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Welcome back to the Eerie, Indiana 2017 rewatch. This Friday, give your dog the side-eye and pray that doorknobs will be enough to save us. Ladies and gentlemen, keep the Canine Arrest Team on speed-dial, because it's time to watch... The Retainer!
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Rock out your fifties hairstyles, make sure your lids are sealed tight, and enjoy vacuum-fresh food, because the 2015 Eerie Indiana rewatch kicks off tonight with the pilot episode that made half of us afraid of packed lunches... ladies and gentlemen, fire up your DVD players, and let's watch: Foreverware!
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I know that in the grand scheme of things it really doesn't matter to anyone but me, but I noticed a scratch/stain/defect on my copy of The Loyal Order of Corn. I imagine it came from the master reel, makes me wonder what happened too it. Since Eerie was shot on film, I really should have expected something like this to crop up, lol. I've spotted a couple little ones in my continuing mission to gif every single Dash/Marshall interaction, but nothing quite so big. Just thought someone else might find it as interesting/amusing as i do!

an image of Marshall and Simon, there is a white mark on the bottom of the image caused by a defect in the master.
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Live action show about a high school or middle school student that keeps having sci-fi scenarios happen to him. Probably from the late 90's or early 2000's. Aired in Canada. Here are some episodes I remember.

1) He orders a machine from a newspaper. When he gets the machine it is just a decorated cardboard box. He goes to the newspaper office and complains. The newspaper employee shows him that the fine print of the ad says that the machine may not look as advertised or do the things the ad saids it can. The employee then smugly saids that everything that their paper saids is true (turns out the newspaper makes things that are written in it true somehow). Some time later they are asking the protagonist how many people should die in a story they are writing. The employee thinks it should be eight because it sounds sadder to him. He asks the protagonist the question like this "what do you think sounds sadder, fourteeen or eiiiight."

2) The protagonist's older sister meets a woman that makes beauty products. At some point the sister willingly allows herself to have a plastic mask affixed to her face (she also wears a blonde wig, and maybe a pink dress that matches the woman's aswell). She looks like she is in a Halloween costume. The brother narrates "when some one loves you they'll sometimes call you a doll, but now I'm afraid that [woman's name] is trying to make my sister into her plaything." The mask will break if the sister thinks too hard. The brother decides to give her a math problem to solve (as she has a love for math). She does the math problem, the mask cracks and she peels it off.

Jormis29: Could it be from Eerie Indiana: The Other Dimension?

dutchguy1986: Something like 2 definitely happened in Eerie indiana: the other dimension, but I think 1 was from the original series, not sure though.

Jormis29: 1 sounds like "The Newsroom" episode

Yam: It was Eerie Indiana: The Other Dimension. Thank you.
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[personal profile] froodle
Summer Club Reading - Eerie, Indiana

Back in 1991, Eerie, Indiana premiered on NBC. It was created by Karl Schaefer and Jose Rivera, who had two tracks of mind in creating the series. One, to create a show for children that didn't pander to children and secondly, to have a fun and scary show. And you know what?

They succeeded.

Eerie, Indiana takes place in the titular town. We first meet Marshall Teller on his paper route. He's relocated from the dank, rotting Big Apple. He misses it. His father, Edgar is an inventor for a company in Eerie called "Things, Incorporated," and his mother, Marilyn is a party planner despite having lax organizational skills. His sister, Syndi is a regular, normal teenage girl. Marshall is the odd one out in his family it seems. But he notices that something is amiss in this 'burb. He sees an older, fatter Elvis on his route. He knows Bigfoot eats out of his trashcan. The town's population is 16,661. Gulp. He shares this with the only person that'll hear him out, Simon. Simon is a younger kid from his neighborhood who is ignored by his parents, so Marshall takes him under his wing. They know that something spooky is afoot in Eerie and they seem to be the only ones to do anything to try and stop it.

Originally, reviews for the show insisted that the show's true relation was that great masterpiece, "Twin Peaks." But I don't buy that, personally, I see it as more of a "Blue Velvet" type show. You know, a town with a darker undercurrent. Marshall and Simon are predicating Fox Mulder in the hunt for the truth and the idea of a town under duress from outside sinister forces is something that "Buffy the Vampire Slayer will run through for seven years. Eerie was ahead of it's time and it only lasted 19 episodes. I personally think that in 2012 this show would've lasted a longer life. Or at the very least gathered a cult following. But I digress, let's start this thing off.

Read more... )
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Well what do you know? As it turns out, the writers of “Eerie” didn't get out all that they had to say about death in the last episode, and have turned around immediately to tackle the subject head-on yet again.

If you're so cold and heartless that you can't give the show anything else, you at least have to admire it for the casting choices: It seems the special guest from every episode has gone on to do some pretty big things in Hollywood. For example, Danielle Harris, from the last episode, would go on to become popular for her voice role on the Wild Thornberry's, as well as her live-action roles in Rob Zombie's Halloween remakes. Here, we have a young Tobey Maguire—who looks eerily like current Tobey Maguire—playing the role of a ghost.

That ghost is Tripp McConnell, and he is awakened when Marshall finds an old letter in a book at the local bookstore. After the initial shock of finding a man from the 1930s hanging around the bookshelves wears off, Marshall picks up on what Tripp is trying to urge him to do: Deliver the letter to its intended recipient.

You see, Tripp was deeply, madly in love with one Mary Carter 62 years ago, and they were certain to be wed. But then Tripp got some cold feet and left Mary out in the cold, something she has never forgotten, or forgiven, all these years later. But that can be the problem with life: not everything is always as it seems. In this case, the only thing Tripp did wrong was get killed, and that’s what prevented him from marrying his childhood sweetheart, something she has been oblivious to for all the prevailing years.

Since Marshall was the one that discovered the letter, then Marshall is the one that is required to deliver it to Mary Carter in this current day and age, 62 years later. He refuses quite a few times, finding Tripp to be a rather annoying chap, at which point Tripp has to rely on his ghostly cunning to get him to change his mind: He wins over the Teller family with his ghostly charm, earning an invite to stay for dinner. Marshall isn’t too keen on seeing this happen, so he reluctantly agrees to help him, on the grounds that he leaves him alone afterwards.

Thankfully, the myriad of possible pitfalls that one could face when searching for a person after six decades, are all conveniently avoided: Mary still lives at the exact same address as she did all those years ago, with her granddaughter, who happens to be Marshall's age. At first Mary thinks Marshall is lying, until she reads the letter, and then learns the truth about Tripp's fate.

The ending of this one is actually pretty similar to “Heart on a Chain”, now that I think about it, with the two lovers reunited in the afterlife, something we can see coming from the outset (though it's not as creepy as it sounds, as Tripp sees Mary the way she was when they were together, as opposed to the old decaying hag that she has become). This one is a little less devastating, simply because we’re dealing with an old woman versus a young one (and old women are always considered expendable in today’s society), but it’s still a pretty hefty emotional saga for a young adult to sit through. Nevertheless, with two themes so closely intertwined to one another, I think it would have made more sense to space those two apart a few episodes, rather than have them be back-to-back installments.

Also a little bizarre is Marshall's initial refusal to have anything to do with Tripp. Here is a kid that goes out of his way to investigate weird goings-on in Eerie, and so for him to get offended by Tripp's simple request, simply because he “feels like” he's trouble, just seems out of character, especially since Tripp does nothing to garner such feelings. Sure, he comes off as rather arrogant in their first meeting, but isn't rude or offensive in any specific way. Just a weird way for a “hardened” investigator of the macabre to act.

When the dust settles, this is a pretty decent episode, but by leaning heavily on many of the same themes that the previous episode dealt with does it no favors.

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When I read a brief synopsis for the seventh episode of “Eerie, Indiana”, I was intrigued. It’s not every day that you find a show geared toward young adults (and, perhaps arguably, even younger than that) willing to tackle the subject of death at all; it’s even less common to see a show do it in such a frank, straightforward way. I was finally starting to appreciate the town of Eerie and its characters, but this wallop of an episode helps to prove just how daring this show really was, at least in terms of its intended age group. Its characters aren’t mindless caricatures quickly thrown together for the sake of ratings, but rather fully realized people. Even the adults in this show, such as Marshall’s family members, who are usually made stupid in shows so that the younger characters—the ones audience members would be most likely to relate to—can be intellectually superior, are immediately likable, and always encouraging to their son's interests, no matter how weird or “out there” they may be.

In this one, there’s a new girl in town, and both Marshall, and his friend Devon Wilde, are immediately smitten with her. She is Melanie, but she is no ordinary girl: she has a weak heart, and is on a list to receive a transplant that can elongate her life. Unfazed by this development, the two kids engage in friendly competitions, each one trying to impress her more so that they win her fragile heart; it’s Devon’s wild-child persona, vs. Marshall’s good-guy routine, and just like in real-life, it’s obvious which one she favors, and it ain’t Marshall.

Then Devon is struck and killed while carelessly riding his skateboard in the middle of the street.

One thing that sets this apart from similar shows of its ilk is the relationship between Devon and Marshall. While they both are fighting for the same goal, they still put their own friendship above all else: Devon even asks Marshall if he minds if he asks Melanie to the school dance, and Marshall puts aside his own feelings to let it happen; Marshall is upset when a careless Devon nearly gets run over by the same milk truck that finishes him off a little while later. It never devolves into a mean-spirited rivalry, which is the standard story arc that these stories lead to, and it's refreshing that “Eerie, Indiana” doesn't sinks into that same level of tired mediocrity.

After Marshall learns that Devon was struck by a truck, he rushes to the hospital, where he meets Melanie, who informs him they found a heart for her. At that precise moment, Marshall puts two and two together, and figures out that Devon has passed on, and it is his heart that will be implanted inside her. It's pretty heavy stuff so far (oh, it gets even stronger), but nice to see a television show that doesn't assume its audience is comprised of idiots that need everything spoonfed to them, so I can definitely appreciate the strong subject matter.

Anyway, after she receives the heart, Marshall notices that her personality changes. She's no longer a shy, innocent girl, but a daredevil who takes chances and whose favorite line is: “Live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse”...which happened to be Devon's favorite quote! Marshall doesn't like this change, and urges her to let him go and move on. He assures her that everyone is sad he's gone, especially him since he was one of his best friends, but that life doesn't wait and it's the only thing she can do. She reluctantly agrees to try to do so by kissing him...only to have her heart malfunction. It's just a minor glitch—the moment they pull away everything returns to normal—but it's enough to cause alarm. Is Devon controlling her from beyond? In the end, Melanie agrees to let Devon go, but tells Marshall she isn't ready to be in a relationship so soon, and they part ways, with Marshall joining Simon and Melanie going her own separate way.

But as sad as this episode already is, it’s about to become emotionally shattering: As Simon and Marshall happily make their way for the cemetery exit, we see a figure walking slowly in the background, heading toward an off-screen Melanie. After a little bit of squinting, I realized it’s the FUCKING GRIM REAPER. Then, a light shines on the angel on Devon’s gravestone, complete with the heart pendant that Devon got for her, at which point a lone tear drips down, indicating that he is claiming her so that no one else can have her. Holy shit.

This is about as perfect as a thirty-minute episode of young adult/children's TV can be, with heavy subject matter handled with maturity and an uncommon straightforwardness that flies in the face of the bland watered-down sameness of many such shows, even today. The way the Tellers handle Marshall's new “girlfriend” the few times she is over, is so adorable, you just can't help but fall in love with them. I know early on in the season I mentioned that Marshall and Simon are completely boring and don't have the kinds of personalities that make good leads in a show, but it is these exact traits that have actually made me completely change my mind: They are you and me. They are everyday children with wild imaginations and big dreams, kids with big hearts and a loving family (well, not in Simon's case, but the Tellers frequently take him in as their own).

This show has slowly been growing on me, and I was beginning to realize its potential; not even I could have realized the near-perfection that it was capable of when everything came together in harmony. This is a devastating, must-see episode, and the pinnacle of what "Eerie Indiana" had to offer.

SIDE NOTE: After harping on how weak Joe Dante-directed episodes were compared to others, I have to immediately take that back, as he was the director of this one. It's not just the pinnacle of the series, but might be the pinnacle of his career.

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The beginning of “Just Say No Fun” perfectly exemplifies what makes “Eerie, Indiana” such an engaging, charming show: Marshall and Simon play a prank on their father, in which they rig a little critter to pop out of their dad's cereal, which is triggered by a switch they hide under his chair cushion. In many other kid's shows, the kids would find themselves in trouble for simply being kids and trying to have fun: here, the dad encourages them to do the same thing to their mother, then their sister, each victim in turn becoming an active participant in the ensuing person's lighthearted humiliation.

And that sums up the appeal of the series all in one simple scene. It is also the perfect example of what makes a television show geared toward younger viewers work so well: if it can bring back nostalgic memories of my childhood--not necessarily through specific scenes, but just by having a similar freewheeling sense of carelessness and fun—then it's instantly a winner in my book. Too many kids' series try to paint the family dynamic as “children vs. adults”, where only one side can win. But “Eerie” was always much smarter than that: the parents always encouraged their child to be a child. Of course, they were willing to reprimand him if he went too far, but they never wanted to punish him simply for trying to experiment or even for allowing his imagination to run wild...after all, isn't that what being a kid is all about?

It's not all fun and games though, because this introductory scene also shows us what's at stake in this episode. After pranking his family in the first scene, Marshall and Simon head to school with a pack of gag gum, looking to extend their mischievous mood to fellow classmates. But this plan gets derailed when a bully steals the gum, pops a piece in his mouth, then spits the smoking, smoldering piece back on the ground. As he goes to confront Marshall and Simon (who, in their defense, weren't intending to make him the victim), their verbal exchange is interrupted by the principal, who curiously sends them to the nurse's office for an eye exam. Huh?

It quickly becomes apparent why: All of the students that exit the nurse's office wear thick-rimmed glasses, but act as if they've been lobotomized, becoming study-obsessed kids with no room for fun in their lives. And it's not just the troublemakers that are being sent there...all the students, and even the faculty, are required to make an appointment with Nurse Nancy, a woman who has “tamed” many schools before. Simon is the first of our heroes to visit the “nurse”, while Marshall thankfully escapes. Can Marshall reverse the effects for not just his buddy, but the entire school? Or will Nurse Nancy's influence spread through the entire town?

Overall, this is a pretty good episode that deals with themes that just about every kids show tackle (the “blend in with everyone else or be yourself” conundrum), but this one has the benefit of above-average insight and writing. Once again, this can be summed up in one exchange: As Marshall is going to a visit with Nurse Nancy (where once again the parents don't believe Marshall's assurance that she's trying to brainwash him), his father says, “Why can't you be like the other students?” to which Marilyn replies, “Well maybe he shouldn't. Maybe he should just be himself.” It's a rather corny line, but the actors—who have always been above-average for a show aimed toward younger crowds—make it a convincing rallying cry that you can hang the entire episode around.

The end is a little too goofy for my tastes, but is probably one of the few moments in the entire series where it goes overboard enough to truly appeal to its target demographic. In other words, most kids will revel in the stupidity of it all. I can appreciate what it was trying to do, but it just didn't do anything for me (although the final line did bring a little smirk to my face). Still, the rest of the episode is interesting—and thanks to the glimpses we get of Nurse Nancy's “eye testing” machine, trippy—enough to interest a wide variety of ages. It doesn't end on a great note, but there are at least enough notes hit to make for a good episode.

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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” 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'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.

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My, what a difference a week can make! I watched this episode with my wife over a week ago, and was pretty disinterested in the story; it had a clever idea, as most of these do so far, but it wasn't particularly funny or engaging. Then, one thing lead to another in real life, and I never had time to write this review, setting me up for a re-watch that I was absolutely not looking forward to. While the bad news is that it's still not one of my favorite episodes, the good news is that it was more enjoyable than I remember it being just seven short days ago.

More weirdness abounds in Eerie, Indiana when Edgar Teller's briefcase suddenly vanishes into thin air...almost quite literally. Now if this were just an ordinary briefcase, that would be bad enough. But this briefcase has a petroleum-based banana flavoring that Edgar will be pitching to higher-ups at Things, Inc.; if they like what he's done, then it could be their next big project and lead Edgar to fame! If it's lost, on the other hand, then he will most certainly lose his job. Compounding the problem is the briefcase's history: it was an anniversary gift from Marilyn, so she feels like him losing it is a personal jab at her. Uh oh! Can Marshall and Simon get to the bottom of the mystery before the Teller family loses everything?

Well, of course they do! Marshall and Simon concoct a plan to lose something on purpose, just to see where it winds up. In this case, it's a large piece of luggage...that Marshall hides himself inside! Sure enough, he is whisked right off the street by Al, an older gentleman played by Dick Miller (one of those guys that you will look at and go, “Oh, I've seen him in something before!”), and then dropped into a hidden tube in a back alley moments before Simon can find him.

After a scary drop through a series of tubes with Argento-esque lighting, Teller ends up in a strange place run by a strange old man known as Mr. Lodgepoole. The large warehouse-style room is completely packed with random items; this is, as we learn, because Marshall has ended up in the “Bureau of Lost” the place where things go when you lose track of them. Well, to be fair, the reason people lose track of them here is because Al steals stuff right out from under people's noses.

Marshall wants to track down his father's briefcase to save his family, but Mr. Lodgepoole informs him that this is not a lost and fact, he even has some troubles getting out the “f” word! It is instead a ploy to stimulate the economy. After all, as Mr. Lodgepoole testifies, if no one lost anything, then why would they have a reason to buy these things again? And if nobody's buying anything, then that sets us up for an economic crash of epic proportions (“You mean like the one when that actor guy was president?” Teller humorously asks).

Unlike most of the other episodes I've seen, this one has a nice little positive message thrown in there. After all the effort Marshall put into getting the briefcase back, it turns out that everything worked itself out: the banana goo that Edgar lost in his briefcase turns out to be part of a failed experiment, so there's no need for it (“It turns out people couldn't get the taste of diesel out of their mouths.”), while Marilyn forgives Edgar by buying him a brand new briefcase! There is no love lost and the episode ends on a happy note, with the family returning back to normal. Things don't go quite back to normal for Mr. Lodgepoole though...

The general pointlessness of this episode is its most endearing quality, but also its biggest flaw: It feels too pointless, especially for general audiences accustomed to the typical Saturday morning cartoons. The fact these items are just being taken (well, Lodgepoole takes offense at that term, deeming them “lost”) for no reason makes for some humorous moments, but it doesn't really lead to any kind of resolve, besides Lodgepoole's fate, and the simple message that love can fix anything, which could have been done in a much more straightforward manner (though, granted, it wouldn't have been an episode of “Eerie, Indiana”).

After the surprise strength of “ATM With a Heart of Gold”, this episode once again sets the series back a bit, though not nearly as far back as Dante did with his own “The Retainer”. Once again, it feels like a case of the show being weird for weirdness sake, rather than centering its weirdness around a common theme or clever idea.

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I didn't know what to expect going into this one, and with its lighthearted title, I was not looking forward to it in the least. I mean, I gathered that an ATM was going to be generous with its money—that much is obvious from its name—but how could that be made eerie, funny, or even remotely interesting? And after the debacle that was “The Retainer”, I was preparing for what could have been an early downhill slide for the entire series. Instead, it was the biggest surprise of its only season thus far, and while that might not sound like a huge accomplishment given that we are only three episodes in, I honestly mean that in the sincerest way possible.

Once again this story centers around the Teller family: The father, Edgar, has created an automated ATM that aims to be the friendliest such machine ever invented. To hammer this home, he gives it a computer-generated face, and some AI, allowing the smiling machine to offer up conversations and friendly banter with its users. The town doesn't really seem to care, though, as only a handful of people show up to its unveiling in a scene that would be sad if it weren't so funny.

Marshall has been spending a lot of time with kids his own age, which has left Simon all alone with no friends. Naturally, he turns to the talking ATM for companionship. The friendly machine, named Mr. Wilson, strikes up a friendship with Simon, and frequently hands him loads of bills, even though he does not have a bank account. This proves bad for the residents of Eerie, whose town goes bankrupt thanks to Mr. Wilson. But Simon doesn't care, because he's the one benefiting from the disaster. And why should he? He has everything he could ever want, the attention of older girls, and kids that were making fun of him now all want to be his friend. Can Marshall convince him to return his money and save the town? Or will Simon's obsession with the money be his downfall?

This episode plays its ridiculous premise for laughs, and that is why it manages to succeed. The (intentionally) cheesy scenes of Simon moving up the popularity ladder, simply because he has a virtually limitless supply of cash, function as spoofs of high school dramas and are well-executed. Mr. Wilson, on the other hand, is perfectly creepy, his nerdish computer-generated face and soothing, yet somehow haunting, voice suiting him very well. The way he “skips” is also a nice touch, and a rather realistic testament to early '90s technology. In other words, the effects are excellent in this one, and a large reason why it works at all.

I think the biggest drawback for me—and it's a big one--is that this episode breaks character for Marshall, by having him pick a group of popular jocks over his own friend. I understand that it's required for the rest of this episode to work, but considering how inseparable he and Simon are for the rest of the series, it just feels tacky, and not at all true to the series. Even after Marshall admits that the excitement of hanging out with them has worn off, he continues to hang out with them, despite getting nothing out of doing so...which paints him three episodes in as rather selfish and one-sided, something that couldn't be farther from the truth as the series wears on.

Overall, this one is still way better than I was anticipating, but is a far cry from the best this series has to offer.

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[personal profile] froodle

The story structure for “Eerie, Indiana” takes an interesting twist in this second episode, which is a story relayed to us by lead character Marshall Teller. In the introduction, told in the present time, Marshall’s parents are confused when Marshall is terrified of getting a retainer. As we soon learn, it has nothing to do with the fear of pain, or the fear of being made fun of, but rather because of what happened to the last friend of his that got one…

That friend was Steve Konkalewski, whose teeth refuse to straighten after five years of visits to a mad dentist. The evil tooth-doctor makes for him a “special” retainer, one that gives him the “gift” of hearing what dogs are thinking. In a rather interesting twist, dogs only appear to be friendly on the outside, a front because they are eventually planning to take over the world, something Steve figures out thanks to his newfound ability.

Marshall and Simon, his closest friends, quickly put two-and-two together after a series of odd occurrences, and develop a hunch that he can read the mind of dogs. To test this, Marshall uses a rather absurd experiment: He places a paper bag over Simon's head, then flips a coin and shows it to a dog. Once Steve is able to accurately read the outcome of the coin flip—via the dog's eyes—they are convinced of his superpower. (Would a dog really have an understanding of “heads” and “tails”? Am I putting way too much thought into this?)

This is a minor breakthrough, but Marshall is more intelligent than most kid's show heroes: He understands the absurdity of the whole situation, and realizes that no one will believe them without proof. And so he creates a recording device so that he can capture the sounds that Steve picks up via his retainer (the scenes of them trying to move him around like an antenna to get better reception is pretty clever stuff, despite the obvious outdatedness of it all). Well he also inadvertently picks up some nearby chatter, which leads him to a dog pound known for a high rate of euthanasia. (This is a show for kids?)

Earlier in the episode, an evil kennel warden is attacked by a lone dog who doesn't take kindly to the way the man treats the mutts (he even threatens to “toss them into the chamber”, which looks eerily like a cremation chamber). When our heroes arrive to find the source of the chatter (which are chants of “Freedom!”, by the way), there is a lone bloody bone propping open the door...obviously the bone of the warden, who was picked clean by the dogs. This is a show for kids?

Anyway, the canines don't appreciate Steve being able to monitor their thoughts, so they demand he gives them his retainer. The only problem? It's stuck to his face and he can't get it off. The flashback ends with the dogs chasing him out into the streets, at which point they presumably attack him, kill him, and forcibly take the retainer for themselves. I arrived at this conclusion because we flash back to the present, where Marshall has his own retainer, and calmly explains to a familiar dog that his retainer doesn't allow him to hear the dog's thoughts...and the dog responds by coughing up Steve's old retainer, leading Marshall to contemplate the possible fate of his friend.

It's not a very good episode overall, mainly because it lacks the joyful absurdity of the premiere. There are precious few laughs, and none of the off-the-wall fascination from the first one, making this one feel like a complete dud. Steve just isn't really all that fascinating of the character to center an entire story around, and the retainer idea—while it's clearly going for the offbeat—never gets its feet off the ground. On the flipside, I'd say that Marshall's blandness is already starting to grow on's a welcome change from the over-the-top characters in most such shows.

Regardless, I'd file this one under “sophomore slump” for sure.

RATING: 4/10
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[personal profile] froodle
Eerie, Indiana is an American television series that aired on ABC from 1991 to 1992 and then on syndication on FOX from 1997 to 1998. The series was created by José Rivera and Karl Schaefer, with Joe Dante serving as creative consultant.

The show revolves around Marshall Teller, a young boy whose family moves to the desolate town of Eerie, Indiana, population of 16,661. While moving into his new home, he meets Simon Holmes, one of the few normal people in Eerie. Together, they are faced with bizarre scenarios, which include discovering a sinister group of intelligent dogs that are planning on taking over the world, and meeting a tornado hunter who is reminiscent of Captain Ahab. They also confront numerous urban legends such as Bigfoot and a still-living Elvis Presley. Although the show was host to a plethora of jokes, it also featured a serious X-Files-like tone. After thirteen episodes, one of which did not air during the network run, the series was retooled with Jason Marsden's "Dash X" added to the cast, and Archie Hahn's Mr. Radford is revealed to be an imposter, with John Astin revealed to be the "actual" Mr. Radford. The final episode was a tongue-in-cheek, fourth wall breaking sequence of events depicting Dash X's attempts to take over as star of the show.

In 1998, a spin off series was produced, Eerie, Indiana: The Other Dimension. The series was filmed in Canada, and focused on another, younger boy while still following the concept of the original show. The spin off was short-lived, and only lasted one season. The first episode of the latter show, "Switching Channels", features a crossover between the two shows via a TV set.

I remeber this show scaring the crap out of me in the early 90s. Anyone else watched it? It's out on DVD and you'll find most - if not all - of the episodes on a certain popular video-hosting site.


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Eerie Indiana

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