Friday, May 18, 2012

Eerie, Indiana: An Introduction

As a child, I was obsessed with the supernatural.  Fortunately, the children's literature and television programming of the 1990s loved to cater to my needs.  Goosebumps, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, So Weird, Round the Twist.  I would eat it all up.  I even moved on to the more mature X-Files at an earlier age than most.  I just couldn't get enough of "weirdness."

But there was one short-lived show that stood above the rest.  It was like The X-Files for children, except it came first.  That show was Eerie, Indiana, my home sweet home.

What I loved most about this show was its focus.  The other shows of its ilk were mostly a variety of short stories with little to no connection.  Sure, X-Files had the same characters from episode to episode, but they would have to travel all over the country to find their weirdness.  In Eerie, Indiana, the weirdness would just flow to one centralized location.  Passing itself off as the "most normal town in the country," Eerie would act as a beacon, attracting all sorts of weirdness.  And to top it off, only two characters were aware of the abnormalities.  Marshall Teller and Simon Holmes would collect evidence from their encounters with the paranormal, awaiting the day they could be taken seriously and have the proof to back up their claims.

As a show, Eerie, Indiana served to parody the typical depiction of "normal" suburban life on television.  Like Edward Scissorhands meets The Stepford Wives, there was always a darker presence behind the ideal, saccharine nature of the town.  It was comedy and horror rolled into a singular unit, and it was unlike anything I had ever seen before.  I wanted to be Marshall.  I wanted to see every item in his evidence locker.  I wanted to live in Eerie.

In Eerie, you could see Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and Elvis in one afternoon.  In Eerie, becoming a mindless hypnotized zombie was just a part of joining the neighborhood.  In Eerie, love meant having to endure a few old ghosts, literally.  And in Eerie, there was always a bigger conspiracy lurking just beneath the surface.

The show only lasted 19 episodes from 1991-1992, but it was resurrected in a way during 1997-1998 when Fox Kids began rebroadcasting the episodes on Saturday mornings.  The newfound glory warranted a collection of books to continue Marshall and Simon's adventures as well as a rebooted television series with a new cast.  Both series have made their way onto Hulu and, now that I'm armed with the entire library, I plan to go relive this great series once again.

So join me, won't you, as I return to Eerie, Indiana.

1 comment:

  1. Eerie Indiana and Gravity Falls are my favorite TV shows, I am creating a replica of Marshalls Notebook right now and I feel the same way as you and this show, although I'm only 14.