Episode Reviewed: The Bible Network (719)
Writer: Marshal Younger
Director: Dave Arnold
Sound Designer: Christopher Diehl
Music: John Campbell
Theme:
Bible reading
Original Airdate: 11/03/12

Review Written by: Ben Warren, Staff Writer

Rating (out of 5):


 

Episode Summary

Kids' Radio plays out the value of reading Scripture in three acts - a game show called "Who's the Real Sheep," a crime drama "BSI: Bible Study Investigation," and an intensive training regime called "Bible Boot Camp."
 

 

The Review

KYDS Radio enables Adventures in Odyssey to teach biblical themes in interesting and unusual ways. I know I'm not supposed to think too much into these sorts of episodes, but I can't help but think about how they fit in the context of the Adventures in Odyssey universe.

What exactly do I mean? Well, as
Love Is In the Air, Unto Us a Child Is Born, The Big Broadcast, and Kid's Radio showed us, these wacky radio shows are really produced by Whit, Connie, Bernard, Eugene, Wooton, etc. That means thatat some pointthese characters dropped what they were doing to create this very episode: The Bible Network.

It's amazing how Whit can both operate an Ice Cream shop and run a fully functioning radio station at the same time. Not often do we hear people going upstairs to work on the show; although, sometimes we hear Connie recording her latest episode of "Candid Conversations with Connie" and individuals working on the show's post-production, like in
Thy Kingdom Come. But when exactly do the voice actors stop by Whit's End to record their lines?

Does the voice of KYDS Radio regular Pete Reneday belong to the local grocer? Is the voice of Brian Cummings the electrician across the street? And is the voice of Corey Burton the local garbage man? How wonderful it is that KYDS Radio can find all of this local talent! Since Eugene and Connie sound like they play several of the roles, we must assume that they too are really brilliant voice actors. But, if that was case, why has no one on the show ever mentioned their amazing abilities? And why is it we've never met these wonderfully talented individuals that come to Whit's End to lend their voices? Something doesn't quite make sense, here.

The truth is, KYDS Radio episodes defy logic. They're not supposed to technically fit within the canon of Adventures in Odyssey even though they're so often referenced throughout the show. Truth be told, KYDS Radio really puts the attention on the cast and crew rather than the characters; actors can feel liberated by not being confined strictly to one character, and writers can take let loose creatively by writing humorous, sometimes preposterous, scenes.
 
Letting loose has resulted in multiple variety shows getting created over the years. They have ranged from bad (Fairy Tal-e-Vision) to just OK (The Power of One) to pretty good (Over the Airwaves, The Devil Made Me Do It). Hidden in My Heart is perhaps widely regarded as best out of these sorts of shows, for it features unforgettable parodies of "Lassie", "Rescue 911", and "Star Trek".

At first glance, The Bible Network seems like an attempt to duplicate the success of
Hidden in My Heart. Both are, after all, variety shows that feature humorous skits in order to teach similar theme about preserving God's word in our hearts. Do I mind? Not at all. The Bible Network, though similar, is dissimilar enough, and it offers a couple of new skits children can perform on their own. If the format ain't broke, why fix it?

The first skit, "Who's The Real Sheep?", is perhaps the less imaginative of the bunch. We've seen the game show format used in
Here Am I and The Devil Made Me Do It, and there wasn't much to enjoy aside from listening to contestant spewing wrong answers about how to get to heaven. The audience knew quite well what the right answer was from the beginning and the whole skit consisted of the audience waiting around for the girl to pick the correct answer. It certainly lacks the poignancy and entertainment value of "Guilt-Trip Jeopardy".

The second skit, "BSI: Danny's Apartment", was a step in the right direction. A parody of "CSI: Miami" and its star David Caruso starring a Danny Palusso felt almost outdated, but the neat CSI-ish background music combined with a clever story that built towards an unexpected ending made it feel fresh. Perhaps the funniest part about the skit is that these "crimes" seemed so inconsequentialthe theft of rocky-road ice-cream, the destruction of a watch, the knocking down of a shelf. I loved how Joe was repeatedly sent to prison, only to appear seconds later in the next scene.

Although I loved "BSI", the final skit is the best out of the three. This is a tough skit to write and Marshal Younger nails both the humor and lesson. I'll admit that, at first, I wasn't quite sure where it was going. The overly-aggressive way the Sergeant drilled the verses into the contestants made it sound like he was going to be the one learning the lesson here. After all, shouldn't learning the Bible be of one's free will? To any unbelievers tuning in, this skit may have reaffirmed some negative Christiana la "Jesus Camp"stereotypes. Regardless, the skit works. And it's just so much fun, too! How Marshal Younger found all those insulting bible verses is beyond me.

All of these skits add up to an episode that is pleasant and enjoyable to listen to. The humor here is never one-sided and will make both adults and children chuckle along together. Adults will certainly enjoy its wit, while younger listeners should its the energy and hearing their favorite actors take one these unusual roles. Wait, what am I saying? Everyone should love hearing their favorite actors take on these unusual roles, and The Bible Network really let's them shine.

 


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