Episode Reviewed: Target of the Week (659)
Writer: Marshal Younger

Director: Dave Arnold
Sound Designer: Jonathan Crowe
Music: John Campbell
Theme: The folly of revenge
Original Airdate: 4/03/10

Rating (out of 5):


 

Episode Summary

Matthew is Vance King's "Target of the Week" which means certain humiliation at the hands of the bully! Matthew decides to take matters into his own hands by getting revenge on Vance during an Odyssey Coyotes baseball game.
 

 

The Review
Everyone enjoys a simple, down-to-earth slice of real life. For me, Target of the Week is just that. It doesn't go too heavy on the overly-dramatic lives of middle schoolers (we all understand how they are at that age), but at the same time it lets us peek into their world. For middle schoolers who may be listening, Target of the Week opens a window on the real life struggles they go through.

But I'm not a middle schooler, nor am I in school any longer for that matter. Regardless, I was able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the episode for its variety of characters and situations and think back to my life in middle school. I'd never go back, but this episode brings it all back... to some extent.

I've read some reviews out there by some fans who think that actor Matthew Yang King, voice of Coach Chang Fang, is a poor actor and doesn't deliver a good coach for the Odyssey Coyotes. I, however, would disagree as Matthew Yang King cruises through his lines. I would venture to say that I expect to hear more from this new character in the days ahead. I mentioned in my review of Clutter that if AIO is going to strive to be more "politically correct," they had better approach it the right way. In Coach Fang's case, writer Marshal Younger introduced Coach Chang Fang in a way that I would deem appropriate. Coach Fang doesn't throw his cultural background at listeners, yet his voice and dialect reveal enough information on their own. That─I'd say─speaks 1,000 times stronger than a character shoving his cultural diversity down listeners' throats. And I do apologize if I've created any mental pictures of the words "CULTURAL DIVERSITY" in block letters being shoved down someone's throat. And yet, I'm almost not sorry because that's the painful feeling I've gotten from politically correct characters of the past. Everyone, let's tip our hats to our new character, Coach Chang Fang, voiced by Matthew Yang King (try saying that 10 times fast!), politically correct extraordinaire!

Also, we see some other new characters introduced in Target of the Week, like the new school bully, Vance King (Jason Earles), and his buddy, Jay (Whit Hertford). A few people out there have mentioned that Vance King makes a good replacement for Rodney. Can I disagree? Since when has AIO ever replaced characters? They replace actors, but they've never replaced characters. Vance King is his own person. He has his own unique personality which will help to drive the show. I don't particularly like Jay's voice as he can become slightly annoying, but I'm sure we'll manage with the two of them together.

It was great to bring back Whit's involvement in announcing for little league games on Kids Radio. In sports episodes, it has always been a good plot device to drive the story. Using Whit to engage the listeners rekindles longtime listeners' memories of earlier shows. I am beginning to notice that actor Andre Stojka needs to work with his voice. I think that he should bring his voice down a level to make him sound older as the former actors sounded. I think if Andre speaks with too high of a pitch, something is lost in the character of Whit.

As I listened, I noticed that I lost interest at some points. I'm not sure if it's the music, the acting, or the overall pace of the show, but I find myself lost every now and then. Come to think of it, I'm nowhere close to the target audience for Adventures in Odyssey, so perhaps that explains my wandering away.

Of course, Target of the Week features a nice tip-of-the-hat to the Novacom Saga with the mention of Ken Blaylock. It won't go unnoticed by us longtime fans. Also Matthew Parker's brief statement, "I wonder if there's a witness protection program" for kids like us" gave me a good chuckle. Little does Matthew know that a former Odyssey kid actually got to be in a witness protection program: Jared DeWhite (during the Novacom Saga).

Behind the scenes, the sound design was exceptional with engaging music by composer John Campbell. I feel that a few of the scenes with extras talking in the background were a bit weak. They may want to work on creating realistic middle school kids in the background. But I suppose that's more up to the actors.

 

Rating


In conclusion, Target of the Week creates a unique perspective that is both entertaining and worthy of more than just one listen. I give Target of the Week 4 out of 5 cones.

 


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