode (if not their very first scene).

This doesn't detract from the overall point you're making, since you're right that it still does happen that way as often as (or more often than) not, I just felt that it was worth taking a closer looking at details.

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