A few different aspects of this show converged to make it a bad episode. Instead of meeting AIO’s high production standards, this show felt more like a one-take episode recorded from the first draft of a script. The writing and acting felt rushed in certain places. Even the whole premise of the show has been done before. What it amounted to in the end was a bad remake of the episode Isaac the Insecure. I thought we had already dealt with Isaac Morton’s insecurities about his lack of friends but this episode rehashes those old ideas and does it in a way which feels stale and too repetitive.
The Imagination Station is supposed to make the Bible exciting for kids. But despite the excitement of this particular Bible story, AIO actually manages to make it boring. The story of David and Jonathan’s friendship feels tired and uninspired. There was one scene transition that stood out to me in particular. After Jonathan comes up with his elaborate plan he tells Isaac he’ll need to go gathering in the field. Isaac asks what he’s supposed to be gathering. Jonathan laughs and replies “Wheat.” Exacerbated, Isaac exclaims “Wheat?!” And then the scene is over. Was that supposed to be a funny punch line? I don’t know. But it wasn’t dramatic or interesting in the least.
Isaac does a good job acting in this show, far better than the actors playing David and Jonathan. Some of David and Jonathan’s lines are painful to listen to. Since it was Jonathan’s job to calm down his angry father, King Saul, I think it’s fair to blame his failure to do so on his acting ability. Nothing Jonathan said convinced me, so I doubt he would be able to convince the king either. Besides their acting another odd thing about this show was David’s harp playing. For example, the harp music that accompanies his reading of Psalm 23 doesn’t fit at all. It’s not beautiful; instead it’s cold, boring and sounds more like stock music.
The only cool thing this episode gave us was meeting Sam Johnston in the Imagination Station and later finding out that he is a real person in the town of Odyssey. But even that idea isn’t really original and was probably borrowed from the show Isaac the Courageous. And maybe Isaac meeting Sam would have been more significant if they had actually showed up together as close friends in later episodes. But the only other times they even appear in the same episode is in Isaac the Pure as well as in The Power. And Sam doesn’t do the best job of acting like a true friend in either of those. Clearly Isaac the True Friend was not a good foundation for Isaac and Sam’s friendship which explains why it quickly faded out. This episode gets 2 out of 5 stars.