Is Odelle Ballard Based On A Real Person? The ‘American Odyssey’ Character Has Ties To A Classic Hero
Anyone who's ever paid even the slightest bit of attention throughout their high school English classes has undoubted heard of Homer's epic poem known as The Odyssey, which tells the journey of the legendary Greek hero, Odysseus, as he tries for years to return home after the Trojan War. (Are the essay nightmares flooding back to you now?) Well, it just so happens that NBC recently debuted a brand new series called American Odyssey , whose main character, Odelle Ballard, is loosely based on Odysseus himself. You'll notice that I used the term "loosely based" since I highly doubt Odelle will be encountering numerous gods and goddesses throughout her own journey home. (Otherwise, NBC is getting way more whimsical than I thought.)
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the premise of the show, though, here's the gist: Odelle is a Special Forces sergeant who — during a high-level Al Qaeda operative — suddenly goes MIA and is forced to find her own way home alone after her entire squad dies. Sound a little familiar? Well, it should, given it's the same type of predicament Odysseus finds himself in throughout his own perilous journey. And while the series is obviously going to take a few liberties with certain aspects of the story, the underlying premise still remains the same. In fact, if you really take the time to think about it, you'll discover that these two character — although from two very different worlds — actually have quite a lot in common. For example…
Both Are Extremely Intelligent
As you can imagine, one must be pretty savvy to make it out of these less-than-ideal predicaments these two characters find themselves in. You have to make use out of all your surroundings and decide how best to proceed.
Both Possess A Ton Of Patience
It took Odysseus over 10 years to make it back to his home after the war. And while I'm fairly certain Odelle's trek won't be quite as long, it's clear that this is not going to be an easy task. Patience isn't just encouraged in these types of situations. It's downright necessary if they have any hope of making it out alive.
Both Faced The Perils Of Loneliness
Though Odysseus remained with his crew intact throughout most of the first half of his story, he too — much like Odelle — is later forced to face his obstacles alone and remain far, far away from his family.
Both Are Incredibly Fearless
They don't hide in the face of danger. They come out to meet it head-on. Just like Neville Longbottom would.
Both Are, First & Foremost, Survivors
Just like Odysseus, I have every confidence that Odelle will eventually return home in one piece. Because no matter how dire things may get, no one has perseverance quite like these two. In other words: don't mess.
Images: Keith Bernstein/NBC; Giphy (5)