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12 Observations on Down Gilead Lane from a First Time Listener

Hey ATC Community! It's JD here. How are ya? So I had never sat down and listened to Down Gilead Lane until about three years ago. I f...

Hey ATC Community! It's JD here. How are ya?

So I had never sat down and listened to Down Gilead Lane until about three years ago. I finally decided I needed to check it out. This was partly because I knew I needed to be familiar with it as an industry critic and partly because many of you kept asking when we might talk about it and saying we needed to listen to it. For myriad reasons, the show had never piqued my interest, but the time had come. I put aside any preconceived notions, acquired the entire series, and started listening. I began with the very first episode and binged the entire 12 seasons plus the holiday specials.


And... I loved the show! I was extremely impressed by the writing, fantastic storytelling, and vivid characters. I was captivated by the real, authentic, and genuine struggles and daily life of the Morrison family and it wasn't long before they began to feel like old friends. When the series finally wrapped up, I almost felt like I'd just lost a best friend.

As I made my way through the over 150 episodes, I started to jot down a few things that I noticed about the show. I kept this list of random observations on DGL in a draft here on the blog, intending to post it once I finished the show. But for some odd reason, it never got published. So when I recently started going back through the Down Gilead Lane episodes, I remembered this post and decided to go ahead and publish it. On some items, I added more detail, on others, I thought they stood on their own. These are legitimate first impressions after listening to DGL for the very first time.

So here you go. Not in any particular order of importance, here are my...

12 Observations on Down Gilead Lane from a First Time Listener


1. The Morrisons like ice cream, lemonade, and snicker-doodles.

I mean, who doesn't like ice cream and lemonade, right? But they seem to really like them. Hopefully not at the same time though.

2. The family is not perfect.

There are depictions of squabbles, bad attitudes, and all the normal things a family deals with and I found it so refreshing. I've seen some reviews saying that this turned some off from the show, but it did the opposite for me. It compelled me to keep listening to see how they dealt with these things.

3. There is lots of sympathy crying.

This happened several times over the run of the show. Not a bad or a good thing. Just something I noticed.

4. There were multiple old time radio references.

If you've been around ATC for any length of time, you've probably heard us mention something about OTR. I loved hearing the roots of this medium being referenced in this program.

5. I like Zach more than Jacob.

6. John and Mary Morrison remind me of George and Mary Barclay.

For so many years, AIO was the "gold standard" in the space so it's natural that other shows will be compared and contrasted with it. The Barclays were one of the best families on that show and I found several similarities between them and the Morrisons; in particular the clothing donation situation and George's yard sale.

7. Haley is a fabulous character.

She's just super fun. Her energy is contagious.

8. The characters are allowed to age.

I loved this! It was fabulous to see the progression of each person as they moved through life.

9. Hope has an adorable laugh.

10. Podcasting is mentioned multiple times.

As a podcaster, podcast editor/producer, and new media consultant, I really liked the references to podcasting and blogging. DGL was way ahead of Odyssey in this regard. AIO didn't start mentioning podcasting until relatively recently.

11. They don't shy away from addressing real-life issues.

AIO does this on occasion also, but there was just something special about the family dynamic of the Morrisons that just made these sorts of situations so much more engaging and relatable.

12. We need more audio drama like this.


Thanks for reading my list of random DGL observations. A huge thank you to the entire cast and crew of this show. Each and every one of you contributed to one of the best family-friendly audio drama serials ever made. You can purchase the entire series of DGL at the Keys For Kids Ministries website or on Amazon.

We recently reviewed Season 1 of DGL on ATC Backstage. If you'd like to hear our thoughts on it, click here to check out Backstage. Thanks!


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