Episode Reviewed: Something's Got to Change (545)
Writer: Bob Hoose
Director: Bob Hoose
Production Engineer: Allen Hurley
Music Composer: John Campbell
Original Airdate: 5/15/04

Rating (out of 5 cones):


Episode Summary

Marvin and Tamika try to find out the odd changes that are going on in their family since their dad took his new job.



The Review
As a near end-of-the-season episode, Something's Got to Change drives a nail into its own ghastly presence and creates a reality of overused sarcasm. The episode slowly progresses through its time frame and demands that a story be told. It is a show in which I would rather not have been produced at such a risky state of being. In other words, this episode has been both a slice of life and serious-natured story, something that just doesn’t cause a positive response from the listener, in this case, myself. If the overwhelming sarcasm had been avoided, I may not be so upset with this Adventures in Odyssey show. Allow me to elaborate.

For example, the episode is filled to the brim with a sarcastic tension between Tamika and Marvin Washington. Each character in the story appears to know exactly what to say next on the whim of the moment. In other words, if Tamika tells Marvin something that asks for a simple response, Marvin spills out a rude, sarcastic comment that is supposed to squeeze a laugh out of the listener. It didn’t prove to be a good tactic for humor, for I did not laugh. I didn’t even chuckle. Out of all the instances of sarcasm written in by Bob Hoose, one significantly jumps out that cannot go unnoticed. Towards the end of the adventure in Odyssey, Ed Washington is revealing the McAllister house to his wife and children. He says, “…I feel like God has given us this house,” to which Marvin disrespectfully responds, “Probably ‘cause He didn’t want it anymore.” Upon hearing such a statement, by a kid no less, I was not pleased. Not only is the remark disrespectful to his father, but also Marvin’s remark is extremely disrespectful to God. This small portion of the episode encourages children to make demeaning statements about their loving Creator in a humorous approach. Humor or no humor, it isn’t funny. I am able to put up with the wise cracks. I am able to see kids be sarcastic with each other to an extent. But not when they begin to cause problems and place little value on God. Such a statement I have taken as another disrespect towards God in that His will is being mocked as well. If Ed Washington is actively seeking God with his whole heart to discover His will (which doesn’t seem to be present in this episode, I might add), then God will reveal His will because He loves His children, not because he wants to get rid of a house that’s lying around. In my book that is a shameful thing to put in an AIO episode. And might I also add that this radio program is produced by a ministry called Focus on the Family, “dedicated to the preservation of the home.” Marvin’s scrupulous disrespect doesn’t seem to line up with this ministry’s standards.

Moving on, I must mention that there is an issue with the Washingtons’ future. Ed Washington appears to be making decisions based on what feels right, not what God wants. Not once does Ed stop and pray. Not once does he encourage his family to be praying for him and for God’s will to be done in regards to the moving situation. Instead of a loving reaction from his children, Ed receives negative comments, disrespect, and sarcasm (mentioned earlier). And when it all comes down to it, God’s will is not evident in this episode. Marvin and Tamika begin feeling a sense of guilt for wanting what they want. It is interesting to point out that guilt is not associated with God or His will for our lives. Guilt is of the enemy, not of the Father. God’s Holy Spirit works through us and in us to convict us of sin, not to create a self-indulgent pity party. Guilt does not come from God. I don’t even care right now to know who said this remark, but when Marvin and Tamika suddenly change attitudes towards moving into a new house, one of them says, “We just changed our minds; that’s all.” They are telling their father through their words that they have only changed their minds. God has nothing to do with the decision-making. If they were seeking God in this situation there would be some more wise words regarding to wanting what God wants, not just because they changed their minds.

While the episode was interesting, it fostered too many negative elements. In the past, AIO has never talked about such things as underwear. I have noticed a pattern of odd conversations thrown in here and there, some including underwear in recent shows. Another example is in Life Trials of the Rich and Famous when Alex’s underwear is visible through his costume. It’s an unnecessary thing for an AIO fan to put to imagination.

It’s interesting to note that several elements are brought up to foreshadow events in No Way Out. Ed Washington wraps up the episode by stating that he thinks “this house is going to be really great for us. Can’t you sense it? It feels like there’s something behind these walls. Something exciting is waiting for us right around the corner.” Ed is, in fact, referring to events following one episode later in No Way Out. Also a small reference to an obituary in the town newspaper regarding Ernest McAllister’s passing away prepares the listener for the next show. Another possible foreshadowing includes the scene with Ed as he tries to open a door to what is supposed to be the kitchen. It isn’t. Will this come to good use in No Way Out?

As a whole, the episode and storyline were well put together. Joel's appearance on the episode has me curious to know if he'll be back in future days. His character seems as if it would have a lot of, well, character to it if he was developed further on the show. The conflict of the far drive each day to Connellsville for Ed is a good way to get the story going. The story is very well thought out.

In regards to production and quality, I was generally pleased yet just a little overwhelmed with underlying music. The Whit’s End bell (if you can call it one) on the door is rather odd and cheesy, but I won’t question it much.

All in all, I wasn’t exactly happy with the overall themes presented within the overall theme of the story. Sarcasm and disrespect generally took place of what is really important. Oh, and I sure am interested in hearing more of the new neighbor, Bart Rathbone. I wonder what’s going to happen here? I give Something's Got to Change 1 ½ out of 5 cones.


Rating (out of 5 cones):

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