Jun. 5th, 2017

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[personal profile] froodle
Well, ladies and gentleman, this might be it: the “breakthrough” episode of the series. As with all previous episodes, you can ignore the title...there's nothing here that will be scary for any child over the age of three, nor is it the show's point to scare. What it is, however, is a clever play on the typical “switch parts” trope, in which Simon's crazy brother, Harley, ends up in a mummy flick. But, as Marshall and Simon wonder, if he's in the television, then where's the mummy? In their house, of course!

It all starts on Halloween. For reasons never made clear, Simon's younger brother, Harley, who looks like he'd be the perfect age for trick or treating, is forced to stay at home and be babysat by Marilyn, Marshall's mom, while he and Simon go out monster hunting. At least, that's how the night's supposed to go. But as we already know, things in Eerie, Indiana often don't turn out the way they're supposed to. In this case, Marshall's father is stranded with a dead car, so Marilyn has to go pick him up. This leaves Marshall and Simon in charge of Harley.

Trying to make the most of the situation, Marshall decides to have Simon unwittingly film Harley playing with lizards, in the hopes that what transpires will be funny enough to win $10,000 on a certain home video show. That plan doesn't take long to backfire, and before Marshall knows it, he has a lizard of his own down his pants.

So they set Harley up in front of the television, forcing him to watch “Bloody Revenge of the Mummy's Curse” while they plan on keeping themselves busy. Bad luck follows poor Harley, though, and after biting down on the remote (?), he ends up in the mummy movie, while Marshall and Simon now have a mummy of their own to deal with. They might not have been able to go monster hunting, but one certainly found them!

As it turns out, this isn't a real mummy, but rather the actor that plays the mummy: self-proclaimed “international star” Boris von Orloff, a curmudgeonly old man who's been dead for fifty years. They hatch a plan to reverse the effects and send Boris back into the set of his own movie—which Harley is trashing. The scenes of Harley knocking stuff over and causing general havoc while the female star, who's stuck in the movie's loop and thinks she's being chased by the mummy, simply runs away and screams the whole time is the kind of thing that makes “Eerie, Indiana” special...it has a unique self-awareness missing from shows in general these days.

This is the first episode where everything felt like it was firing on almost all cylinders for me. The writing is pretty sharp, there are more than a couple laugh-out-loud moments...even a risque sex joke finds its way in there (courtesy of Marshall's stranded mom and dad). It's kind of a shame that Cindy continues to exist only in the background...it's like the creators were forced to include a cute female character, but didn't have any way to utilize her (though listening to her reciting shapes based on boys from her school, which she does on the phone to a friend, is pretty funny).

With all this in mind, I'd have to say this is the best episode yet, and the perfect example of what this show could be when it was on its A-game. I honestly have paid no attention to who's directed what thus far (until right now, obviously), but of the five episodes I've watched, Joe (Gremlins) Dante has directed three of them, with two going to Pillsbury...and in a blind viewing, I've disliked two of Dante's, and loved both of Pillsbury's. Who would have expected that, coming from a man whose most notable works are Free Willy 3, and the classic Lifetime film Fifteen and Pregnant?

Hopefully it can build off of this and continue on its upward trajectory.

EPISODE RATING: 7.5/10

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Eerie Indiana

September 2017

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