006: The Day After Christmas Review

| 13 Comments
Episode: 006: The Day After Christmas
Originally Aired: December 26, 1987
From Album: Volume 1: The Adventure Begins

Buy album from Amazon!
1

Ultimate Christmas Collection Album Cover Adventures in Odyssey’s longevity is a testament to its high quality. If the series wasn’t entertaining, engaging, and smart, nobody would be listening to it six episodes later let alone twenty-five years later. But sometimes the occasional stinker squeezes by.

“The Day After Christmas” is such a stinker.

I understand they were under an extreme time crunch for these early episodes, which makes it all the more admirable when they do hit it out of the ball park like the previous episode. Steve Harris has said, “Focus gave approval for Odyssey to go into production just three weeks before the first episode was supposed to air on the radio. We were doomed from day one. For the first month, Phil Lollar and I were putting in 80-hour work weeks” (AIO: TOG, p.13).

On the scale of anthological to serialized, “The Day After Christmas” falls closer to the anthological end of the scale. Anthological episodes aren’t automatically bad. “Gifts for Madge and Guy” was even more anthological than this episode—it took place in an entirely different universe—and it is the best episode of the series so far. But it is much harder to like a poor-to-average anthological episode than it is to like a poor-to-average serialized episode. You form an emotional bond with the characters. Even when the episode is not that great, you care about the characters in this episode.

We’ve never met Annie, Pastor Clarence Pike, or Tommy before—and we’ll never meet them again. We don’t have an emotional bond with them like we do with Whit and Connie and Tom and Eugene.

If the writers consider a little rap “somewhat embarrassing,” I sure hope they consider the gang in this episode, The Locos, embarrassing. Most episodes of Odyssey are timeless, but the gang storyline dates this one more than others. It’s not that gangs no longer appear in fiction (they do), but they were a particularly popular motif in the 1980s. To give just one example, Zot! issue #11, published 1987—the very same year this episode first aired—features the titular altruistic-but-naïve Zot crossing from his utopian alternate universe into our universe. While trying to recover a woman’s purse from a mugger, he gets into a fight with a gang.

You can read this issue in the massive 575-page Zot!: The Complete Black and White Collection. I recommend it not only for the excellent comics, originally published 1987-1991, but also for the extensive commentary Scott McCloud has written about each issue two decades later. It’s like DVD special features for comics. On issue #11, McCloud comments:

The scenes in New York seem embarrassingly dated to me now. The would-be purse-snatcher and his bigger gang member friends were just lazy stock characters of a sort common in mainstream titles of the day, and they strike a false note to me now. [C]omics creator Bill Loebs rightfully took me to task for perpetuating the comics cliché that all you had to do to get mugged in a big city was walk down the street at night (pg. 65).

The dialogue in this episode is atrocious. When Mrs. Rossini asks Annie how her Christmas was, this is what she replied:

Well, on Christmas Eve my brother and I nag Mom and Dad to let us open some of our presents, and they usually let us open one. Then they send us to bed early, but we can’t go to sleep. After we do get to sleep, we wake up real early—like five ‘o clock—and drag Mom and Dad out of bed, so we can open presents.

Annie’s Christmas account has to be the least self-aware soliloquy in the history of radio. Michael Scott has nothing on this girl. Even the delivery is flat and irony-free. There is not hint whatsoever that the character comprehends how narcissistic this account is. It’s not the actor’s fault. The young actress does an admirable job with the clunky dialogue she’s given. I don’t know how the writer (Paul McCusker) intended for this to read, but the directors (Phil Lollar and Steve Harris) should have directed the line different (if not cut it completely).

Matthew's Rating: 1 (out of 10)
More info about 006: The Day After Christmas:

13 Comments

Yeah this episode really makes me cringe sometimes. It's not one that I'd use to introduce AIO to my friends. :D

Matt, couldn't find anywhere to send you a private message so this will have to do! Just wanted to tell you that I've got this site under my favorites and check it everyday. This is a fantastic idea and I love hearing your insights. Keep up the great work.

-Josh

Hi! Would you mind if I share your blog with my
facebook group? There's a lot of people that I think would really
enjoy your content. Please let me know. Many thanks

I've truly at all times beloved practically all types to do with Hip-Hop. I am an actual tremendous admirer, terrific article.

Hello, I think your website mmight be having browser cmpatibility issues.
When I look att your blog site in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other tnen that, terrific blog!

What's up to every one, it's genuinely a fastidious for me to pay a visit this webb site, it contqins useful Information.

Beneficial data. Fortunate my family I stumbled upon your web site by mistake, and i'm stunned exactly why this particular automobile accident did not occurred prior! I actually saved as a favorite it. Beneficial data. Fortunate my family I stumbled upon your web site by mistake, and i'm stunned exactly why this particular automobile accident did not occurred prior! I actually saved as a favorite it.

Blow Your Competition Out Of The Water With These Internet marketing Tricks

A site you develop might look truly flashy and pack
in a great deal of functions, however ask yourself a truthful concern right here:
What good are all those bells and whistles doing if no one's even visiting
your site? This is the problem you're going to have unless
you deal with the problem of SEO, so bone up on your abilities.


Enhance your site traffic and the income from your website by ensuring it
has no broken links or pages. Broken links prevent consumers from browsing your
site. Broken pages are even worse, ever since the content
is simply missing out on. Busted material can't be indexed
by online search engine either, which is also poor
marketing.

Even saved images and video files on your server can provide
an opportunity to enhance in the rankings, so make certain that you're constantly saving files with keywords.
For instance: If you have an image on your website dealing with
weight-loss, like a before-and-after image, make sure you include an appropriate keyword in the title when you conserve the image.

Avoid making use of keywords that are of no significance to your site or
item. Web crawler bots may error your website as spam and blacklist your website from the search
results when you do. On the other hand, be sure to include all pertinent keywords on your web page
as this is the page you need to desire your consumers to see initially.

Be specific about your phrases and keywords and keep it simple.

You will have spread yourself too thin if you attempt to catch
every keyword in your niche. Target a choose couple of and utilize them artistically and
often while still keeping a natural circulation to your page.
By doing this you can push to the top of the list a lot easier.


Reliable SEO methods will certainly not require a high level of ability or even a great deal of effort.
What is very important is that you take the best technique.
As you find out about SEO, you will certainly find that a couple
of minor tweaks can correspond to huge outcomes. Get going on your optimization by utilizing exactly
what you've learned here.

For more reference: visit us at SEOBloggerninja

Good function! This is the form of info that should always be embraced online. A sense of shame on Google for the moment never placement this publish bigger! Can happen above and also talk to my website auto ceiling. Thanks Means)

Hi there, yeah this paragraph is in fact fastidious and
I have learned lot of things from it regarding blogging. thanks.

Every weekend i used to visit this web page, because i want enjoyment, as
this this site conations really pleasant funny information too.

Nice post it is very help full… Thanx For sharing

Leave a comment